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Rocketbank, the Russian mobile banking startup raises $2 million from Russian VC fund Runa Capital to boost its product development, scale operations and expand into the regions. Rocketbank is founded by the former CEO and co-founder of Groupon Russia Victor Lysenko.
The idea of the Rocketbank is to enable banking customers manage their banking information on their smart phones. Launched in 2012 it launched iOS version of its app and attracted a few thousand users.
The really interesting idea is that the transfers can be executed to the users without the need to enter bank account details. It is sufficient to choose the recipient from the telephone address book, specify either a mobile number, and email or a number of the e-wallet (Qiwi) for them to be able to receive the payment.
The actual bank behind the service is InterCommerce Bank, but Rocketbank delivers the convenience of the mobile app and customer communication.
The service does not come free. For the equivalent of US$9 per month the users receive platinum Visa debit card, and access to its banking activities via an iPhone app. Via the app the users can execute money transfers, card loading, air miles program and expenditure analysis. The card comes with a free cash withdrawal service internationally, as well as free bank transfers and other freebies typically charged for by the Russian banks.
It is not a new concept for a bank to be formed purely online (Egg, Citi Bank in the UK), but taking it only to a mobile platform is a new development. Enabling simple transfer may be attractive for a viral marketing of the app from user to user.
The startup expects to get ten thousands of users in 2014.
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