"Mir" Creation: GSOM SPbU Experts Presented the Case of the National Card Payment System Development at the Management of the Future Conference
The case of creation and development of Mir payment system was presented at the Management of the Future Conference held by the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg University (GSOM SPbU). Students have learned first-hand about the stages of project implementation, key decisions, specific features and challenges from the Central Bank experts and other financial market participants. GSOM SPbU lecturers Anastasia Golubeva and Vitaly Okulov moderated the discussion.
A case is a specially prepared learning material containing a methodologically structured description of real life business situations. Development, distribution and implementation of cases into the learning process is one of the top priority aspects of GSOM SPbU research and educational work. Preparation of materials that will allow the students of the Business School to learn using the best practices is one of the tasks of the Case Development Center. The Teaching Excellence Lab, which is in charge of teaching innovation implementation, deals with the methods of case application in the learning process.
"The world was not created in time but together with time", ー this quote of St. Augustine was chosen by the authors as an epigraph to emphasize the timeliness of Mir card creation. An extensive analysis of the development process of one of the most important elements of the Russian financial system provides an opportunity to get to know the specific features and details of implementation of the strategic country-wide project. Special attention is paid to the role of the government and financial regulator ー the Bank of Russia.
"We live and work in the era of change. The task of the Business School remains the same: to teach students in such a way so that they, as young specialists, could understand the current context and challenges that business is facing and could come up with possible solutions. This is why it is important to learn strategic approaches using the examples of industry leaders. We are witnessing how the decisions made by the Bank of Russia change the financial industry of the world. Thus, the case of Mir payment system development is going to be an excellent learning material useful for professors of Russian universities," ー believes Olga Dergunova, Deputy President and Chairman of VTB Bank Management Board, GSOM SPbU Director.
Following the US sanctions against Russia, VISA and MasterCard blocked payments for the clients of some banks for the first time on March 21, 2014. This has shown the true vulnerability of the country's financial system. Such risks were acknowledged before, but they were thought to be unlikely to happen. At that time the government, society and business did not support the idea to pass card transactions within the country under the Russian jurisdiction.
Mir card, operating, clearing and processing centers were created within a record-breaking short period of time ー the first transaction was carried out on December 15, 2015. Hardly anyone believed in the project's feasibility. The experience of other countries shows that deployment of such systems takes several years. Apart from that, all similar initiatives never got further development in Russia, as the positions of VISA and MasterCard remained strong. The project became successful thanks to the team of fellow thinkers and well-coordinated efforts of key leaders.
The society welcomed Mir with doubts: in social media it was contemptuously called a "souvenir for patriots". Governmental support measures were taken to give impetus to its promotion. However, they wouldn't have helped without the new infrastructure and appropriate marketing strategy. Eventually, NSPK JSC became profitable in the first year of work. The rapid development of the company proves the success of the project. In 2015-2020 the asset growth rate was reaching an average of 40% every year, income and net profit growth rate was 50%. This made it possible to invest into infrastructure support and new service development.
Ambitiousness, large scale and complexity of the challenge required many decisions (organizational, technical and managerial). The authors of the case believe that the analysis of these decisions is a great lesson for similar future projects: it shows how each separate step and all of them together helped to reach the final goal, how flexible they were, what were the compromises and how the best possible and minimum required were balanced. The case is designed principally for lessons in economics and finance, strategic management and public administration and will be used in programs of the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg University. It has been published in the Russian Management Journal and is available for students and faculty of all universities and business representatives, who can benefit from the experience of unique financial instrument development.
The case is the result of the field study by the GSOM SPbU professors conducted using the information provided by NSPK JSC, interviews with project managers and materials from public sources.
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