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Cross-border e-commerce surges in Russia

Increasingly more and more Russians go online, widening e-commerce market growth tremendously

Russia is one of Europe’s finest e-commerce spots, driven by blooming mobile and cross-border commerce, and a general openness to digital purchasing, from urban areas as well as rural. E-commerce has seen a jaw-dropping annual growth rate of 21%, amounting to $17.1 billion in 2017. Simultaneously, Russia hosts Europe’s largest group of internet users –71% of the population is online, of which 30M shop online regularly, leaving vast room for future development.

Russian consumers are increasingly turning to online shopping to save time and money as well as to obtain items unavailable offline. A striking trend has been observed towards the preference to shop from foreign retailers, conclusively proven by cross-border e-commerce significantly outpacing local e-commerce – 37% versus 6%. The encouraging driving force, apart from a wider selection of goods, is the exemption from tax and duties payment to international companies for personal-use goods.

Global merchants are not obliged to have a local entity to operate in Russia. However, processing with an established payment provider like PayU can enhance business potential immensely by unlocking access to locally preferred online payment methods.


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Credit and debit cards are just as popular in Russia as they are in other countries in CEE. Both Visa and MasterCard are present on the Russian market, alongside the local card scheme of the Central Bank of Russia called Mir (Russian for “world”). The scheme was created in 2015 in accordance with Russian federal law that requires international card issues such as Visa and MasterCard to process customer data through a local card scheme and store personal details of Russian citizens on servers physically located in Russia. Mir supports secure online payments through MirAcccept, a technology that eliminates fraud and increases acceptance rate by streamlined user experience.

E-wallets are outstandingly popular due to their establishment within the market for almost 10 years and suitability for e-commerce payment purposes. Domestic operators such as Yandex Money, Qiwi (in partnership with Visa) and WebMoney provide customers with a simplified and convenient online payment method. As for the Russian reverence for local payment methods, it is highly beneficial for merchants to process payments locally in order grasp Russia’s thriving e-commerce market.

With local expertise for more than five years, PayU’s sophisticated understanding of the Russian market and provision of all locally preferred payment methods largely aid increases in approval rates and overall success. Since 2013 PayU holds a Non-Banking Credit Organization license from the Central Bank of Russia instilling the ability to carry out financial activities without limitations. Additionally, PayU takes an active part in the Russian market by cooperating with certain associations such as the National Payments Council to help develop business specific online payment solutions.


Payment Methods Available in Russia with PayU

Credit and Debit Cards

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Mastercard Logo
Offer payments with MIR cards in Russia
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Accept payments with Maestro Cards through PayU


Expand your reach with credit at the point of sale
Offer your customers Yandex money in Russia
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Alfa Bank
Tinkoff Bank