Ingenico Group, the seamless payment solutions provider, has entered into a strategic partnership with Russia bank Sberbank to enable international online merchants to accept the national MIR Card Payment System.
Since the introduction of the domestic card scheme in 2015, some 45 million MIR cards have already been issued, with more than half issued by Sberbank – the main credit institution in Russia and the CIS, and the largest acquirer in Europe.
Extending its network of global acquiring banks with Sberbank as a local partner in Russia is key to Ingenico’s merchant-focused international growth strategy. As Sberbank is the main issuer of MIR cards, millions of MIR cardholders will now be able to use their cards to shop with the well-known international brands that use Ingenico to process their payments.
Svetlana Kirsanova, Director of Sberbank’s Acquiring and Bank Card Division, commented: “Russian consumers love buying from international brands and want to use their MIR cards to do so. With Ingenico, we can now offer this opportunity to our customer cardholders from Russia’s national payment system.”
“From January to August 2018, upwards of 58 million online transactions were performed using national cards,” added Vladimir Komlev, CEO of MIR Card Payment System operator, NSPK. “We are glad that, thanks to the joint project between Sberbank and Ingenico, foreign web stores will accept MIR Cards. It will significantly expand the geography of online purchases for cardholders.”
International online merchants can now accept MIR card payments for the first time, providing them with access to a rapidly growing market. By using a local acquirer, merchants will be able to offer a higher level customer experience, with increased authorisation rates and fewer disputes – and since Sberbank uses data centres in Moscow and Kazan, Ingenico’s merchants are automatically compliant with Russia’s data storage regulations.
“We are proud to cooperate with the largest acquiring bank in Europe, which will ensure the acceptance of MIR cards on international websites,” added Gabriel de Montessus, SVP Global Online (Retail BU) for Ingenico Group. “The partnership with Sberbank will allow us to offer a truly unique solution to merchants who seek to exploit the potential of the Russian market. Already, we are working to further expand our cooperation through additional features and products.”
Looking ahead, Ingenico and Sberbank are aiming to expand the partnership to include additional features such as support for Sberbank Online, its real-time banking solution, and an opportunity for international merchants to participate in the loyalty program Spasibo to establish and nurture strong connections with Russian consumers.
*Figures from eCommerce Foundation: eCommerce Report Russia 2017.