Russia has come a long way in the recent years in terms of establishing itself as an internet superpower. However, it has done it at such a speed that many parts of its legislation have not been up to date, regarding online payments for example. Yesterday, the Russian government approved a bill to clarify and regulate e-payments. The bill has been much awaited, according to Moscow Times, and online payments are expected to increase by 400 million euro this year.

“We consider this bill a reasonable compromise between strict regulation and the market reality,” said Viktor Dostov, chairman of the Russian E-Money Association. The e-payment market reached a volume of 40 billion rubles (0.98 billion euro) in 2009.

The bill in essence requires all online money operators to get a license from the Central Bank applicable to “non-banking credit organisations”. The license requirements state that a money operator’s equity should be at least 18 million rubles (440 000 euro). Viktor Dostov stated that it is unclear how this will affect competition in the market as the equity amount might be a problem for some.

Why is this important for startups to know? Regulation in the online payments space in Russia is a huge thing. The bill will create trust into the system, further increasing the amount of money people spend online. Approximately 1.4 billion euro online market is considerable and in a few years time, that will certainly begin to show in the kind of companies Russia is able to spur into the web space.

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