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Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia, has acquired a 75% stake for $60 million (45,2 million euros) in Yandex.Money, the online payment service from Yandex in what should be considered a significant move for the region. Russia-based Yandex, will keep have 2 out of 5 seats on Sberbank’s board of directors as a result of this deal.
One of the leading money-transfer services in Russia, this service managed to generate $12,5 million (~9,4 million euros) for the first 3 quarters of 2012, which represents an increase of 46% over the previous year. Further, by mid-2012, users had created 11 million accounts and the number of transactions completed daily has reached 120,000.
For its part, Sberbank reports having 107 million customers, 7 million of whom bank online. Denis Bugrov, a senior VP at the company, told that Moscow Times that all of the bank’s present clients will receive access to the money-transfer service.
Qiwi is one of the main rivals in the money-transfer field. Just a month ago, the company announced a partnership with Visa to expand the market for electronic payments in Russia. According to the Wall Street Journal, PayPal has been in talks with Russian postal service to bring its own mobile-payment service to the former Soviet Union. With the recent development of Google Wallet, Apple’s Passbook, and a local startup like Mobi.Money, it’s clear that the field of mobile-payments has expanded dramatically in the past year, and Yandex.Money have been testing Square-like mobile payment technology.
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