Russia mulls introducing Mir banking payment system in Iran

Sputnik– Russia’s Mir payment system may start functioning in Iran by the end of this year, the chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, Anatoly Aksakov, said Monday.

“Iranian and [Russian] Markets are absolutely different. So are the [purchase] volumes of our payment cards. There is hope that the Mir card [system] will start operating in Iran,” Aksakov told reporters.

Over the last six months, Russian and Iranian banks have opened more than 60 mutual correspondent accounts, according to the lawmaker. He stressed that the volume of transfers involving these accounts had increased by seven times over the past two years.

He expressed belief that the upward trend in the increase of mutual transactions would continue, despite economic and financial sanctions imposed by other countries.

Back in August, the central banks of Russia and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding during a meeting of the Permanent Russian–Iranian Joint Trade and Economic Commission’s working group on financial and bank cooperation.

Last March, Iranian Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Masoud Karbasian told Sputnik that Tehran intended to start eliminating technical problems in order to fully integrate Iran’s Shetab and Russia’s Mir card systems.

The MIR national payment system was created after Visa and MasterCard had denied some Russian banks services because of the US sanctions imposed on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine. The system was launched in Russia in April 2015.