All you need to know about the Russian “Mir” payment system?

Like many electronic payment systems, Russia has its own electronic payment system known as “Mir”, which is a Russian bank card that operates by a national payment system, launched in 2015 after a number of Russian banks encountered problems with companies American payment due to Western sanctions against Moscow.


MIR is a Russian financial services company that provides bank cards to banks headquartered in Moscow, Russia and owned by a subsidiary of the Central Bank of Russia. Mir facilitates electronic money transfers based on the national payment system established by the Central Bank of Russia under the law adopted on May 1, 2017.

Mer does not issue cards or set prices and fees to consumers; Instead, Mer provides financial institutions (eg: banks) with Mer-branded payment products which they then use to offer credit cards, checking account cards or other software to their customers.

Mir cards are mostly accepted by Russia-based companies, such as Aeroflot or Russian Railways, although they are gradually becoming popular among foreign companies that do part of their business in Russia.

History of the MIR Payment System

The idea for MIR was born out of a series of joint initiatives between the Central Bank of Russia and the World Bank in the mid-2000s aimed at creating a framework for an independent payment processing system within Russia, while development was nearing completion, but the global financial crisis ( 2008) Activity on the project is indefinite.

On the basis of this core work, MIR was formalized as a system in 2014 as a way to overcome potential problems of electronic payments within Russia, after many Russian banks were denied access to the services of American companies due to international sanctions during the Ukraine crisis. Sanctions The first cards running on the MIR system were launched in December 2015.

Sberbank, the leading bank in Russia, began issuing Mir cards in October 2016. By the end of 2016, 1.76 million Mir cards were issued by 64 banks, and as of February 2021, 89.4 million cards were issued.

3.5 billion MIR payments were completed in 2020, 75% more than in 2019, and in March 2021 the Russian national payment system announced a ban on the renewal of foreign electronic wallets, such high-risk operations.

In March 2019, the contactless payment system Mir Pay was launched from smartphones, as the service allows payment at any station where contactless Mir cards are accepted, and the application is also available on smartphones running the Android operating system.

And in 2019, Aloqabank in Uzbekistan became an issuer of UzCard cards with the MIR payment application, on July 20, 2021, Apple allowed the use of Mir cards in the Apple Pay payment service, and in January 2022 the Russian retail company Wildberries reported that the share of MIR card payments in 2021 It exceeded the share of competitors such as Visa and MasterCard.

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