Russian Banks to Start Connecting ‘Mir’ Cards to Google Pay

Starting from October 26 Russian national payment system “Mir” will provide issuing banks with the opportunity to connect Mir cards to the Google Pay payment system. Thus, VTB, PSB, DOM.RF, Renaissance Credit, Home Credit and Post Bank intended to support this integration.  

Picture: Russian Financial Adviser Website

“About 70 per cent of customers use phones with the Android operating system, on which Google Pay can be installed. Among customers with Mir cards, the share is even higher. We expect a general further increase in tokenization and a possible flow of customers to Google Pay from other mobile wallets,” the Vice President of the “Renaissance Credit” bank, Pyotr Karpov, said.

On December 15, 2015, the Bank of Russia and the National System of Payment Cards JSC announced the start of the issue of cards of the Mir payment system. Since 2018, all salaries of state employees in Russia have been transferred to Mir cards, the holders of which can use various benefits, including cashback and discounts on public transport. Abroad, the Mir card was first served in Belarus in October 2018, and after it became also available in Abkhazia, Armenia, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, and South Ossetia.

The new connection process  – to the Google Pay system – will come into effect on October 26. Thus, this autumn Russian banks will have the opportunity to start work on integrating the service, though the terms for connecting the technology in each credit institution are set individually (from the end of this year to 2022).

As specified, at the end of April 2021, the functionality for connecting Mir cards to Apple Pay has already become available to Russian credit institutions. On July 20, the service became available to customers of Sberbank, VTB, Rosselkhozbank, Promsvyazbank, Post Bank, Center-Invest, Tinkoff Bank, and Primsotsbank. In addition, the card can be tied to a smartphone using Mir.Pay or Samsung Pay.

According to the Director for Products and Technologies at T1, with reference to a study by the Skolkovo Business School, Alexander Rozhkov, the coverage of the population with Mir bank cards is about 42 per cent.

“Students and young parents are among the users of the “Mir” cards as recipients of social benefits (scholarships, benefits for children). This age group belongs to Generation Z, the most advanced in terms of digital habits of using online services and mobile devices. The greatest contribution to the development of the popularity of tokenized payments will be made by paying for online purchases and contactless payment for travel on public transport,” Rozhkov believes.

Ru-Main, 18.10.2021
Source: Izvestia 

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