Online payments in Russia: a 2018 Mediascope report

October 17, 2018

Research company Mediascope (formerly TNS) has studied online payment preferences of Russian users in 2018.

As in 2017, the most popular online payment methods are still bank cards, online banking, and e-wallets. The number of users paying with e-wallets has significantly grown, making it the preferable payment method for 71% of Russians in 2018. Compared to 2017, this rate has increased by 22.8%. Bank cards are used by 88.9% of respondents, which is 12.2% more than the last year’s numbers. 87.2% of Russians pay via online banking—this rate has grown by 8.9%.

Mobile contactless payments are rapidly gaining popularity: the user base of this online payment method has increased 3.5 times over, with 36.3% of respondents making contactless payments in 2018. Russian users aged 18-34 are the most active online payers. Bank cards and online banking hold leading positions among respondents of all ages except the youngest: teens aged 12-17 equally prefer e-wallets and online banking, while bank cards are less popular.


Yandex.Money is the leading service among e-wallets in terms of the number of users. Last year, 33% of respondents paid via Yandex.Money, and in 2018 this rate has grown 1.5 times and reached 48.5%. The service is followed by WebMoney and PayPal with 38.9% and 38.6%, respectively. The fourth most popular e-wallet is QIWI (36,2%). MTS Money Wallet is preferred by 12.1% of respondents aged 18-55. The most popular categories for e-wallet payments are online shopping (27.6% of respondents use e-wallets for shopping in Russian online stores, 27.8% shop in foreign ones, and 37.2%—in online stores without geography specification), mobile services payments (35.2%), digital content (films, music, books, social media payments making up 21%). In addition, 24% of respondents transfer money online, and 19% pay online for utility and housing services.

E-wallets are most often used from desktops (65.2% of respondents), however the popularity of the mobile versions is growing: in 2018, 53.7% of users pay with e-wallets via their smartphones, and this rate is 1.5 times higher than it was in 2017.

Online banking

The most popular provider of online banking services in Russia is Sberbank Online—with 81.7% of respondents using it in 2018. 19.9% prefer VTB-Online and 18.3% use Alfa Click. Tinkoff Bank and Russian Standard Bank are rounding out the top five online banking services with 17.4% and 6.5% respectively.

Russians use online banking for mobile services payments (67.7%), utility and housing services payments (61.6%), and online shopping (52.4%), as well as transferring money via online banking (48.8%) and paying traffic fines and taxes (41.8%).

Online banking services are equally used from desktops and via smartphones (77.7% and 77.8% respectively). Within the past year the rate of payers has grown by 7% for desktops, and by 20.8% for mobile devices.

Contactless payments

Contactless payment systems include Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay (formerly Android Pay). In 2018, Android Pay is used by 18.7% of respondents making it the most popular service, followed by Apple Pay being the preferred service of 16.5% of Russians, and Samsung Pay with 12.3%.


About the report

Mediascope (formerly TNS) has conducted an annual study on online payments preferences of Russians in 2018. The online survey involved Russian users in the 12-55 age range from cities with a population of more than 700 thousand people (in six federal districts) and cities of the Far Eastern federal district with a population of more than 600 thousand people. Respondents use the Internet at least once a week and pay online at least once in half a year. To analyze annual dynamics, Mediascope has interviewed people aged 18-55 years.

The full version of the report you can download here.


About Yandex.Money

Yandex.Money is the largest online payments service in Russia, according to a 2018 survey by Mediascope. The company is the joint venture of the search engine Yandex (NASDAQ: YNDX), and Sberbank. Yandex.Money offers consumers easy, safe, and reliable methods of paying online on its own site and mobile app. The service hosts about 35 million user accounts.

Yandex.Money also offers online merchants Yandex.Checkout. Yandex.Checkout is the leading service for accepting online payments in Russia, according to a 2018 survey by MARC. With this payment solution, merchants from all over the world can offer Russian consumers the online payment methods most popular among Russians and CIS-citizens: bank cards, e-wallets, mobile phones, and cash via mobile retailers and payment kiosks (there are over 250 thousand cash-acceptance points all over CIS). Currently, more than 90,000 online stores across the globe use Yandex.Checkout. The service received the Emerging Payment Award at the Merchant Payments Ecosystem conference (Berlin) in 2017.