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MOSCOW, May 23. /TASS/. More than 6.2 mln cards of Russia’s national payment system Mir have been issued as of early May 2017, according to Russian Central Bank's Chief Elvira Nabiullina.
"More than 6 mln cards have already been issued," she said Tuesday, adding that there are also plans "to promote the card in the Eurasian space."
The need to develop a national payment system in Russia was prompted by the US sanctions imposed in the spring of 2014. Due to the sanctions, the world’s two largest payment systems Visa and MasterCard blocked transactions with the cards of Russia’s Rossiya Bank, its subsidiary Sobinbank, and SMP Bank without any notice on March 21, 2014.
On April 13, the committee on financial market of Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) passed amendments to the draft law on a gradual transfer of public sector workers and persons entitled to welfare benefits to domestically-issued Mir payment cards, under which all cash dispensers and terminals operated by Russian banks will be required to accept Mir cards for payment from July 1, 2017. Also, all Russian businesses with transactions of over 40 million rubles ($700,000) a year must start accepting Mir payment cards starting July 1, 2017.