2 Sep 2021 21:21

Wildberries conflict with Visa, Mastercard isolated case, but changes will happen on payments market - Kostin

VLADIVOSTOK. Sept 2 (Interfax) - The conflict of major Russian online retailer Wildberries with international payment systems Visa and Mastercard is an isolated case, but changes on the payments market will follow, President and Chairman of the Management Board of VTB Andrei Kostin said.

"You see, our online systems are developing, and payment systems probably have to somehow go with that too, so I think there will be some kinds of changes in the methods, the terms of payment systems," Kostin told reporters on the sidelines of the 2021 Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).

"From the legal perspective, the issue, as I understand it, is very mixed; therefore, each of the parties finds legal arguments in the legislation and so on. I think they will reach an agreement sooner or later, because no one is interested in somehow disrupting this market," he said.

It was reported earlier that from August 16, Wildberries had lowered its prices to reflect the interbank fee that had previously been included in the price of goods. Buyers can save money by using Russia's Mir, Faster Payments System, or SberPay, but the fee via Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. will remain at the level set earlier of up to 2% of the product's cost.

The online retailer's decision raised questions from the foreign Visa and Mastercard payment systems. Wildberries said that Visa and Mastercard set rates that were "too high" and dictated their own terms of business. The payment systems said in response that Wildberries' actions amounted to restricting competition.

According to Kostin, the online retailer did not have the task of promoting Russian payment systems. "I don't think Wildberries had the task of promoting Russian [payment systems] and definitely spoiling [the relationship with foreign payment systems]. It's just that the rates really are very high for these Western systems. They don't take as much in the West as here," he said.

"I think that for now this is something of an isolated case, but I reiterate that they have their arguments. Plus, we are always in favor of moving the Russian systems forward," Kostin said.