Merchants bearish on Russian e-commerce potential
Accepting payments from customers in Russia is not always a straightforward process, although interest in the area is growing.
Data from a PPRO eastern Europe payments and e-commerce report published in 2018 underlines that Russia’s e-commerce market is growing by 9% annually and is worth in excess of €23.5 billion.
A hunger for consumer goods in remote regions is being met by overseas retailers, with the PPRO report noting that the cross-border e-commerce market in Russia is growing more than four times as fast as the overall market. Credit card usage is also relatively high.
However, e-commerce growth in Russiaremains well below the global average of 14% and even further behind the eastern Europe regional average of 16.8%. In addition, only 3.5% of total retail expenditure in Russia comes from e-commerce, compared to the global average of 6.9% – figures that suggest significant potential for further growth.
James Booth, PPRO
One of the challenges facing international merchants looking to do business with customers in Russia is the existence of a sovereign payments area in the form of the Russian national payment system, MIR. The purpose of this initiative was to create a system where external economic or political factors could not affect the processing of card payments in Russia.