Stores will be penalized for refusal to accept bank cards

The stores with smaller turnover will be able to continue charging only in cash. Sales outlets will be penalized by Rospotrebnadzor (Federal Service for Consumer Rights and Human Welfare Protection), and the size of penalty will vary between 30 000 and 50 000 RUB from each fixed violation. The so-called period of transition will act before 1 January 2015, during which enterprises should prepare for relevant innovations. 

Therewith separate sellers will be also penalized, if an organization has all necessary equipment for non-cash payment, but an employee refuse to settle it. In this case a penalty can be imposed on this seller as company's officer at the rate of 15 000 - 30 000 RUB.

Small trade enterprises, such as neighbourhood stores, stalls with vegetables and fruit, market dealers etc., do not fall within the scope of the law, because the installation and maintenance of card readers is connected for them with substantial costs. 

At the same time the experts note, that trade networks just install relevant equipment, and the control of acquiring (the range of services associated with the acceptance of bank cards for payment in a sales outlet) is performed directly by banks. Shopping facility must not be responsible for problems encountered by the acquiring, though similar cases are not prescribed in the law.

Certainly, the innovations are of benefit first of all to banks, which earn commission from each non-cash settlement (according to different estimations, the amount of such commission reaches 1,5% from the sum of transaction). Moreover, the law must stimulate development of the acquiring and turnover of non-cash payments in Russia, that in its turn is of benefit to consumers, and also makes the settlement more clear and transparent.

VISA and MASTERCARD reached an agreement with the Russian authorities about service conditions in Russia

Russian government and International Payment Systems (IPS) Visa and MasterCard have pre-engaged about cooperation conditions. Negotiations were held in within the frame of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. IPS Visa and MasterCard from the one part and Igor Shuvalov, the first vice prime minister of the RF government, with Anton Siluanov, the minister of finance, from the other part were attended.

Looking back, that controversies have begun after the adoption of amendments to the law of national payment system in Russia and restriction of requirements for IPS operating on the territory of RF. So, operators of the payment systems not of national value were required to place security deposit of 25% from daily average turnover on the special accounts in Central Bank of Russia. According the experts the amount of security deposit for Visa will be about 18% from annual turnover and will several times more than annual turnover of payment system on the territory of Russia.

Amendments were adopted in reaction to interruption of operations with cards of several Russian banks made by Visa and MasterCard. These banks have received occidental sanctions imposed after the joining the Crimea to Russia as a result of referendum in March 2014.

However in spite of rather severe retaliation measures, both parts have continually declared of disinterest in Visa and MasterCard exit from the Russian market, as far as they serve more than 90% of payment systems users in Russia.

During negotiations Visa and MasterCard agreed to satisfy requirements of newly adopted amendments. They also declared of creating their own divisions on the territory of Russia in the near future. In such a way all physical infrastructure necessary for starting the payment system will be ported. Also the domestic company which will fix up with all calculations within the frame of Russian legislation will be created. Hitherto Visa and MasterCard will operate with Russian card schemes.

For his part Anton Siluanov stated that small amendments will be adopted to the of Russian payment system, which will not change its strategy but keep payment systems on the territory of RF busy. Siluanov also noted that maintenance of payment systems domestically, basing upon world experience, is the primary goal of innovations. The main requirements are as follows: steady service for Russians and legal entities in the frame of the Russian legislation, and guarantees that accounts of cards holders will not be frozen under the influence of third party effects.