Banks ask the Ministry of Internal Affairs not to disable offline verification of invalid passports


As it became known to Kommersant, after the failure, the service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of checking according to the list of invalid passports, which banks actively used to identify customers, turned out to be disabled. Market participants fear that the service may not be connected again, while the alternative online verification channel for SMEV 3 is unstable and slow.

As it became known to Kommersant, the National Council of the Financial Market (NSFR) appealed to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the government with a request to restore the operation of the verification service according to the list of invalid passports. The NSFR letter says that under the anti-money laundering law, credit institutions are required to identify a client before accepting a service. According to the regulation of the Central Bank, the document by which identification is carried out must be valid on the date of verification. The government and the Ministry of Internal Affairs did not respond to Kommersant’s requests.

According to market participants, one of the most requested services was the list of invalid passports of Russian citizens, available for downloading into the information systems of credit organizations for offline use. As Aleksey Voylukov, vice president of the Association of Banks of Russia, told Kommersant, the service made it possible to upload a list of invalid passports in the morning and work with it all day: “Checking on the alternative online service SMEV 3 (Interagency Electronic Interaction System.— “b”) depends on its availability, and there are often failures.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Internal Affairs planned to turn off the offline channel two years ago. The NSFR even then appealed to the ministry and the Central Bank of the Russian Federation with a request to maintain the service. After last week’s outage, banks fear it may not recover.

As Alexei Voylukov told Kommersant, there was a failure in the offline service – valid passports were added to the list. This information is also confirmed by the NSFR data, according to which a significant increase in entries was revealed in the list of invalid passports in the period from June 22 to July 4 – an additional 16 million passports were uploaded to 150 million already present.

As of July 6, a comparison of the list of invalid passports uploaded offline with the data of SMEV 3 revealed a discrepancy of about 20% of the records, and rechecking through the form on the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia – up to 60%. “The presence of incorrect entries in the list of invalid passports entails an increase in operational and regulatory risks for credit institutions, and an unreasonable denial of service for their clients,” the NSFR letter says.

However, despite the failure, bankers do not want to switch to SMEV 3. The NSFR emphasizes that using the service on a regular basis to check passports is “extremely difficult due to the long wait for a response (average speed is 30 seconds).” In addition, the service has limits on the number of requests. “The response speed required for the industrial use of the SMEV 3 service in credit institutions to support banking processes is no more than three seconds, and the required number of requests per day is at least 1 million,” the appeal says.

The NSFR is also asked to “work to improve the quality and speed of data provided using SMEV 3” and reconcile the data of all passport verification services.

According to Roman Yakovenko, investment practice adviser at the BVMP Law Office, it is “more convenient for banks to use one window than to use each service separately.” Andrey Petkov, General Director of IFC Honest Word, adds that the main problem with the SMEV 3 service is instability: “The service is constantly down, which leads to difficulties in checking customer data, and when a decision on an application needs to be made within a few minutes, such delays become critical. In addition, the top manager notes, the transition to SMEV 3 requires “attracting additional resources.”

Maxim Buylov

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