New Russian Regulations for Visa, MasterCard May Be Mitigated – Lawmaker

New Russian Regulations for Visa, MasterCard May Be Mitigated – Lawmaker

14:37 21/05/2014

MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russian lawmakers may soften new requirements for international payment systems Visa and MasterCard, reducing the size of required security deposits in the Central Bank, Russian lawmaker Anatoly Aksakov told RIA Novosti.

“It is still being discussed, I cannot state anything for sure. They [Visa and MasterCard] are asking [to lower the amount of contribution], they have already said this sum is too much. The amendments [to the Law on the National Payment System] become active July 1, so we will find a middle ground before that date. This is my point of view,” said Anatoly Aksakov, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets.

When asked how they intend to reach this middle ground, the lawmaker replied that “the level of contribution will simply be reduced in the law.”

“We need to discuss it, to define the reasonable and acceptable amount,” he said.

“Of course, they [Visa and MasterCard] will suggest the smallest sum possible. We should allow the payments to run smoothly and at the same time make it favorable for international payment systems, so that they have interest in working on the Russian market,” Aksakov said.

The law to create a national card payment system, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month, tightens requirements for payment system operators with clearing and settlement centers outside Russia.

Specifically, it obliges foreign payment systems starting July 1 to make quarterly contributions to a special account in the Central Bank in the amount of 25 percent of the average daily turnover. In addition, penalties are introduced for operators of payment systems for unilateral termination of customer service.

The amendments came after Visa and MasterCard denied service to several Russian banks in late March as a result of US sanctions amid the escalating conflict in Ukraine, raising concerns about the security of the country’s financial system.

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