St Petersburg, Russia
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craig@ViannaInRussia.com

FAQ 2 Considerations for THInK Payments

Vianna's RETURN to Moscow

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ii - Payments to THInK - Practical and Legal considerations

THInK is based in Montana, in the United States of America. With this comes specific legal and taxation requirements.

Credit / Debit Card payments – Practical considerations :
  • Your Credit or Debit card will have limitations on how much money you can transfer in a single day or even a single month. You will need to make sure that you have sufficient funds in your account and you will also need to know what your limits are on your card.
Cash Payments – Legal considerations for THInK :
  • THInK is a company based in the United States and this means that they are legally not allowed to accept any cash payments in Russia.
  • According to Russian Federation laws – the collection of cash in any foreign currency without the proper authorisation from the relevant Russian government department, would be illegal.
  • The collection of cash would require a specific machine issued in accordance to the Russian taxation departments rules and regulations. THInK would not qualify for this machine as they are not a company based in Russia.(This machine is used to issue cash payment receipts).
  • Currency regulations would also apply, especially with regards to currency exchange. THInK is not authorised to perform any currency exchange transactions.
Cash Payments – Practical considerations for THInK :
  • If THInK had to collect a minimum amount of cash from about 10% of the attendees, they would have to much physical cash to be transported in and around the event hotel and Moscow without risk to their own safety. That would require additional security to protect the person who was looking after the cash, and it would be a safety risk that we would not want to impose on anyone.
  • THInK are only allowed to transport $10’000 US Dollars per family when they come into or leave the Russian Federation. Anything more than that amount would require additional documentation and also declaration to the Russian Customs authorities on entry or exit.
  • If THInK were to accept cash payments, it would increase the number of people who would attempt to register for the seminars at the last minute. This in turn would mean that we would probably not have enough manuals for the attendee’s, and we could possibly run out of space and not have enough seating or even coffee break coffee and snacks for everyone. Not to mention, the more people who attempt to sign up at the last minute would increase the registration time, and this in turn would mean those who already had paid in advance would possibly lose time with Vianna in the seminars.
Bank Payments – Legal Considerations for THInK :
  • To make any Bank payments from Russia to the USA, there are certain legal considerations that apply. The first would be to comply with the Russian Central Banks regulations which apply to prevent fraudulent money laundering or the provision of funds in aid of supporting terrorism. To this end, any bank in Russia is authorised to request various types of documents to prove:
    • That the funds are being sent to a legal entity, for a legal reason
    • That the funds being sent were obtained legally by the person sending the funds
  • If the above requested documents are not supplied in time, or are incorrect in any way, then the Bank is legally allowed to refuse to make the payment. (And this has happened a number of times in the past when payments were attempted from various cities across Russia.)
Bank Payments – Practical Considerations for THInK :
  • All payments that are made to the USA from Russia, can take about 10 working days to clear into the account of THInK in the United States. Taking into consideration the number of Public and National holidays in both Russia and the USA, it would complicate things if payments were not authorised for any reason.
  • The risk of a payment not going through from Russia to the USA is too much at this stage, as the political and economic issues between the two countries is constantly changing, raising issue after issue every month.
  • If a bank payment was rejected within the minimum period of 10 days, then it could be possible that the funds would not be available to be used for payment for the seminar, as they would be stuck in the banking system. This would increase stress for both you and the THInK team, which is not optimal.
PayPal Payments – Legal Considerations for THInK :
  • THInK have operated a PayPal payment system for many years now and have a very good record with PayPal. This means that there are very few issues or problems that occur with any PayPal payments once they have been made successfully. This track record is like a credit history, and it means that there is a much lower risk of any payments being flagged as suspicious.
  • The manner that PayPal authenticate all PayPal accounts worldwide, means that PayPal have already done a level of due diligence as required by each countries central banking systems. This covers all the legal requirements etc that apply within either Russia or the USA.
PayPal Payments – Practical Considerations :
  • PayPal requires that anyone who opens a new PayPal account needs to complete specific documentation requirements before they remove any limitations on the PayPal account. In Russia, this means that you could wait up to 30 working days before they process your account, to remove the limitations that are automatically introduced on new accounts.
  • With this in mind, if you link any Credit or Debit card to a new or existing PayPal account, PayPal will require that if you use that card to process any payment through PayPal, that you use the account that is linked to that card. So if you are paying an invoice, and if you have linked the credit or debit card to an existing or new PayPal account, the maximum amount you will be able to pay will be dependent on your PayPal account limitations.
  • To avoid having to open a new account, and to have to follow the process to remove limitations on a new PayPal account, THInK can issue an invoice to you from PayPal. You should very carefully make sure you pay it with your credit or debit card without opening a new account with PayPal or linking your credit or debit card to a PayPal account.