January 29, 2020
Electronic Payment Systems of Uzbekistan
2.1. Definition Of A Payment System And Its Subjects
2.3. Payment Service Providers
3.1. Terms Of Payment Services
3.2. Contractual Relations In The System And In The Market Of Payment Services
4.1. The Subjects Of The Electronic Money System
1. General Laws & Regulations
- Law on Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan of 21.12.1995 No. 154-I;
- Law on Payments and Payment Systems of 01.11.2019 No. ZRU-578;
- Law on Banks and Banking Activities of 05.11.2019, No. ZRU-580;
- Law on E-Commerce of 22.05.2015 No. ZRU-385;
- Law on Electronic Document Management of 29.04.2004 No. 611-II;
- Law on Electronic Digital Signature of 11.12.2003 No. 562-II;
- Law on Bank Secrecy of 30.08.2003 No. 530-II;
- Law on the Protection of Information in an Automated Banking System of 04.04.2006 No. ZRU-30;
- Law on Currency Regulation of 07.05.1993 No. 841-XII.
- Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated 19.09.2018 No. PP-3945 “On measures for the development of the national payment system”;
- Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated 23.03.2018, No. PP-3620 “On additional measures to increase the availability of banking services”;
- Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated 14.05.2018 No. PP-3724 “On measures to accelerate the development of electronic commerce”;
- Regulation “On non-cash payments in the Republic of Uzbekistan” approved by the Resolution of the Board of the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated 15.02.2020, No. 3/12, registered by the Ministry of Justice dated 13.04.2020 No. 3229;
- Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated 24.01.1996 No. UP-1363 “On measures to strengthen payment discipline and the system of mutual settlements”;
- Instruction on the inclusion of a commercial bank in the electronic payment system (approved by the Central Bank on 05/10/1997 No. 331).
2. Payment System of the Republic of Uzbekistan
2.1. Definition of a Payment System and its Subjects
A payment system (PS) is a set of relations that ensure payments through the interaction of (1) a PS operator , (2) a PS participant and (3) payment organizations through the use of (a) procedures, (b) infrastructure and (c) payment system rules established by the PS operator . Uzcard , Humo and Upay are currently national payment systems.
2.1.1. Payment System Operators
The PS operator is a legal entity (including a commercial bank) that carries out activities to ensure the functioning of the payment system on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan (hereinafter – RUz) and has received a license to operate as the Payment Systems Operator. It is worth noting that the bank’s license to carry out financial (banking) operations does not cover this activity and therefore a commercial bank also needs to obtain the above-mentioned license. Such organizations are listed in Register of Payment Organizations, which is maintained by the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan (hereinafter – the Central Bank). This Register is not in the public domain.
The following national operators ensure the operation of the largest PS in the territory of the RUz:
- Unified All-Republican Processing Center LLC (Uzcard), incorporated on the basis of and fulfilling the tasks established by RCM of September 24, 2004 445 and Presidential Decree of August 3, 2006 No. PP-433;
- National Interbank Processing Center LLC (Humo), incorporated on the basis of and fulfilling the tasks established by Presidential Resolution of September 19, 2018 No. PP-3945.
PS participants are banks that make settlements and conclude an agreement with the PS operator on participation in the payment system. The order of interaction of the PS participants with the PS operator is determined in the PS rules. For example, the Humo Payment System Rules can be found at the following link.
A payment organization means a legal entity that is not a bank, which is authorized to carry out activities to provide payment services. This type of activity is licensed. The Central Bank acts as the licensor as well. A payment organization may operate as a payment service provider after obtaining a license.
Payment organizations are not entitled to engage in activities not related to the provision of payment services, except for the following activities:
- advertising, marketing, consulting and information services;
- software development, adaptation, modification, technical support;
- services related to the use of information and communication technologies, including information technology services, data processing and transmission services, the creation and use of databases and information resources;
- creation and security of information systems and networks;
- development and implementation of cryptographic information protection tools;
- microfinance services.
Banks and payment organizations are entitled to provide payment services to users of payment services through a payment agent and a payment subagent.
According to the Register in the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the following payment organizations carry out activities:
- Click LLC (Click);
- BRIO GROUP LLC (Oson);
- INSPIRED LLC (Payme);
- National Innovative Payment Technologies LLC (Paymo);
- PAYBOX LLC (Paybox);
- Maroqand LLC (Upay).
PS are divided into (1) significant payment systems and (2) other payment systems. The Central Bank labels particular PS as a significant payment system if:
- its uninterrupted operation contributes to the stable functioning of the payment services market of Uzbekistan;
- and stops (failures) in its operation can lead to risks in the payment services market of Uzbekistan; If it
- occupies a market share of payment services in excess of the value established by the Central Bank for this market; and (or) if through PS
- payments are made on the territory of Uzbekistan during the year in the amount of not less than the indicators established by the Central Bank.
Payment systems that do not meet the above criteria apply to other payment systems. It should also be noted that the above thresholds have not yet been determined by the Central Bank.
2.3. Payment Services Providers
Payment services providers are:
- Central bank;
- payment organizations;
- payment agents;
- payment subagents.
Paying agents are legal entities that are not banks that have concluded an agent agreement with a bank or payment institution for the provision of payment services. In turn, a payment subagent is a legal entity that is not a bank, or an individual entrepreneur who has concluded a subagent agreement for the provision of payment services with a payment agent.
The provision of payment services without a license (obtained form the Central Bank) is prohibited. Only payment agents and subagents may carry out activities without a license. According to Art. 14 of Law No. ЗРУ-578, the following services relate to payment services:
- accepting and making payments using a bank account;
- cash acceptance for crediting to bank accounts without opening an account;
- issue, repayment and sale of electronic money;
- issue and sale of bank cards;
- receiving and processing payments made using electronic money;
- processing payments in electronic form and transmitting the necessary information to the bank for making a payment or accepting funds for these payments;
- receiving and making money transfers through money transfer systems.
Payment services do not include services for:
- transfer of cash by the person making the payment to the person to whom the payer has obligations carried out without the participation of the payment service provider;
- collection of banknotes, coins and valuables;
- carrying out exchange operations with cash foreign currency without opening a bank account;
- ensuring information, communication and technological interaction between the beneficiary and the payment service provider when the latter transfers funds in favor of the beneficiary of accepted payments without third parties.
3.1. Terms of Payment Services
When providing payment services, the payment service provider ensures that the following conditions are met:
- proper verification and identification of the user of payment services in accordance with the AML/CFT legislation (due diligence);
- the presence in the payment document of the details of the payer and beneficiary stipulated by AML/CFT legislation, with the exception of the cases when the payment organization provides services for receiving cash for making payments without opening a bank account by the payer;
- ensuring safety for at least five years after the provision of payment services of information allowing identification of the payer and (or) beneficiary;
- take the necessary legal, organizational and technical measures to protect the identification means of the payment service user.
The payment service provider, after the provision of the payment service, provides the payment service user with a document confirming the fact of the provision of the payment service, on paper or in electronic form.
Payment system operators and payment service providers ensure the confidentiality of information received by them when rendering payment services, and do not allow their disclosure to third parties, with the exception of cases provided for by the Law “On Bank Secrecy”.
3.2. Contractual Relations in the System and in the Market of Payment Services
The Law on Payments and Payment Systems with a different level of detail governs contractual relations between PS entities. Pointing out the contractual nature of the relationship, the Law, on the one hand, contains only references to the following agreements:
- agreement on participation in the payment system
- agreement on the interaction of payment systems
- service settlement agreement between the bank and the payment institution;
- agreement between a payer and an issuer of electronic payment methods.
- agreement between the issuer of electronic payment methods and the holder of the electronic payment method.
- agreement between a bank card issuer and a bank card holder.
- bank card agreement;
- agreement between a payment agent and an issuer of electronic money or an operator of an electronic money system;
- agreement between the issuer of electronic money and the owner of electronic money – an individual.
- agreement between an issuer of electronic money and an individual entrepreneur or legal entity.
- agreement between the issuer of electronic money or the operator of the electronic money system and the owner of electronic money.
On the other hand, the Law regulates the following agreements with a certain level of detail:
- contract for the provision of payment services;
- agency or subagent agreement for the provision of payment services;
- an agreement on the issue, use and redemption of electronic money;
- an agreement between an electronic money system operator and an electronic money issuer.
Electronic money is the unconditional and irrevocable monetary obligations of the issuer of electronic money, stored in electronic form and accepted as a means of payment in the electronic money system. When paying for goods sold (works and services) in the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan, only electronic money issued on its territory can be accepted. Acceptance of electronic money by an individual entrepreneur or legal entity as payment when making a transaction is carried out on the basis of an agreement concluded with the issuer of electronic money or another bank that is a member of the electronic money system .
An electronic money system is a payment system that provides payments and other transactions using electronic money through the interaction of an electronic money system operator with an electronic money issuer and / or electronic money owners.
4.1. Subjects of the Electronic Money System
The electronic money system operator is a bank or other legal entity that has an appropriate license and ensures the functioning of the electronic money system.
The electronic money issuer are the Central Bank and commercial banks. Electronic money issuers notify the Central Bank of the start of electronic money issuing activities.
The owners of electronic money can be:
- individuals who have received electronic money from other individuals, an issuer of electronic money, an operator of an electronic money system or an agent of an electronic money system;
- electronic money system agents – banks or payment agents engaged in the acquisition and sale of electronic money to individuals on the basis of an agreement concluded with an electronic money issuer or an electronic money system operator;
- individual entrepreneurs and legal entities that received electronic money from individuals as payment for transactions.