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New contactless payment system will appear in Russia in 2019

MirPay – contactless payment system created in the Russian Federation

Following the mobile services Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay in Russia, the contactless payment system MirPay appeared. From the title, it is clear this means a mobile application to which the cards of system “MIR” can be bound. To use the program you need a smartphone with a contactless NFC chip. After that, it is not necessary to take plastic with you: the NFC system emulates the card data and the user can pay with the smartphone anywhere. The main thing – the presence of the corresponding terminal.

As is known, “MIR” is an autonomous Russian payment system (PS), independent of VISA and Mastercard. It is irreplaceable in case of international sanctions (for example, in Crimea). It appeared in 2015 and today 381 banks are associated with it, among which there are 160 issuers. PS “MIR” is designed for the domestic Russian market. However, plastic from this service can be paid in Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The MIR card account cannot be linked to Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay services. Also (since “MIR” does not depend on VISA and Mastercard), with the help of this payment system one cannot pay in many foreign online stores, including Ebay and Amazon. And – bind to WebMoney and PayPal. However, this is where the main disadvantages of the system end.

Initially, customers of 4 banks will be able to use mobile payment for goods and services. Several more financial institutions are in the process of service certification. In the future, it is expected that all banks operating with the Mir substation will join the convenient payment system.

Russian contactless payment system. Development prospects

To date, the number of MIR cards issued has exceeded 50 million. This is almost 20% of the total plastic in the Russian Federation (the rest is VISA and Mastercard). If we talk about the readiness of terminals for payment by smartphones using MirPay, then such is expected in the first quarter of 2019. In other words, soon all terminals will support technology.

It should also be noted that payments using Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay increased in Russia only in 2018 more than five times. The country is traditionally among the leaders in the number of transactions that were carried out using mobile services with NFC technology.

Of course, Joint-Stock Company NPCS, which is the operator of system “MIR”, needs much more work for the convenience of users. For example, customers want to send “MIR” cards directly to Google Pay. Such a function may appear in the near future, according to Vladimir Komlev, Chairman of the Board of NPCS JSC. For this, the company is negotiating with Google.

The second important issue is the release of the MirPay mobile application for Apple smartphones and smart watches. So far, iPhone manufacturers have refused to provide access to the NFC module on their devices. However, negotiations in this direction are also underway.

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