Frequently asked questions

  • Frequently asked questions

    When was the National Card Payment System established?

    The National Card Payment System Joint Stock Company (NSPK) was established on July 23, 2014. As early as on August 4, 2014 NSPK started its operations.

    What are the National Card Payment System’s business challenges?

    An advanced national card payment system is an important indicator of high development level of the country’s economic and financial system and guarantees business continuity.

    The National Card Payment System(NSPK) faces the following key challenges:

    1. The setting-up of the Operations and Payment Clearing Centre for processing of domestic transactions made with international payment system’s cards within Russia.

    Due to the creation of an independent national transaction processing platform any transactions made with international payment systems’ cards within Russia are processed locally, and not abroad as was formerly the case.

    2. Issuance and promotion of Mir national payment card.

    A “homegrown” national payment card would guarantee the development of national payment services and would enable the Russian citizens to receive any card services on the territory of our country regardless of any external factors.
    What legislative and regulatory legal acts govern the operations of the National Card Payment System?

    The activity of NSPK JSC fully complies with the requirements of the Russian legislation, and particularly, with the requirements set forth in Federal Law No. 161-FZ “On the National Payment System”, Federal Law No. 86-FZ “On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (the Bank of Russia)”, Federal Law No. 112-FZ “On Amendments to the Federal Law On the National Payment System and Other Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation”, Federal Law No. 319 “On Amendments to Other Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation”, Order of the Bank of Russia No. 3493-U “On the Arrangement of Interaction and Operations and Payment Clearing Services for Funds Transfers Made with International Payment Systems’ Cards” dated December 16, 2014.

    The project is being implemented according to the National Payment System Development Strategy and The National Card Payment System Concept approved by the NSPK Supervisory Board.

    Why did the Bank of Russia decide to set up the National Payment System on its own platform rather than on the basis of other existing platforms?

    In the run-up to the creation of NSPK, a possibility to set up the National Card Payment System in as short a time as possible on the basis of already implemented technologies of Universal Electronic Card (PRO100) and Golden Crown payment systems was considered. It was assumed that this solution would help minimize costs. However, within the framework of the NSPK Technology Platform Selection Committee representatives of the banking community and other experts, having assessed the capabilities and drawbacks of the existing payment systems, indicated that the national payment system must be effective, productive and keep up to the problems posed.

    The main arguments of the Committee in favor of setting up NSPK on its “in-house” platform were:

    • the existing platforms did not have a number of critically important functional capabilities;

    • they contained superfluous functionality, not specifically needed for the national system;

    • the complexity and the labor and time-consuming of improvements to the existing platforms were commensurate with the labor-consuming of building a new in-house platform; the use of the platforms of the existing operating payment systems to build the National Card Payment System may lead to the construction of structurally unsound architecture.
    Is it realistic to create a payment system in such a record time?

    Timewise the creation of the National Card Payment System as the Operations and Payment Clearing Centre and as Mir Operator is an absolutely unique project.

    The international payment systems had been evolving for years, and, according to experts, building a national payment system from scratch requires at least 3 years.

    Nevertheless, the NSPK team has proven the possibility to create a solid infrastructure for in-country processing of domestic transactions made with international payment systems’ cards within 5 months. The project is being implemented strictly on schedule.

    NSPK Track Record

    At the NSPK Council of Participants and Users’ meeting the NSPK Supervisory Board reviewed and approved the National Card Payment System Development Strategy that envisaged three stages:

    • routing of the traffic of domestic transactions made with international payment systems’ cards within the Russian Federation through the NSPK Operations and Payment Clearing Center (OPCC) (by the end of Q1 2015);

    • issuing of Mir National Payment Card (Q4 2015);

    • expansion of Mir Payment System beyond the Russian Federation and enhancement of the product line (2016-2018).

    To date:

    The transaction processing platform, on which the NSPK OPCC is based, has been created, tested and implemented.

    All Russian banks that are members of MasterCard and Visa international payment systems interact for processing and clearing through NSPK.

    The NSPK Fee Policy has been reviewed and approved by the NSPK Council of Participants and Users, and by the NSPK Supervisory Board.

    Starting February 2015 the NSPK Customer Service Desk has been operating to support banks and their processing centers. The service is available 24/7 and allows to efficiently resolve issues that may arise during connection and technical interaction with NSPK regarding MasterCard and Visa card transactions. Incoming requests are processed on a designated portal at https://support.nspk.ru, and by e-mail at css24@nspk.ru and by phone 8-800-500-00-05.           

    In December 2015 Mir Payment System started its operations. First Mir national payment cards issued.

    Banks started to issue Mir cards and deploy their acquiring networks for Mir card acceptance. The current status of Mir card issuance and acceptance is available at http://www.nspk.ru/cards-mir/uchastniki-ps-mir/
    How will NSPK ensure and guarantee uninterrupted and secure transaction processing?

    NSPK’s solutions for uninterrupted transactions processing are:

    1. The NSPK Operations and Payment Clearing Centre’s fail safety based on the diversified infrastructure (there is no single failure point both at the infrastructure and the applications level). 

    2. The ability to add processing power without interrupting the main production process.

    3. NSPK uses Russian security systems, its software and source-codes, as well as its internal dedicated development teams. It is also planned to use its proprietary microprocessor card payment application compatible with the international standards and formats. Thus, all elements of the technical and communications infrastructure are free from sanctions.

    NSPK’s  solutions for ensuring security:

    4. Financial security is ensured by conducting settlements through the Central Bank of Russia. The impact of any external factors that may affect expansion of Mir Payment System across the Russian Federation, including the Crimea and Sevastopol, is excluded.

    5. In the near future it is planned to introduce industry suspicious transactions monitoring systems to prevent fraud.

    6. The operational risk management is performed by the team of highly skilled professionals who are well-known to the banking community. Monitoring and control of trusted computer base that provide uninterrupted payment clearing services are performed around the clock by duty staff.

    7. The payment application ensuring a high level of transaction security.

    8. Protected information exchange between Mir Payment System participants and the NSPK Operations and Payment Clearing Centre.

    9. Use of the most advanced and secure key management procedures.

    What has changed for customers with the transition of the international payment systems to the NSPK processing?

    The prime objective for NSPK was to ensure that cardholders did not notice the transition of transaction processing to the National Card Payment System. The cardholders’ access to all the international payment systems’ services has been preserved in full without deterioration in quality of cardholder service.

    All Visa and MasterCard domestic transactions are now processed inside Russia. Before NSPK was established, the information on all the transactions made with the IPS’ cards by Russian Federation citizens had been processed at processing centers located abroad. Today, the international payment systems have no mechanism of suspending card transactions on the territory of Russia.
    Does the NSPK Operations and Payment Clearing Center comply with the international standards?

    The NSPK OPCC’s internal program code is an exclusive Russian solution and a unique product custom designed for the National Card Payment System and its Operations and Payment Clearing Center.

    The Operations and Payment Clearing Center was established in full compliance with all the standards applicable to the international payment systems, i.e security standards, standards for formats and data transmission protocols, etc. Currently an in-house standardized interbank interaction protocol is being developed, which will allow to have an independent Russian card payment system, but at the same time will ensure compatibility with all the international standards and formats both at the card payment application’s level and the level of transaction processing and clearing.

    Are there any national payment card systems s in the world similar to NSPK?

    Today, national payment systems have been established and are operating successfully in many countries of the world.

    One of the largest systems is JCB International, a Japanese national payment system established in 1961. JCB has rapidly become a top one in the world credit card market. Today, there are about 59 mln JCB cardholders, and the cards of the Japanese national payment system are accepted for payment throughout the world.

    The Chinese UnionPay company is another example of successful launch of the national payment system. UnionPay was established with the support of the Central Bank of the People’s Republic of China; over 200 financial institutions are among its shareholders. The Chinese payment system is an absolute leader in the world market in terms of the number of cards issued ― about 4 bln. They are accepted for payment in many countries of the world, including Russia.

    In 2008, RuPay national payment system was established in India. The strategic task was to ensure competition with Visa and MasterCard international payment systems in the Indian market. In 2013, only 5 years later, RuPay system became international and is currently gaining more and more recognition.

    Interac Association was established in Canada in the mid-1980s to ensure safe electronic transactions exchange. In as little as one year the number of such transactions was 6.2 mln. An agreement on cooperation with NYCE made it possible for Interac system to enter the international market.

    Payment systems have their own peculiarities. The Canadian payment system mainly uses the non-cash payment mechanism, while in Girocard (a German debit cards network) transactions are possible only via terminals and ATMs. Within Girocard co-branded cards with MasterCard and Visa logos are issued.

    Carte Bleue payment card operates in France. Its creation by joint efforts of six major French banks allowed French citizens to make transactions within their country without the bank requesting the cardholder authorization. Since 1973 Carte Bleue has been cooperating with Visa, which makes it possible to use it outside of France.

    The Italian Bancomat consortium (established to coordinate entrepreneurial activities) controls the payment card system and enjoys the opportunity to track the flow of funds in the electronic field and other transaction channels. Bancomat system is supported by all Italian banks, and the number of transactions reaches at average 1.65 bln a year.

    In Belorussia and Armenia (Russia’s neighbors) BELKART and ArCa national payment systems are operating.

    How will Mir card go along with the traditional payment systems?

    Our objective is to ensure maximum possible acceptance coverage for Mir Card within the country and mass-volume issuing. In the medium term – foreign outlet of Mir Card, and in the long term ― its ability to compete successfully with other payment systems.

    Besides, we plan to ensure seamless acceptance of the cards abroad as a result of co-badging programs implemented jointly with the international payment systems. Agreements on issuance of co-badged cards under the brands of Mir-Maestro, Mir-JCB and Mir-AmEx have already been signed.

    Despite some preferences provided by the legislation to the National Payment System, it will be developing in the conditions of healthy competition with other payment systems.

    When will the first card be issued?

    In December 2015, first 7 pilot banks issued the first Mir cards.

    At present banks have already started to issue Mir cards and service them in the ATM and POS-networks. The full list of banks that have already started to issue and accept Mir is available at http://www.nspk.ru/cards-mir/uchastniki-ps-mir/.

    When will Mir cardholders be able to use it abroad

    First of all, Mir Payment System intends to promote the national payment cards abroad in cooperation with the national payment systems of the Eurasian Economic Union countries ― BELKART in Belorussia and Armenian Card (ArCa) in Armenia.

    Acceptance of Mir cards abroad through co-badging programs is being implemented jointly with a number of international payment systems. In particular, an agreement on the  issuance of co-badged Mir and Maestro was executed in June 2015. In July 2015, the engagement agreements on issuing co-badged cards were signed with JCB and American Express international payment systems.

    Transactions on such cards outside of Russia will be serviced, as before, according to the rules and standards of the relevant international payment system, and within Russia  - of Mir Payment System.

    Mir Payment System will be operating directly with payment systems and major acquiring banks of the countries where the flow of Russian tourists is traditionally intense. These are Turkey, Egypt, Mediterranean countries and South-East Asia.

    Besides, in the long term, Mir Payment System would be interested in international banks issuing Mir cards to their customers who visit Russia.

    Will the 3D Secure technology be available?

    When creating the Russian national payment system, NSPK is developing its own services for the provision of electronic payments security.

    3D Secure will also be available to Mir cardholders.

    Mir Payment System’s Fees

    Mir Fee Policy at large is aimed at creating economic conditions for the development of cashless payments in Russia.

    The Fees are available at the Mir Operator’s web-site.

  • Mir Payment System

    What is Mir Card?

    Mir is a Russian national payment card, modern and convenient. Its functionality includes all standard transactions, i.e. cash disbursement, cash-in, payment for goods and services, including on line.

    Mir has been created on the basis of Russian technologies and complies with all the security standards – both Russian and international.

    What is Mir Card Payment System?

    Mir Card Payment System is a Russian national payment system.

    The System started its operation in December 2015, and first Mir cards were issued at the same time.

    Today, all the major Russian banks participate in Mir Card Payment System. Part of them have already started to issue Mir cards and service them in their ATM and POS-terminal networks.

    Mir Card Payment System Official Web-Site

    How does Mir differ from other payment systems’ cards?

    Mir is a Russian national payment card. It has the same functions as international cards, but its servicing is cheaper than that of international payment systems’ cards. Besides, Mir’s own unique Loyalty Program has been launched this year for all Mir cardholders.

    Access to your funds and the ability to make transactions do not depend on international payment systems’ operations.
    Where can a Mir card be obtained?

    Mir card is already being issued by many federal and regional banks, such as:·        

    • Gasprombank

    • Raiffeisenbank

    • Rosselkhozbank

    • RNKB

    • Rossia Bank

    • SMP-Bank

    • Svyaz-Bank

    • MDM Bank

    • MTC Bank

    • SIAB

    • Avangard

    • Vozrozhdenie

    • AK BARS

    • GenBank

    • Levoberezhny

    • KS Bank, and others.

    The full list of banks issuing Mir cards is available at mironline.ru.
    How much does the annual service cost?

    Issuing banks determine their service fees. The cost directly depends on the Bank’s fees and the type of the card (Classic / Premium).

    However, it is worth mentioning that cards can be issued free under a number of projects. This relates to payroll, pension and other projects.

    Please refer to the issuing banks for more detail.

    Can Mir be used for online payments?

    Yes, it can.

    Mir card is accepted online on the Aeroflot web-site, on the OZON Travel and Biletix portals, on the Mail.Ru.Group projects (games. SNSs), on the Megafon site (topping up the balance through Autopayment service), etc. Look for Mir Payment System’s logo in the Payment section.

    Is it safe to pay with Mir on line?

    Yes, it is safe.

    All Mir online payments are protected by the MirAccept technology similar to 3D Secure.

    Can one pay with Mir abroad?

    Mir can be used for payments abroad.

    Banks have started to issue co-badging cards with Maestro and JCB, i.e. Mir-Maestro and Mir-JCB. Such cards works as Mir in Russia and are accepted in other countries in the international Maestro and JCB acceptance networks.

    Where are Mir cards accepted?

    Merchants’ POS-terminals and ATMs are being actively connected for Mir acceptance.

    Retail Network. Payments can already be made with Mir in the following federal and major retail store chains:        

    • Metro Cash&Carry

    • IKEA

    • Auchan hypermarkets

    • Globus hypermarkets

    • Azbuka Vkusa supermarkets

    • Billa supermarkets

    • Victoria supermarkets

    • Sportmaster chain stores

    • McDonalds fastfood (across Russia)

    • Teremok fastfood (Moscow and Moscow region)

    • Jean-Jacques and De Marco cafes

    • Karofilm and Formula Kino cinema theatres

    • Wild Orchid chain of salons

    • Tele2 (in Moscow and Moscow region)

    • Yves Rocher, L’etoile, Il de Beaute, etc.

    ATMs. Mir card can be used for cash-in, cash withdrawal, payments for services, etc. in the ATMs belonging to your issuing bank. To find the nearest ATMs accepting MIR, you can use the Locator service at locator.mironline.ru or access it from mironline.ru web-site by clicking on the relevant link provided.

    Does Mir work in Crimea?
    Crimean banks were one of the first to issue and accept Mir cards. Currently Mir cards can be used across the territory of Crimea to withdraw cash, to cash in, to pay for purchases.
    Will contactless payments be available for Mir cards?

    Yes, contactless technology will be incorporated in Mir cards.

    NSPK specialists are currently testing this technology. In 2017, bank customers will be able to have Mir contactless payment cards issued to them.

    Will Mir cards have a mobile application?

    Yes, they will.

    A mobile Mir application will be launched In 2017. Currently online banking and services of the issuing banks are available to bank customers.
    Will there be bonus programs?

    The bonus programs of the banks that issue cards are already available to Mir cardholders. In 2017 Mir payment system will launch its own loyalty program for all Mir cardholders irrespective of the banks that issued the cards.

    Where can additional information on Mir cards and the NSPK Operator be found?

    Detailed information on Mir cards, issuing banks, acceptance locations, etc. can be found at www.mironline.ru.

    All information on the National Card Payment System (NSPK) is available at www.nspk.ru.
    How are Mir and NSPK related?
    National Card Payment System joint-stock company (NSPK) is the Operator of Mir payment system. NSPK provides both for Mir and international payment systems’ transactions. All domestic transactions are being processed by the NSPK Operations and Payment Clearing Centre. When setting up the Russian national payment system NSPK has been using in-house technologies and solutions that comply with all international and Russian standards.