MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. Around 8 mln Mir payment cards have been issued as of early June, Chief Executive Officer of the Russian National Payment Cards System (NSPC) Vladimir Komlev told TASS.
"Eight million cards have already been issued and circulate, which is saying something. It’s not 100 thousand and not even 500 thousand, it’s already 8 mln cards, meaning people wanted to get Mir cards since this is a competitive product," Komlev said.
Earlier Russian Central Bank’s Deputy Chairman Olga Skorobogatova said up to 20 mln Mir cards will be issued by the end of 2017.
The need to develop a national payment system in Russia was prompted by the U.S. 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.
As of May 2017, 356 banks (or 58% of all Russian credit organizations) jointed the Mir system.