According to analysis from Sberbank, Russians made more payments digitally than with cash.
SberData project found out that Russians made 50.4% of total transactions with cashless payments during 2019, up 4.5 percentage points during the same period in 2018.
The migration away from cash is not limited to big cities. Murmansk region in the northwest leads the way with 60% of transactions cashless. However, Moscow and Saint Petersburg are coming in at 30th and 19th places in the ranking of Russian cashless cities.
Russia’s migration to digital payments has been partly driven by the creation of a national payments card intended to challenge the dominance of Visa and MasterCard.
The scheme was built at the behest of President Vladimir Putin in response to US and EU sanctions in 2014 which saw MasterCard and Visa cut off services to several of the country’s banks following the annexation of Crimea.