Russia’s Mir Pay sees users increase 20-fold after rivals exit -report

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian contactless payment system Mir Pay has seen its user numbers increase 20-fold this summer from a year earlier, the Vedomosti daily reported on Thursday, after Google and Apple limited their payment services in the country.

Alphabet’s Google and Apple were among the scores of Western companies to scale back operations after Russia sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Mir Pay, a mobile application developed by the Bank of Russia’s National Card Payment System (NSPK), is now one of the few contactless systems available to Russians, and currently only available on Android devices.

Citing an NSPK representative who did not disclose concrete figures, Vedomosti reported that Mir Pay users increased by five times in July and the number of monthly payments by seven times.

Online bank Tinkoff, owned by TCS Group Holding, launched its Tinkoff Pay system in May, joining Gazprombank’s Gazprom Pay and Sberbank’s SberPay on the market, though none are fully comparable to those offered by Apple and Google, analysts have said.

(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Jason Neely)

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