It has been suggested that stores should be forced to offer at least 3 cashless payment methods to customers by 2023

26 july 2018 | Finmarket

The Statutory Regulation work group of the Autonomous Non-Profit Organization Digital Economy is suggesting that all stores be forced by 2023 to offer customers at least three options for cashless electronic payment for goods and services, one of which must be through the National System of Payment Cards. This follows from the draft amendments to the consumer protection law drafted by members of the work group, according to Finmarket.

Vladimir Mesropyan
Vladimir Mesropyan
Project Management Office for Implementing the Digital Economy of the Russian Federation Program

The authors of the document are suggesting that the requirement be imposed on all online retailers from July 1, 2019 as well as for all stores with annual sales of upwards of 40 million rubles, from January 1, 2020 it is to go into effect for retailers with revenue of more than 20 million rubles and from January 1, 2021 it should go into effect for stores with sales of over 10 million rubles. From 2023 the new requirement will apply to all stores regardless of how they sell their goods and services or their annual sales.

First Deputy Head of the Project Office for the implementation of the Digital Economy program at the Analytical Center Vladimir Mesropyan explained to Finmarket that the draft law was approved at the May 30 meeting of the work group and has been submitted for review to the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing as well as the Ministry for Economic Development to asses its regulatory impact. "After the Ministry for Economic Development has assessed the regulatory impact, a decision will be made about whether or not to submit it to the Government of the Russian Federation," the expert explained.

The memo accompanying the draft law explains that the goal of the amendments is to ensure equal opportunities for customers with regards to choosing payment methods and make the retail market more transparent. At the moment there is a requirement to offer a payment option through the National System of Payment Cards for business entities with sales of more than 40 million rubles in the previous calendar year. The share of cashless payments in the total sales of above-board micro-enterprises with sales of less than 40 million rubles is between 40% and 80%. Micro-enterprises operating in the black market at roughly the same level of annual sales only accept cash payments or payments between bank cards, a situation which is creating an uneven playing field putting business entities operating above board at a disadvantage.

The proposed requirements are supposed to better protect consumers allowing them to use bank mechanisms to rectify violations of their rights, according to the authors of the draft law. Supposedly, the initiative should be a positive on balance for end consumers: they will not need to search ATMs to withdraw cash and they will also be protected in the event of conflicts related to transactions between bank cards, which, unlike a receipt, cannot serve as confirmation that a sale was made.

Photo: from open sources