20 Oct 2014 11:28

Russia's National Payment Card System to be based on OpenWay technology - paper

MOSCOW. Oct 20 (Interfax) - Russia's National Payment Card System (NPCS) has completed its selection of providers of technology on the basis of which an alternative to international payment systems will be built.

A company affiliated with Belgium's OpenWay will soon be declared the winner of a tender held by the Central Bank, national daily Kommersant reported on Monday. OpenWay is the developer of the Way4 card and processing technology. This is company's technology is used by Russia's Universal Electronic Card and processing company UCS.

The paper said that the tender winner will probably not be OpenWay's direct Russian subsidiary LLC Openway Service, which is wholly controlled by Malta-based OpenWay Holdings Ltd, but the company LLC Openway Solutions that was registered in July with Russian owners. The SPARK database shows that 33% stakes in this company are owned by three individuals: Grigory Gitelson, Anna Taratynova and Anton Korytov, a former CEO of Openway Service who is now head of Openway Solutions. This structure makes it possible to meet the requirement that at least a quarter of the software used by Russian payment systems that want the status of being nationally important has to be developed and owned by Russian legal entities.

The parameters of the selection process in the tender and who else bid in it has not been disclosed. The Central Bank and OpenWay declined to comment.

The Central Bank founded the company that will operate the NPCS in the middle of June 2014. The Russian authorities turned to the idea of create the NPCS after international payment systems Visa and MasterCard stopped servicing the cards of a number of Russian banks hit by U.S. sanctions in the spring of 2014. In May Russia passed amendments to the law On the National Payment System under which the NPCS operator is created in the form of an open joint-stock company that is wholly owned by the Central Bank.