RUSSIALINK: “Central Bank sees no risks in disconnecting Russia from international payment systems; it would be very unfavorable for them – CBR first deputy governor” – Interfax

File Image of Artist's Conception of Globe with Curved Connecting Lines of Light Passing Through Space, adapted from image at fincen.gov

MOSCOW. April 14 (Interfax) – The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) does not see any risks in disconnecting Russia from the international payment systems, as this would be unfavorable for them, CBR first deputy governor Olga Skorobogatova said during a briefing on Wednesday.

Central Bank of Russia file photo“If we are talking about the current situation, then I believe that it is rather calm and steady. We do not see any risks in disconnecting from the international payment systems. I think that the international payment systems would find it to be extremely unfavorable,” Skorobogatova said.

The CBR first deputy governor also noted that Russia continues to develop its own payment infrastructure.

“Our locomotive is not simply standing on an emergency side track, it is actively traveling, meaning that we have the National Payment Card System (NPCS), which is operating superbly, and covers matters of card transactions in Russia, and there are already thirteen countries that accept the Mir card. We have a financial messaging system that also processes the traffic of financial messages within Russia, and there are not any restrictions on performance. We have a system of fast payments that forms a second, alternative channel in addition to using cards for payment,” Skorobogatova recalled.

The CBR first deputy governor said that these three highly competent segments in the payment infrastructure provide the Russian market with uninterrupted operation in services as well as with services for citizens and businesses in competition with other players, including the international payment systems.

“I believe that we need to continue our operations specifically to develop our payment systems and our infrastructure platforms, though, at the same time, as I have noted, it is extremely important for us to maintain a competitive environment. We would like Russian companies to develop in a competitive environment and to earn their reputation and win their successes precisely by being the best and not having any special preferences,” Skorobogatova said.

The CBR first deputy governor recalled that because of the sanctions in 2014, the payment market in Russia ran into “an extremely difficult and unpleasant situation”, when several banks were disconnected from the international payment systems, thereby forcing the creation of the NPCS in very short order.

[article also appeared at interfax.com/newsroom/top-stories/71586/]