Russian digital lender Tinkoff Bank is taking a majority stake in Beskontakt, the developer of Koshelek.

This is a mobile app offering loyalty card storage and contactless smartphone payments.

Tinkoff says that the Koshelek app is a leader in its field. Specifically, it reports the highest number of users of any app in Russia and the CIS. Indeed, Koshelek is Russia’s only mobile app for aggregating bank cards, loyalty and discount cards, and coupons. At present, it has digitised over 300 million cards and has a user base that exceeds 20 million.

Terms of the deal are not disclosed.

Koshelek helps users rid themselves of plastic and transition entirely to digital cards. To receive a discount at checkout, the user shows their discount card on their smartphone screen.

Koshelek partners with 19 of the largest loyalty programmes

Payments is with a tokenised debit or credit card by holding the smartphone close to the contactless payment terminal. The application offers retailers access to a new audience, alongside savings on loyalty and discount cards and better customer communication. Koshelek partners with 19 of the 30 largest loyalty programmes in Russia.

Koshelek’s team, including co-founders Kirill Gorynya and Filipp Shubin, will remain autonomous and continue to develop the company’s business. The company’s partnership with Tinkoff will strengthen the app as a leading provider of loyalty programs for Russia’s largest retailers. The company’s current development strategy will remain intact. And the platform will continue to be open and independent. This will encourage new customers to engage with banks that participate in the app’s Koshelek Pay service.

Koshelek: attractive offers and a seamless customer experience

As part of its partnership with Tinkoff, Koshelek will begin integrating user-friendly financial instruments into its service offering. This includes buy-now-pay-later” payment plans, varied cashback options, Tinkoff Target programmes and more. The app’s users will benefit from attractive offers and a seamless customer experience within a single mobile app. Meantime, its new features will expand opportunities for retailers to develop co-branded programmes and boost sales.

Oliver Hughes, Tinkoff Group CEO says: “We are happy to welcome Koshelek into the Tinkoff family. Koshelek has a spirit and DNA that is very close to our own. This new partnership aligns perfectly with our goal to provide Russians with the best service in the market. Our teams will cooperate closely with one another for mutual gain. Tinkoff will share the groundwork it has laid in business process optimisation. And share its expertise in implementing cutting-edge IT solutions to ensure Koshelek continues to develop rapidly.

Kirill Gorynya, co-founder Beskontakt adds: “We are confident that this new partnership will help Koshelek to scale its market presence.  It will also increase its value to users by merging all checkout stages. From displaying a loyalty card to processing payment into a single convenient, safe and easy-to-use scenario.