VTB Bank announced the launch of a complete online bank on the Telegram platform. As noted, the service will be available to owners of smartphones of all operating systems, and for iOS users it will become an alternative to the application from the AppStore, which was removed after the bank was included in the list of sanctions from the US authorities. In addition, VTB plans to launch QR code payment and the ability to generate a QR code, transaction history, transfers between accounts, batch bill payment, transfers between accounts from a card at another bank to a card at VTB.
According to Part 1 of art. 2 of Federal Law No. 584-FZ of December 29, 2022, from March 1, 2023, a number of organizations in Russia will be prohibited from using such messengers to transfer payment documents and personal data when providing services.
Roskomnadzor explained to RG that the main criteria for classifying a computer program as a foreign messenger, part 8 of art. 10.1 of Federal Law No. 149-FZ of July 27, 2006 determined the possibility of sending messages to a specific user of the program and the fact that a foreign person owns the program. The Telegram messenger meets these criteria.
Georgy Lobushkin, an expert on the Telegram platform, told RG that a key factor in assessing the need for restrictions for Telegram when working with financial information is whether or not the platform has access to this data.
“Telegram did not know and does not know credit card numbers, real names, transaction histories, etc. All transactions are carried out by banks, and in the messenger, in fact, they put advanced payment links on their side. The messenger, even theoretically, you will not be able to collect a commission on these payments. This means that personal data does not leave the contours of the Russian Federation, and therefore there is not and cannot be any threat to national security,” Lobushkin said.
According to the expert, with such an interpretation, the regulation will not affect the work of the courier in Russia. “Bots will continue to work, payments will be made, and users will not experience the consequences of the new status of the messenger on the territory of the Russian Federation.”
VTB, for its part, reported that they did not plan to limit their activity solely to the Telegram platform.
“VTB plans to launch and develop its online bank not only on the Telegram messenger, but also on other popular platforms,” TASS said, quoting the bank’s message.
In the meantime, the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market will study incoming requests from banks regarding the ban on the transfer of payment information to Telegram, which will come into force on March 1. According to the head of the committee, Anatoly Aksakov, quoted by RIA, if necessary, the deputies will propose amendments to the law.