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OUR MISSION
Technology
Designing and implementing new technological solutions to support the development of the Russian financial market
Digitalisation
Paving the way for the digitalisation of the Russian economy
WHAT WE DO
  • Conducting research, analysing trends, and leveraging global best practices
  • Prioritising workstreams and focus areas
  • Rolling out in-house projects and taking part in external ones
  • Coordinating the development of software, standards, platforms and protocols
  • Putting forth legislative initiatives
  • Holding conferences and implementing educational projects and awareness campaigns
  • Representing and supporting our members
OUR FOCUS AREAS
Identification and digital identity management
 1
GOAL
Drafting regulatory initiatives, developing standards, and implementing pilot projects focusing on identification, authentication and digital identity management to promote the development of the financial services market in compliance with information and public security requirements
OBJECTIVES
  • Developing methods of remote identification, including biometric identification technologies
  • Developing a framework for the interchange of identification data and digital identity management based on the Unified Systems of Identification and Authentication (USIA)
  • Promoting electronic interaction to enable financial market participants to obtain information from public resources
  • Developing legal electronic document management using a digital signature issued upon presenting a personal identification document
Information or a set of attributes used by computer systems for entity identification (ISO/IEC 24760-1)
Blockchain technology development
GOAL
Drafting regulatory initiatives, developing standards, implementing pilot blockchain projects to improve reliability, reduce the costs and mitigate the risks associated with financial transactions, keeping record of the securities ownership rights, and making transactions in the financial market
OBJECTIVES
Developing a Masterchain-based environment for secure data interchange and action control for non-trusting actors, which:
  • reduces the number of intermediaries
  • makes information available to all stakeholders at the time of making changes
  • ensures controlled transfer or exchange of ownership rights for financial instruments and assets, and associated record-keeping
Analysing public and private cryptocurrencies and drafting proposals for their use
Developing blockchain-based products and platforms
Retail payment space development
GOAL
Creating a single space for retail payments in Russia
OBJECTIVES
Analysing potential use of technological platforms and business models
Advising on regulatory and pricing matters
Proposing regulatory changes
Developing retail payment platforms
Open API development
GOAL
Setting API development priorities to ensure non-discriminatory access of service providers to the financial infrastructure with a view to fostering a competitive market of high-quality, cost-efficient financial services
OBJECTIVES
Reviewing global experience in developing open API regulatory frameworks and technological platforms
Developing regulations, standards and protocols
Implementing a pilot open API project
SENIOR MANAGEMENT
Olga Skorobogatova

Chair of the Supervisory Board
Sergey Solonin

CEO
NEWS AND PRESENTATIONS
Expert: “Masterchain is a perspective solution working on a scale”
Director of the Electronic Communications Association Sergey Plutarenko in an interview for Interfax correspondent Alena Sergeyeva told about the trends in the development of the digital economy today as well as conditions that must be created for the successful development of the industry.

- Do you think the blockchain will be successful in Russia?

- As in the whole world, the prospects for blockchain in our country are huge. Obviously, there are not so many promising mechanisms for fixing legally significant events in the digital world or digital identification systems. At the same time, there is an understanding that we are only at the beginning of the road, and there is a lot of work to be done until we see real solutions working on a scale. In Russia, there are several projects (including Masterchain), which are working on this - blockchain is being actively studied today by the leaders of our banking sector. After all, it is banks and financial institutions that provide services in the conditions for the mass market, most quickly and successfully automate their business processes and offer innovative services. We are glad that there are strong players in our Russian banking segment. The technology of blockchain can become an important factor in the development of the digital economy, if its development is not hampered by inappropriate legislative regulation. We hope that this will not happen.

The full text of the interview can be read on the Interfax website.
FinTech Association to launch blockchain-based data exchange platform in 2018
“I reckon that, in autumn 2017, this environment will become available for the FinTech Association members so that they can launch their products using the Masterchain technology. I guess next year we will integrate it into Russia's local financial and non-financial environments,” Alexey Arkhipov, Masterchain Team Lead, was quoted as saying by Rambler News Service.

Apart from the Bank of Russia (CBR) and QIWI, there are three banks that are currently gearing up to launch in-house Masterchain-based pilots. The CBR is to pilot a blockchain messaging platform, Otkritie – a centralised fraud screening database, Alfa-Bank – a framework to exchange digital letters of credit, Sberbank – factoring and power of attorney exchange projects, and QIWI – blockchain-based instant transaction processing.

Also, next June, we are planning to set up an ecosystem to facilitate the development of Masterchain software products by third parties.
Members of FinTech Association to enjoy priority access to emerging banking technologies
“A new business model will be designed for each technology. Our members will have an opportunity to define the roles they aspire to. These roles might not be available to other financial market players going forward,” said Maxim Grigoriev, Head of the Centre for Financial Technologies under the Bank of Russia, at FinTech Russia.

“We are jointly developing technologies to which our members will have a priority access. For instance, we are going to bring about Masterchain, a technology used to design new products. Member banks will be given priority when it comes to the use of such products,” said Mr Grigoriev.

He also noted that the Association’s members and partners will have rights to the products developed by FinTech. “This is not a "private party" though, or, rather, it is not by invitation only. We do want our products to serve as infrastructure for financial market innovations,” said the Bank of Russia’s official.

Membership decisions are made by the Supervisory Board, with references from the existing members being a pre-requisite.
FinTech Association's CEO highlights inefficiencies in the banking identification systems
“We believe that the current identification procedures used by each individual bank or company subject to Federal Law 115-FZ On Personal Data are inefficient. In our view, new identification systems could be established turning an individual into the owner of their digital identity, which can be transferable between the banks and other companies who need it and which is subject to regulatory requirements. We think this may be implemented via shared databases. So we will keep working to build the infrastructure required for identification systems,” Sergey Solonin was quoted as saying by Rambler News Service. He added that identification is among the Association’s four key focus areas.

Another workstream is centred around the distributed ledger technology. Mr Solonin specifically noted that the Association is currently running an infrastructural project to create a “legal platform for Masterchain in Russia” and enable businesses to experiment and work with blockchain technologies.

The third focus area is a 24/7 online system for instant interbank payments. Startups and other fintech businesses are expected to access the system via the Association's member banks.

The fourth workstream targets Open API standardisation. “This is an endeavour to convince the market to grant some kind of access to the infrastructure of leading banks and the banking infrastructure in general, which could support both banks looking for new technologies and startups willing to partner with banks,” Mr Solonin explained.

He also emphasised that new technologies pose a tough challenge for the regulators.

“Currently, the regulatory domain is lagging behind the emerging technology. The regulators’ agenda keeps growing to stand up to the existing challenges and opportunities. As a matter of fact, the same technologies may both make the lives of individuals and businesses easier and more efficient, and present new threats. Rising to these challenges does require joint efforts and collaboration,” he said.
VTB Bank President suggests giving more powers to the FinTech Association
The mandate of the FinTech Association, an institution incorporated jointly by Sberbank and other market players, should be expanded to include the design and development of target information systems to the benefit of financial market players, Andrey Kostin, President of the VTB Bank, said in his speech at the meeting of the Association of Russian Banks.

“The mission of the FinTech Association is to provide insights into new technologies. I believe that we should move on and give the Association more powers in designing and developing target information systems to the benefit of its members,” said the executive.

According to the TASS news agency, Mr Kostin said that new powers may require a number of changes, including those in tax and intellectual property regulations. “The regulators should probably think about providing additional stimuli to the member banks, such as less stringent capital adequacy requirements,” he added.

The VTB Bank President stressed the idea that concerted efforts will help cut digitalisation costs in the banking sector.
FinTech Association to register Мастерчейн and Masterchain trademarks
The FinTech Association is planning to register its Мастерчейн and Masterchain trademarks, the Moscow City News Agency reports.

“The Association filed an application with Rospatent (Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property) to register the Мастерчейн and Masterchain trademarks, which are fanciful trademarks in Cyrillic and Latin versions,” the agency says.

The biggest Russian banks made their first transactions using Masterchain, an Ethereum-based blockchain prototype, in October 2016.

Developed under the Bank of Russia auspices, the platform also saw contributions from Alfa Bank, Otkritie Bank, Tinkoff Bank, and Qiwi Group. Going forward, it may serve as a basis for new products and services.
FinTech Association, together with AK Bars Bank, launches blockchain technology
The FinTech Association's members Sberbank and Otkritie Bank, supported by AK Bars Bank, pilot tested a fast and secure exchange of KYC questionnaires using the blockchain technology. This is the first step towards using open APIs of banks to help boost hardware and software performance.

To comply with legislative requirements and international best practices, financial institutions must possess full information about each counterparty bank. Today, banks still exchange signed and sealed hard copies of KYC questionnaires, which is naturally very slow. The new blockchain technology aims to facilitate switching from physical to electronic exchange of KYC questionnaires, while also providing a one-stop-shop solution for all counterparties to modify their KYC data. Also, it helps identify the financial institution in the electronic system, ensures reliability of distributed data, and enables the user to track the history of changes in KYC questionnaires.

Encrypted questionnaires are stored in the unchanging distributed data store, with the respective link available in the blockchain transaction. Additional cryptographic techniques are used to distribute keys for decryption, making the data accessible only by the counterparty (who at the same time has no access to the full list of the bank's counterparties). The structure of interaction between the banks remains confidential. The prototype is built on Masterchain, a platform currently being developed by the FinTech Association.

“KYC questionnaire sharing by banks helps improve interaction among financial institutions, making it more cost-effective and transparent. The matter may not look especially exciting, but I'm sure it will do a lot to further cut the costs of interaction among banks,” said Sergey Ukustov, Blockchain Project Manager at AK Bars Digital Technologies.

“Automated KYC questionnaire exchange will allow for distributed storage and sharing of counterparty data required for their full identification and better understanding of their business, ownership structure, sources of profit, and other details that help identify potential threats,” commented Damir Galiev, Head of Project Office (Strategy, Innovation and Corporate Communications) at AK Bars Bank.
Association for Financial Technologies Development goes operational
The Association's Supervisory Board will be chaired by Olga Skorobogatova, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia, with Vadim Kalukhov heading the regulator’s Financial Technology, Projects and Process Management Department, among the Board members.

“Our partners will include financial market players, fintech start-ups, IT companies, and industry-specific educational institutions. The Association founders decided to promote various forms of cooperation taking into account the interests of all stakeholders committed to financial market innovations and technology development,” commented Vadim Kalukhov.

The decision to establish the Association was made by the general meeting of founders on 28 December 2016. The articles of association, founders, Supervisory Board members, and CEO were approved on the same date. The Association members will focus on the study and implementation of the most advanced technologies, including blockchains, open APIs, and remote identification, and will also be working to create a single payment area for legal entities and individuals.
Fintech Association holds general meeting of founders
“The Association’s main objectives are to develop and implement new technologies to advance the Russian financial market while also creating an environment to digitise the national economy,” commented Olga Skorobogatova, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia.

Its members will focus on the study and implementation of the most advanced technologies, including blockchains, open APIs, and remote identification, and will also be working to create a single payment area for legal entities and individuals.

The Association will commence its work in January 2017.
  • 13 April 2017
    Expert: “Masterchain is a perspective solution working on a scale”
    Director of the Electronic Communications Association Sergey Plutarenko in an interview for Interfax named Masterchain technology among the promising mechanisms for fixing legally significant events in the digital world or digital identification systems. More
  • 31 March 2017
    FinTech Association to launch blockchain-based data exchange platform in 2018
    The FinTech Association plans to launch the Masterchain technology based on blockchain for commercial operations next year, - said Alexey Arkhipov, the head of Masterchain development working group on the development of the direction "Masterchane" of the FinTech Association. More
  • 31 March 2017
    Members of FinTech Association to enjoy priority access to emerging banking technologies
    Members of the Association for the Development of Financial Technologies (The FinTech Association) will have an advantage in using new banking technologies and products created by FinTech. Banki.ru quotes Maxim Grigoriev, the head of the Center for Financial Technologies of the Central Bank of Russia. More
  • 31 March 2017
    FinTech Association's CEO highlights inefficiencies in the banking identification systems
    Sergey Solonin, CEO of The FinTech Association, said at Fintech Russia forum about the inefficiency of the banks’ and companies’ existing systems of identification. More
  • 28 March 2017
    VTB Bank President suggests giving more powers to the FinTech Association
    The mandate of the FinTech Association, an institution incorporated jointly by Sberbank and other market players, should be expanded to include the design and development of target information systems to the benefit of financial market players, Andrey Kostin, President of the VTB Bank, said in his speech at the meeting of the Association of Russian Banks. More
  • 22 March 2017
    FinTech Association, together with AK Bars Bank, launches blockchain technology
    The FinTech Association's members Sberbank and Otkritie Bank, supported by AK Bars Bank, pilot tested a fast and secure exchange of KYC questionnaires using the blockchain technology. More
  • 21 March 2017
    FinTech Association to register Мастерчейн and Masterchain trademarks
    The FinTech Association is planning to register its Мастерчейн and Masterchain trademarks, the Moscow City News Agency reports. More
  • 2 February 2017
    Association for Financial Technologies Development goes operational
    The Association for the Development of Financial Technologies (The FinTech Association), established by the Bank of Russia and the largest participants of the financial market, has been included in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities and has started to work. More
  • 29 December 2016
    Fintech Association holds general meeting of founders
    Representatives of the Bank of Russia and the largest participants of the financial market decided to establish the Association for the Development of Financial Technologies (The FinTech Association). Thus, the legal registration of the Association entered the final stage. At the meeting held on December 28, 2016, the charter of the Association, the composition of its founders, the Supervisory Board and the candidacy of the Director General were also approved. In the near future, the documents will be sent for state registration. More
FOUNDERS
 
 
 
 
CONTACTS
Address
4 Shlyuzovaya Embankment, Moscow, 115114, Russia
Phone
+7 495 668 6228
E-mail
info@fintechru.org
© 2017 FinTech Association