Development of National Payment Card System

Currently the third stage of establishment and development of the National Payment Card System (NSPK) is taking place in Russia. It is planned that in 2016-2017 more and more banks will join the payment card issue. As a result NPSK will gain traction and become nationwide.

The previous stage covered the issue of the Russian payment card «Mir». The NSPK was entitled to registration of this trade mark. By the end of 2015 the first banks were to issue the cards and start conducting transactions. At the moment 59 members participate in the payment system «Mir». 

The Central Bank of Russia allowed the banks time till the end of the first half of 2016 for preparation to issue the bank card «Mir» and for opening the cards acceptance network. Nowadays about 200 000 payment cards were produced for all the country and still nobody has ordered great volumes of them. The only bank that has made a big order is the Russian National Commercial Bank (RNCB) operating in the Crimea and being under sanctions. In April the bank was to be given 300 000 «Mir» cards.

The Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) has already fined the sellers which don’t accept the «Mir» card. The detailed information on these cases is presented in section «Supreme Arbitration Court data» in the Information and Analytical System Globas-i. The companies in Arkhangelsk, Karachai-Cherkess Republic, Kemerovo, Nizhny Tagil were subjected to fine. In the whole only 4 cases have been found, the examination procedure of which was commenced in 2015.

The National financial market council (NSFR) has made a request to Mega-regulator to extend the deadline to October 1st, 2016, when the banks are to be ready to provide the acceptance of «Mir» cards and to supply them to state employees. However, according to the Central Bank the allocated time was enough. 

Under current conditions, a number of banks finally found the way to comply with the requirements at a stated time till July 1st, 2016. In particular, they decided to attach two cards to accounts of Russians - «Mir» and one of the leading international payment systems card (Visa or MasterCard). The plans of attaching «Mir» to Visa and MasterCard were stated by VTB 24, MDM Bank, Promsvyazbank, Avangard, Soyuz, Levoberezhny, SDM-Bank, Asian-Pacific Bank, SKB-Bank, Genbank, Rosgosstrakh Bank, Chelyabinvestbank.

Among other events related to development of NSPK, in the 1st quarter of 2016 the following ones are stated:

  • four banks joined the rules of the National Payment System: Ak Bars, Surgutneftegazbank, partners of Uralsib bank (Garant-Invest and Pervomaisky);
  • MegaFon became the first mobile operator who started cooperation with the Russian payment system «Mir»;
  • The NSPK entrusted the protection of its «Mir» cards to international payment system Visa due to failure to get license to use 3D-Secure technology;
  • The Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) plans to convert the NSPK and banks to the Russian cryptography;
  • The NSPK considers a possibility to introduce the «Mir» card to payment services of ApplePay и SamsungPay systems;
  • In 2016 the systems JCB, ChinaUnionPay and AmericanExpress are to switch to the NSPK.

As a part of the NSPK development the work on promotion of the Russian payment system abroad should start in 2016-2017. As a commencement of the work the co-badging programs will be implemented jointly with international systems. According to the co-badging programs the cards will be accepted in Russia as the cards of the Russian payment systems and when going abroad they will be accepted through for example MasterCard payment system network due to the second so-called international application provided in the chip.  

Reference information

The net profit of the NSPK for 2015 amounted to 1,2 billion RUB. The biggest income was brought by maintenance of Visa and MasterCard which gave it its traffic in the sum of 2,8 billion RUB. A year earlier the NSPK had a loss of 90 million RUB. In the following accounting periods the growth of the NSPK annual income from maintenance of payment systems is expected. 

Tax secrecy regime changes

The State Duma has passed the Federal Law of 01.05.2016 № 134-FL «On amendments to the article 102 of the Part One of the Tax Code of the RF», allowing the possibility for companies to withdraw from the tax secrecy regime.

The legal meaning of the tax secrecy regime lies in protection of the rights and legal interests of taxpayers concerning the information that the tax authorities hold. The information containing the tax secret, unlike all other types of secrets, can be obtained by the tax authorities only in the exercise of their powers. According to the Article 102 Part I of the Tax Code of the RF, the tax secret is any information about the taxpayer obtained by the tax, law enforcement, investigative, customs or the State non-budgetary funds authorities.

Before enactment of the amendments, as an exception to the general rule, the following information did not contain the tax secret:

  • if the information became public with the approval of the taxpayer;
  • identification number of the taxpayer;
  • violations of the tax registration and sanctions;
  • special tax regimes used by the taxpayers and participation in the consolidated taxpayer group;
  • provided to the tax, customs or law enforcement authorities of other countries according to the international treaties or agreements;
  • sent to the election commissions according to the election legislation;
  • provided to the State information system about state and municipal payments;
  • provided to the local self-governing authorities for implementation of control on completeness and reliability of information for local taxes calculation and on amount of tax in default.

According to the amendments, the tax secrecy regime can be withdrawn by agreement of the taxpayer at his choice, either regarding all the information provided to the tax authorities or some pieces of information. The tax secrecy regime does not concern the information date the year previous to the year of publication the information on the Internet. The list of information that does not concern the tax secret is completed with the data of the average number of employees; paid amount of taxes and dues excepted for the data of payments in case of goods entry to the customs area of the EEU or as tax agent; on amounts of incomes and costs according to the financial accounts.

The information that does not concern tax secret will be placed on the official web-site of the Federal Tax Service of the RF and will not be shown on demand except for the cases provided by the federal laws.

The law is published on the official web-portal of legal information on May 1, 2016 and comes into force on the expiry of one month from this date.

According to the experts` opinion, the taken amendments can be regarded as measures intended to improve the visibility of the companies` activity and running business in general, that in the future can have the beneficial impact on the investment attractiveness of the state economy.