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Digitalization of Russian banks keeps up with Western banks – Higher School of Economics

In terms of digital transformation Russian banks are not lagging behind their Western counterparts. This was demonstrated by a survey conducted by the Higher School of Economics (HSE) on digital transformation of the Russian finance industry.

More than 150 respondents participated in the survey and the results were presented at the Digital Transformation of the Finance Industry conference that took place on Tuesday, March 20, at the Higher School of Economics. The majority of the respondents (43%) work in education, including 32% who are top managers and 32% who are IT managers.

41% respondents said that the digital transformation of Russian banks is happening at the same rate as that of the Western banks. Another 20% believe that Russian banks are ahead of the Western banks while 34% think that Russian banks are lagging behind. Almost 90% of the interviewees claim that financial technology will be in demand by payment systems while 55% believe the financial technology will be widely used in the credit card market.

Some 57% survey takers believe that digital transformation is hindered by high costs while another 57% respondents believe that the main obstacle is low financial literacy of the public. Some 52% interviewees think that the industry lacks highly qualified IT personnel while 30% believe the problem lies in the Central Bank’s technology use regulation. Even fewer respondents (23%) claim that digital transformation is prevented by investors’ low interest in the financial technology market. More than half of the respondents (52%) suggest that the financial technology can be used for identifying bank customers while 50% respondents believe it will be helpful when merging IT services.

The majority of survey participants (34%) predicted that in the future the financial market of online services will be shared by several hi-tech platforms. At the same time, 23% respondents believe nothing will change.

The experts that participated in the HSE survey are also confident in the prospects of blockchain. Some 48% respondents think it will help reduce expenses while 38% respondents claim that blockchain will have an impact on conventional bank transactions.

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