For the first time ever, Russians completed more cashless payments in a quarter than they did with physical cash, according to research from Sberbank.
During the fourth quarter of 2019, over half (50.4%) of transactions for products and services in Russia were paid for digitally. This is 4.5 percentage points higher than the same period in 2018.
The bank is expecting cashless payments will exceed 50% in 2020.
More than 36 regions in Russia exceeded the 50% mark for cashless payments. Murmansk Region was the largest area for cashless payments, hitting 60% of all transactions.
Chukotka Autonomous District witnessed the largest growth in cashless payments, increasing by 7.7 percentage points in from Q4 2018 to Q4 2019.
The adoption of cashless payments is expected to be larger in the biggest cities; however, Moscow and Saint Petersburg have quite a low usage rate compared with other places in the country. Only 54.6% of transactions in Saint Petersburg were cashless and while it was 53.7% in Moscow, putting them 19th and 30th, respectively, in a list of the highest cashless transactions in the country.
Sberbank believes cashless will become the preferable payment method for most Russians next year.
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