Federal “National Payment System” Law to be Amended
Legal update No 667
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP (formerly Goltsblat BLP in Russia) advises that, on 12 March 2019, the State Duma passed, at the first reading, two bills amending the Federal “National Payment System” Law1: Bill 603170-7, specifying the requirements on foreign payment systems and foreign payment service providers and Bill 603192-7, regulating payment services.
1. Clarifies the concept of “foreign payment system” (FPS) and sets out requirements on the functioning of such systems (e.g., MoneyGram, Intel Express) in Russia. Specifically, the Bill permits FPS operators to do business in Russia through representatives (Russian legal entities) and lays down requirements on FPS rules and regulations, including on risk management and data protection.
2. Provides that, subject to compliance with the established requirements, FPS operators are to be included by the Bank of Russia on the Register of FPS Operators. The Bill also sets forth grounds for striking FPS operators off the Register.
3. Authorises the Bank of Russia to oversee compliance by FPS operators with the requirements and provides for the Bank to interact with the national payment system entities via personal accounts on its website.
4. Sets out the requirements on acceptance in Russia of electronic payment facilities issued by foreign payment service providers (such as AliPay or WeChat). Specifically, a contract between a money transfer operator (MTO) and a foreign provider should set forth (a) a deadline for receipt by the MTO of funds from the foreign provider, which should be at least three business days from the transaction date; and (b) a method for securing the foreign provider’s obligations towards the MTO. The MTO will inform the Bank of Russia of entry into and termination of such a contract.
5. Prohibits foreign payment service providers from providing money transfer services or electronic payment facilities to residents.
6. Introduces the concept of “information exchange service operator” and requires MTOs to inform the Bank of Russia of making and terminating contracts with such operators.
The Bill also provides for payment aggregators to be regulated as bank payment agents and requires identification of legal entities and sole traders that have contracts with them and use of a special bank account for settlements with such entities.
One requirement for an MTO engaging a banking payment agent is that it have the details of each cash acceptance/withdrawal transaction.
The Bill permits electronic funds transfers between legal entities and sole traders using corporate electronic payment facilities, while MTOs are required to inform the Bank of Russia of such transactions.
It also provides that the Bank of Russia’s payment system rules and regulations may set caps on fees charged by credit institutions within the Bank of Russia’s payment system for fund transfers and other services to clients within this system.
1Federal Law No. 161-FZ dated 27 June 2011
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