20 Jan 2023 09:44

VTB launches alternative to online banking app on Telegram

MOSCOW. Jan 20 (Interfax) - Russia's VTB , the bank whose online banking application was removed from the App Store and Google Play after anti-Russian sanctions were introduced last year, has unveiled plans to launch an online bank on Telegram.

The new digital bank will be based on the lender's existing chatbot on Telegram. The service will be available to the owners of smartphones running all operating systems, VTB said in a statement.

At this stage, the new service will make it possible for customers to check the balance of their cards or accounts opened with VTB, to transfer money using the Faster Payments System or to top up their mobile phones. In the future, clients will be able to make payments using a QR code, to form a QR code of their own, to see the history of transactions, to use features such as money transfers between their own accounts, package bill payments, and transfer me2me from any of their cards issued by another bank to a VTB card. By the end of 2023, all daily banking services will be available to customers on Telegram, as well as the launch of some digital products, it said.

"Last year, Russian banks saw their mobile versions removed from many application stores. So creating an alternative maximally close to an online bank has become a strategically important objective for us. The materialization of the new digital service on Telegram is a unique development for the Russian and global financial market that combines convenience and security," VTB quoted member of the VTB Management Board Svyatoslav Ostrovsky as saying in the statement.

According to VTB, the speed of making daily transactions with the new service will be twice as fast. Importantly, making transactions via Telegram does not involve any transfer of customer data to the online messenger's servers. A unique five-factor protection has been put in place to protect customer operations, VTB said.