Mir (payment system)

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IndustryFinancial services
Founded2015; 6 years ago (2015)
Headquarters11A Bolshaya Tatarskaya str., ,
Area served
Russia, Belarus, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Turkey, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan (as of November 2020)
ProductsDebit cards, Credit cards, payment systems
  • Mir Pay
  • Mir Secure
ParentPJSC NSPK (100% owned by the Central Bank of Russia)

Mir (Russian: Мир, IPA: [ˈmʲir]; lit.  peace or world) is a Russian multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Moscow, Russia. It facilitates electronic funds transfers based on the national payment system established by the Central Bank of Russia by the law adopted on May 1, 2017.[1] The system is operated by the Russian National Card Payment System [ru], a wholly owned subsidiary of the Central Bank of Russia.[2]

Mir does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers; rather, Mir provides financial institutions with Mir-branded payment products that they then use to offer credit, debit, or other programs to their customers. Mir cards are accepted mostly by Russia-based companies, such as Aeroflot or Russian Railways, although it is gradually becoming popular among foreign companies with Russian operations.[3]


Mir, as an idea, was born out of a series of joint initiatives between the Central Bank of Russia and the World Bank in the mid-2000s that aimed to create a framework of an autonomous payment processing system inside Russia.[4] While development was nearing completion, the Global Financial Crisis put further activity on indefinite hold. On the basis of this groundwork, Mir as a system was formalized in 2014 as a way to overcome potential blocks of electronic payments, after several Russian banks were denied services by US-based Visa and MasterCard because of the sanctions regime against them.[5] The first cards working on the Mir system were launched in December 2015.[6] Sberbank, Russia's leading bank, started issuing them in October 2016.[7] By the end of 2016, 1.76 million Mir cards had been issued by 64 banks.[8] As of February 2021 89.4 million cards have been issued.[9] 3.5 billion payments were issued using Mir in 2020, 75% more than in 2019.[10] In March 2021, the payment system announced a ban on the replenishment of foreign electronic wallets. Such operations are considered high-risk.[11]



Mir is mainly promoted by the Russian government, with legislation mandating that all welfare and pension payments should be processed through the system by January 2018 entering into force on May 1, 2017.[1][12] Banks were reluctant to issue them, as they feared that their cost might be higher compared to cards belonging to more established payments systems.[13][14][15]

Acceptance in other countries[edit]

In 2018, the system was also introduced in Armenia and South Ossetia.[16] In 2019, the system was also introduced in Abkhazia, Turkey and Uzbekistan.[17][18]


  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. ^ "The Bank of Russia issues warning over Mir payment cards". Russia Beyond The Headlines. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "AliExpress First Foreign Company to Accept Russia's Mir Payment Cards". Moscow Times. Retrieved 3 February 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ http://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/777811472539077075/pdf/108086-FSA-P157494-PUBLIC.pdf
  5. ^ "McDonald's first U.S. business to accept Russia's new Mir payment card". UPI. Retrieved 3 February 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Seven Russian banks start issuing first cards of Mir payment system". www.thepaypers.com. Retrieved 3 February 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Sberbank launches servicing of Mir payment cards". Russia Beyond The Headlines. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "About 20 mln Mir cards may be issued next year in Russia". TASS (in Russian). Retrieved 3 February 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "mir website".
  10. ^ "mir website press release".
  11. ^ "«Мир» запретит пополнять со своих карт иностранные электронные кошельки" (in Russian). banki.ru. 2021-03-01.
  12. ^ "Top Russian Banks Lobby Against Forced Use of Kremlin's Mir Payment Card". Moscow Times. Retrieved 3 February 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ 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. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ Колебакина, Дмитрий Катаргин, Елена. ""Карта "Мир" – это такая советская ситуация, когда "счастье" навязывается сверху..."". БИЗНЕС Online (in Russian). Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  15. ^ "Банки объяснили причины высокой стоимости национальной платежной карты". РБК. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  16. ^ "Карта "Мир" сблизила Южную Осетию с остальным миром". AlaniaInform (in Russian). Retrieved 28 December 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "İş Bank first Turkish bank to accept Russian payment system MIR". Retrieved 19 April 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "UZCARD and MIR agreed on issuing Co-badged cards". Retrieved 23 December 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]