Mir cards in Turkey are already accepted in half of the country's ATMs, but there are still a number of problems with paying in stores and withdrawing cash. We talked with payment market experts from Russian banks and tried to answer tourists' questions about how to use Mir cards in Turkey, which cards to take, and what to consider.
< h2>WHERE ARE MIR CARDS ACCEPTED IN TURKEY?
The expression “Mir cards are accepted in Turkey” should not be understood as “they accept them everywhere”. No, not everywhere. At the moment (June 2022), Mir cards are accepted for payment at those outlets in Turkey where payment terminals (POS-terminals) of five Turkish banks are installed.
Accordingly, it is also possible to withdraw cash lira from Mir cards only at ATMs of these five banks. At the same time, there are some nuances with cards of different Russian banks, but more on that later.
WHAT BANKS IN TURKEY SERVE MIR CARDS? WHAT SHARE DO THEY TAKE ON THE TURKISH PAYMENT MARKET?
As of June 2022, 5 banks have joined the service of the Mir card in Turkey.
Among them are three large state-owned banks owned by the government through a special state fund (Ziraat Bankası (Ziraat Bankası, “Agricultural Bank”), Vakıfbank (Vakıfbank, “Fund Bank”) and Halkbank (Halkbank, “People's Bank”). Two private banks are also connected – Iş Bankası (Ish Bankası, “Commercial Bank” with Turkish capital) and Denizbank (Denizbank, “Sea Bank”, belongs to a banking group from the UAE).
Together, these banks have about half of all ATMs in Turkey(more precisely, 25.2 thousand out of 53 thousand ATMs in the country). Accordingly, almost everywhere in Turkey, and especially in tourist places, you can find an ATM of at least one of the five banks that accept Mir cards. Tourists should not have problems with withdrawing cash liras for sure.
Ziraat Bankası has the largest ATM network (7300 units), private Iş Bankası is second (6500), Vakıfbank is third (4250), Halkbank is fourth (4050) and Denizbank is fifth (3100). ).
As for the terminals of these banks installed in retail outlets, it is more difficult to determine the market share of these banks.
Based on official figures in their 2019-20 annual reports, these five should collectively have at least 60-65% of all payment terminals in Turkey. Garanti BBVA, YapiKredi, Akbank have large networks of terminals – but they do not accept Mir cards yet. When they also connect, coverage will be close to full.
However, today's coverage does not mean that you are guaranteed to accept the Mir card for payment in two-thirds of Turkey's outlets. We explain why.
ACCEPTANCE OF THE MIR CARD IN RETAIL STORES AND ATMs IN TURKEY: WHAT TO FOCUS ON
Attempts to compile some “lists” of Turkish stores and chains where “they accept Mir cards for payment” cannot, alas, be crowned with success in principle. In the retail trade in Turkey, the relationship between retailers and banks in terms of terminals is not very similar to Russia.
For example, it cannot be said that, conditionally, in the Migros (or any other) grocery store chain, “one hundred percent take Mir”. Not only in different stores of Migros there can be terminals from different banks (and, as we remember, we need strictly 5 specific ones), but also in the same store of this network at different cash desks there can be terminals from different banks.
So if you have “Mir” accepted for payment in Kemer in LC Waikiki, this does not mean at all that it will be accepted in another store of the same chain in another resort – there may simply be a terminal of another bank, not in all networks cost terminals of the same bank.
There can be no list of pharmacies either: the fact is that pharmacy chains are prohibited by law in Turkey. Each pharmacy has its own owner – “private trader”. And he can have a terminal of any bank, the conditions of which he considers favorable. But it’s easier with pharmacies – in resort areas in one pharmacy there can be two, three, and four terminals from different banks, one of which, as a rule, accepts Mir.
there are three tourists.
First: Memorize the list of “necessary” banks and look at the stickers with bank logos on the terminals in the store (usually they are there).
Second: ask the sellerwhether they accept Mir cards or whether there is a terminal of one of these banks (but it would be nice to know Turkish). However, experience shows that often the seller may not know or be mistaken.
And third exit. There is good news: in Turkey, finally, although not everywhere, it is already possible to focus on ads and stickers: in June 2022, they finally began to appear in Turkish retail in resorts – both “civilized” and not very. The stores that hang such stickers have already checked everything and made sure that Russian cards work. Come boldly.
Some options for such announcements about accepting Mir cards are in the title picture of the material and below.
Announcement about the acceptance of “Mir” cards in a Turkish pharmacy in the resort. Photo: social networks
A civilized sticker about accepting Mir cards for payment on the doors of a chain store in a shopping center in a resort in Turkey. Photo: social networks
But there are stickers on ATMs almost everywhere: you can definitely navigate them. On those ATMs that serve Russian cards, there is either the Mir logo, or it pops up (as in Vakıfbank ATMs) in the on-screen menu.
IF BOTH THE TERMINAL AND THE ATM ARE FROM THE “NECESSARY” BANK?
Tourists in Turkey still face difficulties with Mir cards: one often hears and reads that their card was still not accepted for payment, despite the fact that the terminal was from a bank connected to Mir. Or failed to withdraw cash from an ATM of one of the five banks. What's the matter here? There can be multiple reasons.
- There is a problem with a specific device.
For example, the software of a particular payment terminal/ATM has not been updated. The fact is that the connection of the entire network of terminals and ATMs of a certain bank to accept Mir cards cannot be instantaneous.
Yes, some of the new devices can be updated “over the air” (as it happens with your smartphones). And the other part must be physically reflashed (an employee with a laptop and a special flash drive should arrive). And there are, although extremely rare, quite technologically old ATMs or terminals that for some reason cannot be reflashed in principle (but nevertheless, the “Mir” sticker can hang on them).
< strong>Exit – try another ATM (terminal) of the same bank or another of the required 5. The fact that for some reason it didn’t work for you in one or two places does not yet mean a “failure in the entire network”.
- There is a problem with the Russian bank that issued your card.
This is the hardest part. Despite the fact that Turkey has not officially joined the anti-Russian sanctions, experts say that in the networks of devices of some Turkish banks, alas, there are problems with servicing cards that are on the SDN sanctions lists due to fear of secondary sanctions.
There are now 22 such banks: Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Alfa-Bank, Rosselkhozbank, MKB, FC Otkritie, Sovcombank, Promsvyazbank, VBRR, Rossiya Bank, Novikombank, UBRD, Setelem Bank, Rosgosstrakh Bank, SMP Bank, Moscow Industrial Bank, RNCB, Transcapital Bank, Investtorgbank, Genbank, Vietnam-Russian Joint Bank (VRB), ChBRR, Industrial Savings Bank and Roseximbank.
Nevertheless, all statements that Mir cards of Sberbank (or VTB , or another bank under sanctions) “they don’t take it at all” in Turkey are incorrect.
The fact is that all these problems now, as payment market experts who collect such data say, look very selective and chaotic. Some tourists report that they perfectly paid off on vacation with the cards of the “sanctioned” bank, while others who visited Turkey at the same time say that they “could not” pay with the card of the same bank or withdraw money.
In fact, the situation is as follows: in the network of the same Turkish bank, different stores and ATMs may accept the card of the “sanctioned” bank, while others may not accept it. By what principles does this happen (one specific sanctioned Russian bank is blocked in the network of a particular Turkish bank by BIN, or by a series of card numbers, or all sanctioned banks, does the entire network of a Turkish bank have such problems or only in individual devices or in certain cities of Turkey etc.) – no one can say. “Yes, with the cards of sanctioned banks – roulette,” experts admit.
Turkish banks themselves, obviously, will never officially recognize such problems and will refer to any technical problems in the current conditions. Therefore, a list of Turkish banks “that do not accept Mir cards, for example, Sberbank, cannot be compiled either (all the more, as we have already said, all this is partial and selective).
So far, we can say with greater confidence that the cards of “sanctioned” banks are more likely to be served at ATMs and terminals of the “state” Turkish trio of banks – Ziraat Bankası, Vakıfbank, Halkbank. But there is still no 100% guarantee.
It is also known that the cards of those banks that have been under sanctions for a long time, since 2014 (Russia, SMP Bank, etc.), are much more likely to be paid in Turkey will not be accepted than the cards of “new” banks under sanctions.
Fundamental conclusion. In order not to play roulette on vacation, take Mir cards on a trip to Turkey not only from your bank, if it is on the sanctions list, but also order one more, safety card – from a bank that is not included in the list of 22 sanctions, unofficially payment market experts advise. There shouldn't be any problems with such cards.
- Your World map may not be physically usable for the operation or you are using it incorrectly.
So, it should be remembered that contactless payment with a Mir card or withdrawal from an ATM using a contactless interface is not possible in Turkey. Attempts to “apply” a card will always fail. You need to insert it into the terminal and dial the PIN code. You can’t pay with a smartphone with MIR Pay either.
Finally, the card may have physical damage to the magnetic strip (and some old models of ATMs in Turkey – there are many of them – are guided precisely by it, and not by the chip).
It may also be a matter of the type of card: for example, from credit cards or Mir installment cards, cash withdrawals may be prohibited or limited.
The Mir card will not give (none, not debit, nor credit) withdraw you and any other currency except Turkish lira in Turkey. This is impossible, no matter how much you connect foreign currency accounts to it (even if some bank gives you such an opportunity).
WHERE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION
Recall that we ourselves tested and wrote in detail about the experience of using Mir cards in Turkey from different banks in this detailed review.