Russian MIR Cards Now Officially Operational in Cuba
The use of the magnetic cards of the Russian MIR system in Cuba has been officially approved, following negotiations involving representatives of the Russian National Card Payment System (NSPK), Central Bank of Cuba (BCC), Payment Services (RED SA), and Fincimex on December 5.
According to the Central Bank, this officialization will allow MIR cards to be used throughout the national network of ATMs and Point of Sale (POS) Terminals.
Additionally, it was announced that the technological deployment will occur gradually in the POS, starting with tourist centers and then expanding to cover the entire national territory. The service has already been available in the ATM network since December 2022 and is now being extended further.
To mark the occasion, a test purchase was conducted with MIR cards at the Casa del Café “Mamá Inés” store on the Caracol network, with positive results, according to officials. This successful test purchase is being seen as an indication of “the good state” of financial relations between Cuba and Russia.
Earlier this year, Alejandro Velasco, the Cuban vice president of the Exchange Houses (known as Cadeca), mentioned that the use of the MIR cards on the island was previously limited to Russian tourists and only enabled them to withdraw cash in Cuban pesos. However, now their use has been expanded significantly.
The Ministry of Tourism (Mintur) announced on social media at the end of March that MIR cards were accepted in Cuba. This move came after VISA or MasterCard sanctioned the Russians. As a result, rubles could be withdrawn from ATMs in Cuban pesos according to the exchange rate of the day. Russian tourists can also conveniently use their magnetic cards on the island and leave their currency there.