Turkish stores began to install terminals for payment with Mir cards

By mid-May, three Turkish banks announced their readiness to accept payments with Russian cards – Ziraat Bankası, Vakıfbank and Iş Bankası. Participants of the tourist market interviewed by the publication note that the development of payment terminals available to Russians has a positive effect on the choice of travelers in favor of Turkey, since they will not feel disadvantaged.

At the same time, on May 12, Izvestia indicatedthat Turkish flag carrier Turkish Airlines, as well as some Turkish online stores that deliver goods to Russia, have stopped accepting payments with the Mir card. The sites still contain information about the possibility of paying with a card of the Russian payment system, however, when trying to make a purchase, the client is asked to contact the bank or try to pay it in another way. It does not matter whether the card was issued by a bank that was under sanctions or a financial institution that was not subject to restrictions.

The only way out is cash

how figured out Kommersant FM, the full range of options for the Russian payment system, is available only in tourist areas of the country, while in other cities you can only withdraw cash from the card.

“I tried to pay with this card in cafes and shops, and, what surprised me, it works in most terminals. The only thing you need to use is not contactless payment. If you insert the card with the chip inside and enter the pin code, then in 80% of cases everything was debited from me. It depends on the terminal,” a resident of Alanya told the radio station.

Another interlocutor of Kommersant FM said that in Istanbul and Izmir it is impossible to pay with a Mir card in any store, so you have to withdraw money through an ATM and pay everywhere in cash. “I have a feeling that Antalya and Alanya are more touristic regions, so the terminals there are adapted and designed for Mir,” she explained.

The head of the Electronic Money Association, Viktor Dostov, believes that Turkish acquiring banks may refuse to work with Russian credit institutions from the SDN list (a black list of people and organizations with which US citizens and permanent residents are prohibited from doing business) due to fears of foreign partners under secondary sanctions.

Press service of the National Payment Card System (NSPK) explainedthat now some foreign acquiring banks that provide acceptance of Mir cards can independently decide to suspend their service in the network of their devices or on websites. The NSPK attributed the problem to the blocking sanctions that the US and the EU have imposed on several large Russian credit institutions. In case of difficulties with payment, the Russians were advised to use online wallets, payment by bank details or cash.

The fight against the “Peace”

Meanwhile, a group of US Republican Senators sent a letter to the US Treasury with a request to impose sanctions against the Russian National Payment Card System (NSPK) and the Mir payment system. The document notes that the Russian government created the NSPK in 2014 after a referendum in Crimea due to fears that the peninsula would be cut off from international payment systems.

“Because Mir is compatible with international payment brands, it creates the potential to circumvent sanctions,” the senators said in their letter.

They specified that Mir cards are currently accepted in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, as well as in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The senators urged the department to check whether UnionPay or any other bank or payment system is helping Russia evade sanctions.

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