Receiving payment from your customers

  • In Russia, cash on delivery (COD) is overwhelmingly the most popular payment method used to pay for physical goods bought online. COD accounts for over 90% of all such transactions.
  • The use of COD is slowly decreasing, however, to make way for a variety of non-cash payment methods, though there is still a prevailing lack of trust in digital payment systems generally.


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.


  • Use of electronic payment systems will continue to increase in Russia as e-commerce grows and trust increases.
  • Integrate as many different payment solutions as possible. Consider employing the services of a payments integrator, e.g. Yandex Payment Solution.
  • E-retailers should also consider allowing customers to pick up goods ordered online from collection points and/or for payments to be made via a mobile point of sale upon COD.

Other areas of interest

Meeting your regulatory responsibilities

Value Added Tax for goods sold into Russia can range from 10-18%; understanding the correct rate to charge is a minefield.

Reaching and engaging your consumers

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

Getting The Goods To Your Customers

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.

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