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Kazakhstan businessmen avoid POS-terminals, Marchenko concerned

10 января 2013, 12:04
Chairman of Kazakhstan National Bank Gregory Marchenko. Photo by Tengrinews©
Chairman of Kazakhstan National Bank Gregory Marchenko. Photo by Tengrinews©
Head of Kazakhstan’s National Bank believes that Kazakhstan businesses are poorly prepared to accept card payments because they have no desire to install POS-terminals, Tengrinews.kz. Over a week ago Kazakhstan introduced amendments into the Administrative Violations Code providing administrative liability for businesses for lack of equipment (unit) for acceptance of payment via bank cards.

“The decree (that requires businesses to accept card payments) was in fact adopted in 2002. And those businessmen who failed to get ready in 10 years time obviously just don't want to (install POS-terminals). Until recently Almaty had big stores in the city center that did not have a single POS-terminal in them, and that was done purposefully. When I visited those stores, I was told in private conversations that they had an (unofficial) agreement with their supervising authorities,” Gregory Marchenko said at the press-conference.

He says that banks can provide the businesses with the required equipment. “Everyone knew about this decree. And everyone knew ten years ago that our country was moving in this direction. And now it, of course, comes as a surprise, as usual. Just like in the old funny story that said there were four problems in agriculture: winter, spring, summer and autumn. The snow came unexpectedly, as usual.”

Marchenko assured the citizens that mass implementation of POS-terminals will not create the environment for increase of payment cards fraud. “Basically, the level of protection has grown over the last 15 years,” Marchenko said. “Our people started using payment cards in the previous century. The number of active cards now stands at 6.5 million and the total number of issued cards is 15 million.” He called Kazakhstan citizens to timely apply for voluntary insurance and complained that not all Kazakhstan citizens are in a hurry to sign the insurance contracts.

Earlier Soyuz Atameken business union made a statement claiming that more time should be given to businessmen to install POS-terminals. According to the National Bank, penalties for refusing to acceptance a payment via a bank card will range from 34,620 tenge ($231) for individual entrepreneurs to 86,550 ($577) for large business. According to the authority, the regulation will not apply to the individual entrepreneurs and legal entities operating under the special taxation regime until 2014. The penalty will also not be applied to the entrepreneurs working in the areas with no general-use communications networks.

By Alisher Akhmetov

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