Major Russian Companies Will Be Forced to Accept Digital Ruble Payments

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According to a recent report, major Russian enterprises would be required to accept digital ruble payments starting in October 2026. According to Interfax, smaller enterprises would most likely have to follow suit and embrace the CBDC by October 2027.

Major Russian Companies Obliged to Accept Digital Ruble?

According to Interfax, a “source familiar with the situation” revealed that the government and Central Bank officials intend to change the country’s statute “on the protection of consumer rights.”

According to the source, the initial wave of enterprises will include suppliers (including data and service providers) with yearly revenues of more than $330,000. The group must begin taking CBDC payments by October 1, 2026. Companies with yearly revenues ranging from $220,000 to $330,000 will have an additional year to adapt.

However, smaller businesses may be spared from the new regulations. According to the media site, enterprises with yearly revenues of less than $55,000 will not be required to make CBDC payments at all.

Central Bank to Use Familiar Adoption Strategy

Banks and the Kremlin have a prior history. They used a “similar approach” to the Mir payments system, which launched in 2017.
The amendment would also include provisions for the Faster Payments System (SBP), another Central Bank project.

According to the bank, the system “allows individuals to instantly transfer funds to each other using mobile phone numbers, pay for purchases, pay utility bills, and make a wide variety of other transfers.” Larger enterprises must implement SBP pay by October 1 of the current year. Medium-sized firms will have until October 1, 2025. Interfax reported that it had seen an accompanying note from the Central Bank that read:

“This bill provides for a staged approach. This will provide merchants with the ability to make payments using SBP and digital rubles. And it will let merchants prepare for the implementation of the requirements of the bill.”

The bank further enthused:

“We took a similar approach to introduce the mandatory acceptance of Mir payment cards and this proved effective.”

The new measure has yet to be passed by MPs, but the concept that CBDC recognition “may become mandatory” marks a significant change for the Central Bank. The bank has previously stated that consumers will be able to choose whether or not to utilize the digital ruble.

CBDC Reluctance in Russia?

There are also suggestions that the public is wary of the Central Bank coin. A Moscow-based business operator told, on condition of anonymity:

“I don’t really see why the digital ruble is necessary. I’m not opposed to it in principle. It may prove to be a good idea in the long term. But I have no idea how it’d help me or my business at this point.”

Despite the bank’s assertion, several experts believe it is already planning to issue mandated CBDC pension and benefits payments.

The Central Bank stated that its current priority is adoption by significant Russian firms. CBDC B2B transactions will incur a 0.3% commission cost, while transfers between individuals will be commission-free. According to reports, the bank’s latest step “is aimed at promoting competition, improving the quality and availability of payment services, and scaling settlements in digital rubles.”

Major Russian Companies Stand to Benefit from Digital Ruble?

The bank has also allegedly asserted that “adoption of the law will allow merchants to reduce costs for payment services.”

According to government data, 1.5 million Russian enterprises would have embraced SBP payment infrastructure by the end of 2023. This amount represents a significant increase from the 560,000 SBP-adopting enterprises reported in 2022.

A “second group of 17 banks” is expected to join the CBDC trial later this year, along with “several tens of thousands of firms and individuals.”

Author: Simeon

Simeon is a seasoned crypto writer with a passion for exploring the fascinating world of blockchain and digital currencies. With a background in finance and technology, Simeon brings a unique perspective to his writing, delving into the complexities of decentralized finance, cryptocurrency trading, and emerging blockchain projects.