Turkey's state-owned lender, Ziraat Bank and the Russian Central Bank have agreed to cooperate in the use of Russia's National Payment Card (MIR) in Turkey.
The National Payment Card System Joint Stock Company (NSPK), a subsidiary of the Russian Central Bank, began issuing MIR cards in 2015, according to a statement by Ziraat Bank issued yesterday.
As part of the deal, MIR clients will be able to use their cards in Turkey through Ziraat's payment network, which includes over 7,000 ATMs and 500,000 contracted shops.
This cooperation will contribute to the two countries' historical relations and Turkey's tourism industry in particular. According to the Culture and Tourism Ministry's latest figures announced last week, Russians accounted for nearly 15% or more than 2.7 million of the foreign tourists that visited the country in the first six months of this year. The figure corresponded to an increase of 13.9% compared to the same period of 2018.
Russia was also the top country with 5.96 million visitors in 2018, or 15.1% of all foreign visitors to Turkey. The same figure stood at 4.7 million in 2017.