In the final quarter of the 20th century Russia experienced major upheavals in its political, economic and social spheres. These events led to drastic changes in many aspects of state governance, the financial system and social structure in the past several decades. During this time, Russia has transitioned from a state with very limited international trade volumes in all aspects of consumer merchandise to a major Eurasian consumer empire.
eWallets or virtual currency operators are one of the most common distant payment mechanisms in Russia. They successfully took on themselves the role of plastic cards in other parts of the world. According to 2012 statistics, there are 34 million eWallet accounts which is 10% higher than year before. The total payment volume processed through these accounts reached $4 billion (50% increase over 2010!). Majority of these accounts are operated by Yandex.Money, WebMoney and Qiwi.
Yandex.Money is an eWallet owned and operated by the biggest Russian web search engine Yandex. Yandex.Money offices are located in Moscow and in St. Petersburg.
Yandex.Money is one of the three most popular eWallets in x-USSR, it is the biggest eWallet in Russia. Traditionally its services have been popular for e-commerce payments (merchants) as opposed to p2p transfers.
Qiwi is the newest eWallet out of the four largest Russian eWallets. While the brand (with its kiwi logo) first appeared in 2007, the company was far from being a small start-up; Qiwi was in fact launched by the OSMP Group, the largest Russian cash terminal network, active since 2004.
WebMoney Transfer or simply WebMoney or WM is the leading electronic payment network in the x-USSR countries. WebMoney currently operate over 12 million accounts (4.5 million of which are active), which places them on the third place in the world just after AliPay (China) and PayPal (US) and before Moneybookers (UK). Total turnover in 2009 was $7.2 billion, with an average USD transaction of $100.
WebMoney offer their account holders maintain any number of purses in one of 5 currencies: