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Bringing Care Closer: New Possibilities for Rural Russia
14 February 2019
10:00—11:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Digitization improves the quality of life in remote locations

The introduction of cashless payments in regions and remote areas, small towns and villages, is underway — Vladimir Komlev, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, National Payment Card System (NPCS), the operator of the Mir payment system .

When the internet first appeared, there was the idea of equal access to education, but if we look closer, it is too expensive for a child from a remote area to have lessons with a teacher from Moscow. People can’t afford it. Automated platforms provide teachers and children with this access — Ivan Kolomoyets, President, Co-Founder, Uchi.ru .

Nothing has helped the people living in rural areas more than digitization. <...> Today everything is feeling the impact of the digital age. Living in a village today is easier, much easier than it has ever been — Pekka Viljakainen, Advisor to the President, Skolkovo Foundation; Chairman, Aii Capital.

ISSUES
Low availability of modern technologies in remote rural areas

Our country is massive, and more than half of our population is concentrated in small towns and villages. Most of these people living in remote areas have an unfair disadvantage compared to city dwellers in terms of access to many benefits of civilization, sometimes including quality communication and Internet connection — Maria Morgun, Chief Editor, Live Planet TV; Anchor, Correspondent, FSUE "All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company" (FSUE "VGTRK").

The less urban is the territory, the lower is the number of transactions per card a year — Vladimir Komlev, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, National Payment Card System (NPCS), the operator of the Mir payment system .

Low access to healthcare in rural areas

We need a significant improvement in social services and healthcare in rural areas. We have, on average, 37 medical workers for every 10,000 city dwellers, and less than 15 for the rural areas — Nikolai Podguzov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Insufficient motivation for businesses to integrate technologies in remote rural areas

We had a statistic made on villages that are connected, but we could not create motivation for telecom companies to go further and connect more people — Konstantin Noskov, Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

Any bank is a partner of the payment system aimed at commercial gain. How can a bank find a model to justify its presence in small towns from the economic standpoint? <...> Achieving this integration and tailoring business models to provide an efficient service to small and sometimes medium villages that is the key issue — Vladimir Komlev, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, National Payment Card System (NPCS), the operator of the Mir payment system .

Low level of income and education in small towns

Our greatest competitor in these towns (small towns – ed.) is not another bank. It is the level of education, the presence of banks and the income level in these communities — Dmitry Rudenko, President, Chairman of the Board, PJSC "Post Bank".

People in remote rural areas do not have much money. It is equally important to raise the general level of financial accessibility and provide new financial instruments — Vladimir Komlev, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, National Payment Card System (NPCS), the operator of the Mir payment system .

SOLUTIONS
Simplifying the law in digitization

Digitization is not just about technology. The government should simplify the legislation in that sector — Pekka Viljakainen, Advisor to the President, Skolkovo Foundation; Chairman, Aii Capital.

Introducing a competitive model to digitize remote rural areas

We are moving towards a competitive model. This spring, we are launching tenders for a service model to connect a large number of social institutions to broadband internet. <...> This will cover a large area, including small villages – the rural areas we are talking about — Konstantin Noskov, Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

Using Russian Post infrastructure to provide services

When it comes to remote rural areas, Russian Post staff, who did online training and passed examinations, have a special banking plugin and can easily provide a basic banking service — Dmitry Rudenko, President, Chairman of the Board, PJSC "Post Bank".

Such operations, which are not directly related to healthcare, take up 30–50% of a face-to-face appointment with a doctor. In a digitized community, the postman could do part of the task (providing medical services to the population – ed.). Of course, this would not mean providing the medical service itself, but it would indeed mean bringing care closer to the population with the help of a postman — Nikolai Podguzov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS