(MENAFN) In a significant move towards diversifying its financial landscape, Cuba has officially begun accepting Russia's Mir payment cards at various point-of-sale (POS) terminals across the country. This strategic collaboration was announced by the press service of the Russian National Payment System (NSPK) in a statement released on Tuesday. Initially, the Mir cards will be welcomed at key tourist destinations, such as the bustling Cuban capital Havana and the scenic resort town of Varadero.
The inclusion of Mir payment cards in Cuba's financial ecosystem is poised to bring convenience to Russian tourists, enabling them to utilize Mir cards for transactions in stores, hotels, restaurants, and other commercial establishments throughout the country. The statement underlined the collaborative efforts with local partners to expand the acceptance of Mir cards across the entirety of Cuba, emphasizing a commitment to making the payment system as widely accessible as possible.
Vladimir Komlev, the head of NSPK, expressed optimism about the collaboration, stating, "We will work with our partners to ensure that in the near future our cards are accepted throughout Cuba. Payments with Russian cards are made at the rate set by the Mir payment system. We're trying to make it as viable as possible." This signals a concerted effort to integrate the Mir payment system seamlessly into Cuba's financial infrastructure.
This development follows Cuba's announcement in March about the introduction of Russia's alternative to Western payment cards. Notably, various banks in Havana have installed ATMs prominently displaying the Mir logo, providing the option for individuals to withdraw cash using Russian bank cards in Cuban pesos.
The Mir payment system has been gaining momentum globally, experiencing a steady increase in demand for new cards since the previous year, as reported by the system's operator.
Currently adopted by around ten countries worldwide, with an additional 15 expressing interest, Mir's expansion into Cuba marks another milestone in the system's growing international footprint.
In a similar vein, last month saw Venezuela's Foreign Minister Yvan Gil Pinto announcing that Mir is now accepted throughout the country. Caracas had initiated the acceptance of Russian payment cards in June 2023, further solidifying the global presence and acceptance of the Mir payment system.
As Cuba opens its doors to the Mir payment system, this collaborative effort not only benefits Russian tourists but also holds the potential to reshape Cuba's financial landscape, offering locals and businesses new avenues for transactions and financial interactions. The move underscores the increasing globalization and diversification of payment systems, with Mir emerging as a viable alternative on the international stage.
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