CyberPlat has sent out information about its product CyberFT to almost 300 Russian banks. On the agenda is a new financial data transfer system that is supposed to optimize transaction expenses of banks and ensure security of the customer information.
According to CyberPlat, CyberFT software is developed by Russian experts and all its servers are located in Russia. Thus, according to the company, the system is ultimately close to the criteria of national security.
“We did our best to inform the bank community about CyberFT and we are currently observing interest of banks in the service. Now we are analyzing inquiries coming from banks and we keep developing functionality of the system” - says Cyberplat to CNews.
That conversation took place amid the announcements made in late August by the Deputy Head Alexey Moiseev regarding a new law, drafted by his department in cooperation with the Central Bank. This law will make it possible to develop a Russian counterpart of SWIFT. It was said, that the new law might obligate financial institutions to make domestic transactions within the Russian system.
The other day Mr. Moiseev stated to RBK that the draft law is also introducing notions and liabilities of the commercial institutions that have a significant influence on the system. “From money transfer transport viewpoint we can use the system of Bank of Russia. It might become an analogue of SWIFT for settlements in Russia. However, we won’t be able to set up an international transfer system since, for one thing, that would require arrangements with other countries” – he says.
Roman Chernov, CEO of Russian National SWIFT Association (Rosswift) thinks that SWIFT barely has any alternatives when it comes to international financial market interaction.
“But at the same time an array of large countries, including the US, Japan and China, have been historically developing their own financial messaging infrastructure. In this respect suggestions of Ministry of Finance and Bank of Russia in regard to development of national financial message transfer infrastructure, especially in light or recent events, sound quite justified” – he adds.
But for all that Chernov points out, that there are already several instances of successful cooperation between national banks of different countries and SWIFT. As for Russia, he thinks significant investments were already made from both messaging standard viewpoint and from that of infrastructure of message processing within banks.
“In that respect it will be reasonable to continue SWIFT localization, as India does, for instance (which sets up in its territory its own specific DPCs - note of CNews)“ – concludes Mr. Chernov. As of now SWIFT communication hubs are situated in the US, Netherlands and Switzerland.
CyberPlat believes that a product that could be an analogue of SWIFT, is already there, and explains, that they have started to cooperate with Bank of Russia as soon as the project was initiated. “We had a tight collaboration and we are expecting a positive continuation. Our propositions are currently considered by the Bank of Russia and the way we see it, they can be implemented most efficiently only with participation of a regulator in the project” – says the company.
Bank of Russia neither confirmed nor refuted the fact of interaction with Cyberplat, as well as prospects for CyberFT.
CyberPlat thinks that in case of toughening of international sanctions access of Russian banks to SWIFT can be blocked (similar precedent occurred in Iran in 2012). It would have a grave impact on interbank settlements and customer foreign currency payments within Russia. Cyberplat sees its product as an extension of SWIFT that can reduce such risks.
Banks are charged 17.66 euro cents for each transfer of international message via SWIFT. The price of such a transfer within Russia (between Russian banks) is 5.27 euro cents.
Cyberplat assures that their solution is half as expensive. That said, registration in CyberFT is free. However, when it comes to use of the product within a big bank or at stock exchange, a standard lump sum payment for the software in two different server groups working under GRID-technology will make up $1 bln. That said, the maintenance will cost a customer $200 thousand dollars.
Platina Bank (one of the shareholders of Cyberplat itself) is the first bank to use CyberFT. It is too early to say how Russian banks behave towards the product. Sberbank, VTB, Bank of Moscow, Uralsib, Moscow Credit Bank, Promsvyazbank, Alfa-bank, Unicredit bank, Ak Bars bank and Rosselkhoz bank left questions of CNews unanswered.
As reported to CNews by Alexander Rakov, press-secretary of a noncommercial partnership “National Payment Counsel” (NPC), when it comes to the prospects of building national transport infrastructure for financial message transfer, both NPC and other financial institutions estimate them as fairly high.
“Mechanism of Cyberplat transport system is on of the best mechanisms in Russia, it enables transfer of many formats of messages in large quantities and with a high security” – says Mr. Rakov.