PAYMENTS IN RUSSIA
Russia is a semi-presidential republic with an asymmetric federation, spanning 11 time zones across eastern Europe and northern Asia. With over 140 million consumers and a fast-growing e-commerce and FinTech market, Russia is one of the most innovative payment markets in the world, with proactive efforts by banks and government entities to develop biometrics, blockchain services and digital ID services.
One of the striking characteristics is the rapid growth of domestic payment schemes like MIR, which have been developed to challenge the dominance of VISA and Mastercard. In 2020, nearly 100 million MIR cards were issued, driven largely by government mandates to use it for payroll and social benefit disbursements.
A well-developed internet and telecom infrastructure has given Russian consumers easy access to an array of domestic mobile payment services and also Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
Russia launched its Faster Payments System in 2019, and uptake is rising rapidly due to the proliferation of online bank and mobile-enabled account-to-account funds transfers. In 2020 there were over 111.3 million faster payments transfers, compared to just 6.7 million in 2019.
In contrast to western European banks, Russian banks are making progress in forming their own digital payment ecosystems comprising merchants and services in a wide array of sectors such as entertainment, travel and shopping.
In the last decade, Russian consumers have embraced mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones and Internet of Things (IoT). This change significantly impacts their shopping experience. Consumers have become increasingly connected and they have started to purchase anywhere, at any time, from any device.
In addition, new consumer demands are a game changer. Russian consumers like digital banking apps with access to all their accounts at different banks in one single app, with the option to make payments directly from their bank account of choice. Additionally, they appreciate more banking services and payment services added to their mobile banking app. Consumer adoption of digital payments in Russia is driven by minimal cost, secure payments and a high level of user convenience.
Driven by the development of social media and mobile devices, the emergence of permanently connected consumers has impacted their interactions with brands but also their expectations of how to shop using the increasing number of touch points between consumers and merchants, e.g.:
- Using mobile devices in-store to look up products or additional information on the internet
- Using mobile devices in-store to shop at the same merchant or online at another merchant
- Using mobile devices to purchase at home in online shops or scan outdoor for advertised products
- Using mobile apps to shop online, or using QR-codes to bridge from merchant posters to their online shops
The ongoing rollout of a mature online and mobile communication infrastructure is an enabler for digital card payment transformation in Russia.
In a few years from now, mobile banking apps and mobile payment apps are expected to combine account management, digital payment services, personal finance management and value-added digital services from location finders to digital vouchers.
Cash payments, card payments and cardless payments directly from bank accounts (A2A payments) remain all relevant for Russian merchants and are heavily used by Russian consumers.
This country profile provides an introduction into two competing payment ecosystems in Russia.
- Card payment ecosystem
- Cardless payment ecosystem
STATISTICAL KEY FIGURES FOR 2020 PROVIDED IN THIS PROFILE
• UPDATED: tables with card business data 2016-2020; growth rates: Y-o-Y, CAGR
• Population, Cards per Capita, Card Value per Capita
• Debit Cards, Credit/Delayed Debit Cards, Total Cards
• Card payments by number and by value, ATV per card, payments per card/year
• ATMs, POS terminals, ATMs/POS terminals per 1 million capita
• ATM withdrawals by number/by value, ATV per withdrawal, TXs per ATM/month
• POS payments by number/by value, ATV per POS payment, TXs per POS/month
• Internet Use, e-payment mix, B2C e-Commerce by value and growth rate
• Issued Card brands by individual major issuer bank
• Accepted card brands by individual major acquirer
• Drill down into the debit card use and credit cards use details
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Version 1.0 - last updated Wednesday 26th January 2022