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Lawmakers mull stricter rules for foreign payment systems in Russia

Russia's State Duma passed in first reading several legislative amendments regulating the local activities of foreign payment systems and electronic payment services providers, such as AliPay (China) Internet Technology Co. Ltd. and WeChat, Novaya Gazeta reported March 12.

The draft amendments were submitted to the Duma at the end of 2018, and aim to protect Russian clients and establish control over payment systems in Russia, said the Duma's financial markets committee head, Anatoly Aksakov.

Under the discussed bill, foreign payments systems will be required to open a representative office or a subsidiary in Russia and will be included in a registry run by the Russian central bank, which will also have the right to request information from the companies, including personal data.

The draft legislation also stipulates that Russian banks will be obliged to provide the central bank with information about suppliers and operators of mobile payment applications, such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Russia's Mir Pay.

The proposed amendments also regulate the activities of payment aggregators as bank payment agents and establish rules for monitoring their activities, according to the report.