Amongst internet users in large Russian cities, bankcards and e-money are the most popular non-cash payment methods across all electronic transactions, though use decreases in Russia’s less-developed ‘regions’.
|Non-cash payment method||Key considerations|
|E-money||• Systems, technology and use developing quickly
• Consumers and retailers alike have a variety of options to choose from
• High brand awareness amongst general population, particularly Yandex.Money and WebMoney
• More popular within developed Russian cities and amongst older age groups
• Easy and safe method of making payments in real time; regarded as safer than bank card and online payments
• E-wallets are still new in Russia and many consumers remain cautious
• Not overwhelmingly used to purchase physical goods online; mobile services, internet access and home utilities are more common e-money purchases
• Commission equalling 3-5% of purchase price accompanies every transaction
|Bank cards and online banking||• Bank cards – and particularly debit cards – are growing in popularity. In 2014 there were 232 million debit cards in circulation, and 32 million credit cards
• Increasingly used in large Russian cities and towns for making digital payments
• Still not used overwhelmingly online or offline for making purchases; in 2013 92% of bankcard transactions were simply used to withdraw cash
• General lack of trust in online banking and a hesitancy to put personal and financial information online
• Online banking only used online to pay for a very small fraction of physical goods (estimated at less than 1%)
|SMS payments||• Swiftly growing in popularity as a quick and safe electronic payment method
• Likely to become a key player in e-commerce payments
• Commission free
• Used infrequently to pay online for physical goods
• Lack of trust in digital payments particularly pronounced in mobile
|Cash payment terminals||• Incredibly popular and widely distributed across Russia
• Largely used for services and virtual goods
• Handled RUB 850 billion (approx. $18.6 billion) in 2013 alone
• Infrequently used to pay for physical goods
• Use of these payment terminals is declining to make way for other payment methods
E-wallets can be directly integrated onto an online seller’s website. At the close of 2014, Yandex.Money and WebMoney each had over 20 million users within Russia, and Qiwi boasted 16.5 million.
Value Added Tax for goods sold into Russia can range from 10-18%; understanding the correct rate to charge is a minefield.
With 88% of the population only speaking Russian and a consumer desire to chat before making an online purchase, localising for the Russian market is key
With a total surface area of over 17,075,000 km2 spanning 11 time zones and two continents, Russia is a force to be reckoned with.