The law on online payments: what will happen to us (and how now freelancers get their money)

    Dreams about the extraordinary ease of money transfers on the Internet from one user to another seem to be in the past. No anonymity, no unidentified individuals transferring money online follows from the new edition of federal law No. 110, approved by the Russian president. Suddenly, you launder illegal income, finance terrorists, or just help financially, who should not? From now on, any sender must be known.

    People got nervous. Earnings of many of our users came to them in the form of anonymous payments, money was transferred to electronic wallets. What should they do now? What changed? What will happen in a year?Will Russian Freelance End? These questions are asked not only by single designers or small teams of programmers. We at the company, of course, also thought after the adoption of the law: does this mean that UBANK , like other financial services that manage to accustom the audience to payment freedom, will have to take a step back?


    it's a question

    We tried to figure out what happened and how it would affect consumers and us. We will not say that we know the answers to all questions. Many of the wordings of the law to lawyers are not entirely clear, and nobody will fully understand how it will be applied. Nevertheless, we decided to share some conclusions of our research.

    1. GOODBYE, TRANSFERS TO THE CARD


    The main thing that the law did was: it forbade replenishing bank cards and accounts from virtual wallets if their owner was not identified in any way (that is, if he specified only his e-mail or phone number in the online service when registering).

    In our UBANK, this instantly led to the complete disconnection of the service of transferring money to a bank card, even in cases where, by law, this can be done. For example, no one forbids transferring money from your card linked to an account in UBANK. In this case, you as a client are identified in the bank, which means that you do not seem to fall under the ban.

    But for our partner, who provided the work of this service, purely technically there was no difference between the transfer from a virtual account or from a bank card. Therefore, I had to chop everything off. Fortunately, we have already managed to restore the bulk of the functionality - now you can transfer from card to card (and this was the most popular service). But anonymous translations (much less popular) have sunk into oblivion forever.

    2. NOT A FRIEND YOU ARE MORE


    In doubt - transfers within social networks . At UBANK, we had high hopes for this topic. They fantasized, experimented, developed new forms of “financial mutual assistance” among friends. Our service made it easy to fold into a gift for a mutual friend. Or, say, to pay a collective bill at the restaurant where the company sits without any problems.

    The standard situation: someone with cash, someone with a card, someone without money at all and promises to pay later to someone who will undertake to help him out. After you have received the check, you can distribute payments between friends in UBANK, so that they will settle payments within the system with the one who paid for everyone. We thought through such scenarios, deduced patterns. But all these improvements that make life easier and more enjoyable, the updated law actually prohibits. Now it’s not that easy.

    One of the coolest, most promising financial innovations in the world in Russia, suddenly found itself in the red zone. After all, if we put all the functionality out of the brackets, in the bottom line, we are dealing with a transfer from one depersonalized wallet to another, from one unidentified individual to another. And you can’t do that anymore.

    However, we are not going to shout “guard” yet. The law allows your friend from Facebook to transfer from his card linked to an account in UBANK to his card registered in the system. We will work on similar mechanics in the near future.

    3. "VIRTUALS", GOODBYE


    Recently, banks and online services have been actively experimenting with virtual cards. They could be made directly on the Internet. In a similar way, it was possible to get a non-virtual, but also anonymous card - as a gift, for example, by mail, or along with some kind of purchase. For financial companies, such cards are an interesting marketing tool that allows you to attract additional audience. Indeed, in order to start using such a card, people do not need to go somewhere and sign something. A similar project was developed by us at UBANK. But now the distribution of unnamed cards has become much less meaning . Their functionality is radically limited, since anonymous cards were just as illegal as virtual wallets.

    4. PAY OFF THE LOAN? NOT TODAY


    The law allows an anonymous payment system user to transfer money to repay loans . That is, people who are used on the last day of the month to suddenly remember paying for a mortgage and run to the terminal or transfer money through an online service, it seems, will not be affected by the law. But there is a nuance: from a technical point of view, for payment services there is no difference between transferring to a card or to an account to repay a loan - all these are simply transfers to a bank account. Who will be responsible if, instead of repaying the loan, the money goes to a regular account? The user who entered the data? Payment service that sent the money? The bank that accepted the payment? No one knows the answers yet. And most players on the market have one strategy - to turn off everything altogether so that, God forbid, something breaks.

    5. HOW TO GET THE FEE?


    Many freelancers used electronic money in order to get paid for the work done. What is changing for them? It is still possible to transfer money from a card to an anonymous wallet, since in this case the payer is identified . So for customers, everything is still. As before, you can safely transfer to the contractor’s wallet the earned fee. And while he pays with electronic money for mobile communications or utilities, a freelancer is also in order. But in order to transfer electronic money to a card and cash out, he will have to go through identification in the system by showing his passport. It is unlikely for people who regularly receive money for their work, this will become a big problem. Many of them have long passed the identification procedure.

    6. WHAT IS SIMPLIFIED IDENTIFICATION?


    And nobody knows that. We quote the law: “Non-personalized electronic means of payment cannot be used by a client - an individual who has not passed a simplified identification”. The word “simplified” should not be misleading, since what exactly this simplification consists of is not clear from the text of the law .

    So far, it’s only clear that you can personify a payment in one of three ways: either by providing a document (the same passport or a notarized copy), or by requesting information from government agencies (for example, a pension fund), or by making an electronic signature, if you suddenly have one . That doesn't sound very easy, does it?

    It is likely that over time it will be possible to create something like a single identification center, the services of which can be used without leaving your home. This, unfortunately, will still adversely affect conversion and user loyalty. Indeed, many people sometimes do not want to enter their phone number, and here they will be asked for passport data online. And yet this is some kind of no way out.

    Another option is also possible: identification through mobile operators, who, if desired, are able to verify and confirm that the owner of such and such number (SIM card), who has concluded an agreement with them, is Ivan Ivanov. True, it is naive to expect that such a service provided by the players of the mobile market will be free.

    7. WITHOUT A PANIC!


    No need to panic. We expect that we will nevertheless remember the interests of our clients and a compromise solution will be found. The law has many white spots that can be filled in the right way in the future - and reduce the number of difficulties for customers. Finally, there remains hope - albeit a weak one - that hard amendments will be softened. And the simplest operations to transfer funds will not turn into a headache for millions of ordinary users.

    We at UBANK are trying to treat any changes pragmatically and proactively. Therefore, we use a forced pause to redo those of our services whose work they were forced to suspend. Many of them have long demanded attention. As they say, there is no silver lining.

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