The first UnionPay-Mir debit card is set to be issued by Russia’s Rosselkhozbank, based on the card issuance cooperation between UnionPay International and the National Card Payment System Joint Stock Company (NSPK).
The launch of this card enables the Mir card to be used in the UnionPay network covering more than 160 countries and regions outside Russia, therefore significantly enhance payment convenience for the Russian residents. It also means that the card issuance cooperation between UnionPay International and NSPK has made substantial progress.
The Central Bank of the Russian Federation established NSPK in 2014 and the local payment card brand, Mir. Since then, the Bank has been promoting the local banks to accept and issue Mir cards. 130 local banks have joined NSPK so far.
Last September, UnionPay International and NSPK reached an agreement to promote the banks in the system of NSPK to issue UnionPay-Mir debit cards. The landing of this card issuance project means that the UnionPay network is recognized by the national switch network of an overseas market. UnionPay International opens its network to enable the two payment systems compliment each other’s advantages and to enable UnionPay-Mir debit cardholders to use cards in a much more broader scope, greatly enhancing cardholders’ payment experiences.
Rosselkhozbank is one of the top four state-owned banks in Russia in terms of assets. It began issuing UnionPay single brand cards since June, 2106. Now, its UnionPay-Mir cards are issued mainly for the Russian civil servants. Meanwhile, the Bank has enabled all of its 3,500 ATMs and 6,000 POS terminals to accept UnionPay cards. More than half of its POS terminals also support UnionPay mobile QuickPass. These POS terminals are located in famous local merchants such as Azbuka Vkusa and Alyeparusa supermarket.
Now, UnionPay cards are accepted at about 410,000 POS terminals and 80,000 ATMs in Russia. By the end of this year, the UnionPay acceptance network will cover 80% of the local ATMs and merchants, while 50,000 POS terminals will be able to support mobile QuickPass. Moreover, more than 900,000 UnionPay cards have been issued by 9 institutions in Russia. These cards are frequently used in dozens of countries and regions including Russia and China.