3 main problems of the new Law about Registars of Settlement Transactions and how it threatens Ukrainian business
The transactional business has been actively discussing draft law 1053–1 all week, which introduces amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On the application of registrars of settlement transactions in the field of trade, public catering and services” to refine settlements in the field of trade and services ”(RST). It’s hard to pronounce, and scary to realize it.
However, this topic has a top priority for everyone who works with payments — half of networking at PayTech Ukraine 2019 was dedicated to it. I already gave some comments to Ukrainian media about this law, its harsh criticism from the profile associations and possible consequences for all. I decided to systematize all thoughts on it for my subscribers and regular readers.
Unequal conditions with no alternative
The main problem of the RST is that it introduces completely discriminatory conditions into this complicated case and fixes a violation of competition in the money transfer market.
Both banks and NFIs (non-banking financial institutions) that work with the transfer of funds are accountable and controlled by a single regulator — NBU. Both are submitted to the regulator the corresponding statistical reporting, which contains the entire list of operations for the transfer of funds, including those that are carried out using cash-in payment kiosks. This places unequal conditions on financial market participants.
What about RSTs themselves as physical units?
Not a single software recorder of settlement transactions has been put into commercial operation and not included in the register of authorized devices for use. This is nonsense for any implementation of this law.
I will say even more — the tax service of Ukraine has not yet determined the technical requirements for data formats in which such RST must transmit information to the server of the controlling authority. In other words, something that can’t work either technically or legally is already required for installation.
Penalties and possible pressure on business
The new law repeals the decree of Poroshenko’s times, which imposed a fine of 5х the unearned sum for violation of cash discipline. Now, for the same violation, the business will have to pay 150% of the value of the unearned amount (at least 850.00 UAH, although earlier it could have been limited with 500.00 UAH). But the worst thing is the new opportunity to speculate on the issue and put some pressure on the business. The amount of the fine is quite large, each appeal of a citizen is a check + fine. Where’s the guarantee that the fiscal service won’t abuse it’s new powers? Past experience has shown that such changes are rarely positive.
The idea of using a software registrars of settlement transactions is progressive and necessary. But — like any systemic reform — it works only when there are favorable conditions for business to apply it. Its “correct «implementation» will be able to significantly control settlement operations at a new level and reduce business costs. I can’t say this about law project # 1053–1. I am pleased with some decisions and the pace of the new parliament. But productivity growth should never affect the quality of work — otherwise any growth doesn’t matter.