Russian parliament mulls relaxing rules for Visa and MasterCard
MOSCOW, June 6 (RAPSI) – The State Duma Financial Markets Committee will hear amendments to the law on the national card payment system to relax requirements for Visa and MasterCard after the four-day holiday in mid-June, said committee head Natalya Burykina.
The Russian government this week submitted to the lower house amendments that give the government the right to set the value of the security deposit for foreign payment systems and the fines for failing to transfer these deposits to the Bank of Russia.
“We will likely circulate the amendments before June 11 or 12 and hear them after the holidays,” Burykina said at a committee meeting.
After Visa and MasterCard blocked credit card services to some Russian bank customers as a result of US sanctions over Crimea this March, Russia adopted a law creating its own national card payment system and imposing rules for foreign firms that include a mandatory security deposit and fines for denying services.
The security deposit should equal 25% of the firms’ average daily turnover payable to the Central Bank of Russia quarterly starting July 1. The deposit will be tapped should Visa and MasterCard block transactions.
Visa and MasterCard earlier said that paying hundreds of millions of dollars to operate in Russia was likely not worth the cost. Visa was even considering withdrawing from the country.
In late May, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina held several meetings with Visa and MasterCard management during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. After that, Russian authorities said they could relax the law, while the foreign credit card firms announced their willingness to continue operation in Russia and to create a Russian subsidiary within 18 months.