In October Sberbank will begin to conduct large-scale distribution of National payment system «Mir». Now it is possible to pay through 80 thousand terminals in retail store network with those cards. And Central Bank, according to media reports, is preparing for providing more than 60 million governmental employees with them legislatively.
Sberbank declared that they began to support «Mir» cards in their ATMs and service network, as it was said in press-release issued by bank on Tuesday. It became a result of efforts in integration with new payment system. But 100% acceptance of those cards in bank infrastructure is supposed to be provided at the beginning of 2017, as Interfax is quoting Svetlana Kirsanova, director of Sberbank trading acquiring department. «Amount of pos-terminals accepting "Mir" cards in retailer and service outlets is more than 80 thousand for the moment being and is increasing every day», — she said.
Due to plans of large issuance of cards through Sberbank, "Mir" cards operator, National payment system (NSPK), which has issued only 172 thousand cards by July 1, is going to increase card issuance up to 16 million cards. That corresponds to previously unveiled plans which were described in «Expert Online»: «I agree with statement that amount of 16 million is ambitious. I believe that that issuance, its main part, will take place within some months, it is not a plan for year», – Vladimir Komlev, head of NPSK, stated.
Initial issuance of «Mir» cards took place mainly in the Crimea, as in 2014 bank niche in the region was entirely empty.
As recently as in summer VTB 24 provided acceptance of such cards practically in all ATMs and is increasing number of stores accepting the cards among those serviced by them. Their issuance plans are more modest: 1,5 million cards by the end of 2018. Issuance and distribution of national cards is being conducted by more than two dozens of banks but share of most of them probably will be not large compared with share of Sber. In total "Mir" system includes 145 banks now.
NPS was established in 2014 after Visa and MasterCard ceased maintenance of cards issued by several Russian banks falling within the scope of American sanctions. The only shareholder of «NSPK» Joint-Stock Company is the Bank of Russia.
«Mir» payment system, in which there was invested 4,3 billion roubles, by statement of its media office, generated profit of 1,2 billion in 2015. Its appearance gave rise to skepticism as it seemed unsustainable for weakish Russian payment system to challenge global "plastic giants". According to statement from «Sberbank», things are improving, though application of cards outside Russia is still questionable.
It is most likely that «Mir» development will be induced also by novations mentioned by the «Vedomosti» newspaper on Tuesday. By the newspaper information, amendments to the law "On national paying systems" are being discussed in the Central bank and according to them by January 1, 2018 banks should provide all clients receiving funds from budget and off-budget public funds (pension, social security, compulsory health insurance, etc.) with "Mir" cards. But in practical work banks did not hurry up to deposit money of those clients to their accounts with "Mir" attached to them, though they were obliged to do it even now.
In total, by the «Vedomosti» calculations based on Rosstat data for 2014, amount of the Russians receiving money from budget funds is 62,7 million, among them 43,8 million are pensioners and 18,9 million are state and municipal employees. And all transactions within accounts to which money from the budged are transferred according to amendments will be conducted only with national card.
It should actually influence market positions of international payment systems, however we were admonished by MasterCard that they had concluded co-badging agreement on issuance of co-branded Maestro-«Mir» card. However Visa keeps silence at this point.
National payment cards which first issuance was scheduled for this Autumn will be installed in Russian chips from "NIIME i Mikron" development company. Implementation of cards with national processors is destined for protection of the Russian Federation financial system against foreign "storms".
The chip was developed on the basis of the Russian technologies and was already certified by the EMV International standard. As Alexey Dianov, representative of "NNIME and Mikron" said to the "Izvestiya", cost of home-produced technology will not exceed foreign analogues sold by 40 Eurocents. The chip may be used both in the Russian financial systems - National payment card system (NSPK), PRO100 or "Zolotaya Korona" and in foreign ones.
Special banking application - firmware for transactions with cards - will emerge in this August thus allowing to conduct the first issuance of NSPK cards with home-grown chip in the Autumn. In future - by 2018 - the Russians are going to drive at least half of foreign plastic cards from the market.
One of huge advantages of chip from "NNIME i Mikron" is lack of necessity to effect outgoing foreign license payment.
"When using imported chip, it is necessary to pay license fees to foreign holders of rights for cryption algorithms, which in addition to that do not correspond to the Russian Federal standards. Besides that foreign bank chips may be put under sanctions with restraints of their supply to Russia. Completely Russian development and manufacturing guarantee continuous availability of chips for the Russian banking system. Besides that release of the Russian-manufactured chips follows the line of import substitution programme", - the "Izvestiya" quotes words of Alexey Dianov.
Main advantage of the Russian chip is advance of the country towards "digital sovereignty".
"We must be sure that chips installed in the Russian bank cards do not contain application, for example, which may transfer information to foreign state authorities. When chip is of foreign make, there is always risk of availability of "undocumented features and bugs", that allow to monitor users and their transactions . Completely Russian development and manufacturing guarantee lack of such problems", - a source close to the Bank of Russia commented on situation.
We remind that first of all the RF public sector workers and pensioners will move to using national payment card "Mir". Then NSPK will be gradually introduced in private sectors. National payment system is already being used by banks using Visa and MasterCard.