Dig­i­tal Fu­ture for Banks

Be­larus launches a large-scale pro­ject to pro­mote dig­i­tal bank­ing

Economy of Belarus - - FRONT PAGE - Anna KOT

To­day dig­i­tal bank­ing is ob­vi­ously in trend. Cus­tomers like to pay for pur­chases and open sav­ings ac­counts with a cou­ple of clicks at any time of day. Banks are ea­ger to grow their busi­ness with­out in­vest­ing in con­struc­tion and main­te­nance of branches. Gov­ern­ments, in turn, en­cour­age dig­i­tal­iz­ing of banks in view of in­creased trans­parency of vir­tual oper­a­tions and ac­ces­si­bil­ity of fi­nan­cial ser­vices. The ad­van­tages are count­less. There­fore the num­ber of dig­i­tal bank­ing pro­po­nents has been rapidly grow­ing. To stay ahead of com­pe­ti­tion, banks and other play­ers of­fer their cus­tomers more con­ve­nient and more ef­fi­cient ser­vices. Be­larus is also get­ting ready to take a leap to­wards the dig­i­tal fu­ture. A rel­e­vant draft de­cree has been elab­o­rated and by the end of the year a de­vel­op­ment strat­egy of dig­i­tal bank­ing tech­nolo­gies for 2016-2020 will be pre­sented.

Cards as Growth Driv­ers

Vir­tu­al­iza­tion of bank­ing ser­vices in Be­larus is an in­te­gral part of the way to­wards cre­at­ing an in­for­ma­tion so­ci­ety and e-gov­ern­ment. To­day the coun­try’s bank­ing sys­tem is al­most pa­per­less. Be­larus is among the lead­ers in the CIS in terms of ac­ces­si­bil­ity of fi­nan­cial ser­vices and pen­e­tra­tion of non-cash trans­ac­tions. Ev­ery fifth re­tail pur­chase of goods or ser­vices is paid with plas­tic. Ac­cord­ing to the plans of the gov­ern­ment and those of the Na­tional Bank of Be­larus, the num­ber of non-cash trans­ac­tions will keep on grow­ing.

“In­for­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies change our per­cep­tion of many seg­ments of the econ­omy and, first of all, of the fi­nan­cial mar­ket. Last cen­tury, Bill Gates voiced a thought that was not noted by many peo­ple then, but nowa­days it is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly rel­e­vant: ‘The world is not in­ter­ested in banks. The world is in­ter­ested in bank prod­ucts.’ Another ques­tion is how to pro­vide a cus­tomer with this or that bank prod­uct,” said Sergei Dubkov, Deputy Chair­man of the Board of the Na­tional Bank of Be­larus.

The guide­lines and the next step to­wards the “cash­less” so­ci­ety in 2013-2015 is a joint ac­tion plan of gov­ern­ment agen­cies and fi­nan­cial mar­ket play­ers on the de­vel­op­ment of a re­tail pay­ment sys­tem with the use of mod­ern e-pay­ment tools and means. Over the pe­riod var­i­ous reg­u­la­tory acts were adopted to fa­cil­i­tate the grad­ual tran­si­tion to chip cards and ex­tend the list of re­tail out­lets and ser­vice providers with ATMs. The zero re­spon­si­bil­ity prin­ci­ple is now guar­an­teed by the state. Ac­cord­ing to the prin­ci­ple, banks are obliged to re­fund a card holder if he/she loses money as a re­sult of fraud. The pay­ment limit was set at 1,000 base amounts. Thus, Be­larus laid the le­gal ground­work for the growth of cash­less pay­ments and en­hance­ment of their se­cu­rity.

Oper­a­tions with bank cards are the main driv­ers of the dig­i­tal bank­ing tech­nolo­gies de­vel­op­ment in Be­larus. In Q1 2015, as many as 152.2 mil­lion cash­less oper­a­tions were made with bank cards to the to­tal amount of Br21.8 tril­lion. To­day the bank card mar­ket of the coun­try has reached a cer­tain sat­u­ra­tion phase with the vast ma­jor­ity of em­ploy­ers de­posit­ing wages to their em­ploy­ees’ bank ac­counts. A to­tal of 12.3 mil­lion bank cards are in cir­cu­la­tion in Be­larus (in­clud­ing 2.1 mil­lion chip cards and 147,000 prox­im­ity cards). Of them 7 mil­lion cards were is­sued by the Visa and MasterCard in­ter­na­tional pay­ment sys­tems while 5.3 mil­lion by the BELKART na­tional pay­ment sys­tem. This year Amer­i­can Ex­press and UnionPay will start is­su­ing bank cards in Be­larus.

Card hold­ers of 22 banks en­joy branch­less bank­ing ser­vices. In 14 banks the share of such ser­vices ex­ceeds 25% of the to­tal ser­vices pro­vided. They are Be­la­gro­prom­bank, Belin­vest­bank, Alfa Bank, Pri­or­bank, Be­larus­bank, MTBank, BPSSber­bank, Tech­nobank, BNB-Bank, Bel­gazprom­bank, BTA Bank, BSB Bank, Bank Moscow-Minsk, and Frans­a­bank. Be­laru­sian con­sumers use such types of branch­less ser­vices as online bank­ing (1.9 mil­lion in­di­vid­u­als), SMS bank­ing (1.1 mil­lion), mo­bile bank­ing (263,000), USSD bank­ing (118,800) and TV bank­ing (11,600).

As we can see, most peo­ple use online bank­ing and their num­ber keeps on grow­ing. The reg­u­la­tor has rec­om­mended banks to in­crease

the num­ber of online users by 50% of the to­tal num­ber of card hold­ers. Very pop­u­lar all over the world, mo­bile bank­ing has just started to gain ground in Be­larus. To pay for break­fast in a cafe or to fill a car at a gas sta­tion by a smart­phone equipped with NFC tech­nol­ogy is ex­pected to be pos­si­ble within a year or two.

To­day var­i­ous chan­nels of branch­less bank­ing are used to pay bills, ap­ply for pay­ment cards and loans, open ac­counts, de­posit and trans­fer funds to other ac­counts. Cus­tomers can re­motely con­trol the lim­its and re­stric­tions on pay­ment card oper­a­tions, turn on and off such ser­vices as SMS no­ti­fi­ca­tion and 3D Se­cure, ex­tend the list of func­tions of their bank prod­ucts.

A con­ve­nient so­lu­tion for peo­ple us­ing mo­bile bank­ing is Banka ap­pli­ca­tion. It al­lows cus­tomers of sev­eral banks (BPS-Sber­bank, Be­la­gro­prom­bank, Zepter­bank, Tech­nobank, BTA Bank) to check all their bank ac­counts and make var­i­ous trans­ac­tions via their mo­bile phones with­out hav­ing to use a sep­a­rate ap­pli­ca­tion for each bank. Ex­perts be­lieve that the fu­ture of dig­i­tal bank­ing is in in­te­gra­tion tech­nolo­gies as they stan­dard­ize and fa­cil­i­tate cus­tomers’ ac­cess to mul­ti­ple ac­counts.

In gen­eral we can say that thanks to the gov­ern­ment pol­icy, the

ini­tia­tives of the com­mer­cial banks and pay­ment sys­tems, Be­laru­sians are pretty well fa­mil­iar with the re­mote ser­vices to­day and are their ac­tive users. How­ever, there is still a sig­nif­i­cant mar­ket po­ten­tial for both ex­ten­sive and in­ten­sive de­vel­op­ment, the Na­tional Bank be­lieves.

“The banks have cov­ered the vast ma­jor­ity of cus­tomersin­no­va­tors, clients who un­der­stand what re­mote bank­ing ser­vices are and what ben­e­fits they bring,” head of dig­i­tal bank­ing tech­nol­ogy at the Na­tional Bank Alexan­der Sot­nikov said. Now the banks need to fo­cus on cus­tomers from the more com­plex and more ex­pen­sive in terms of costs seg­ments of their cus­tomer bases.

Uni­ver­sal “Mo­bi­liza­tion”

Mean­while, the global mar­ket of dig­i­tal fi­nan­cial ser­vices is de­vel­op­ing fast to­day. Ac­cord­ing to some ex­perts, 95% of all re­tail trans­ac­tions will be car­ried out with the help of vir­tual tech­nolo­gies by 2020. Among the lead­ers are Canada, Swe­den, the United King­dom, Bel­gium, France, the United States, Sin­ga­pore, and South Korea. The va­ri­ety and quan­tity of in­no­va­tions are amaz­ing. How­ever, the gen­eral trends are easy to trace.

The most com­mon re­mote fi­nan­cial ser­vice is In­ter­net bank­ing – a sys­tem of re­mote ser­vic­ing of bank pay­ment card hold­ers, the own­ers of cur­rent and de­posit ac­counts through the In­ter­net. To­day online shop­ping ac­counts for more and more vir­tual trans­ac­tions, given the grow­ing e-com­merce mar­ket. For ex­am­ple, 25 online pur­chases are made ev­ery sec­ond in France.

At­the­same­time,thede­vel­op­ment of mo­bile tech­nolo­gies has led to a rapid in­crease in the pop­u­lar­ity of fi­nan­cial ser­vices based on them: not only pay­ments but also mo­bile in­sur­ance, sav­ings or lend­ing. Half of adult Euro­peans who own a mod­ern mo­bile de­vice, for ex­am­ple, a smart­phone or a tablet, are ready to use it to make pay­ments in re­tail net­works and the In­ter­net. In Q1 2015 over 1 bil­lion trans­ac­tions were made with the help of these gad­gets. In the fu­ture this fig­ure is pre­dicted to in­crease as the gen­er­a­tion Z be­comes the main con­sumers of fi­nan­cial ser­vices. The speed and the abil­ity to op­er­ate ac­counts lit­er­ally “on the run” are very im­por­tant for them.

More and more own­ers of mo­bile de­vices man­age their fi­nances us­ing mo­bile and SMS bank­ing ser­vices,

var­i­ous pay­ment ap­pli­ca­tions. The NFC tech­nol­ogy which al­lows mak­ing con­tact­less pay­ments is gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity. Busi­ness, in turn, chooses mPOS ter­mi­nals due to their porta­bil­ity and an at­trac­tive price. It is ex­pected that in the fu­ture the smart­phones and tablets with the con­nected mPOS ter­mi­nal will com­pletely re­place cash reg­is­ters.

Ac­cord­ing to ex­perts, mo­bile com­mu­ni­ca­tions have a great po­ten­tial for mak­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices more avail­able and in­creas­ing the amount of cash­less pay­ments. Here’s why: in 2013, 2.5 bil­lion peo­ple in the world did not have ac­cess to for­mal fi­nan­cial ser­vices while the num­ber of mo­bile phone ac­counts was over 6 bil­lion at that time. For peo­ple in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, where banks are un­pop­u­lar and dif­fi­cult to ac­cess, mo­bile pay­ments can be­come an al­ter­na­tive to all other elec­tronic pay­ments, whether by way of pay­ment for goods or ser­vices, or the trans­fer of funds.

A clear con­fir­ma­tion of this is the M-Pesa mo­bile ser­vice, which has 16.8 mil­lion ac­tive users world­wide to­day. Ini­tially, the sys­tem was de­signed specif­i­cally for Kenya but later due to the pop­u­lar­ity the pro­ject was scaled up and of­fered by the mo­bile op­er­a­tor Voda­fone in other coun­tries, no­tably Tan­za­nia and Afghanistan. Non-bank pay­ment ser­vice al­lows plac­ing money into a de­posit and with­draw­ing it us­ing a dealer net­work of mo­bile op­er­a­tors, mak­ing P2P trans­fers, pay­ing bills, buy­ing goods and ser­vices. In fact, it fully re­places the bank­ing sys­tem. Banks Will Need to Adapt

In gen­eral the mar­ket of tra­di­tional bank­ing ser­vices is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly crowded as dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies start to de­velop their own fi­nan­cial ser­vices. Ac­tive are not only mo­bile op­er­a­tors (Tele­com, Voda­fone, O , MTS, Bee­line) but also the play­ers of the In­ter­net mar­ket (Ap­ple, Google, Face­book, Ama­zon, Ali­pay). Among the com­peti­tors of banks are also elec­tronic and card pay­ment sys­tems (PayPal, QiWi, RBK.Money, MasterCard, Visa, Amex), var­i­ous In­ter­net star­tups (Simpe, Square, Moven­bank).

For ex­am­ple, Face­book an­nounced the launch of its own free money trans­fer sys­tem for users of Face­book Mes­sen­ger on An­droid, iOS, and web. A sub­sidiary of China’s largest online re­tailer Alibaba-Ali­pay ac­tively pro­motes its mo­bile pay­ment ser­vice Ali­pay Wal­let. In 2014 $151.3 bil­lion worth of mo­bile pur­chases was made in the trad­ing sys­tem.

Var­i­ous non-bank fi­nanc­ing plat­forms are also gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity. Ac­cord­ing to ex­perts,


by 2025 loans to­tal­ing $1 tril­lion will be is­sued through P2P plat­form (online lend­ing plat­form with­out tra­di­tional fi­nan­cial in­ter­me­di­aries). The vol­ume of the in­ter­na­tional crowd­fund­ing (a vol­un­tary pool­ing of money or re­sources for a va­ri­ety of pur­poses) amounted to $16.2 bil­lion last year and ex­pected to dou­ble by the end of this year.

With a rapid emer­gence of new com­peti­tors,i.e.IT­com­pa­nies,mo­bile op­er­a­tors and re­tail­ers, more banks un­der­stand that the de­vel­op­ment of online ser­vices is in­evitable due to a wide spread of dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies and grad­ual changes in users’ pref­er­ences. Ac­cord­ing to the re­search and con­sult­ing com­pany Ovum, by the end of 2015 the global bank­ing IT in­vest­ment will make up $131 bil­lion. This will rep­re­sent a 4.3% in­crease over the pre­vi­ous year. With the macroe­co­nomic sit­u­a­tion im­prov­ing, the sum will be in­creas­ing in an ac­cel­er­ated pace.

In the fu­ture online bank­ing will fo­cus on the in­tegrity of ser­vices and an omni-chan­nel cus­tomer ser­vice. The world’s lead­ing banks have al­ready in­tro­duced ad­di­tional ser­vices for their online users such as elec­tronic doc­u­ment man­age­ment, e-fil­ing, cloud ac­count­ing, and pri­vate wealth man­age­ment. This means adding an­cil­lary prod­ucts to their mo­bile bank­ing ser­vice sys­tems. Om­nichan­nel bank­ing, in turn, means an in­te­gra­tion of var­i­ous online ser­vices. Cus­tomers can start their online ac­tiv­i­ties in one chan­nel and com­plete them in another. Switch­ing from one chan­nel to another does not re­quire the per­for­mance of the same oper­a­tions. In­ter­net bank­ing,

mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions, call cen­ters, and ATMs are united in this case to rep­re­sent the ac­cess to the sin­gle bank­ing sys­tem.

Tak­ing into ac­count rapid de­vel­op­ment of the mar­ket of online fi­nan­cial ser­vices, their se­cu­rity comes to the fore­front. Ac­cord­ing to spe­cial­ists, the fu­ture is in bio­met­ric tech­nolo­gies. For ex­am­ple, Sber­bank of Rus­sia launched a pro­ject un­der which stu­dents may pay for their school meals even if they have lost their pay­ment cards. A bio­met­ric scan of the palm makes it pos­si­ble. The nec­es­sary amount is writ­ten off the stu­dent’s ac­count and the par­ents re­ceive the rel­e­vant no­ti­fi­ca­tion. The first Be­laru­sian bank to in­tro­duce bio­met­ric tech­nolo­gies was Bel­gazprom­bank that of­fered its clients to con­firm mo­bile pay­ments through fin­ger­print scan­ning. This ser­vice is avail­able to smart­phone users at iOS with a built-in fin­ger­print scan­ner (Touch ID).

“Be­laru­sian banks are in an­tic­i­pa­tion of global changes,” said Sergei Dubkov. “We have been grad­u­ally in­te­grat­ing into the in­ter­na­tional econ­omy, the global bank­ing sec­tor, in­clud­ing within the Eurasian Eco­nomic Union. Banks should be mo­bile and tech­nol­ogy friendly in or­der to be com­pet­i­tive.”

Gov­ern­ment Sets the Tone

Banks are well aware of the cur­rent trends and un­der­stand that they need to act. Over the past two years the bud­get of the bank­ing IT sec­tor in Be­larus has al­most dou­bled. The Na­tional Bank is busy de­vel­op­ing online bank­ing, play­ing the role of a reg­u­la­tor in the bank­ing sec­tor, leas­ing and mi­cro­fi­nance ac­tiv­i­ties. The coun­try’s cen­tral bank is also tak­ing steps to­wards the reg­u­la­tion of the forex, in­sur­ance and stock mar­kets.

The Na­tional Bank has set up a cor­re­spond­ing work­ing group that com­prises rep­re­sen­ta­tives of banks, gov­ern­ment bod­ies, mo­bile op­er­a­tors, In­ter­net ser­vice providers, and the big­gest online shops. In or­der to sup­port banks’ ef­forts in pro­mot­ing re­mote bank­ing a law has been drafted on the de­vel­op­ment of online bank­ing tech­nolo­gies and the in­tro­duc­tion of amend­ments and ad­di­tions to some de­crees of the Pres­i­dent of the Re­pub­lic of Be­larus.

“The doc­u­ment has al­ready passed the first stage of fi­nal­iza­tion and ap­proval,” Alexan­der Sot­nikov said. “It in­cludes mea­sures to re­move ob­sta­cles in banks’ vir­tual ac­tiv­ity, lift leg­isla­tive and in­fra­struc­ture re­stric­tions for re­mote bank­ing.”

The key nov­elty is a mech­a­nism of in­ter­bankcli­en­ti­den­ti­fi­ca­tio­nand au­then­ti­ca­tion with­out the need to visit a bank of­fice. The in­for­ma­tion on pri­mary iden­ti­fi­ca­tion in one of the Be­laru­sian banks will make the ba­sis for cre­at­ing a uni­fied bank­ing sys­tem of client iden­ti­fi­ca­tion un­der the aegis of the Na­tional Bank. It will foster the de­vel­op­ment of the mar­kets of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and in­ter­bank re­mote bank­ing ser­vices. The lo­cal Sin­gle Set­tle­ment and In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem (ERIP sys­tem) can be con­sid­ered as a plat­form for set­ting up a uni­fied iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem.

Thus, an iden­ti­fi­ca­tion (au­then­ti­ca­tion) ma­trix will be cre­ated in which ev­ery bank­ing op­er­a­tion and ser­vice will re­quire a min­i­mal iden­ti­fi­ca­tion level. Ev­ery­thing will de­pend on the im­por­tance of a trans­ac­tion, its com­plex­ity, amount and so on. For ex­am­ple, a user name and a static pass­word will be enough to ac­cess ac­count in­for­ma­tion, make pay­ments, block and un­block cards. To make a de­posit, open and close an ac­count, ar­range an over­draft line and a con­sumer loan a per­son

will have to use one­time pass­words and se­cu­rity to­kens, elec­tronic keys, for ad­di­tional au­then­ti­ca­tion. Com­plex ser­vices and prod­ucts such as mort­gage lend­ing, large sum trans­ac­tions will be pos­si­ble only with the use of a dig­i­tal sig­na­ture.

There are plans to switch all the en­ti­ties con­duct­ing works, selling goods and ser­vices and us­ing pay­ment ac­cep­tance ser­vices of third par­ties to online bank­ing. Their ser­vices should be­come avail­able to the pop­u­la­tion through the ERIP sys­tem. It is es­pe­cially im­por­tant to en­able the ac­cep­tance of pay­ments online as well as the ac­cep­tance of bud­get pay­ments and pay­ments in fa­vor of small busi­nesses. At present pay­ers have to ap­ply to bank de­part­ments to make such pay­ments.

The main pri­or­i­ties and tar­get in­di­ca­tors of de­vel­op­ing dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion in the credit and fi­nance fields will be very soon in­cluded in the strat­egy to de­velop dig­i­tal bank­ing tech­nolo­gies for the pe­riod of 2016-2018 which will be de­signed and sub­mit­ted to the Na­tional Bank in De­cem­ber 2015.

Thus, a large-scale dig­i­tal bank­ing pro­ject is in the pipeline in Be­larus. Plans have been made to launch it in mid-2016. Apart from banks, the pro­ject will in­volve mi­cro­fi­nance or­ga­ni­za­tions, leas­ing and forex com­pa­nies and, pos­si­bly, in­sur­ance com­pa­nies which are to with­draw from the Fi­nance Min­istry’s sys­tem and to be in­cor­po­rated into that of the Na­tional Bank by the end of the year. The main ad­van­tage is that these com­pa­nies will be able to use iden­ti­fi­ca­tion ser­vices within the frame­work of a new in­ter­bank iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem.

But it is the mat­ter of to­mor­row. At present the Na­tional Bank has given a num­ber of in­struc­tions to banks re­gard­ing cash­less

pay­ment pro­mo­tion. First of all, banks were ad­vised to re­fund a cer­tain per­cent­age from the cost of goods and ser­vices to clients if they use plas­tic cards to pay for them (cashback), in­tro­duce loy­alty pro­grams, pro­mote dis­tant bank­ing sys­tems, de­velop mo­bile ac­quir­ing and in­fra­struc­ture for the use of con­tact­less bank­ing cards.

Banks have stepped up ef­forts in these ar­eas. The num­ber of mPOS ter­mi­nals is in­creas­ing in Be­larus. Projects in this field are im­ple­mented by Be­larus­bank, Be­la­gro­prom­bank, Belin­vest­bank, BPS-Sber­bank, and Pri­or­bank. Cashback cards have been is­sued by Tech­nobank, MTBank, Be­larusky Nar­o­dny Bank, IdeaBank. The num­ber of loy­alty pro­grams is in­creas­ing.

Tak­ing into ac­count all the plans and cur­rent projects, the fu­ture of dig­i­tal bank­ing in Be­larus is quite op­ti­mistic. There is no doubt that the de­vel­op­ment of dis­tant bank­ing ser­vices will ben­e­fit all par­tic­i­pants of fi­nan­cial re­la­tions. The main ad­van­tage for busi­ness is the pos­si­bil­ity to work with a big­ger num­ber of clients with lower costs be­cause online ser­vices are dozens of times cheaper than ser­vices of­fered in bank of­fices. Peo­ple, in turn, will en­joy 24/7 bank­ing ser­vices with­out queues. More­over, res­i­dents of small towns and vil­lages will be able to take a loan or open a de­posit ac­count in any bank of the coun­try even if there are no bank of­fices nearby.

“As for the ben­e­fits for the state, apart from the in­crease in the num­ber of cash­less pay­ments and grow­ing com­pet­i­tive­ness of the coun­try’s fi­nan­cial mar­ket, the use of dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies will be an im­por­tant step to­wards the e-gov­ern­ment and in­for­ma­tion so­ci­ety,” the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Na­tional Bank are con­vinced.

It is quite pos­si­ble that in the near fu­ture Be­larus will de­velop a full-fledged net­work of online banks. Many coun­tries al­ready have online-only fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions which con­duct all oper­a­tions in the In­ter­net. But at first cus­tomers of these banks should come to ac­cept such in­no­va­tions.

An in­ter­est­ing area of dig­i­tal bank­ing is the de­vel­op­ment of the “In­ter­net of things” and fi­nan­cial ap­pli­ca­tions for wearable elec­tron­ics. The main ob­jec­tive is to cre­ate an in­vis­i­ble sys­tem of pay­ments. For ex­am­ple, one bank has launched an ap­pli­ca­tion for watch that shows col­or­coded vi­su­als of how close users are to their credit lim­its. A provider of tech­nolo­gies for banks in San Fran­cisco is al­ready test­ing au­to­mo­bile bank­ing. This in­no­va­tion will al­low rec­og­niz­ing a car at fill­ing sta­tions and au­to­mat­i­cally writ­ing off money for petrol from the ac­count of the ve­hi­cle owner.

De­vel­op­ment of the dig­i­tal fi­nance en­vi­ron­ment

has led not only to the evo­lu­tion of var­i­ous bank­ing ser­vices but also to the emer­gence of al­ter­na­tive money. This per­tains to the so-called cryp­tocur­ren­cies, the most pop­u­lar of which is bit­coin. Be­laru­sian ex­perts study the fu­ture of cryp­tocur­ren­cies, how­ever, the use of them is cur­rently pro­hib­ited by the Be­laru­sian leg­is­la­tion.

One of the most de­bated and promis­ing tech­nolo­gies in online bank­ing is cloud com­put­ing which gives dy­nam­i­cally scal­ing ac­cess to ex­ter­nal com­put­ing re­sources in the form of an online ser­vice. Cloud com­put­ing of­fers vir­tu­ally un­lim­ited re­sources to banks for rais­ing their func­tional ca­pac­ity and busi­ness ef­fi­ciency with­out tap­ping into in­ter­nal re­serves. How­ever, skep­tics say that this tech­nol­ogy will not take hold in the near fu­ture be­cause banks are still not ready to place con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion in a public com­put­ing cloud.

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