Russia's X5 Group has announced the pilot launch of a financial services business, under the X5 Bank brand.
The group, which operates the Pyaterochka, Perekrestok and Karusel chains, as well as the recently-launched hard discounter, Chizhik, said that new services will include digital cards that combine the functionality of retailer loyalty cards with payments, money transfers and rouble-denominated cash back services.
Rolling Out The Service
A digital X5 Card is already available to users of the Perekrestok mobile app in ten Russian cities, and within a month, the cards will also become available to Pyaterochka customers in 13 cities.
In order to receive a card, a customer needs to update their current loyalty card to a bank debit card, using the retailer's existing mobile apps. Using this service, users can also order a plastic card if they so wish.
X5 also plans to roll out X5 Bank counters to 30 Pyaterochka stores in Moscow over the next month.
'Every Stage Of The Customer Journey'
"X5's strategy calls for a presence at every stage of the customer journey, which is why we launched X5 Bank," commented Igor Shekhterman, CEO of X5 Group.
"We are the first to launch one of the most highly sought-after banking products – a debit card that combines both loyalty points and banking functionality. This is the sort of business that will enable us to be even closer to our customers and to offer convenient new possibilities for the customer."
X5 Bank will be managed by an independent company founded by X5 Group and Alfa Bank. X5 said that it plans to offer additional payment services under its own brand as the X5 Bank concept develops.
X5 Group reported a 4.8% increase in like-for-like sales in its most recent financial period.