August 6, 2020

Restrictions on the use of electronic wallets in the Russian Federation

Restrictions on the use of electronic wallets in the Russian Federation

On September 15, amendments to the law on the national payment system (NPS) entered into force in the Russian Federation. Henceforth withdrawal cash from e-wallets and prepaidcards will only be possible with simplified citizen identification. Terms of use have changed for such payment systems as QIWI Wallet, Yandex.Money, WebMoney and PayPal.

Authenticate web wallet ownerscan through the portal of public services or on the website of the service. Users will need to specify the data of the Russian passport and an additional document - for example, TIN or SNILS. At the same time, simplified identification will be available only to Russian citizens. After registering at the government sites, users will again be able to make purchases on the Web, as well as withdraw money from their wallet, however, the amount that can be withdrawn in cash is limited. As a result, it will be possible to receive no more than 5 thousand rubles a day or no more than 40 thousand rubles a month.

As for the transfer of funds to third parties,The owner of an electronic wallet, according to the law, has the right to transfer money to a bank account in favor of legal entities and an individual entrepreneur only if the balance on the account is above 60 thousand rubles. At the same time, it will be possible to send for the month no more than 200 thousand rubles.

The main objective of the amendments is to prevent terrorism and drug trafficking, the authors of the initiative explain.

“Changes were adopted to prevent the use of anonymous means of payment for money laundering and other illegal purposes”, - said in the explanatory note to the amendments.

Now in the case of illegal cashoperations, the payer's account can be quickly blocked by identifying his identity. However, along with terrorists and drug dealers, ordinary users who simply do not want to reveal their identities can suffer, analysts warn. Functionality for such users is greatly reduced.

According to the Association of Market Participantselectronic money and money transfers (AED), all possible risks are already minimized, so the new amendments will only reduce consumer interest in electronic payment systems. Now in Russia this market is huge: more than 10 million people use electronic payment systems. Every year they perform up to two billion operations for a total of 1.7 trillion rubles.

Chairman of the Board of AED Viktor Dostov believes that the participants in the electronic payment market will simply switch to cryptocurrency in the end.

“It is likely that due to this amendment, some users may switch to the use of cryptocurrency or cash, which may adversely affect the control of cash flows by the state”- he noted.

The organization also notes that these amendments were adopted without due analysis by the industry, although one could at least look at the experience of neighboring states.

For example, similar rules for userse-wallets were introduced in 2015 in Belarus and showed a negative impact on the financial affordability of customers of such payment systems. The National Bank of Belarus intends to return the possibility of using electronic wallets for unidentified customers by the end of the year.

Yandex.Money believes that the amendments could lead to the fact that national payment systems cannot develop effectively.

"New restrictions on the functions of anonymous walletscomplicate the use of electronic money in general and adversely affect the accessibility of banking services for many Russians who will lose the only opportunity without getting out of home to get a convenient tool for small settlements ”, - stated in the press service of the service.