The Russian payment system Mir is expected to start operating in the Turkish market as early as 2019, Duma Financial Markets Committee Chairman Anatoly Aksakov announced Tuesday. Regarding the access to new markets he said, "Negotiations are underway with India, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Thailand.
Aksakov stressed that these countries host high numbers of Russian tourists every year.
Therefore, he added, they are interested in launching the Mir payment system. "I hope that next year we will settle this issue with Turkey," the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Aksakov as saying. He recalled that cooperation on payment systems has already been implemented with Armenia.
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 Visa, MasterCard and PayPal payment systems. The system 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.
Every fourth Russian uses the national payment card Mir. Russia has already issued more than 45 million of these cards, which is 17 percent of the total issued on the Russian payment market.