Online payments in Russia: a 2019 Mediascope study

August 20, 2019

Research company Mediascope has conducted a study on payment behavior of Russians and studied how and what for the residents of Russia paid online in 2018-2019.

Most often, people pay with bank cards, Sberbank Online, and Yandex.Money. In general, the percentage of users periodically paying online has not changed much. Meanwhile, the number of those who pay online for taxis, hotel reservations, and the purchase of transport tickets has increased, and the number of users who make P2P transfers and pay for online games has become slightly decreased.

Payment methods used by different age groups

Bank cards remain the most popular means of online payment: 90.5% of Russians used them in the past year. 89.7% paid via online banking, and 77.6% paid with e-wallets.

The most active payment audience online are users between 25 and 34 years. 82.2% of respondents in this age group used e-wallets, 93.9% used Internet banking. The largest share of bank card users comes from the older group of 35 to 44 years old (94.4%).

Sberbank Online traditionally remained the leader among online payment services. 83.2% of Russians used it to make payments at least once a year. Yandex.Money is the second most popular service (52.8%), with every second Russian internet user making payments via the service. PayPal also entered the top three with 46.1%. The fourth and fifth places were taken by WebMoney and QIWI e-wallets (39.9% and 36.9%, respectively). About a quarter of respondents paid online via the Internet banking services of VTB, Alfa-Bank, and Tinkoff Bank.

The VK Pay service that has entered the market later than other e-wallets was used by 15.4% of respondents. This method was primarily the choice of a younger audience: the largest share of service users is between 18 to 24 years old. Other electronic money services have the most users in the 25 to 34 y. o. age group. Nevertheless, the most popular payment services even with the 18 to 24 y. o. age group are Sberbank Online (83.2%), Yandex.Money (45%), QIWI (40.6%).

Contactless payments: continuing growth

Contactless payments are most popular with an audience of 25 to 34 year olds (57.3%). On average, 44.8% of Russians used them over the past year against 38.3% a year earlier.

Google Pay is the leader among contactless systems, with the number of users growing from 19.6% to 22.9% over the year. 18.9% of respondents paid via Apple Pay, 15.5% via Samsung Pay. Garmin Pay has a much smaller audience: about 2% of respondents used it to make payments. However, among the 18-24 y. o. age group of users, Apple Pay took the first place (29%). Most Google Pay users in the group are between 25 and 34 years old. Samsung Pay traditionally rounds up the top three. The Korean service was more popular than Apple Pay among the 35 to 44 y. o. age group, but it still was unable to overtake Google Pay.

More payments for taxis, less for games

Most users already have experience with online payments for mobile communications (85.8%), purchases in online stores (81%), and housing and communal services (74%). These categories have been among the most popular for several years. Over the past year, the percentage of online payers in those categories has not changed.

The share of users paying online for taxis is growing most dynamically. Over the past year, it grew by almost 12%, from 45.4% in 2018 to 50.8% in 2019. It is notable that young people are more likely to pay for taxis: about 64% of respondents aged 18 to 24 years old and almost 63% in the 25 to 34 years old age group. Among the 35 to 44 years old age group, 50% of respondents paid online, and only 39% in the 45 to 55 years old age group. The number of people who book hotels and buy traveling tickets online has also increased, by about 3% in each category.

The share of users paying online has decreased only in two categories, money transfers (from 57.2% to 55%) and online games (from 28.5% to 25.3%).


About the Mediascope study

The Mediascope study was conducted in April-May 2018 and June-July 2019. Russians aged 12-55 years old took part in an online survey from cities with a population of 700 thousand people (in six federal districts) and cities of the Far Eastern district with a population of 600 thousand people. The study participants at least once a week use the Internet and at least once a year pay for various goods and/or services from a desktop and/or smartphone.


The full version of the report you can download here.