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Gazprom Neft, VTB and Aeroflot commit to switching to blockchain settlements

Gazprom Neft, VTB and Aeroflot have used the 2021 St Petersburg International Economic Forum to conclude a Memorandum of Cooperation on developing digital tools for instant settlements in aviation refuelling.

The companies have agreed to join forces in developing a system for instant payments for aviation fuel, and plan to deploy blockchain-based solutions to increase efficiency and security in financial operations — allowing the time taken on aviation refuelling transactions to be cut from several days to a few seconds. Settlements will be made in real time using immutable smart-contract algorithms that store information on a transaction and the parties involved.

Gazprom Neft is already using its own Smart Fuel block-chain platform for instant settlements in aviation refuelling at Russian airports — the system having proved its considerable efficiency and having been officially registered as a Russian software programme by the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

“Gazprom Neft was the first company in the world to successfully use its own blockchain platform to manage aircraft refuelling. Our solution — the Smart Fuel programme — has made it possible to increase financial security in fuel payment procedures while, at the same time, significantly reducing settlement times — from several days to 15 seconds. I’m confident that, in partnership with the country’s leading bank and its main airline, we will continue to actively develop and roll-out this service, while also exploring opportunities for creating new specialist digital tools for the aviation industry.”

Alexander Dyukov

Alexander Dyukov Chairman of the Management Board, Gazprom Neft PJSC

“The transformation of traditional mutual-settlement banking models is being driven by lightning-fast development in digital environment — which is integral to the modern global economy. In focusing on this, VTB Bank has placed its bets on deploying innovative products, with striking example being the development of a payment module for blockchain-based settlements. This efficient settlement scheme solves several problems at once, allowing our partners — such as Gazprom Neft and Aeroflot — to save time and money. Integrating this solution into our bank’s transaction services marks another step forward in digitalising processes and improving customer experience.”

Andrey Kostin

Andrey Kostin President and Chairman of the VTB Bank Management Board

“The Aeroflot Group is consistently adopting the latest operational, business-process and settlement-management techniques. Getting involved in developing innovative digital products that demonstrate their efficiency — such as a blockchain-based digital-payment module — represents an investment in efficiency and security.”

Mikhail Poluboyarinov

Mikhail Poluboyarinov CEO, Aeroflot

Notes for editors

Gazprom Neft’s Smart Fuel system is the first digital system in Russia to support instant payments in “wing-tip” aviation refuelling. Blockchain system architecture uses immutable smart-contract algorithms that store information about a transaction and the parties involved. Refuelling orders, payments and the exchange of accounting information all occur online through apps held on tablets operated by the aircraft pilot and the refuelling operator. Smart Fuel is officially registered as a Russian software programme by the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation. The system is currently in use at Murmansk Airport and Novosibirsk Tolmachevo Airport, but is expected to be deployed at other Russian airports operating Gazprom Neft aviation refuelling complexes by the end of 2021. The Smart Fuel project is being implemented in partnership with VTB Bank.