7 Nov 2022 15:21

Two more banks in Kyrgyzstan suspend servicing Russia's Mir cards

BISHKEK. Nov 7 (Interfax) - Kyrgyzstan's Bai-Tushum and Optima banks have suspended servicing Russia's Mir cards, according to statements posted on the banks' respective websites.

"As of November 1, 2022, OJSC Optima Bank has decided to suspend servicing Mir payment cards. The bank has suspended operations at POS terminals and ATMs in the bank's acquiring network and incoming money transfers from the payment system," the financial and credit institution said in a statement.

Bai-Tushum Bank also took a similar decision as of November 1.

Kyrgyzstan's banking system has been working with Mir cards since 2019.

The country has 23 commercial banks overall. The Tolubay, Eurasian Savings, Kyrgyzkommertsbank, Kapital, Keremet, RSK, and EcoIslamicBank banks, respectively, continue to accept Mir cards.

The country's National Bank previously stated that the authorities were paying close attention to the development of non-cash money circulation, though banks decide independently whether to cooperate with a particular payment system.

The United States Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) warned on September 15 that non-U.S. banks entering into agreements with Russia's National Payment Card System (NSPK), the operator of Mir cards, risked becoming involved in circumventing U.S. sanctions by expanding the Mir system's territory of use outside Russia.