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Theoretical and Applied Economics
Reference:

Transformation of the Activities of the Largest Russian Commercial Banks into Digital Ecosystems.

Mamedov Murad Azer ogly

ORCID: 0000-0003-2751-8283

Postgraduate Student, Department of International Finance, Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia (MGIMO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia)

119454, Russia, Moscow, Prospekt Vernadskogo, 76

murad.mammad15@gmail.com

 

 

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8647.2022.3.38598

EDN:

DAXCDS

Review date:

10-08-2022


Publish date:

04-09-2022


Abstract: There is a rapid development of innovative technologies in the financial sector of the Russian economy. Innovative technologies influence both the development of individual segments of the financial sector of the economy, the formation and development of new products and services, and significantly affect the change and transformation of traditional business models of market participants. One of such changes can be called the transformation of the largest Russian commercial banks into digital banking ecosystems. The object of this article is the largest Russian commercial banks. The subject of the study is financial mechanisms, quantitative and qualitative indicators of the activities of the largest Russian commercial banks in the context of the formation of digital ecosystems in Russia. The purpose of the study is to analyze the conditions and methods of transformation of the largest Russian commercial banks into digital banking ecosystems. To achieve this goal, the works of Russian and foreign authors on the formation and development of digital ecosystems, the provision of financial services, and the digitalization of commercial banks were studied. Based on the statistical data of the Bank of Russia and the reports of commercial banks, the analysis of the current state of activity of the banks selected for analysis was carried out. The author's definition of the concept of digital banking ecosystem is given in the article. Four main areas in which a full-fledged digital banking ecosystem should meet the needs of its customers have been identified and studied. The main conclusion of this study is that the largest Russian commercial banks create digital banking ecosystems by buying companies from various sectors of the economy and developing their own structures. The main tasks of digital banking ecosystems are not only meeting the needs of customers in financial services, but also in such areas as entertainment, IT and daily needs. Thus, digital banking ecosystems are maximally aimed at attracting and further retaining customers within their services.


Keywords:

ecosystem, digital ecosystem, banking ecosystem, digital banking ecosystem, financial technologies, fintech, banking sector, financial sector, financial services, commercial banks

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

IntroductionThe rapid development of innovative technologies and digitalization of business processes today not only contribute to the emergence of new companies, services, products and services that simplify the receipt of benefits, but also significantly affect the change in the paradigm of the activities of already established traditional enterprises and the transformation of existing models of development of economic entities.

One of such development models is the "ecosystem".

The financial sector of the economy today, both worldwide and in Russia, can be called one of the most progressive. The banking sector of the economy in Russia, as an integral part and locomotive of the financial sector, is one of the largest and most developed. Today, a significant part of the activities of both retail and corporate banking is carried out through digital communication channels through the introduction and use of new innovative technologies by banks. Under the influence of innovative technologies, banks not only improve their product offerings and form new services to meet the needs of their customers, but also often radically change the vectors of their development and business models.

The relevance of the research topic is justified by the fact that today in the Russian economy there is a concentration and polarization of the banking sector of the economy. Large commercial banks are transforming their business models by making significant investments in their digital infrastructure, offering consumers a wide range of both financial and non-financial products and services. In this regard, it can be argued that in the last few years there has been an increased interest in the concept of "ecosystem" as a new model of development, and, in particular, commercial banks in Russia. The object of this article is the largest Russian commercial banks. The subject of the study is financial mechanisms, quantitative and qualitative indicators of the activities of the largest Russian commercial banks in the context of the formation of digital ecosystems in Russia. The purpose of the study is to analyze the transformation of the largest commercial banks into digital banking ecosystems in Russia. The scientific novelty of the article lies in the substantiation of the statement about the transformation of the activities of the largest Russian commercial banks into digital ecosystems, in the study of services, development strategies, as well as their comparative analysis. Despite a large number of individual studies on banking services, as well as models of development of financial and banking organizations, in the author's opinion, there is no comprehensive analysis of the transformation of the largest Russian commercial banks into digital ecosystems in the scientific literature.

Literature reviewBefore directly analyzing the activities of the largest Russian commercial banks forming digital banking ecosystems, the author considers it necessary to study some aspects of ecosystem theory.

The concept of ecosystem has long existed and is actively used in biological sciences and was used for the first time in scientific doctrine in a study by British botanist and ecologist Arthur Tensley entitled "Use and abuse of plant concepts and terms", who introduced the concept of ecosystem to denote the unity and integration of the biological community and its physical environment as a fundamental unit of ecology [23]. The development of the concept of ecosystem in the humanities is primarily related to the socio-economic changes observed in the second half of the 20th and early 21st centuries, when economic analysis first had trends of grinding of the main actors of the economy (state - industries - subsectors large enterprises small enterprises individuals), and then vice versa methods of analysis towards consolidation into socio-political and socio-economic systems began to be applied [7]. In particular, the impetus for such changes was the disintegration processes that began to occur as a result of the production of computers, new trends in industry, microelectronics, including information and communication technologies, and subsequent integration processes in the economy [21].

For the first time in the humanities, the concept of an ecosystem was formulated in 1986 in the sociological sciences by A. Haley, where he defined an ecosystem as: "interdependence in a population in which everything acts as a whole and thus maintains viable ecological relations" [20]. In 1993, in one of his studies, Harvard University Professor J. F. Moore gave the first economic definition of the concept of an ecosystem, as follows: "firms should not be considered as separate members of one industry, but as members of a business ecosystem consisting of firms of various industries, as well as biological ecosystems, since developing over time they influence each other in terms of innovation, cooperation and competition" [22]. However, it can be said that J. F. Moore completely transferred the biological concepts of the competitive environment to economics. Further, the study of ecosystems slowed down somewhat and resumed again only in the last 10-15 years. It is particularly worth noting the research of M. J. Jacobides, K. Kennamo, A. Gaver, who distinguish two main approaches in the literature on the definition of the ecosystem concept: in the first approach, the ecosystem is considered as a group of organizations to a certain extent interdependent with respect to factors of production and output, and in the second approach, as a system interconnected technologies [21]. According to R. Adner , the study of ecosystems can be divided into two main areas: ecosystems as affilations (ecosystems as affiliation) and ecosystems as structure (ecosystems as structure). In this case, the ecosystem, as an affinity, focuses on the destruction of traditional industry boundaries and the growth of interconnections and symbiotic relationships between companies, both within the same industry and at the intersectoral level. In the case of an ecosystem, as a structure, emphasis is placed on the study of the creation of a value proposition and actors who need to interact to achieve a certain value proposition. R. Kapoor defining the concept of an ecosystem considers the relationship between the supply side and the demand side of the main value proposition, as well as consideration of actors from various sectors of the economy who contribute to the development of this value proposition as the most important factors characteristic of ecosystems [19]. R. Kapoor considers the main theoretical prerequisites for the study of ecosystems to be the simultaneous presence of complementarity and interdependence between actors in ecosystems. Among Russian scientists, a special place should be given to the research of G. B. Kleiner, the most important factor of the ecosystem, who considers the interaction between the "notebook" - an object subsystem in the form of a cluster, an environmental subsystem in the form of a platform, a process subsystem in the form of a network, a project subsystem in the form of a business incubator [8], in turn, which is capable of long-term independent functioning due to the circulation of goods within the system [6]. It is also worth noting the definition given in the Report for Public consultations of the Bank of Russia, which explains the concept of a digital ecosystem [5]. Within the framework of this study, it is also worth paying attention to the definition of the term banking ecosystem [11]. A banking ecosystem means a banking organization or a group of companies headed by a bank [10], which includes various companies or services and products, both financial and non-financial, providing its customers with a variety of services and goods in order to meet as many of their needs as possible [24]. According to the author, in the conditions of universal digitalization, it is necessary to base on a narrower concept a digital ecosystem and, in turn, define a digital ecosystem, or a digital banking ecosystem, as a set of companies, services, products and products (including from different sectors of the economy) interdependent and mutually complementary, united around one organization, including including platforms for more effective satisfaction of the needs of the final recipient of benefits and increasing their own competitiveness in the market, within a single seamless integrated process. Also, according to the author, from a practical point of view, a complex or universal digital ecosystem should meet the needs of its audience in four main areas: finance, information technology, entertainment, daily needs (life-style services) [1].

There is currently practically no scientific research base directly on the development and formation of ecosystems in the financial and, in particular, in the banking sector of the economy. However, it is worth noting separately the work of G. B. Kleiner "Development of ecosystems in the financial sector of the economy", where the author analyzes participants in the financial sector of the economy based on the presence of "tetrad" components among these market participants [6]. According to G. B. Kleiner, such major credit organizations as Sberbank, Tinkoff Bank, VTB and some others, to a greater or lesser extent, have or are actively developing the marked components of the "tetrad" and thereby transform the structure into a digital ecosystem. According to the author, when analyzing the formation and development of digital ecosystems in the financial sector of the economy, it is also worth paying great attention to practical issues, such as the availability of the services, products and services already mentioned above in four main areas finance, information technology, entertainment, daily needs (life-style services).

In the work of I.B. Turuyev "Ecosystem strategy of banks: the view of Russian innovators", a theoretical analysis of the validity of the formation of digital banking ecosystems and the impact of digitalization processes on this is carried out [26]. I.B. Turuyeva notes that credit institutions have practically ceased to perform the functions of accumulation and redistribution of free funds, and have largely turned into institutions for daily communication of consumers on the management of their funds. According to the author, in addition to the mentioned changes in the provision of services by banks, banks are perhaps the most actively communicating institution with consumers today and thereby transforming credit institutions into a digital ecosystem that covers the needs of users in almost all spheres of life.

It is also worth noting the work of A. A. Kobylko, according to whom, when forming a digital ecosystem in the financial sector of the economy, it is mainly about providing various services, products and services under one umbrella brand of a certain bank [25]. According to the author, the provision of services, products and services under one umbrella brand is only the most visible part in the study of digital banking ecosystems, and in this case it is worth emphasizing the factor of seamless digital communication that digital banking ecosystems create between products and services within their ecosystem.

Transformation of the activities of commercial banks

What is meant by the transformation of commercial banks into digital ecosystems?Looking into the history of the emergence of banks and the limited and very trivial number of services provided by credit institutions over the past decades, it becomes clear how much the role of banks has evolved today. The bank has ceased to embody only a financial intermediary in the process of redistributing free funds, but has become an active tool of the daily routine of its users to such an extent that the ecosystems of some banks compete in terms of the degree of customer involvement in mobile and Internet applications and the use of social networks [1]. Commercial banks not only provide various types of financial services, but also often participate to one degree or another in meeting the daily needs of their customers. The largest commercial banks, through the purchase or creation and development of new services, as well as through cooperation with existing companies, satisfy the needs of their customers in all four directions defined by the author.

Large banks have sufficient financial resources to develop new business lines and create their own digital ecosystems [2].

Banks come to create ecosystems with some advantages already available in advance, such as strong established relationships with customers and ownership of recognizable and reliable brands (such as Sberbank or VTB). The task is to identify the most effective ways to use existing advantages and new tools.

Table 1 presents the results of the analysis of the transformation of banks' business models into digital ecosystems on the example of systemically important credit institutions (NWCS).

Table 1. Results of the analysis of the transformation of banks' business models into digital ecosystems on the example of the NWCO.

bankFinance

Entertainment

IT services

Life-style services

Index

1. SBERBANK PJSC

+

+

+

+

4

2. PJSC VTB+

+/-

+

+

3,5

3. JSC "Tinkoff Bank"+

+

+

+

4

4. JSC "GPB Bank"+

-

+/-

+/-

2

5. Alfa-Bank JSC+

-

+/-

+/-

2

6. JSC UniCredit Bank+

-

-

+/-

1,5

7. Sovcombank PJSC+

-

-

+/-

1,5

8. PJSC "Credit Bank of Moscow"+

-

-

+/-

1,5

9. PJSC Bank "FC Otkritie"+

-

-

+/-

1,5

10. PJSC ROSBANK+

-

-

+/-

1,5

11. PJSC Promsvyazbank+

-

-

+/-

1,5

12. Raiffeisenbank JSC+

-

+/-

-

1,5

13. JSC "Rosselkhoznadzor"+

-

-

-

1

Source: compiled by the author.

The table analyzes the availability of commercial banks from the NWCO group of services that meet the needs in four areas defined by the author: finance, entertainment, IT services and life-style services. To date, the development of banking ecosystems is observed in two main directions: universal and niche banking ecosystems.

Depending on the strategy of the organization of the digital ecosystem, its resources and the development of the market where this ecosystem operates, the ecosystem may specialize more in one or more of the presented areas, increasing its market share in this area.

The author of this study determined that, in accordance with the analysis in Table 1, if the index reaches 2.5, it can be argued that a bank from the SZKO group transforms the business model towards the formation of a full-fledged universal digital ecosystem, with an index equal to 2, the author refers a bank from the SZKO group to a group of niche digital ecosystems, in the case of an index equal to 1-1.5 the bank is not transforming its business model into a digital ecosystem.

According to the analysis of Table 1, only three banks have an index above 2.5 and, accordingly, transform their business model into a full-fledged/universal ecosystem: Sberbank PJSC, VTB PJSC, Tinkoff Bank JSC. To niche banking ecosystems, or to banks that have resources for the development of the ecosystem, it is possible to include Alfa-Bank JSC and GPB Bank JSC, which, in accordance with the analysis of Table 1, received index 2, expand their product offerings and scope of activity, respectively, only in certain sectors of the economy. It is worth noting that, unlike GPB Bank JSC, Alfa-Bank JSC has not announced the transformation of its business model into an ecosystem, however, it has the necessary infrastructure conditions mentioned earlier.

The rest of the banks from the NWCO group, in accordance with the analysis of Table 1, received an index of 1.5 or less and are not transforming their business model into an ecosystem, but this does not mean that these banks are not working on the digitalization of products and services and the development of digital infrastructure in general.

At the present stage in Russia, it is three banks that have become the drivers of the development of digital banking ecosystems: "Sber", "Tinkoff" and "VTB". The largest ecosystems in Russia provide services of various categories, such as finance, information technology, entertainment, as well as services to meet daily needs. Each of these organizations has its own strategy for developing a digital ecosystem around itself.Further, the mechanisms of formation, structures and services of the emerging digital banking ecosystems "Beber", "Tinkoff" and "VTB" will be considered in more detail.

Analysis of the activities of the largest commercial banks transforming into digital ecosystemsIn November 2016, the Supervisory Board of Sberbank, Russia's largest financial company, announced a new strategic concept for the bank's transformation into a digital banking ecosystem.

Sberbank was renamed into the company "SBER" and today includes more than 60 companies and 140 services in various industries, which together form the largest digital ecosystem in Russia [16]. Figure 1 shows a map of the Beber digital ecosystem with the main services.

Figure 1. Map of the Beac digital ecosystem.

*The figure shows only a part of the services.

Source: compiled by the author based on the reports of the Beac Group.

The goal of "Sber" today is to achieve a significant market share in almost all areas of the digital economy of Russia by providing products and services through one organization-the platform. For this purpose, for example, the Sber ID product was created, with the help of which, on all more than 140 services of the Sber ecosystem, it is possible to identify a user and make a payment. As of the end of 2021, Beber has 32.5 million Beber ID users [16]. To coordinate the integrated development of the ecosystem, a special structural unit "SberX" was created. One of the most important tools (products) of the Sber digital ecosystem can also be called the SberPrime subscription, which at the end of 2021 was already used by 4.25 million people and the Sberbank loyalty program, in which 56.5 million people participated at the end of 2021. According to the Sbera reports, the group's activities are divided into two main areas: financial and banking business (banking services, payment services, insurance services, wealth management services and brokerage services) and non-financial business.

Since 2013, the number of active individual clients of Sberbank has grown almost tenfold, from 10.12 million people to 103.8 million people at the end of 2021.. Figure 2 shows the dynamics of the number of active customers-individuals of the Savings Bank from 2013 to 2021.

Figure 2. Number of active Sberbank in 2013-2021 (in millions of people)

Source: compiled by the author according to the report "Fintech in Russia, 2021", Statista.

The hybrid model of the Sber ecosystem allows you to integrate services directly related to the banking business, such as banking services and online payments, with services of other business areas, such as IT services, entertainment and daily needs. However, it is worth noting that a significant part of the most important services in all four directions noted by the author are controlled organizations and are part of the Beber group of companies.

According to the report for investors dated June 1, 2021, which was based on data from the internal divisions of the bank and Mediascope, Sberbank's application ranks second in Russia in terms of user engagement, along with applications such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc. [9]. According to the AppAnnie analytical platform, Sberbank's application is the most popular banking application in Russia and the fourth most popular in the world among all financial applications. The active monthly audience of the application (Monthly Active Users, MAU) exceeds 73.5 million people, and the daily active audience (Daily Active Users, DAU) exceeds 38.3 million people.

In the B2B segment (business-to-business when customers are represented by companies), the Sber ecosystem serves more than 3 million companies, according to data for 2021. [9] At the present stage of active digitalization, Sberbank has ceased to play the role of a financial intermediary in the process of providing financial services to consumers, but has become an active tool for the daily routine of its users. Within one ecosystem, the consumer can find a solution to all their issues related to household needs, solving business issues, finding entertainment, etc. For example, according to its strategy, Sber plans to become one of the three largest players in the e-commerce market by 2023 with revenue from non-financial services of more than 500 billion rubles, as well as attract more than 10 million subscribers to SberPrime [15].

In the financial sector, services are provided by Sberbank (banking services) and the fast payment service Yumopeu (payment services). According to the reports of the Savings Bank, the bank's net interest income in 2021 increased by 13.4% compared to 2020 and amounted to 1,802 billion rubles. The growth of net commission income in 2021 compared to 2020 amounted to 13.1%, in absolute terms reaching the amount of 616.8 billion rubles.

The revenue of the non-financial business of Sberbank in 2021 showed an increase of 2.7 times compared to a year earlier and amounted to 193.8 billion rubles. The GMV indicator of the e-commerce industry for 2021 amounted to 118.2 billion rubles. in terms of the share of the Savings Bank and more than 150 billion rubles. in total, GMV growth was 9.2 and 4.7 times in annual terms, respectively.

To date, the key services of the non-financial activity of the Savings Bank, which generate a significant part of the revenue, can be called the sub-direction of food delivery (e-grocery), which is represented by the services of the Savings Market and Scooter. The key operational and financial indicators of these two services are the following:

According to the results of 2021, the GMV of the Savings market amounted to 58.6 billion rubles, which is three times more than in 2020.

The number of orders completed by the Hypermarket in 2021 amounted to 24 million, which is four times more than in 2020.

More than 0.5 million new users of the Sbermarket service, these are customers who use the SberPrime subscription.

According to the results of 2021, the GMV of the Scooter amounted to 41.1 billion rubles. (on a 100% basis), which is three times more than the indicator for 2020.

The number of orders completed by the Scooter service in 2021 amounted to 69.3 million, an increase of almost 4 times.

The number of darkstores of the Scooter service in 2021 exceeded 1 thousand units, increasing 2.5 times in annual terms.

In 2021, the SberMarket increased the share of integration with the Sber group by being able to register and pay with the Sber ID tool, carry out orders with the Salute voice assistant and make payments using Sberbank bonuses.

One of the most important subdirectories of the development of the Sber digital ecosystem can be called the multi-category marketplace SberMegaMarket. The key operational and financial indicators of this sub-direction are the following:

According to the results of 2021, the GMV of the Savings Market increased 3.4 times compared to 2020 and amounted to 29 billion rubles.

The number of completed orders by the end of 2021 increased 3.3 times compared to 2020 and amounted to 6.4 million.

The number of product nomenclatures on the marketplace platform at the end of 2021 increased 1.5 times and amounted to 3.2 million SKU.

The total number of pick-up points at the end of 2021 doubled compared to that indicator in 2020 and reached 60 thousand points, and the number of cities to which orders are delivered exceeded 1000 cities.

Another sub-direction of the non-financial business of Sberbank is the FoodTech&Mobility sub-direction, which includes such services as: Delivery Club, Sberbank Food, Sberbank Eaptek, Citymobil, YouDrive, etc. The key operational and financial indicators of this sub-direction are the following:

The total revenue of the FoodTech&Mobility subdirectory in 2021 showed an increase of 2.7 times compared to 2020 and amounted to 17 billion rubles.

The number of restaurants connected to the Delivery Club delivery service in 2021 amounted to 53 thousand, an increase of 36% compared to 2020.

The number of trips made by the Mobility subdirectory in 2021 exceeded 183 million, in particular, there was a twofold growth in the B2B segment of deliveries.

The Entertainment subdirectory can also be called one of the largest subdirectories of the activity of the Beber digital ecosystem. This can include services such as: Sberbank, Okko and others. The key operational and financial indicators of this sub-direction are the following:

The total revenue of services of this subdirectory in 2021 showed an almost twofold increase compared to 2020, amounting to 14.4 billion rubles.

The number of consumers with access to the Okko online cinema at the end of 2021 amounted to 5.6 million subscribers.

The number of consumers with access to the Sberbank Sound service at the end of 2021 amounted to 4.5 million subscribers.

In comparison with the indicators of 2020, in 2021 the number of video content provided by the Okko online cinema on a basic SberPrime subscription increased threefold, and the number of different tracks in the Sberbank audio service amounted to 71 million tracks.

It is also worth noting the key operational and financial indicators of some other services of the Beber digital ecosystem:

The monthly audience of the DomClick real estate purchase, rental and search service in 2021 increased by more than 4 times compared to 2020 and amounted to 11.5 million people.

The number of ads on the DomClick platform at the end of 2021 amounted to 1.9 million, which is 25% higher than at the end of 2020.

The revenue of the Health subdirectory services, which, in particular, includes telemedicine services and doctor appointments, reached 4 billion rubles in 2021, an increase of 1.6 times.

The revenue of the SberCloud cloud service in 2021 is 9.1 billion rubles, an increase of 2.8 times compared to 2020.

The revenue of B2B services of the Beber digital ecosystem in 2021 amounted to 58.5 billion rubles and increased 1.8 times compared to 2020.

In February 2022, in order to improve the customer experience in the rapidly growing ecommerce industry, Beber announced that it plans to create a separate e-commerce holding that will combine Beber's investments in the companies and services SberMarket, SberMegaMarket, Sberbank Logistics, Beber Eaptek and SMM Retail, as well as Beber's share in the joint venture with VK - O2O-holding.

It is also worth mentioning some key financial indicators of the Beber Group. Figure 3 shows the dynamics of changes in the group's net profit over the past 10 years.

Figure 3. Sberbank's net annual profit in Russia from 2011 to 2020 (in billions of rubles).

Source: compiled by the author according to the report "Banking in Russia, 2021", Statista.

The net annual profit of the Sber Group in 2011 slightly exceeded the 300 billion rubles mark, while ten years later, in 2021, net profit more than doubled to 1,246 billion rubles.. A significant jump in the company's profitability was recorded after the implementation of the bank's digitalization strategy and the decision to create an ecosystem in 2016. Profitability peaks were observed in 2019, when net annual profitability amounted to 845 billion rubles. and in 2021, 1246 billion rubles.

As already noted above, Sberbank forms and strengthens its own ecosystem based on the principle of a hybrid model, since the company is actively working on combining structural divisions into a single digital system within a single seamless integrated process.

All ecosystem companies allow customers to find all the necessary services for life and work on one platform of the digital ecosystem. Thus, the ecosystem of Sberbank, which has already ceased to be a traditional Sberbank, can be called the largest and most diverse at the moment in the Russian market.

VTB Bank, the second largest bank in Russia, with state participation, announced the creation of its digital ecosystem in 2018. VTB's strategy is to create an ecosystem through partner platforms, which, in addition to banking services, will include mobile operator services, digital accounting, a housing marketplace for renting and buying housing, a bicycle rental project and other projects including with foreign partners and the government of Moscow. Figure 4 shows a map of the VTB digital ecosystem.

Figure 4. Map of the VTB digital ecosystem.

*The figure shows only a part of the services.

Source: compiled by the author on the basis of VTB reports.

VTB Bank also has large resources to create a digital ecosystem, and the digital transformation strategy since 2016 has led to a sharp increase in the bank's net annual profit in 2016. (Figure 5).

Figure 5. Net annual profit of PJSC VTB in Russia from 2014 to 2020 (in billions of rubles).

Source: compiled by the author according to the report "Banking in Russia, 2021", Statista.

In 2015, the net annual profit of PJSC VTB amounted to 1.7 billion rubles, and in 2016 it increased 50 times to 51.6 billion rubles.. Since 2016, the company's profitability has grown rapidly, the peak was recorded in 2019 at the level of 201.2 billion rubles.. The sphere of online banking is also developing rapidly, in 2020 the number of users of the VTB-Online service increased by 1.6 million people to 10 million users [4].

The VTB ecosystem includes services of various directions, but they are not as numerous as in the Sberbank ecosystem. It is worth noting that from the very beginning, VTB Bank has been building an ecosystem in a narrower direction, based on the sphere of finance and information technology, so the bank still remains the largest player in the financial technology market.

VTB Bank's ecosystem model is hybrid, as it is being built gradually, attracting startups from different industries, albeit less than in the Sber ecosystem. In the field of financial services, services are provided by the parent company, VTB Bank itself, which develops online banking. In 2020, the share of loans issued by the bank without online applications increased to 25%, and the share of online mortgage applications increased from 5% to 15% [4, p. 124].

In the field of information technology, VTB Bank provides mobile operator services through the VTB-Mobile service, and in 2020, the Open API platform was introduced. Thanks to digitalization, the bank managed to reduce operating costs, thus the financial effect of digital transformation amounted to more than 10 billion rubles, of which more than 346 million rubles due to the introduction of data models [4, p. 126].

In the field of daily needs, the ecosystem of VTB Bank includes such services as "Meter-Square", which provides services for renting and buying housing, the "Commission" service, which allows you to search and buy non-core bank property (real estate, transport, equipment). VTB Bank also has partnership projects with the Magnit chain of stores and a number of projects with foreign companies.

Tinkoff Bank also announced the creation of its own ecosystem following Sberbank. Unlike the large banks Sberbank and VTB, which decided to build their ecosystems, JSC Tinkoff was initially positioned not only as a banking organization, but as a financial company introducing innovations into its processes, i.e. a fintech company that primarily developed a convenient mobile application. Through the Tinkoff application, users can use not only banking services, but also meet their daily needs.

Thanks to this strategy, the company's net profit has been growing rapidly in recent years. In 2017, Tinkoff's net annual profit slightly exceeded 19 billion rubles, and in 2020 it has more than doubled, to 44.21 billion rubles. The group's total revenue increased by 21% in 2020 compared to 2019 and exceeded 195 billion rubles [14]. Thanks to the development of the ecosystem, the share of revenue from non-lending areas reached a record 37% in 2020, and the total number of customers increased to 13.3 million people [14].

Figure 6. Net annual profit of JSC "Tinkoff" in Russia from 2017 to 2020 (in billions of rubles).

Source: compiled by the author according to the report "Banking in Russia, 2021", Statista.

According to the results of the analysis, Tinkoff Bank develops services in all four directions within its ecosystem, which allowed the financial group to obtain an index equal to 4 points. In the case of Tinkoff Bank, the ecosystem is built on the principles of an open model, where the parent company is the bank itself, which provides all financial and banking services, and all other products and services are provided through the bank's mobile application or online through the website. Figure 6 shows a map of the Tinkoff digital ecosystem services.

Figure 7. Map of Tinkoff ecosystem services.

*The figure shows only a part of the services.

Source: compiled by the author based on Tinkoff's reporting.

A feature of the Tinkoff ecosystem was the integration of services of all directions (finance, information technology, entertainment and daily needs) into one bank application, i.e. a strategy for the development of a superapp was adopted. In the application and on the website of the Tinkoff ecosystem, customers can use the services of online supermarkets, various services for booking restaurants, car rental, booking and buying tickets for various types of transport, entertainment and leisure [13]. In the field of information technology, Tinkoff has developed its own telecommunications product Tinkoffmobile.

According to the bank's data, Tinkoff is fully developing the ecosystem, because it has accelerators, business incubators, in particular, with the Cloud Payments subsidiary acquired in 2017-2019, or with the Wallet card storage and contactless payment service. Tinkoff Bank's direct and venture investments have a narrower focus compared to the goals of Sberbank or VTB Bank ecosystems. Tinkoff Bank adheres to the position that it refers more to a fintech company than to a banking structure that uses ICT and innovation to provide a wide range of services, from financial to services for the daily needs of customers.

According to the data presented in Table 1, large Russian banks are developing their own ecosystems, in addition to the three leading banks that received the maximum index Sberbank, VTB and Tinkoff, other banks that have just begun to form their ecosystems were also presented for analysis: Gazprombank Bank (GPB) JSC, Alfa-Bank JSC and some others.

GPB JSC announced the creation of an ecosystem in 2021, although it started the process of digital transformation in 2016. Since 2016, the bank's net profit has been growing, from 29 billion rubles to 43 billion rubles in 2020.. It is worth noting that before adopting the digitalization course, the bank suffered losses for two years in 2014, the loss amounted to -14 billion rubles, and in 2015 -48 billion rubles. Since then, the bank has shown steady growth in net profit, even in the pandemic year, net profit decreased slightly.

Figure 8. Net annual profit of PJSC Gazprombank in Russia from 2014 to 2020 (in billions of rubles).

Source: compiled by the author according to the report "Banking in Russia, 2021", Statista.

In June 2021, the bank announced the development of the ecosystem through its subsidiary, Network of Partnerships LLC, which is characterized by an open-type ecosystem [12]. Thanks to the partnership agreements, the bank's customers can get access to the products and services of ASNA (pharmacies), IVI (media company), Citylink (household appliances and electronics stores), Severgroup and Gazprom through the Fire subscription. In the field of IT services, Gazprombank has created its own mobile operator GPB-Mobile. Thus, GPB Bank JSC is also actively developing an open-type ecosystem with a network of partners.

Unlike its competitors, Alfa-Bank JSC does not plan to create a banking ecosystem according to its development strategy, focusing more on financial services, creating financial super-services. However, it is worth noting that in 2019 the bank launched its own line of clothing and lifestyle products [17], and in 2021, together with X5 Group, launched the X5 Bank project [18], which suggests that perhaps the bank will not limit its activities to financial services only and consumers will be offered also some non-financial products and services.

Also, within the framework of this article, it is worth paying attention to companies such as Yandex, MTS, VK Group and their activities in the financial sector of the economy. All three companies are developing universal digital ecosystems and actively entering the financial market. So for example the CompanyYandex acquired Acropolis Bank in 2021 and renamed it Yandex Bank, MTS telecommunications company has a banking subsidiary MTS Bank, and VK Group has its own payment system VK Pay. The most actively developing in the financial market among the mentioned companies can be called MTS Bank, whose revenue growth for 2021 compared to 2020 amounted to 37.2%, in absolute terms reaching 47.2 billion rubles. Yandex Bank and the VK Pay payment system, in turn, are just starting their activities in the financial market. Such major players in the field of e-commerce as Ozon and Wildberries, and telecommunications companies Megafon and Beeline can also announce the formation of digital ecosystems on their basis in the medium and long term, since today they have all the necessary for this, both technological and and other practical opportunities and increase your participation in the financial market. However, according to the author, in the short term, all these companies will only increase their activities in the financial sector of the economy and will not be able to compete seriously for banks forming digital ecosystems.Conclusion

As a result of the analysis of the transformation of the activities of the largest Russian commercial banks, the author came to the conclusion that, despite different approaches and transformation strategies, they all adhere to the same goal to attract and retain consumers within their ecosystem by providing a wide pool of services and services.

It is also worth noting that the availability of services in various sectors of the economy will allow banks to diversify their activities to a large extent. To do this, the largest banks, by acquiring companies from other sectors of the economy and forming their own structures, create digital banking ecosystems, which requires significant financial investments both for the purchase and formation of such companies and their own structures, and for the overall infrastructural development of the entire emerging digital ecosystem. Under the current conditions, it can also be concluded that Russian commercial banks forming digital ecosystems, in the medium and long term, will compete not only with participants in the financial sector of the economy, but primarily with other credit institutions forming digital ecosystems, as well as Russian digital ecosystems formed on the basis of technology companies [3]. The rest of the commercial banks will continue to focus on certain niches, continuing to strengthen the supply of financial services and products, as well as provide various niche non-financial products and services, including becoming part of the emerging digital ecosystems.



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