18:13, 17 April 2020 Page views 1540 views

Growing cashless payments in Russia exceed 53.1%

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SberData, Sberbank’s big data analytics and processing lab, and OFD Platform, a fiscal data operator, continue their series of studies focused on the cashless payments in Russia.

The share of card payments for products and services continued its growth to reach 53.1% in QI 2020 (3.6 pct YoY). 

For the first time ever, the threshold of 50% was exceeded in the last quarter and the indicator is unlikely to fall below this figure in 2020
In five Russian regions, the share of cashless payments exceeded 60% (as compared to only one region past year). The leader is still the Murmansk region with 62.6% of card payments for goods and services, followed by the Komi Republic (61.8%) and the Republic of Karelia (61.3%). Significantly, even in the context of a noticeable increase in the cashless purchases, the gap between the leading regions and the national average indicator has remained almost the same for a long time. Thus, cashless payments in the Tomsk Region (58%, ranked 10th) exceed the national average by 4.9 pct. So, while the card payment market is approaching its saturation point, intensive development is seen even in the regions where the penetration rate is high.

At the same time, the leader in terms of YoY growth was the region with a relatively low rate of cashless payments – the Republic of Khakassia that demonstrated a growth by 8.1 pct YoY (exceeding the national indicator by 2.2 times). This jump allowed the republic to exceed 50% threshold (50.2% of purchases paid by card). Moscow and St. Petersburg demonstrated moderate growth rates of 2.9 and 3.3 percentage points, respectively.

On average, the share of cashless payments in the largest cities is comparable with regional figures, which reflects homogenous penetration. The most “cashless” city was Syktyvkar (63.6%), while Tobolsk that hits rock bottom with its 59.7% in the top ten didn’t lag far behind. Moscow and St. Petersburg demonstrated 56.9% and 57.8%, respectively. The cashless growth rates in the largest cities (3.4 pct YoY in QI 2020) outpaced the growth rate in Russia as a whole. This proves that the card payment infrastructure is developing evenly throughout the country.

In the first quarter, the share of cashless payments continued to grow in all major spending categories, with a steady 60+% growth of cashless turnover in almost every segment.

Convenience stores, which come under a chronically cash-prevalent category, demonstrated a leapfrog that may be explained by the lockdown. There, the cashless payments reached 46% (+8 pct compared to the last year figures).

The coronavirus epidemic can boost cashless payments. Fears to be infected make consumers prefer card payments, especially contactless ones. Besides, many retailers refused to accept cash, especially for online orders.

According to the OFD Platform estimates, the share of cashless payments increased by 8 pct in the first week of April 2020, compared to the same period last year. Similarly to QI, convenience stores are demonstrating the most noticeable changes, with 52% of purchases paid by card (+14 pct compared to the same period last year).

The factor of coronavirus pandemic and its general impact on the economy significantly affected the average receipt amount as well. According to OFD Platform, QI saw an increase in the categories such as Electronics and Clothing, which may stem from the ruble’s decline. The 11% decline YoY in the Hotels segment is explained by a sharp drop in demand. A similar picture can be seen in the catering segment. Most of these changes occurred in March, but the figures turned out to be so significant that they affected the totals of the whole quarter.