Russia is collaborating with China to create an alternative of SWIFT system for international payments, along with establishing domestic credit card.
Governor of Russian Central Bank recently announced that Russian SWIFT replacement is fully operational. In 2015, Russia launched its own MIR credit card and its creators are not hiding their close collaboration with the Chinese colleagues.
"Our interest to our Chinese partners from Union Pay, as to one more mature and developed payment system, is through so called 'cobajing' credit cards," Vladimir Komlev, CEO of MIR Card said.
"That system allows us to secure that MIR cards can be accepted in those countries where Union Pay is already accepted. On the other hand, our Chinese colleagues can increase through those cards, the use of Union Pay cards in the Russian market," Mir said.
The first joint MIR-Union Pay credit card issued in Russia, has its own credit card system. It makes Russian users of "plastic money" sanction-proof. Cards like VISA, MASTER or any other Western based card system are prone to sanctions.
It's estimated that by 2020, MIR will have about 50% of Russia's card market share.
It is expected that by 2020, MIR will hold about 50% of Russia's card market. That's a dramatic expansion from the current modest number of users.
Aleksandar Kopanev, Regional Director of Ulmart told CGTN that they are confident that the potential is huge, because they expect a mass customer switch over to the MIR credit card.
Bankers and retailers are ready for MIR and hoping that with the little help from China, they will dominate the world ATMs as well.