The Council of Ministers and the National Bank, by their joint July 9 directive, have extended the number of private companies that must accept payment cards.
Under the directive, private businesses that had revenues exceeding 15,000 times the Base Rate, or 525 million rubels, in the previous calendar year will be required to use card-processing payment terminals. Currently, the requirement applies only to companies with the revenues exceeding 5,000 times the Base Rate.
Service businesses will have to accept payment by card if their revenues in the previous calendar year exceeded 7,500 times the Base Rate, compared with 2,500 times the Base Rate at present.
Businesses will have two years to install the terminals, which is a year less than currently. The directive also extends a list of goods and services that can be sold without the use of cash-tills or payment terminals. Among the new items on the list are newspapers and magazines; books and textbooks sold by retail units at educational institutions; medications and other medical products at drug stores in rural areas; and services offered by small bathhouses in rural areas and small post offices.
The directive gives the State Standardization Committee until July 1, 2010 to draw up and adopt state standards for automatic selling machines in order to improve control over cash in circulation.