Mir (payment system)

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IndustryFinancial services
Area served
Russian Federation
South Ossetia
ProductsDebit cards, Credit cards, payment systems

Mir (Russian: Мир, IPA: [ˈmʲir]; lit. the world; peace) is a national payment system established by the Central Bank of Russia by the law adopted in May 1, 2017.[1] It is currently accepted mostly by Russia-based companies, such as Aeroflot or Russian Railways, though it is gradually gaining acceptance among foreign companies with Russian operations.[2] The system is operated by the Russian National Card Payment System [ru], a wholly owned subsidiary of the Central Bank of Russia.[3]

The system was devised in 2016 as a way to overcome potential blocks of electronic payments, after several Turkish banks were denied services by US-based Visa and MasterCard because of the sanctions regime against them.[4] The first cards working on the Mir system were launched in December 2015.[5] Sberbank, Russia's leading bank, started issuing them in October 2016.[6] By the end of 2016, 1.76 million Mir cards had been issued by 64 banks,[7] rising to 37 million by June 2018.[8]

Mir is mainly promoted by the Russian government, with proposed legislation mandating that all welfare payments should be processed through the system by January 2018.[9] Banks are reluctant to issue them, as their cost might be higher compared to cards belonging to more established payments systems.[10][11][12] On May 1, 2017 the law mandating all banks to use Mir for welfare and pension payments entered into force.[1]

The system was also introduced in South Ossetia[13] and in 2019 in Turkey,[14] while Venezuela plans to introduce Mir in 2019.[15]


  1. ^ a b "Путин подписал закон об обязательном переводе бюджетников на карты "Мир"". Interfax.ru (in Russian). 2017-05-01. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  2. ^ "AliExpress First Foreign Company to Accept Russia's Mir Payment Cards". Moscow Times. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  3. ^ "The Bank of Russia issues warning over Mir payment cards". Russia Beyond The Headlines. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  4. ^ "McDonald's first U.S. business to accept Russia's new Mir payment card". UPI. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Seven Russian banks start issuing first cards of Mir payment system". www.thepaypers.com. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Sberbank launches servicing of Mir payment cards". Russia Beyond The Headlines. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  7. ^ "About 20 mln Mir cards may be issued next year in Russia". TASS (in Russian). Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Комлев: карта «Мир» есть у каждого четвертого россиянина". Банки.ру. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Top Russian Banks Lobby Against Forced Use of Kremlin's Mir Payment Card". Moscow Times. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  10. ^ News, East-West Digital (20 June 2016). "National bank card MIR soon accepted ubiquitously in Russia in spite of security and financial challenges". East-West Digital News. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  11. ^ Колебакина, Дмитрий Катаргин, Елена. "«Карта «Мир» – это такая советская ситуация, когда «счастье» навязывается сверху...»". БИЗНЕС Online (in Russian). Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  12. ^ "Банки объяснили причины высокой стоимости национальной платежной карты". РБК. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  13. ^ "Карта «Мир» сблизила Южную Осетию с остальным миром". AlaniaInform (in Russian). Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  14. ^ "İş Bank first Turkish bank to accept Russian payment system MIR". Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Visa, Mastercard suspend membership of Eurofinance Mosnarbank in payment systems due to sanctions - The World News Monitor - Business Information, Breaking News, Analysis". The World News Monitor. 2019-03-13. Retrieved 2019-06-05.

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