ArmInfo. The Central Bank of Armenia has included the Russian national system of payment cards "MIR" in the register of active payment and settlement systems. As the press service of the Central Bank of Armenia told ArmInfo, the Council of the Central Bank took this decision on July 7 and at the same time it allowed the payment and settlement organizations of Armenian Card CJSC to participate in the MIR system.
According to the information available to ArmInfo, compatibility of cards of Armenian and Russian national systems is currently being tested. The project of intersystem interaction assumes mutual acceptance of cards of national payment systems in the infrastructures of two countries: ArCa cards in Russia, cards "MIR" in Armenia. Pilot launch of the project is planned by the end of the summer of this year, and also provides for the issue of ArCa-MIR cobeydge (joint) cards. The technical possibility of issuing such cards has 16 banks operating on the ArCa infrastructure.
In April, the beginning of negotiations on accepting "Mir" cards in the Kingdom of Thailand was also announced. According to the company's representatives, this will simplify the payment process for tourists. Last year, more than a million Russian citizens visited the country.
To note, the need to create a national payment system (NSPC) on cards "MIR" arose in the summer of 2014, when Visa and MasterCard ceased to serve the cards of a number of Russian banks due to US sanctions against Russia. On June 3, 2016, an agreement of intent was signed between Armenian Card CJSC (operator of Armenia's payment system ArCa) and JSC NSPK (operator of the Russian payment system Mir), providing for mutual servicing of ArCa and Mir payment systems in payment infrastructures their participants.
According to the Central Bank of Armenia, as of January 1, in the system there were 1570758 active cards (with an annual decline of 9.1% after an increase of 6.5% a year earlier). Of this amount, the national ArCa cards were 521273 pcs. (With an annual decline of 5% after growth of 0.4% a year earlier). By January 1, 2017, the ATM network has 1432 ATMs, and POS terminals - 6971. Of which 827 are installed in banks and their branches. In 2016, the volume of plastic transactions amounted to 1.4 trillion AMD, of which 361 billion - on local cards ArCa.