McDonald's in Russia to accept national payment charge cards

© Mikhail Voskresenskiy
McDonald’s restaurants operating in Russia have started accepting the new Mir credit cards. The cards are part of Russia's national payment system which was created in response to Western sanctions.

The Mir payment system was introduced last year after a number of Russian banks (SMP Bank, InvestCapitalBank, Russia Bank and Sobinbank) were unable to use Visa and MasterCard due to US sanctions. Customers found their bank issued credit cards linked to the Visa and MasterCard systems no longer worked.

“Starting July 1, all the McDonald’s outlets accept Mir cards along with the cards of other payment systems,” the company said.

The fast-food chain is the first US-owned company to join the Russian National Payment Card System (NPCS).

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Earlier this week Russia’s Teremok pancake chain began accepting Mir payment cards.

“Teremok is accepting Mir cards in all its restaurants in Moscow and the region,” company founder Mikhail Goncharov told the Kommersant daily, stressing that the chain is ready to introduce the service in other cities.

KFC restaurants in Russia haven’t joined the system yet. However, the company will start accepting the national payment system soon.

“We are ready to start receiving payments via Mir cards as soon as Sberbank – our merchant acquirer – makes the processing possible,” the company said.

The largest issuer banks, VTB and Sberbank, are currently working on the technical integration of the new card into the existing payment system.

McDonald’s offers the Russian charge card its largest customer traffic. Other enterprises that accept Mir payments include Aeroflot, H&M, Mothercare, TELE2 as well as restaurants Jean Jacques and De Marco.

“Everyone realizes that if you want not to lose your clientele, you have to accept these cards,” said VTB 24's Vice President Alexei Kirichek. He added that the largest fast-food chains with heavy customer traffic and high sales level began to accept Mir payments cards despite sanctions.

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Mir charge cards are meant to be used mostly in Russia. However, after agreements to issue co-badged cards under the brands of Mir-Maestro, Mir-JCB and Mir-Amex holders can also use them abroad.