Payment methods for online purchases in Russia: consumer preferences

Data Insight survey results show which payment methods for online goods and services are the most popular in Russia – and why

This summary of Data Insight research results covers consumers’ attitudes towards online payments, as well as which factors determine their choice of a particular payment method when making purchases online. The survey ran in January and February 2020 and targeted both male and female respondents between 18 and 64 years old, permanently living in Russia. Read on to find out which methods of paying for online purchases are the most popular in Russia, their breakdown by industry, and what Russian consumers care about when deciding which method to use.

 

Paying for online purchases: the most popular methods of payment in Russia

The respondents were prompted to choose all methods of payment they had used for online purchases made in the last 30 days, and the results were as follows:

The most popular methods of payment in Russia in 2020

The most popular methods of payment in Russia in 2020. Source: Data Insight

 

Not all of these payment methods may be well-known outside of Russia, especially the Faster Payments System, which is a Central Bank of Russia initiative, allowing individuals to transfer money using a cell phone number (you can find out more here).

Several of the most popular online payment systems are described in Russian Search Marketing posts here and here, as well as in this 2015 post listing the most popular e-commerce payment solutions at that time.

But what methods of payment for goods and services purchased online do Russians prefer to use in 2020?

Interestingly, most respondents used 3–4 different types of payment, with 31% of respondents using 5+ different payment methods.

Out of respondents using only one payment method, 73% prefer using a credit or debit card to pay for goods and services online, and 10% would rather pay with their card on delivery.

The most popular combinations of payment methods in Russia

The most popular combinations of payment methods in Russia. Source: Data Insight

The most popular combinations of payment methods are as follows:

  • online card payments + cash: 76%
  • online + offline card payments: 67%
  • offline card payments + cash: 60%
  • online card payments + online banking: 45%
  • cash + online banking: 40%

Differences in payment method preferences by age and gender

For the most popular methods of payment, the difference in usage between men and women is not significant. However, men are slightly more likely to use less popular methods of payment, such as digital wallets, offline payment kiosks, or cryptocurrency.

There are some differences in preferred methods of payment by age. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 18 to 24: mobile payment transfers
  • 25 to 34: mobile payment transfers, as wells as digital wallets and online banking
  • 35 to 44: no specific preferences
  • 55-64: digital wallets, and less-than-average use of mobile payment transfers

Online payments in Russia in 2020: e-commerce and beyond

Online payments in Russia in 2020 by industry

Online payments in Russia in 2020 by industry. Source: Data Insight

Among the various segments, the following are lagging behind in online payment adoption: services, taxi, food delivery, and event tickets.

Meanwhile, mobile payments are the most popular payment method for online games and content subscriptions, which is not surprising, given that smartphones are used for both.

Online banking is commonly used to pay for utilities or for services provided by government entities.

Compared to the 2015 survey conducted by Yandex.Money (Russian Search Marketing covered it here), several changes are evident:

Payment methods and decision to complete a purchase

According to the survey results, availability of convenient payment methods matters more than discounts or even free delivery. Here’s the breakdown of factors that influence respondents’ decision to make an online purchase:

Factors that influence Russian buyers’ decision to make an online purchase

Factors that influence Russian buyers’ decision to make an online purchase. Source: Data Insight

However, only 18% of respondents did not purchase a desired product because their preferred methods of payment were not available. Here are the most common reasons for not buying a product or service:

The most common reasons for not buying a product or service online

The most common reasons for not buying a product or service online. Source: Data Insight

A note on the results: in this case, “no cash on hand” refers to situations where an online vendor only offers cash payments as the payment option.

For situations where a vendor was perceived as untrustworthy, some of the respondents were uncomfortable with paying for a product before it is delivered.

As a way to overcome this concern, some Russian online stores offer to keep the money in an escrow account until the purchased product is delivered. For the same reason, money back guarantees are also an important factor for Russians making online purchases.

Choosing a payment method: what matters most to Russian buyers

In the survey, respondents were able to choose several factors that matter to them when they are choosing a specific method of payment.

Here are the results:

Primary considerations when making an online purchase in Russia

Primary considerations when making an online purchase in Russia. Source: Data Insight

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