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    The introduction of the first cards of Russia's Mir national payment system

    Russia's Mir National Payment System to Spread Into Europe

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    Russia's Mir national payment system may soon start functioning across Europe with its operator, the National Payment Card System (NSPK), currently in talks with a number of major European and international payment processors, NSPK head Vladimir Komlev said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Mir national payment system kicked off in Russia on April 1, 2015. The system was created after Visa and MasterCard ceased to serve the cards of some Russian banks because of the US sanctions imposed on Russia amid the conflict in Ukraine. The system seeks to ensure the sovereignty of the national payment industry and secure the processing of domestic transactions using Russian bank cards.

    "We are holding talks with Visa. World payment systems already view us as an interesting partner, as the NSPK has been able to ensure an extensive network for the functioning of the national card in the short period of one year…Now, three major west European processors, from France and Germany for example, are interested in collaborating with the NSPK, they approached us themselves. European retailers want to motivate Russians via a Russian payment system," Komlev said in an interview with the Russian Izvestia newspaper, published on Tuesday.

    The international acceptance of Mir is a key indicator of the system's maturity, he added, noting that agreements have been signed with MasterCard, JCB, AmEX and Union Pay payment systems.

    "We are not just connecting to retail outlets, but also to so-called aggregators, gateways which are connected to tens of thousands of retailers each," Komlev stressed.

    Mir will also soon expend into online payments, with work to integrate it with Ali Pay nearing completion, according to the NSPK head.

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    payment system, expansion, Mir, Russia
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