Poll Shows Nearly 90% of Russians Still Prefer Cash to Cards

payment terminals

Cash is still the most widespread payment method in Russia, 89% of the country’s population using it regularly, while only two percent of Russians fully abandone cash payments, RBC wrote on Monday citing a poll by the Levada Center.

Debit cards are the second most popular payment tool, and 58% of those polled said they used cards on a regular basis. However, older age groups tend to use cash more, the poll showed.

Most people cannot discontinue using cash for two reasons, said the head of the National Payment Council, Alma Obayeva. First, there is no access to the Internet in remote areas, and second, small shops don’t have card payment terminals. Other obstacles include terminal failures that may come from businesses’ unwillingness to accept cards due to high acquiring fees, Director of Consulting Services Proposition for Financial Service at Deloitte CIS Maxim Nalyutin added.

People haven’t got used to non-cash payments yet, says Olga Karayeva, project manager at Levada Center’s Socio-Economic Research Department pointed out.

“People find it more difficult to control their expenditures because they can’t feel how much money they spend,” she added.

The share of Russians who use only non-cash payment methods may grow to reach four percent in the next two years, Obayeva believes. The increase will become possible thanks to young people who haven’t started to actively use credit cards yet but are already used to technology in all areas of life, the expert says.