International payment system Mir will be useful in case of possible rupture of relations with Visa and MasterCard
A new round of sanctions against Russia was discussed in the United States. In this regard, again the question of whether the Russian Federation will be able to do without SWIFT in case of exclusion of the country from the society of global interbank financial channels of communication began to rise. The decision to disconnect Russia from SWIFT can hit the entire global financial system, because the flows associated with the trade in gas, go through SWIFT. In case of country’s emergence from the international interbank system, Europe would have to look for other payment channels.
Most analysts report that the US is unlikely to disconnect Russia from SWIFT. Arguments are presented in the form of 20% growth of Russian-American trade in 2018 in relation to 2017. But, nevertheless, several banks may find themselves in sanctions lists. It is known that most financial institutions do not work directly with Visa and MasterCard payment systems. Agreements are concluded with the largest organizations, and all others work through them. Therefore, by including a large bank in the sanctions list, the United States will bring the Russian economy metered-dose problems.
The Central Bank believes that VTB and Promsvyazbank can be included in the list of inviolable organizations: their services are used by the defense industry. In fact, the severance of Visa and MasterCard relations with the above-mentioned financial institutions will cause inconvenience to customers: plastic cards will stop working. However, Russia has its own payment system Mir, which will be able to come to the aid in emergency cases.
International payment system Mir: advantages and disadvantages
According to statistics, almost every household in Russia there are plastic cards of banks working with Mir. Cards are accepted for payment in retail chains and at the gas station. In functional terms, the Russian payment system is no different from foreign counterparts. Consequently, Mir can provide a sufficient level of consumer services to end – users. Card holders can use mobile banking with remote payment of bills, money transfers, cashback and other useful functions.
Cards of the payment system Mir have the largest limits of withdrawal of cash without commission — RUB 150 thousand. The cost of servicing plastic of the Russian payment system is RUB 750 in the first year and 450 — in all subsequent. For comparison, Visa usually costs the client RUB 800 and more. Children’s and pension cards are issued on the Mir payment platform. The balance of funds is charged 3.5% per annum, which compensates inflation. But also Mir has disadvantages: standard cards are not services in foreign ATMs. For this purpose, joint products are produced, including Mastercard.