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Russia’s national payment card system to give consumers choice — premier

June 18, 2014, 17:21 UTC+3 GORKI
“We are not talking about struggling with foreign systems as this is incorrect and actually means a breach of competition fundamentals,” Russian prime minister says
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Dmitry Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev

© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Astakhov

GORKI, June 18./ITAR-TASS/. Russian national payment card system will give consumers a large number of choices, when it is established, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.

Medvedev held a government meeting on Wednesday that discussed the issues of creating the national payment card system in Russia.

“The national system of payment cards should give consumers a great number of choices and this is the main thing. But we are not talking about struggling with foreign systems as this is incorrect and actually means a breach of competition fundamentals,” Medvedev said.

At the same time, the Russian premier said the national payment card system would become “a reasonable alternative to foreign systems, including the most popular systems such as Visa and MasterCard,” Medvedev said.

“It is also very important to ensure interaction with the corresponding operators and streamline the specifics of their functioning on the territory of Russia,” the Russian premier said.

The Russian government has taken a number of steps for this purpose, including amendments to the law on the national payment system, Medvedev said.

“This is a well-known document, which has caused heated discussions among experts, on the part of foreign payment systems and ordinary users of payment instruments,” Medvedev said.

The law stipulates some economic measures aimed at protecting the interests of Russian citizens, the premier said, adding that the procedure for foreign payment operators to make collateral deposits and the use of particular sanctions envisaged by the document should be determined by the Russian government.

The Russian legislation requires Visa and MasterCard to place collateral deposits into special accounts with Russia's Central Bank.

The legislation was passed after Visa and MasterCard said they would block card operations by Rossiya and SMP banks blacklisted by the US administration as institutions with key shareholders close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The sanctions were intended to influence Putin’s policy on Ukraine.

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