Russia’s card payment system “Mir,” which was set up in 2015 after the West imposed sanctions on Moscow, is now connected to Apple Pay, the card issuer said on Tuesday.
More than 95 million Mir cards have been issued by Russia’s National Card Payment System (NSPK), accounting for about a third of Russia’s card market which was previously dominated by international payment systems Visa and Mastercard.
Mir has been part of Moscow’s efforts to develop homegrown financial tools to mirror Western ones, which still operate in Russia, to protect the country in case sanctions are broadened.
Apple Pay began operating in Russia in 2016 and now has more than 20 million users. The service is available to customers at eight banks, including major Russian lenders such as Sberbank, VTB, and Tinkoff said in a statement to Reuters.
MacDailyNews Note: “A number of other banks are preparing to connect,” NSPK also told Reuters.
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[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]