SBI invests into Russian payments provider QIWI

Russian payments company QIWI has received an investment from Japanese bank SBI Holdings.

QIWI operates a global network of 130,000 payment terminals and its Qiwi Wallet payment app facilitates transactions including p2p transfers, retail transactions bill payments and more.

The company also runs a subsidiary, QPlatform, which offers cloud infrastructure aimed at helping financial institutions integrate new technology solutions from FinTechs via APIs.

In October 2019, the Russian FinTech Association  published guidelines directly all banks to implement open API principles. SBI believes QIWI will play an important role in Russia a APIs become more widespread.

SBI also stated that it hopes to continue acting as a bridge between Japan and Russia and supporting the development of the financial services space in both countries.

Cashless payments are on the rise in Russia. For the first time ever in the country, cashless payments in a quarter were higher than physical cash transactions. In a report from Sberbank, it claimed that in the fourth quarter of 2019, 50.4% of all transactions for products and services in Russia were paid digitally. This is 4.5 percentage points higher than the same period in 2018.

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