Egypt is looking to join Russia's Mir card payments system

Thursday 8 September 2022 12:59 CET | News

The Central Bank of Egypt has entered negotiations to join Russia’s Mir card payments system in a bid to improve Russian tourism in Egypt as well as trade ties between the two countries.


According to, an anonymous source revealed that the Central Bank of Egypt is working with the Egyptian Ministry of Finance to give Egyptian banks access to the Russian Mir payment card system by the end of September 2022. Moreover, the Russian rouble will be on the list of currencies used by these banks and by tourism companies and hotels in order to improve regional tourism. 

The source also touched on the subject of economic recovery as part of Egypt’s attempts to diversify its foreign currency sources. The official emphasised that linking Egypt to the Russian payment system will help buy Russian products, especially wheat and fertilisers, in the Russian currency.

Mir is a payment and money transfer system operated by the Russian National Payment Card System. Russia is betting on the Mir system in order to evade sanctions imposed on its ability to transfer funds abroad.

Tourism experts cited by expect a surge in the number of Russian tourists coming to Egypt during the upcoming winter season, particularly in the context of the European Union’s new measures against Russian tourists and their entry to Europe.


The Egyptian Central Bank has entered negotiations to join Russia’s Mir card payments system in a bid to improve Russian tourism in Egypt as well as trade ties between the two countries.


Mir’s expansion into other countries

The Russian Mir payments system is expanding to other countries in 2022. For instance, in September 2022, the Central Bank of Iran entered negotiations to join Russia’s Mir card payment system in order to improve regional trade and bypass US sanctions. 

Officials from Iran Central Bank revealed that their collaboration with Russia would enable financial transactions between the two countries via Mir. Building on this, Iran could transfer money with other member countries via this system in the future.

In August 2022, five Turkish banks adopted Russia’s Mir payments system. Moreover, according to the Washington Post, Russia requested that several state-owned Turkish banks allow correspondent accounts for Russia’s biggest banks and that Russian industrial producers be allowed to operate out of free economic zones in Turkey.

In the same month, the Russian and Indian Governments have gotten closer to an agreement to have cards based on Russia’s Mir payment system be accepted at ATMs and POS in India.

In July 2022, Nigeria’s ambassador to Russia, Abdullahi Shehu, revealed that Nigeria and Russia are discussing the possibility of using Mir cards in the African country.

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Keywords: online payments, cross-border payments, payment processing, payment processor, central bank
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Central Bank of Egypt
Countries: Egypt
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