The State Duma adopted a bill amending No. 161-FZ. The amendments are aimed at regulating the operation of foreign payment systems on the territory of Russia. In addition, these amendments give the Central Bank the right to set the maximum interest rate for acquiring. Regarding foreign systems of non-cash payments, the amendments introduce a ban on unilateral suspension of servicing cards of Russian banks.
Currently, the register of operators of the Central Bank s payment systems includes subsidiaries of Visa, Mastercard, JCB, ChinaUnionPay and other payment systems. If, within six months after the adoption of the bill, any international payment system suspends the settlements of any Russian bank, this will be a violation. In case of violation, the Central Bank will have the right to make a “reprimand” with the insistence to eliminate the violation, and if nothing is corrected, the subsidiary of the foreign payment system will be removed from the register of payment system operators of the Central Bank.
Regarding the acquiring rate, the Central Bank commented that abuse of regulation of the interest rate for non-cash payments is unacceptable, and the Central Bank will carefully and very carefully approach the decision to adjust the rate.
In the near future, the Central Bank will continue to be the organizer of negotiations between market participants. During the discussion, a proposal was put forward to reduce the interest rate for education, health care and pharmacies, to which the Central Bank responded with its readiness to adjust the rates.
What do the adopted amendments change in general?
– A ban is introduced for foreign payment systems to unilaterally suspend the service of cards of Russian banks, which is punishable by the removal of a subsidiary of a foreign non-cash payment system from the register of the Central Bank.
– Electronic wallet companies of foreign companies (for example, MoneyGram, WeChat or AliPay) are required to open representative offices in Russia, with the coordination of the rules for working with the Central Bank, companies need to find a partner among banking organizations in the Russian Federation or open their own non-bank credit organization. Otherwise, these electronic payment systems are not entitled to operate in Russia.
– The Central Bank may have the right to establish the maximum amount of the bank s interest rate for making non-cash payments. Along with this, the Central Bank can regulate the maximum rates for transferring funds from card to card.
– State social support for citizens (travel benefits, etc.) can be carried out only through the “Mir” payment system, banks have the right to issue for these purposes only cards of this payment system.
It should be noted that the domestic retail met the bill positively, which cannot be said about banks, but no official comments have been made yet.