Brewer-banker Tinkov told why with his approach, a smoothie is not needed: businessman’s statements and expert comments

    Over the nine years of its existence, Tinkoff Bank has become one of the leading players in the financial market. The bank is among the top 4 Russian banks in terms of credit card portfolio. According to Oleg Tinkov, this is one of the largest fully online banks in the world.

    Few people manage to repeat the success of Tinkoff Bank, despite the fact that recently the largest banks have invested huge amounts in remote services.

    “Startups attract investments, rent a new office, drink smoothies in coworking, poke their tablets. No one thinks about profit and economic feasibility. Investment money corrupts. ”
    In March 2015, such a statement was made by Oleg Tinkov in an interview with The Secret of the Company.

    Now Mr. Tinkov told the Digital Russia portal about how Tinkoff Bank achieved success and its development strategy for the next 5 years.

    "Megamind" provides the most interesting statements of the entrepreneur.

    From the brewer to the bankers

    I always dreamed of opening my own bank and started working on this idea in 2005, after selling my next business, the beer company, to InBev.

    Old bankers at that time, with whom I shared my concept of a completely remote bank, reacted to it with a fair amount of skepticism, saying that the business is complex and without experience in the banking sector, I will not succeed.
    By my order, BCG conducted a special study that confirmed the viability of such a business in Russian conditions. True, the study did not give answers to questions regarding the method of implementing the project and its target audience, but we dealt with this directly during the implementation.

    At the start of the project in 2007, Goldman Sachs acted as our investor., in 2008 Vostok Nafta joined him, and in 2012 - Baring Vostok and Horizon Capital . At the end of 2013, we had a successful IPO on the London Stock Exchange and attracted more than $ 1 billion in investments.

    Custom approach

    Gathering a team, I gave preference to those who had no relation to the banking sector, knew how to think outside the box and could implement a completely new business model for Russia. In other words, he tried not to take bankers into the team.
    And of course, we invested heavily in priority areas: for example, we spent $ 20 million on IT infrastructure alone, purchasing the best systems on the market at that time.

    When developing the concept of the bank, we drew inspiration from our Western counterparts, but having begun its practical implementation, we began to apply it exclusively to our own ideas and solutions. Russia has its own particulars of regulating the banking sector, so we developed the tools for implementing a fully remote business model ourselves, from scratch.

    Work with clients: problems and solutions

    At first, we noticed that people who are used to standing in line for hours to get advice on the simplest question have a psychological barrier: it’s hard for them to believe that all banking operations can be carried out remotely - through a call center or independently using the Internet bank.

    We have created a network of “smart” representatives: more than 1 thousand representatives of the bank deliver our banking products to almost anywhere in the country the very next day after receiving the application on the site. These are not just couriers, but bank specialists who have undergone special training, who can give the client a full consultation on the spot. In Russia, the level of penetration of banking services is still low, and such a model provides access to innovative banking services to residents of even the most remote cities.


    Tinkoff Bank was the first Russian bank to introduce technology for identifying customers by voice to all workplaces in its call center back in 2014. Prior to this, only a few British banks used this technology, and as a rule, only for VIP-clients.

    The technology allows you to save client time by recognizing him by voice in the first few seconds, eliminates the need to remember a huge number of code words and passwords and provides an additional level of security, which is especially important given the high risk of confidential data leakage in the era of social engineering.

    At the same time, we have a large team of developers of mobile applications that create products not only for bank customers, but also for a wider audience.

    The role of Oleg Tinkov in the company

    I believe that those who really use them should be involved in the development of services and products, in our case, talented, enthusiastic youth. I am the oldest in the company and just try not to stop them from doing what they do great.

    I do not manage the bank at the operational level, but I am engaged in a development strategy, however, as a shareholder, I am actively interested in the smallest details of the processes, up to the design of one of a thousand icons for a specific section in our Internet bank.

    Five Year Strategy

    Our strategy for the next five years is to become a financial “supermarket”, an analogue of Amazon in the financial sector, where not only our own products will be available to the client, but also the products of our partners. The portal will become a single entry point for everyone who needs a financial service: the client will need only basic information about his needs, and we will select the best offer on the market based on his wishes and capabilities. Thus, we will simplify life both for customers, helping them to choose the best product, and for partners, taking upon ourselves the work of attracting customers.

    CEO of Flamp service Evgeny Vasilkov commented on Tinkov’s statement about the strategy:

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