The central bank's new regulations on anti-monopoly supervision in the field of payment have raised concerns.
The payment and settlement market is expected to form a new pattern
Our reporter Chen Guojing
In order to further standardize the payment service market and prevent payment risks, the People's Bank of China, in conjunction with relevant departments, has studied and drafted the "Regulations on Non-Bank Payment Institutions (Draft for Comment)", which will solicit public opinions from the public on January 20.
Among them, the regulatory measures to strengthen anti-monopoly in the payment field have attracted much market attention.
Once the "Regulations" are implemented, how much impact will it have on the payment industry?
Upgrading of regulatory laws
The drafting of the "Regulations" means that the legal level of payment industry supervision is expected to be further improved.
As early as June 2010, the Central Bank formulated the "Measures for the Administration of Payment Services for Non-Financial Institutions", laying the foundation for the supervision of non-bank payment institutions.
The drafting of the "Regulations" will upgrade departmental rules to administrative regulations.
Dong Ximiao, the chief researcher of China Merchants Finance and the chief researcher of Zhongguancun Internet Finance Research Institute, said that preventing financial risks in the payment field is an important part of keeping the bottom line of systemic financial risks.
In order to meet the needs of market development, opening to the outside world and strengthening supervision, it is urgent to speed up the promulgation of the "Regulations", upgrade the legal level of supervision of payment institutions, further regulate the compliance operations of payment institutions, and maintain the healthy development of the payment service market.
In recent years, my country’s payment market has developed rapidly. Bank payments and non-bank payments have gone hand in hand. Payment methods and products have been introduced. However, some problems have been exposed in the process of rapid business development.
In response to the chaos in the payment industry, relevant regulatory measures have been intensively introduced in recent years.
In April 2016, the Central Bank and other 14 ministries and commissions jointly issued the "Implementation Plan for the Special Rectification of Risks in Non-bank Payment Institutions"; in the "Implementation Plan for the Special Rectification of Internet Financial Risks" announced in October 2016, the chaos in the payment market was also suppressed. Listed as important content.
Since 2017, the central bank and related institutions have issued intensive documents on reserve funds, inter-bank clearing, business licenses, and barcode payments. The combination of "strict supervision" and "strong service" has played a "combined fist" to clean up the payment market. ".
However, because the relevant system documents belong to departmental regulations and have a low level of deterrence, it is difficult to fully meet the regulatory needs of the payment and clearing market.
Dong Ximiao believes that after the promulgation of the "Regulations", my country's payment and clearing market will form a pattern of "payment to payment, liquidation to liquidation, and service to service". Product innovation is promoted in an orderly manner, the competitive environment is more fair, and the needs of the people can be better met. , To help build a new development pattern with the domestic big cycle as the main body and the domestic and international double cycles promote each other.
Strengthen antitrust supervision
In the "Regulations", the most concerned by the market is the anti-monopoly regulatory measures.
Article 55 of the “Regulations” clarifies that if a non-bank payment institution has one of the following circumstances, the People’s Bank of China may consult with the State Council’s anti-monopoly law enforcement agency to give an early warning of its adoption of interviews and other measures: The market share of the service market reached one-third; the total market share of the two non-bank payment institutions in the non-bank payment service market reached one-half; the total market share of the three non-bank payment institutions in the non-bank payment service market reached Three fifths.
Article 56 of the "Regulations" stipulates that in any of the following circumstances, the People’s Bank of China may consult with the State Council’s Anti-Monopoly Law Enforcement Agency to review whether a non-bank payment institution has a dominant market position: a non-bank payment institution in the national electronic payment market The share reached one-half; the total market share of the two non-bank payment institutions in the national electronic payment market reached two-thirds; the total market share of the three non-bank payment institutions in the national electronic payment market reached three-quarters.
Dong Ximiao believes that the detailed provisions of the Regulations on anti-monopoly and prevention of disorderly capital expansion are a manifestation of the spirit of the Central Economic Work Conference to “strengthen anti-monopoly and prevent disorderly expansion of capital” and help strengthen anti-monopoly regulations in the payment service market. To maintain a fair market competition order and protect the legitimate rights and interests of market participants.
In addition, the "Regulations" and the "Anti-Monopoly Law" are effectively linked, giving the central bank the authority to determine the monopoly status of the payment service market, filling the gap in relevant laws and regulations.
In addition, it is worth noting that the “Regulations” clarify that the same legal person cannot hold more than 10% of the equity of two or more non-bank payment institutions, and the same actual controller cannot control two or more non-bank payment institutions, which helps prevent capital Disorderly expansion in the payment service market.
There are still issues to be clarified
After the "Regulations" are implemented, does it mean that the businesses of related payment industry giants will face splits in the future?
In the opinion of the industry, there are still two points to be further clarified: First, the caliber of the payment business.
Wang Pengbo, a senior analyst in the financial industry, believes that the "Regulations" divides payment business into stored-value account operations and payment transaction processing. Under the new classification method, the scope and caliber of its correspondence needs to be further clarified by the central bank.
On this basis, we can further judge whether the company has a dominant market position.
Second, the pre-warning line and the identification line of market dominance are not consistent.
The relevant market scope mentioned in Article 55 (Early Warning Measures for Market Dominance Position) of the Regulations is the "non-bank payment service market", and the relevant market scope mentioned in Article 56 (Determination of Market Dominance Situation) It is the "national electronic payment market", the two are not consistent, the latter is obviously larger than the former.
The payment system operation report recently released by the Central Bank defines the national electronic payment market as: the number and amount of account change business initiated by customers from settlement accounts through online banking, telephone banking, mobile banking, ATM, POS and other electronic channels , Including 6 business types including online payment, telephone payment, mobile payment, ATM business, POS business and other electronic payments.
Within this scope, another question to be clarified is whether the market share is calculated in terms of amount or number of transactions.
Central bank statistics show that in 2019, in terms of amount, the scale of electronic payment processing nationwide was 2607.04 trillion yuan, and the scale of online payment processing by non-bank payment institutions was 249.88 trillion yuan. The latter is less than one-tenth of the former. In terms of the number of transactions, the scale of electronic payment processing nationwide is 223.388 billion, and the scale of online payment transactions processed by non-bank payment institutions is 71.9988 billion, the latter being approximately three times that of the former.
Dong Ximiao said that how to determine the dominant market position in the future needs to be further clarified.