29th January 2023

We don’t take money! Transport cards and e-wallets banned cash replenishment

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Natalia Solovieva

From the beginning of August 2020, a restriction on cash replenishment of electronic wallets and payment cards with an electronic wallet came into force. According to experts, these changes affected at least about 30 million cardholders intended to pay for travel on public transport and pay for meals, and over 10 million customers of electronic money systems.

The changes introduced are related to new rules in the regulation of electronic wallets, which were introduced by the federal law “On Amendments to the Federal Law“ On the National Payment System ”and the Federal Law“ On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) ”. The document was signed by the President of the Russian Federation on August 2, 2019. A number of its provisions, including the prohibition of anonymous replenishment of electronic wallets, came into force in early August of this year.

Now it is possible to replenish e-wallets in such electronic money systems as Yandex.Money, QIWI, PayPal, VK Pay and others, as well as non-personalized cards (transport, etc.) only at bank branches or by bank transfer (via the Internet). However, as the head of the Association of Electronic Money and Money Transfer Market Participants Viktor Dostov explained in the media, the law also applies to other anonymous cards, which, like transport cards, have a built-in electronic wallet function, but do not require registration. For example, this category includes cards for corporate canteens, cards for access and services in amusement parks, etc.

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Recall that before the law came into force, it was possible to replenish these instruments, for example, through payment terminals, including anonymously.

According to experts, it is impossible to calculate the exact number of projects for which cash acceptance has been suspended. For example, according to Dmitry Pyankovsky, General Director of Technesis, in total, over 60 million transport cards have been issued in Russia, which operate in 75 cities, and about 50% of them work according to the e-wallet model and in about 60-65 cities. RF.

Basically, the innovations affect medium-sized regional applications for paying for transport fares, including in the metro, catering for workers and schoolchildren. So, according to informed media, regional authorities of Lipetsk, Moscow, Novgorod, Oryol and Samara regions, Krasnodar Territory, Udmurtia and Perm have already warned about the impossibility of replenishing their transport cards in cash through terminals. Among others, it is no longer possible to replenish the Strelka transport card near Moscow with cash. However, according to a representative of the Ministry of Transport and Road Infrastructure of the Moscow Region, today only about 10% of Strelka card users replenish their balance in cash, and their number is constantly decreasing.

The new rules will also affect the rights of over 10 million customers of electronic money systems, through which over 2 billion transactions are performed for an amount exceeding 1.7 trillion rubles annually.

The bans will not apply, for example, to the cards of the Moscow transport project Troika and the St. Petersburg project Plantorozhnik, online wallets of mobile operators or cards of fitness clubs. Thus, Troika’s balance doesn’t contain electronic money, but “only one of the ticket parameters”, the Podorozhnik card contains transport units, and mobile operators and fitness clubs need to register with a passport. In addition, according to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the changes do not apply to school cards, since such cards are not anonymous.

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The Association of Russian Banks, as well as the management of Qiwi and Yandex.Money services, criticized the restrictions on replenishing wallets. According to ARB experts, this ban will negatively affect the development of some regional transport projects – only in the Lipetsk region, for example, about 68% of transport cards are replenished with cash. And according to Qiwi and Yandex.Money, it will lead not only to a deterioration in the availability of financial services, but also to an increase in operations in the “gray zone”.

The head of the Association of Internet Trade Companies (AKIT) Artem Sokolov, in turn, noted that this ban is aimed at protecting consumers of goods and services, and is intended to strengthen the fight against the so-called “black cash”.

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Vicky O. Torres

My name is Vicky O. Torres. I am a psychologist by profession, and I love my work very much. And in general, I am an active seeker of truth, silence and beauty of the world.

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