Vladimir Komlev: Instant Payments System Will Be the Most Significant Change in the Russian Payment Market

4 June 2018

The PLUS-Forum "Cards, Payments and Mobile 2018", which for the third year running was supported by the MIR National Payment System, was opened with the speech of Chief Executive Officer of NSPK JSC (operator of the MIR Payment System) Vladimir Komlev.

The Head of NSPK took part in the plenary session "New Trends in the Payment Industry and Retail Banking Development. Change of Strategies. Government Regulation, Consolidation and Verticalization of the Market in the Digital Society" where he told about the MIR fees.

In his speech, Vladimir Komlev told about the fee regulation system in the Russian market, as well as about the MIR fees and products.

The Head of NSPK noted that when forming the fee policy of the payment system, the interests of all its participants whether acquirers, issuers or merchants should be taken into account. He also presented his point of view on the need for fee regulation:

"In my opinion, everything that is set by the payment system is the regulation. Interchange, any and all possible fees are set by the payment system equally for all players. Moreover, there is no need to interfere with that, which is set by the market. It develops rapidly and changes; the competition is very high. Thus, the change in the interchange fee will be very quickly applied by an acquiring bank to a merchant when struggling for a customer so that any segments will begin to receive a valid acquiring fee from their banks. The market operates here; regulation is prohibited in this case".

Vladimir Komlev also reminded that the MIR Payment System appeared in the Russian market in the business environment with sufficiently high interchange fees and the respectively high acquiring fees for merchants. A great number of attractive banking products with interchange fees from 2% were created:

"We understand that on the one hand this challenge must be met, but on the hand we have our own state social function. In the MIR Payment System, there are debit cards with fees of 0.8% per a transaction, 0.3% or RUB 3 per a transaction. They function to reduce expenses of banks, and in a number of projects, these cards are extremely effective.    

Currently, the MIR card acceptance network in Russia is completely deployed thanks to all our partner banks and we are working on the increase of transactions with our national cards due to attractive commercial products. Two new MIR products, Privilege and Privilege Plus cards with fees of 1.5% and 1.75%, respectively, enable banks to offer their customers more interesting product scopes. We note the growth in the number of transactions with these cards. It should be understood that due to high interchange fees, banks can provide their customers with various privileges and work to ensure a direct conversion of these privileges into the increased purchasing power."    

In conclusion, Vladimir Komlev emphasized:

"In my opinion, the most significant shift that the payment industry will face in the coming years, that will change the fee policy, the customer management and the existing business models, will be the instant payments system. It will enable to perform p2p-transfers and b2b-payments rather quickly. And, perhaps, some market participants will have to reconsider their roles and rediscover themselves in this industry."