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Central Bank Incorporates National Payment Card System Operator

19.06.2014 11:00 / Interfax

The Central Bank of Russia has incorporated the National Payment Card System (NSPK) operator, Bank of Russia Chair Elvira Nabiullina told the press at the State Duma.

According to her, the decision was passed as expected at the CB Board meeting on 16 June.

“The Board of Directors passed a decision to incorporate a JSC to serve as NSPK operator”, she said, adding that the company is now in the process of state registration.

The Head of the Bank of Russia confirmed that the NSPK technology base is due to be finalized by 1 July.

“We have an NSPK infrastructure roadmap in place, we have a Central Bank committee with reps from the State Duma, the Federation Council, and the Government, to select technological solutions. The committee is due to present their opinion by 1 July, based on review of existing solutions”, said Nabiullina.

CB First Deputy Chairman Georgy Luntovsky said earlier that by 25 June experts are due to pass a decision on NSPK base, to be presented to Nabiullina by 1 July.

In early June, CB Deputy Chairman Tatiana Chugunova said that the key competitors for NSPK tech base are Golden Crown and PRO100, controlled by Sberbank.

Press reports link Russia’s return to the NSPK concept to Visa and MasterCard’s refusal to process cards by a number of Russian banks in Spring 2014, blacklisted in the process of US sanctions.

Amendments to the National Payment System Act, passed in May, stipulate that the NSPK operator should be a 100% Bank of Russia-owned JSC. The CB stock in the NSPK operator is under a two-year sale moratorium.

Following the two-year period, if the Bank of Russia stake in the company should fall below 50% plus one voting share, the regulator may exercise the option to take part in NSPK management – the so-called ‘golden share’, a deciding vote on all key issues. Also, the Bank of Russia may not sell more than 10% of NSPK to a single investor.

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