Vladimir Komlev: “Today, All State-of-the-Art Payment Technologies Are Implemented on MIR Cards”

10 September 2018

Chief Executive Officer of NSPK (MIR Payment System operator) Vladimir Komlev spoke in plenary session devoted to payment system technologies for financial inclusion of the Xth AFI (Alliance for Financial Inclusion) Global Policy Forum.

Payment systems play a key role in facilitating access to financial services for people of different countries. However, an appropriate policy of central banks and support of the regulator aimed at the market development are required to promote technologies that ensure security, simplicity and efficiency of payment services.   

MIR Russian Payment System was created with the support of the state, and the key goal of its creation was to make domestic payments more easily accessible, secure and uninterrupted. Chief Executive Officer of NSPK noted that the Federal Law regulating operations of the National Payment System provided for the transfer of all budget payments to MIR cards (payments could also be made in cash), as well as the Russia-wide acceptance of the national card.

If the product is not user-friendly or does not work, it is impossible to make people use it even by virtue of law. For this very reason, all state-of-the-art technologies were developed for MIR Payment System participating banks and Cardholders.

“Today, we have implemented all solutions highly demanded in the payment market: contactless payments, mobile payments, various non-financial services, e.g., a campus card with access to the university and its infrastructure, secure e-commerce technology, etc. In addition, MIR as the National Payment System ensures direct and efficient financial interaction between the state and citizens: the project implemented together with the Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation enables to make social payments directly to MIR Cardholders,” said Vladimir Komlev.

He emphasized that service platforms developed by MIR Payment System were equally accessible to all participants: both the largest banking institutions and small banks that were central to different regions of our country. It was also important that introduction of these technologies was not very expensive.

He noted that MIR appearance in the Russian payment market enhanced the share of contactless payments and made state-of-the-art payment instruments accessible, including due to the fact that all market participants were rapidly developing electronic payment instruments that were more user-friendly and profitable than cash.   

At the end of his speech, CEO of NSPK stated that only a year and a half after its launch MIR held 17% of the Russian payment card market.

The plenary session was also attended by Alla Bakina, National Payment System Department of the Bank of Russia, Alexey Malinovsky, Head of Mastercard in Russia, Grant Kabango, Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of Malawi, Sostthenes Kewe, Executive Director of Financial Sector Deepening Trust Tanzania.

Professor Njuguna S. Ndung'u, Executive Director of African Economic Research Consortium, was a moderator of the discussion.

Participants discussed the contribution of payment systems to ensuring financial inclusion, the role of regulatory authorities and other industry participants in addressing problems of the use of technologies in financial services, the importance of peer learning to promote innovations in the payment industry and other issues.

The AFI Forum was held in Sochi, September 5-8, 2018. This year the event was organized by the Bank of Russia.