How money transfer systems are changing the business model to survive the crisis

    According to the calculations of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the volume of transfers of individuals from Russia to the CIS countries for five months of 2015 decreased by half compared to the same period - to $ 3.326 billion.

    There has not been such a strong drop in the money transfer market since the crisis year of 2009. Then the market declined by 27.3% year on year. Representatives of Unistream estimated a decrease in the volume of transfers through the system in the key direction of the RF-CIS in January-May at 29% compared to the same period last year. Transfers to non-CIS countries decreased by 9%. Contact representatives also note a general decrease in the number of customers - by 10%, in the RF-CIS corridor - by 11%.

    Back in 2013-2014, the money transfer market began to lose players. Migom System Left Market, due to liquidity problems, the Contact system changed ownership . Some owners decided to leave the money transfer business. Aurora Russia Fund (26%) in Unistream is put up for sale . The fund plans to get rid of the package within a year. Previously , Qiwi almost bought the whole system , but against the backdrop of the ruble devaluation at the end of last year, the parties did not agree on a price.

    Who's guilty

    Amid rising unemployment, the need for remittances has decreased, said Andrei Laikov , head of the Blizko system . The main users of remittances in Russia, labor migrants sharply reduced their activity. The fact is that from January 1, CIS citizens (with the exception of the countries of the Customs Union) are required to enter the Russian Federation only with passports, confirm their knowledge of the Russian language, history and Russian laws, as well as apply for a labor patent and constantly pay for it.

    The main reason for the decline in remittances is the worsening economic situation and the growth of the dollar, the most popular currency among migrants. In those countries where rubles can be transferred (Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan), the dollar is much more stable than the ruble. Therefore, the population is often simply unprofitable.

    What to do

    To stay afloat, translation systems began to expand their networks and increase the number of partners: Zolotaya Korona , for example, connected 53 banks since the beginning of the year, Unistream signed an agreement with 33 partners. Many large players, such as Contact and Leader , have reduced tariffs for certain services.

    Companies began to master other areas of translation. The “Golden Crown” recently went to the UK, Latvia and Israel and expanded its presence in Turkey. "Leader" entered the markets of South Africa, Congo, Albania, Kenya, Ghana and Pakistan. Contact expanded its presence in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and the United States, and in April launched remittances from Polish post offices. Thus, transfers to non-CIS countries ensured the market growth in rubles by 7.3% - up to 37.8 billion rubles.

    In the Golden Crown, revenues in this area grew by 6% in proportion to turnover. Unistream revenues increased by more than 20% compared to January-May 2014. Contact's total income from remittances increased by 11%.

    Some companies have begun to diversify their business amid a declining market for classic cash transfers. Unistream now also plans to develop typical banking services - cash settlement services for legal entities, retail and Internet acquiring, collection and so on. In addition, the system intends to focus on the payment business.

    Interested in the payment business and the Golden Crown. In January-July 2015, its turnover in the payments segment amounted to 104.7 billion rubles (17% more than a year ago), or almost 40% of the volume of classical cash transfers. The Leader company has a turnover ratio in the segment of money transfers and payments that has reached equal shares - approximately 50% to 50%. Payment application PayStore and electronic purse Leomoneyallow you to pay for cellular communications, airline tickets, public services and much more.

    Russian Post has implemented the possibility of transfers via the Internet from bank cards, from mobile accounts and through terminals with crediting money both to bank cards and with delivery at branches or even with home delivery.

    In addition, many players join forces. Recently, the Blizko system launched a joint service with Russian Post, gaining access to a translation sales network within Russia, and Russian Post, in turn, gained access to the CIS market. On August 12, CNews reported that Unistream Bank joined the Association of Regional Banks of Russia.

    “We hope that in 2016 the market will grow by 10% to the level of 2015,” said Andrey Laikov to Kommersant.

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