Russian central bank issues new payment cards to take on Visa and MasterCard

24 decembrie 2015

Thirty-five Russian banks have agreed to participate in the launch of a new national payments card called Mir intended to challenge the dominance of Visa and MasterCard.

„So far, seven of the banks have tested the basic functions of the new’ Mir’ card in their infrastructure for cash withdrawal and deposits through ATMs, payment for goods and services, and fund transfers between cards. Another group of banks is to complete tests by the end of 2015.” according to the press release.

The Bank of Russia holds 100% of the shares of the National Payment Card System, which was founded in July 2014 at the behest of President Vladimir Putin in response to US and EU sanctions which saw MasterCard and Visa cut off services to several of the country’s banks.

Olga Skorobogatova, deputy chair of the Bank of Russia, says: „In a year and a half we have been able to create not only a national payment system, but also to solve two strategic objectives. First, we transmitted the processing of major international payment systems to the NPCS operation clearinghouse. The second objective is the issuing of our own national card.”

The new cards will bear the branding of MasterCard, JCB and American Express under a ‘co-badging’ agreement to ease their acceptance in the market during the pilot phase and to allow for transactions in overseas markets

The central bank commemorated the first issue of Mir cards with a silver coin depicting the cards in a denomination of 3 rubles (see the press release).

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Gabriela Nistor – director general adjunct BT

Tendinţele pe care le-am remarcat înainte de începerea pandemiei s-au accelerat pe perioada stării de urgenţă. Am văzut acest lucru ca o oportunitate, un tipping point pentru bancă. Post-pandemie nu avem cum sa ne întoarcem la comportamentul financiar pe care îl aveam până în februarie a.c. Relaţia românilor cu online-ul s-a schimbat. In plus, cardul fizic se va dematerializa. Vom asista la o scădere a cererii pentru cardurile fizice, respectiv la o creştere a preferinţei pentru componenta digitală a acestora.”


In 23 septembrie 2019, BNR a anuntat infiintarea unui Fintech Innovation Hub pentru a sustine inovatia in domeniul serviciilor financiare si de plata. In acest sens, care credeti ca ar trebui sa fie urmatorul pas al bancii centrale in 2020?