Central Bank report: Russia issued a record number of cards after the exit of Visa and Mastercard

Thursday 21 July 2022 12:14 CET | News

The Central Bank issued a statistical bulletin informing that the number of issued bank cards in Russia in the first quarter of 2022 increased by 12 million.

The increase represents an all-time record after the last surge in 2012, leading to a total number of new national cards issued of 125 million, a 27.5%i increase from 2021. The trend is confirmed by the country’s biggest banks and is associated with the departure of worldwide card issuers Visa and Mastercard, amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. 

Russia’s main card issuer is now local-based MIR (National Payment Card System), which issued up to 2.5 more cards in the first quarter of 2022 than the corresponding period of the previous year. Visa and Mastercard continue to work within Russia, but most citizens are reoriented to Mir, which is currently considering a geographical expansion. 

The trend is associated with a high demand for credit cards due to a constant decrease in income, as well as a surge in interest in Mir and UnionPay. At the same time, the country is facing an unprecedented shortage of chips, with one of the biggest banks, Sberbank reportedly starting to remove chips from un-activated cards and reuse them to emit new ones. 

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Keywords: central bank, Russia Ukraine War, report, credit card, Issuer, card scheme, expansion
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Mastercard, National Payment Card System (NSPK), UnionPay, Visa
Countries: Russian Federation
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Payments & Commerce



National Payment Card System (NSPK)





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