Monday, February 8, 2010

Russian Banks on the Offensive to Stop E-Money Issuers

By Daniel Gusev
Retail Banking in Russia: Innovation Unfolded
Monday, February 8, 2010

http://valuedrivenbanking.blogspot.com/2010/02/banks-are-on-offensive-to-stop-emoney.html


The bill on national payments system was leaked to the press - where it became clear that banks want to take away the emoney issuance function away from emoney operators. What gives?

Emoney was and is pretty much the single factor developing ecommerce and motivating "web entrepreneurship" between uninstitutionalized agents. Cost effective clearing mechanism enabled new "grey merchants" to launch into business and promoted trade - since most emoney schemes, i.e. Yandex Money, in Russia are part of search engines. Emoney was a tool of content monetization. From here, how strong can the anti-emoney movement be?

According to the bill - only credit money institutions can be held liable against money issued - so emoney issuance should be their exclusive prerogative. The institution may then establish relationship with a payment agent who will on his part be able to offer operational and clearing services to the end users. In fact - the whole emoney will likely be rendered into prepaid schemes - where liabilities would be issued by banks and emoney will become agents "connecting the dots". Ability to pay without KYC principles will be kept for sums lower than RUB 15 000.

It's hard to say, whether the whole idea will work - it may kill illegitimate and illiquid emoney schemes and promote the use of major virtual currencies - since the operators would still be in control of the dots - no matter they will act more like agents than issuers. The bill still proves a major conclusion: banks see a big business in emoney.

Daniel Gusev is the publisher of Retail Banking in Russia: Innovation Unfolded. Reprinted with permission.

For further reading:
"Emoney in Russia - the Dark Side of the Moon for (most) banks", Retail Banking in Russia: Innovation Unfolded, January 18, 2010
"Emoney iPhone apps win over banking - but are not on the top 100 list", Retail Banking in Russia: Innovation Unfolded, December 27, 2009
"Banks are scared of emoney - because they will end up with loosing contact with customers", Retail Banking in Russia: Innovation Unfolded, December 24, 2009
"Non Bank Payments with Webmoney Transfer (part 1)", Mark Herpel, October 16, 2009
"Non Bank Payments: America vs. Russia (part 2)", Mark Herpel, October 16, 2009
"Non Bank Payments: Pay Pal or WebMoney (part 3)", Mark Herpel, October 19, 2009
"Webmoney Russian Non Bank Products & Services (part 4)", Mark Herpel, October 19, 2009
"Non Bank Payments: Webmoney & Plastic Cards (part 5)", Mark Herpel, October 19, 2009
"The Webmoney Purse, One Size Does Not Fit All (part 6)", Mark Herpel, October 19, 2009

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