Introduction to the Russian payment market

Offering insight into Russian market

After languishing for many years, the Russian payment market is quickly becoming one of the most attractive international markets with many domestic segments well positioned to grow exponentially in the near future.

From strong growth in debit, credit, and prepaid card issuing to an e-commerce market that could grow by 25% annually, the Russian payment market is intriguing. Between 2007 and 2011, although still a small payment market, Russia demonstrated growth in segments including payment card issuing, bank branch and ATM deployment, POS terminal rollouts, and e-commerce comparable to the leading international payment destinations, including China. Introduction to the Russian Payment Market, the latest in a series of Mercator Advisory Group reports examining international markets, sheds light on Russian payments.

“Initially, the Russian payment market appears stout, especially with the number of debit cards exceeding the total population of the country. However, under closer scrutiny the wider payment market is confounding. Despite the large number of debit cards issued, formal bank account penetration is less than 50%. Furthermore the overall number of ATMs and POS terminals is tiny compared with the size of the population. These oddities of the Russian payment market highlight the significant prospect for growth in the future,” comments Tristan Hugo-Webb, Analyst for Mercator Advisory Group’s International Advisory Service and the primary author of the report.

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