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 Russian 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 69.8 million by November 2019.[8]

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][9] Banks were reluctant to issue them, as they feared that their cost might be higher compared to cards belonging to more established payments systems.[10][11][12]

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

Mir Card acceptance in other countries[edit]


NAPAS and NSPK have agreed to accept payments using Russia’s MIR card in Vietnam. The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) and Vietnam - Russia Joint Venture Bank (VRB) will be the first banks in the NAPAS system to provide services allowing MIR chip cardholders to pay via BIDV’s POS network and withdraw cash through VRB’s ATM network in Vietnam.


NSPK in talks about using Mir payment cards with banks in Thailand. "The National Payment Card System, the operator of the Mir payment system, is in talks with a number of the largest banks in Thailand, including Kasikornbank, Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, about the possibility of using their ATMs to withdraw cash and carrying out payments using Mir cards; as well as servicing in trade and enterprises operated by these banks."

United Kingdom[edit]

MIR Card payment system, developed by Russia, is set to hit the European market. It will launch a pilot project at the Russian-British business forum in London on Wednesday. PayXpert will become the first acquirer of MIR cards in Europe, and the UK will be the first country where the system will operate, according to one of the organizers of the business event, the Roscongress Foundation. “The launch of our joint project with PayXpert is the first and foremost step in the development of MIR acquiring in Europe, which will lay the foundation for new promising trends in the foreign expansion of Russian payment cards,” said CEO of the MIR payment system Vladimir Komlev.


  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. ^ "Russia's national payment system MIR looks to expand to Europe". 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.

External links[edit]