RCB Bank said it has conducted the first transactions of Russian Mir cards in the European Union.
Mir, one of the youngest and fastest-growing payment systems was launched four years ago in Russia, and since then more than 71.4 million Mir cards have been issued.
It has become established as a convenient means of card payments in Russia as well as in a number of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
In addition to these markets, Mir payment system is expanding its use and acceptance in other regions, including key EU markets.
“RCB, as a leading provider of innovative digital banking services in Cyprus, has become the first financial institution on the island, which participates in Russia’s Mir payment scheme,” said the bank.
It said on 23 December the first pilot transactions with Mir cards in the EU were conducted through RCB terminals and ATMs.
RCB Bank aims at completing the pilot project and to roll out Mir card acceptance at the Bank’s ATMs and card POS-terminals by the end of the first quarter of 2020.
Harry Xenophontos, Head of Acquiring & Digital Payment Services, RCB Bank, said: “RCB Bank is a leading player in the card acquiring market in Cyprus, which allows us to provide merchants not only convenient card payment solutions, but also a full range of financial products and services.”
“We started developing card acquiring services two years ago, and by now the Bank has established direct integration of its systems with all the largest global payment systems. We are pleased to be a member of one of the fastest-growing payment systems, such as Mir.”
He said the partnership will allow RCB to expand the range of acquiring services for its customers.
“Russian tourists, Mir card holders, will be offered convenient means to make transactions in Cyprus. This will have a positive impact on Cyprus’ tourism sector, its restaurant and hotel business, as well as its retail sector”.
Igor Perepechin, Director for International Development of the Mir Payment System, commented said: “We have conducted the first pilot transactions involving the Mir card in the EU, in the network of our partner RCB Bank Ltd, which has been actively developing digital payment solutions for its customers.”
He said Cyprus is one of the most popular summer destinations for Russian tourists, so the start of acceptance of Russian cards “is a very important step for the international development of the Mir payment system”.
“We are actively working to ensure that in the upcoming tourist season, Russian tourists will be able to use the Mir cards in the entire infrastructure of Cyprus, as well as in other EU countries.”
Mir is the national payment system of the Russian Federation with 302 participating banks and an acceptance network that comprises over 130,000 ATMs and 2,600,000 POS terminals.
To date, 159 Russian banks issued more than 71.4 million Mir cards. Mir cards are accepted abroad – in Armenia, Kyrgyz Republic, Belarus, Uzbekistan and other countries. Official website of MIR Payment System: www.mironline.ru
RCB Bank was established on August 1, 1995, is one of the largest banks in Cyprus and under the direct supervision of the European Central Bank through the SSM mechanism. The Bank operates branches in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos and Luxembourg.