First new bank in 4 years is approved for a license in Russia


New digital bank is created by IT people for the Russians that earn online and spend online, both locally and globally.

New bank is going to focus on active internet population that not only shops, but also earns their income online: both companies and entrepreneurs. Looking forward it might also consider servicing individuals, but not from the beginning. Bank 131 strategy is to make a transparent and compliant way of making business and earning income online. Which is not always the case at this point. Up till now the online businesses and entrepreneurs face misunderstanding and caution from the traditional banking industry.

We are getting the first license in years, while the banks are losing licenses daily due to aggressive ‘industry cleansing’ policy employed by the Central Bank of Russia, decreasing the number of banks by almost half in several years. However, the e-commerce and digital services industry badly need compliant and quality fintech products, so our ambition is to provide just that. With e-commerce growth both globally and locally, market needs modern and transparent instruments to manage their funds. We hope that this new bank will take up the niche that is not taken by the traditional Russian banks that build their business models on retail crediting and offline business.  

By our estimations, we are talking about 8 bln USD market that is not fully visible of calculated by authorities, and is not transparent to all parties involved. This are the earnings received on Airbnb, or Russian outsourcers and freelancers hired by global IT companies, as an example», - says Dmitry Eremeev, Bank 131 founder.

Bank 131 sees its main mission as creating the apt financial instruments for working with global internet companies that service Russian citizens. To point out, Russian regulator is working on adapting its payment regulation that will strengthen the control over foreign payment systems servicing Russian nationals, making their conditions basically equal to Russian payment systems, which is out of balance.

Russia is known for its talent, especially in IT and mathematics. Many of our citizens work for the global internet companies. But it is not easy to coordinate the local and global business processes. It is neither easy or convenient to get their earnings from them as digital contractors, not in comparison with the local companies», - says Dmitry Eremeev.  

The bank does not intend to employ traditional business models and wants to use the transactional model that payment gateways do. There won’t be offline branches, or ATM or numerous staff, all efforts are at compliance and IT. Bank 131 ambitious plan is to create the newest technology fintech product that combines the payment gateway and payout model, and extrapolate it to other markets as well. In addition to transparency, focus on digital businesses and in particular global IT businesses, Bank 131 also aims to explore the Bank as a Service model, customizing the solution per client.

About founder and management:

Dmitry Eremeev, the founder of quite a few internet companies under the FIX brand, set up a new project – Bank 131. The top management comes from another prominent Russian fintech company – Yandex.Money, which recently received an MPE award for its Yandex.Checkout payment gateway solution. The new bank aims to become a fintech platform for the internet companies, acting in Russia, or employing Russian contractors.