Turkey's İş Bank has become the first bank in the country to accept the Russian national payment card, Mir at all its ATMs and member businesses.
With this cooperation, Turkey becomes the first country to use Mir cards among non-Russian speaking countries. Thus, with the tourism season just around the corner, Turkey's largest private bank İş will likely handle some 56 million Mir cards at more than 10,000 e-commerce points, over 400,000 businesses and more than 6,500 ATMs.
İş Bank Deputy General Manager Yalçın Sezen said with the acceptance of Mir cards it will be easier for Russian visitors to access services like transportation, tourism and retail. He added that Russian guests will be able to purchase air tickets, book hotels, shop and meet their cash needs 24/7 in Turkey, thanks to the bank's vast ATM network.
"İş Bank attaches special importance to cross-border payments. We strive to support our member businesses with the payment solutions we provide for the sales of goods and services abroad through physical and electronic channels in order to integrate them into the global system," Sezen said.
"I think this cooperation between our bank and Mir, which has brought our member businesses and Russian consumers closer together, will help us improve trade and increase the volume of e-exports between Russia and our country by using local currencies via local payment systems."
Vladimir Komlev, the general manager of Russia's National Payment Card System (NSPK), said that for many years Turkey served as one of the most popular tourist destinations for Russians, underlining that more than 5.8 million Russian citizens visited Turkey in 2018 alone.
"When the holiday season starts, İş Bank will be ready to accept Mir cards, enabling Russian cardholders to perform all forms of transactions," he said.
Mir is a national payment system established by the Central Bank of Russia by a law adopted in May 2017 and it is a Russian alternative to the U.S.-based Visa, MasterCard and PayPal payment systems.
Mir was devised in 2014 as a way to overcome potential blocking of electronic payments after several Russian banks were denied services by U.S.-based Visa and MasterCard because of the sanctions regime against them.