Share of non-cash payments in Russia hits 80%

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According to Elvira Nabiullina, the head of the Bank of Russia, the share of cashless transactions in Russia has risen to 80%, up from 25% a decade ago.

“The share of non-cash payments is like a barometer for assessing the maturity of the state financial system,” Nabiullina said earlier today at the international RUSSIA EXPO, which opened in Moscow.

Over the last few years, the proportion of cashless transactions in the country has steadily increased.

The central bank reported last year that 79% of Russians preferred non-cash payment methods for goods and services. According to the regulator, the figure was hovering around 70% in the second quarter of 2020.

In 2021, Russia’s largest lender, Sberbank, stated that the share of non-cash spending among Russians surged to 59.4% in the first three months of the year, an all-time high.

Earlier this year, the first deputy chairman of the Bank of Russia, Olga Skorobogatova, said the EU and the US have been copying the Russian experience in creating their own payment solutions.

In 2020, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) ranked Russia among the top five in the world for the speed with which it transitioned to non-cash payments during the Covid-19 pandemic.

BCG analysts calculated the net change in consumer cash payments by subtracting the proportion of consumers who used cash more frequently during the pandemic from the proportion of consumers who used it less frequently. The change in Russia was estimated to be -48%. Only the United Kingdom (-62%), Canada (-59%), and Australia (-53%) outperform Russia on this metric.