A group of seven Russian banks have issued the first national payment card in Russia, known as Mir card.
The launch of the national payment card system was prioritized after US payments providers Visa and MasterCard stopped servicing some Russian banks to adhere to US sanctions amidst Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.
Issuers of the new Mir cards include Gazprombank, MDM Bank, Moscow Industrial Bank, Svyaz-bank, RNCB, Rossiya and SMP Bank, the Russian National System of Payment Cards (NSPC) said in a statement.
The Mir payment system will enable cash deposits and withdrawals, goods and services payments, in addition to card-to-card money transfers.
Another 21 banks have already started testing the cards, and intend to conclude the testing phase before this year end. These banks are expected to announce their acquiring network and issue the cards next year.
Overall, 35 Russian banks including Sberbank and Alfa-Bank are participants of the national payment system.