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Russia’s national payment system MIR looks to expand to Europe

Russia’s national payment system MIR looks to expand to Europe
MIR payment system, developed by Russia in response to Western sanctions, is set to hit the European market. It will launch a pilot project at the Russian-British business forum in London on Wednesday.

PayXpert will become the unique acquirer of MIR cards in Europe, and the UK will be the first country where the system will operate, according to one of the organizers of the business event, the Roscongress Foundation.

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“The launch of our joint project with PayXpert is the first and foremost step in the development of MIR acquiring in Europe, which will lay the foundation for new promising trends in the foreign expansion of Russian payment cards,” said CEO of the MIR payment system Vladimir Komlev.

The Russian payment system is expected to open up access to the Russian consumer market and boost the turnover between Russia and the UK, as it will simplify payment transactions for customers of different companies. The tourist sector is also set to benefit from the project, since more than 40 million Russian tourists visit Europe annually.

“Demonstrating the potential of Russia’s financial services abroad is extremely important,” Russian Trade Representative in the UK Boris Abramov said, vowing to assist in connecting new organizations in the UK to the payment scheme.

PayXpert says that MIR is “a solid cross border payment system” that can make a company attractive to more than 147 million Russian potential customers and give access to new Eastern European and Asian markets.

Russia started developing its own national payment system when the US targeted it with sanctions in 2014. Back then clients of several Russian banks were temporarily unable to use Visa and Mastercard due to the restrictions. Since the introduction of the new system, Russian banks have already issued more than 69.7 million MIR cards.

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