Russia's Sberbank enters tech space; to compete with Google, FB, Amazon

Topics Russia | Banking sector

A SberPortal device, smart speaker with tablet attached, is seen in this undated handout picture | Photo: Reuters
Russia's biggest bank Sberbank on Thursday announced a major makeover to transform itself into a technology giant with the launch of a host of products and services in the digital space which will be first rolled out in its home market and taken abroad later, including to India.

 

However, the expansion would depend on the success of the new offerings in Russia and on regulatory and other compliance requirements in foreign countries.

 

The new offerings announced by Sberbank include SmartMarket platform, which will be available for external partners for creating apps on the lines of Apple's AppStore and Google Play; virtual assistant Salute; TV streaming device SberBox; and SberPortal, Russia's first multimedia smart display device that will go on sale in late 2020.

 

It also launched SberPrime that will offer subscriptions for films, TV series and songs in addition to grocery delivery service. Similar services are offered in various countries by global tech giant Amazon.

 

The 179-year-old bank, which commands a market valuation of $67 billion and is majority-owned by the Russian government, is present in 17 other countries, including in India through branches, subsidiary banks and representative offices.

 

It has nearly 3 million customers outside Russia and its stated business goal is to make "Sberbank one of the best finance and technology companies in the world". Its customer base in Russia is almost 100 million.

 

Sber's financial services for individuals will now be united under the SberBank brand, while it will work with small businesses and self-employed under the SberBusiness brand.

 

Professional solutions for corporations and the public sector have been united under the SberPro brand, while the SberInvestments brand would include all retail investment products.

 

The main brand of the group would change to 'Sber' which it said reflects "a whole universe of services for human life and businesses, which helps us accomplish our mission".

 

"Only yesterday Sber was just a bank, while today we are becoming an assistant helping people deal with their vital tasks, every day. And that is why our widely known motto 'Sber. Always there for you!' is relevant more than ever," it said announcing the new brand.

 

Underlining the need for the transformation, Sberbank said, "To stay close and useful, we need to do more than just respond to people's current needs. We want to go where new needs arise. So that something that is not obvious today could become a daily habit tomorrow. And that is why we are entering new industries.



Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel