Moscow, April 15 – RAPSI. Passing the national payment system draft bill could isolate Russia and disable a number of services, Ilya Ryabiy, the head of MasterCard Russia, told RIA Novosti.
Lawmakers are currently set to pass the draft in the second reading.
Amendments to the draft require that payments in Russia should be made using Russia’s payment infrastructure, Ryabiy said. The amendments also impose a ban on transmitting data about payments made in Russia abroad.
Market players primarily complain about the government’s intention to create a local infrastructure in Russia similar to the global payment system.
According to Ryabiy, the Finance Ministry, the Federal Antimonopoly Service and the Central Bank of Russia support MasterCard’s stance. He stressed that if the draft becomes a law in its present form, it is most likely to hurt Russian banks with processing performed abroad, as well as the financial market, industry and market players.
He went on to explain that the task of creating a completely local payment system is hard. It will cost all parties involved in the process severely, including cardholders as rates will inevitably rise.
MasterCard will have to register a legal entity in Russia under the new law. However, infrastructure will have to be stimulated domestically to ensure effective performance, he said. This has never been done before.
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As an example, Ryabiy said a Russian bank cardholder will not be able to pay his mobile phone abroad, as such an operation will be impossible under the new law.
"We are talking to Duma (Russia's lower house of parliament) officials and the government, doing our best to explain this unreasonable step’s consequences,” he said. “Russia is a global priority for MasterCard. We are promoting social cards with financial and non-financial options, which address access to social privileges.”
"Countrywide systems exist all over the world and a similar system called ‘The Golden Crown’ is available in Russia, too,” he said. “But now we are forced to create a mini-copy of the international payment system.”
According to Ryabiy, the authorities plan to lay the groundwork for a strong national institution.
He went on to stress that lawmakers are under the delusion that international payment systems are reluctant to develop their business in Russia.
Ryabiy added that MasterCard cooperates with Visa on this critical issue.