The company Natalia Kasperskaya invests in the Fintehov business.
InfoWatch Natalia Kasperskaya bought 80% of the payment system HandyBank. This asset, together with the controlled by Kaspersky Naklis-Bank, will allow it to create its own fintech platform and, possibly, enter the crypto-currency market.
InfoWatch Group, the main shareholder of which is Natalia Kaspersky, acquired 80% of Handysvyoshens LLC, the manager of the HandyBank payment system, follows from the SPARK data. Sergey Chernomorov, chairman of the board and shareholder of the bank “New Symbol”, who in November 2017 lost the license of the Central Bank, acted as the seller of the share. Natalia Kaspersky confirmed RBC fact of the transaction, but did not disclose its amount. Contact with Sergei Chernomorov failed.
The founder and CEO of the Pay-Me payment system, Vladimir Kanin believes that the value of the entire HandyBank company is about $ 5 million, which means that the purchase of 80% of the company could cost about $ 4 million. “HandyBank installed very few mobile applications, 10 thousand on Google Play and probably the same in the App Store. However, the company used to develop mobile applications for banks as an outsourcer, they have good technologies. I think that Kaspersky could buy the company because of their technology, workings and team to quickly enter the banking business, do not develop technology from scratch, “- says Kanin.
Interviewed by RBC experts give a low estimate of the value of HandyBank. “At the end of 2017, after the license was revoked, the Bank” New Symbol “in HandyBank system failed – it was not available to users. This could significantly reduce the amount of the transaction, “- says an analyst of one of the major banks.
For Natalia Kaspersky HandyBank is not the first acquisition related to the banking industry. In September 2017, it became the owner of 64% of Naklis Bank through its off-shore Organat Financial limited, follows from the Central Bank. It is a small Moscow bank that occupies the 296th place in terms of assets in the rating of Interfax-CEA.
“One of the directions for the development of Naklis Bank is the opportunity to create on its basis a financial platform that would provide services to other banks, for example in the field of information security or payments,” RBC reported. HandyBank is not the only payment system that InfoWatch targeted. The company is considering buying at least one payment system, but this deal is not yet closed, Kaspersky said.
In order to compete with existing fintech platforms and payment systems, InfoWatch should offer a fundamentally new solution for consumers of financial services and financial organizations, says Yuri Gribanov, CEO of Frank Research Group. “And the solution should not just be new and reliable, but also user-friendly. While consumers of financial services are rather careless about security issues, and if authorization or confirmation of transactions requires a complex algorithm of actions, such a system will not be in demand, “he says.
It is possible that with the help of the acquired payment system InfoWatch, crypto-currency may enter the market, Finam analyst Leonid Delitsyn thinks. At the end of 2017, InfoWatch Asset Management (the structure of the InfoWatch group) filed several applications for registration of trademarks to Rospatent, including CasperCoin, CryptoCasper, RussianBit, and others. And during the opening of the InfoWatch training center in the St. Petersburg national research university of information technologies, mechanics and optics in January, Kaspersky said that bitcoins are the development of US special services, and therefore Russia needs to develop its own crypto-currencies.
On the question of RBC about whether it is planned to develop services related to crypto-currencies on the basis of HandyBank and Naklis Bank, Natalia Kaspersky said that “it is planned to develop the directions of services related to fi ntech”.
According to Arseniy Sheltsin, executive director of the Russian Association of Crypto-Currency and Locked-Up (ARKIB), Kaspersky has a good chance of making its products in the field of crypto-currency, and they are more likely to differ from analogues in Russia. “It’s common for our Internet figures to express concerns about new technologies, and there may be” holes “for secret services in Bitcoin, but it’s rather difficult and meaningless to use them. Kaspersky can do their projects, not even on the blockroom. They will probably use Russian cryptography, and then they will pass certification of regulatory bodies, “argues Shcheltsin.
Kaspersky can face serious competition in this field, believes Leonid Delitsyn. “There are already a few big players in the face of Sberbank, QIWI and all sorts of associations. At the same time, the issue of regulation of the crypto-currency industry remains open, “the expert said.
Authors: Alexandra Posypkina, Irina Li.
Original in Russian: RBC Daily