State Duma deputies proposed to ban money transfer systems that work without registration of the Central Bank

    Today it became known that a bill was passed to the State Duma, which prohibits foreign services from transferring money from Russian users without a payment system operator, which is registered in the register of the Central Bank.

    Companies that want to work in Russia will need to notify the regulator about the start of their work as an operator of electronic wallets, according to RBC. In addition, for foreign payment service providers who do not have an operator registered in the Russian Federation, open a representative office in the country.

    Without this, wallets will be able to work in the country with non-residents. “The provision of foreign e-wallets to Russian users is limited in order to stimulate the development of Russian payment instruments and technologies and is aimed at protecting the interests of our citizens and banks,” the Central Bank said.

    The bill introduces a new term in the law - "foreign payment service providers." This is the name of any foreign organization that has the right to provide money transfer services in accordance with the laws of the country in which this organization is registered. Among others, these requirements fall under WeChat and AliPay.

    If the bill is adopted, Russian banks will have the right to request information from payment systems in order to comply with the legislation on countering money laundering, and the Central Bank will receive documents and other necessary information from banks. In most cases, banks will work with foreign payment service providers under contracts. True, if both the bank and the wallet are participants in the same payment system, transfers to non-residents can be made without an agreement.

    Now only PayPal meets the requirements of the bill in terms of servicing residents of the Russian Federation. This company has a license for banking operations with funds in rubles and foreign currency. Other companies have to enter into agreements with credit institutions as a foreign company.

    As an example, the Chinese electronic wallets AliPay and WeChatPay. Companies - wallet owners provide services to ensure payments of Chinese citizens on the Russian market. These are tourists, university students and other citizens of the PRC. In order to work in Russia, the systems work through Russian partners, concluding contracts for receiving payments with individual stores.

    In order to be able to work with Russian users, AliPay needs to gain a sufficient number of partners by building the necessary network. Now AliPay and WeChat have responded to the bill. AliPay has statedthat the company does not plan to work with Russian citizens: “We do not provide payment instruments to citizens of Russia. And they always stressed that in Russia the company works only with Chinese tourists. AliPay has the right to provide services to citizens of the Russian Federation only in the case of a license of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. And the proposed bill simply prescribes this in an explicit form. ” As for WeChat, the amendments to the law will not be displayed on the current activities of this company in Russia. Nevertheless, its partners have all the necessary licenses and permits of the Bank of Russia for organizing the reception of WeChat in the Russian Federation.

    As for payment systems, the bill submitted to the State Duma tightens the requirements for the activities of such organizations. Thus, the document interprets the term “payment system” as “a set of organizations interacting in order to carry out cross-border remittances”. Such a system, unlike e-wallets, has an operator and participating banks that adhere to the rules of the system, drawn up in accordance with the laws of another state. Such systems include, in particular, MoneyGram, Intel Express.

    But Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Chinese UnionPay or Japanese JCB have operating companies registered in the Russian Federation, so there should be no problems with the operation of these systems.

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