Russians in Belarus can now pay with Mir card – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

From January 1, 2022, banks and shops in Belarus are required to accept cards from the Russian payment system Mir. This became possible after the completion of the integration project of the Belkart and Mir payment systems last year.

The corresponding decision is contained in the decree of the National Bank of Belarus “On the circulation of bank payment cards and the functioning of objects of software and hardware infrastructure.” As the regulator explains, “from January 1, 2022, a requirement has been established for banks participating in the Belkart payment system to accept Mir bank payment cards in all payment terminals in trade (service) organizations, payment terminals at cash points, ATMs. and newly installed self-service payment terminals “.

So now Russians can safely come to Belarus with only one “Mir” card, if necessary, withdraw money from it, pay at a store, cafe, hotel. But last year Mir was not received everywhere in Belarus.

Now Russians can safely come to Belarus with only one “Mir” card

Work on the implementation of the project between the two national payment card systems began in 2018. Let us remind you that Belkart opened the first page of its history in 1994, then, under the auspices of the National Bank, the creation of a domestic payment system based on plastic cards began. Today, 21 banks in Belarus are a member of the Belkart payment system, more than three million cards have been issued, they are accepted in 99 percent of retail facilities. Here are just two figures: every minute customers make transactions for 38 thousand Belarusian rubles, and the share of non-cash payments with Belkart cards is 48.97 percent.

In Russia, the decision to create and develop an internal payment system that will not depend on external factors was made in 2014 after the sanctions imposed by Western countries against the Russian Federation. The Bank of Russia established the National Payment Card System (NSPK), on the basis of which Mir cards were created. Today “Mir” is offered by all leading Russian and foreign banks operating in Russia, it is accepted throughout the Russian Federation and in a number of countries of the near and far abroad. Mir accounts for 25.2 percent of all card transactions in Russia and 32.3 percent of new card issuance. The national card “Mir” has more than 108.6 million cardholders. And their number is constantly growing.

Needless to say, the ability to pay in Belarusian stores with a Mir card is very important for many Russians. Indeed, from July 1 of last year, Russian banks began to credit exclusively to Mir social payments: pension, maternity capital, financial assistance … Most pensioners switched to it from October 1, 2020. Civil servants, public sector employees, people receiving various budget payments receive their salaries on the Mir card. For example, recipients of government benefits and students.

According to official statistics, Belarus is one of the top countries where Russians come for business, leisure, and shopping. According to Belstat, in 2020 the majority of organized foreign tourists and excursionists arriving in Belarus are Russian citizens (64.5%). The results of last year are only being summed up, but, according to preliminary data, the Russians are again in the lead.

Russia is the most popular country for visiting among Belarusians. But if Russians come to Belarus mainly on vacation and with business projects, then Belarusians most actively travel to Russia for study, work, and excursions. In recent years, the flow of labor migrants from Belarus to Russia has been growing. Now, according to experts, more than a million Belarusian citizens live and work in Russia. It is logical that Belkart and Mir plan to continue to do everything necessary for mutual servicing of cardholders in the entire infrastructure of national payment systems.

Two largest Belarusian banks are already ready to receive transfers from Mir

In the summer of last year, a new project was launched – cross-border transfers by card number became available to the holders of Mir and Belkart cards. Now this does not require long account details and other additional data, the operation can be carried out in remote channels of bank services, without visiting the office and waiting in line, which is especially important today. Funds are received on the recipient’s card within a few minutes after the transfer. In addition, the Mir system and the participating banks have set low tariffs, which allows customers to save up to three percent on transfers. Alfa-Bank, Russian Standard Bank, Sberbank and Tinkoff are the first among Russian banks to provide such a service; they have successfully implemented all the necessary technological processes. The cards of the two largest Belarusian issuing banks – Belagroprombank and Belarusbank are already ready to accept transfers from Mir. The list of participants in the “Mir” and “Belkart” payment systems providing the possibility of transfers by card number will expand as the project develops.


The integration of the two national systems will continue and within the framework of 28 union programswhich were adopted last year. Eight programs are directly related to integration in the field of economics, monetary policy and finance.

One of the programs is aimed at integrating payment systems in the field of national payment card systems, systems for transferring financial messages and settlements, introducing an international standard for financial messages, a fast payment system, developing financial technologies, harmonized approaches in the field of supervision and monitoring of payment systems. Russia and Belarus agreed to improve the mechanisms for cross-border exchange of financial information between Russian and Belarusian credit institutions and legal entities, as well as develop cooperation on issues of fast payments, transfer of financial messages and settlements, supervision of participants in the payment services market, and the development of financial technologies.

In addition, the programs identified general guidelines for the formation in the future of a single monetary policy, the implementation of currency regulation and the creation of a common payment space within the Union State.

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