Over 67,000 Transactions in Cuba with Russian MIR Cards

Monday, May 13, 2024 by Oscar Guevara

Over 67,000 Transactions in Cuba with Russian MIR Cards
Tarjeta MIR - Imagen de © Cubadebate

The Cuban government has reported that over 67,000 transactions have been made with MIR payment cards up to the first week of May, specifically designed for Russian tourists visiting Cuba. Fincimex, a financial entity under CIMEX, stated that the implementation of MIR cards has been a resounding success in the island's tourism and hotel sectors.

The payment system, managed by the Russian National Card Payment System (NSPK), has become an indispensable tool for Russian visitors, simplifying access to a range of services and products within Cuba. Since the official endorsement in late December 2023 for the use of MIR cards as an acceptable payment method in the national network of ATMs and Point of Sale (POS) terminals, adoption has surged massively.

Alfredo Martínez González, the deputy manager of Fincimex, told Granma that the implementation posed a successful technological challenge, made possible by a coordinated effort between Cuban and international entities. "Initially, we identified priority areas where the Ministry of Tourism expected an influx of Russian visitors, particularly in key tourist zones like Varadero, Camagüey, and Havana," Martínez explained.

Once established in these areas, the rollout expanded nationally, covering the entire tourist and commercial network of the country, indicating the growing economic influence of Russia in Cuba. This strategy is part of the government's efforts to attract more tourists and strengthen economic ties with Russia, especially as Cuban tourism seeks recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hotel occupancy on the island has not yet reached desired levels, but the government continues to open luxury hotels despite the ongoing economic, social, and political crisis. Russia ranks as the third largest source of tourists to Cuba. With these payment facilities and ongoing promotion, Cuba aims to enhance its appeal as an ideal tourist destination for Russians.

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