Kazakhstan’s ex Central Bank Governor on e-money02 october 2014, 16:52
Gregory Marchenko, ex Governor of Kazakhstan’s Central Bank, told about the necessity of a national payment system in his interview for Russia’s Lenta.ru.
According to Mr. Marchenko, member states of the Customs Union are excessively dependent on foreign payment systems, with introduction of e-currencies by large Western corporations posing a threat to the national security. “Just imagine new Apple Pay, Google Pay or Facebook Pay being introduced. Which products do you think the average Kazakstani would prefer if s/he has been an extensive user of Apple and Facebook? Those offered by Apple and Facebook or those offered by the local banking system? Sure enough, they will opt for their favorite products. And these will be surrogates rather than full-fledged e-money. The surrogates will be assigned the role of a corporate legal tender. The result is dependence of the national economy on means of payment issued by a US company, with the company holding a full database on the citizens. Isn’t it a threat to the national security?”, Mr. Marchenko said.
He emphasized that he had never had any profiles on social networks, believing they seek to obtain information to boost sales. He cited China as en example of a country that has prohibited its government officials to use Apple (…) there is a direct link: as a user you rely on the service, while the Company collects information on you”, he said.
One of the ways to counteract the threat, according to him, is introduction of a national e-money, with the e-money being issued only by central banks of the Customs Union. “If central banks of emerging countries fail to introduce e-money within the following 3 years, it will be too late to do it in five years’ time. The situation in many countries will look as follows: half of cash transactions will be rely on the US Dollar, with the e-money realm dominated by Apple, Google and Facebook. How can you manage a system which is run from abroad?”, he said.
He stressed that earlier attempts to introduce local payment systems had been blocked by local banks. “The Government has to intervene to make sure (…) national security is ensured", he believes.