Cashless ramps up in Russia

Nearly half of all goods and services bought in Russia are purchased with cards as Russian residents increasingly forgo cash, according to research by Sberbank.

In 2008, card payments accounted for just 4% of purchases. This share had grown to 39% in 2017 and is now approaching 50% this year.

‘Infrastructure development is one of the key factors necessary for growth of cashless payments,’ said Svetlana Kirsanova, Director of Sberbank’s Acquiring and Bank Card Division.

‘Now that PoS terminals can even be found in small shops in towns and cities throughout the country, we are concentrating on making our network more efficient, developing public transport acquiring systems, digital services, and remote services to make it even more convenient to use cards.’

The North-Western Federal District ranked first in terms of card payments, with cards in the Nenets Autonomous Region accounting for 56.1% of total sales value. For the regions of Komi and Karelia the figure was 48.8%, while Murmansk Region (48.5%) and Tyumen Region (48.2%) were not far behind.

‘The share of card payments has grown by 10 times in 10 years,’ said Mikhail Matovnikov, Chief Analyst at Sberbank. ‘This is one of the highest growth rates in the world.’

In terms of cities, Syktyvkar topped the rankings with cashless sales accounting for 52% of total sales. Petrozavodsk (51%) and Tyumen (50%) were ranked second and third respectively.