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Visa Asks for Insurance
January 25, 2015 17:34


Visa has asked for insurance against failures in the Russian system of payment cards. Visa fears that the National Payment Cards System (NPCS) will fail to cope with the processing of payments on its cards in Russia. It insists on the use of foreign facilities, but NPCS objects to this idea.

On Tuesday, January 20, the management of Visa discusses its cooperation with “NPCS” OJSC. Until March 31 the international payment systems have to transfer transaction processing of their cards to the operating and clearing centres of NPSC. Otherwise, they will have to make a security deposit to the Bank of Russia ($ 2.9 billion for Visa and MasterCard, according to the estimates of Morgan Stanley).

Such working conditions of payment systems in the Russia were established by legislating authorities after Visa and MasterCard froze transactions on a number of cards of some Russian banks in the spring of 2014 because of Western sanctions. MasterCard has already agreed on transfer of their payment traffic in Russia to NPCS, as the Bank of Russia said on January 12. Visa is still negotiating.

“The contract has not been signed yet, but we continue to work with the Central Bank and with NPSC, so that to come to a solution acceptable to all parties as soon as possible” - the press service of Visa reported to RBC. Visa insists that after the transfer of traffic to NPSC it should keep an opportunity to use its operations centre abroad, as three sources close to the leadership of Visa and “NPCS” OJSC told to RBC According to a source close to Visa, the payment system wants to have an opportunity to use its native facilities in case of failure in the NPCS.

“Visa doubts if NPSC will run smoothly, especially at the beginning, and it’ll be a blow to its reputation” - he said. “NPSC can encounter a situation where it will not be technically possible to carry out all types of transactions. For example, in cases of e-commerce payments, cash back transactions (return of a percent of payment to the card), payments for loyalty programs on premium cards”- the second source close to Visa shared with RBC. According to him, the development of technologies for carrying out of such non-standard payments will require more time, and it’s not certain if everything will work on April 1. According to the sources of RBC, the main thing for Visa in current negotiations with NPSC is to keep the opportunity to use its own facilities.

In November 2014, when the Visa sent a letter to the Central Bank with the list of the conditions of its operating in Russia, it was just one of the requirements. At that time Visa also insisted that it should maintain the right to set tariffs and other types of fees for various services provided by the company in Russia. However, there were no contradictions in this regard. In compliance with law, NPCS should set its tariff policy, it has no influence on the decisions on tariffs of payment systems, but the latter are required to notify NPCS every time the prices on their services increase once in 120 days.

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Visa Russia international    

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