A record number of bank cards were issued in Russia after Visa and MasterCard left the country

According to information from the Central Bank's statistical bulletin, the number of bank cards issued in Russia increased by 12 million to 341 million in the first quarter of 2022. Since 2012, when it increased by 30.1 million rubles in the fourth quarter, this is the indicator's highest increase ever.

The NSPK confirmed that "plastic" was in higher demand. According to the first quarter's findings, there were 125 million national cards in circulation, up 27.5 percent from the same time last year, according to the press service.


The biggest banks concurred with the pattern. According to the press service of the MKB, this trend started after Visa and MasterCard left the nation, which caused consumers to actively start using Mir. They stated that compared to the same period last year, the number of cards the bank issued increased by more than 2.5 times in the first quarter of 2022. According to Dom.RF Bank, this year has seen a fivefold increase in the number of Mir cards issued compared to last year.

According to Nikolai Pereslavsky, a worker in the CMS Institute's Economic and Financial Research Department, Visa and MasterCard are still accepted in Russia, but people are still switching to Mir, which is expanding the geography of use. He believes that the growth in card issuances may continue over the course of the following two or three quarters.


According to Natalia Milchakova, a top analyst at Freedom Finance, the trend is correlated with high demand for credit cards amid declining incomes of the population and a sharp rise in interest in Mir and UnionPay.


Igor Dodonov, an analyst at FG Finam, predicted that concurrently, under sanctions, the issue of a shortage of card chips may start to manifest in the second half of 2022.

By fLEXI tEAM