Russian FinTech not adequate for COVID-19 crisis

FinTech in Russia has not yet developed to the point to be able to adequately support Russians through a crisis like that of the COVID-19 crisis. This is highlighted by electronic recording in hospitals not always being available, a cashless payment system that has yet to be fully established and delivery services being available only in larger cities. Moreover, it is unlikely that FinTech will be able to provide such services to the majority of the country anytime soon. Much of this lack of preparedness and lack of drive to further develop is the result of Russians themselves, as many have a well-demonstrated preference for cash and a low level of desire to switch to new payment methods. This, in turn, limits the demand for appropriate infrastructure.

At the same time, there is hope for change, and domestic financial institutions could serve to be the main catalysts in this regard. Unlike startups, financial institutions have enormous resources (both human and financial). As such, they have the possibility to lead Russians in even the most remote areas into a new era of digital. Of course, this will lead to a focus on banking technology; however, it could also serve to increase demand for similar innovations in other industries.