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.
About 36% of payments processed via eWallets account were transferred to mobile operators, and 38% to gaming operators and social network services. In the online gaming domain, eWallets account for the biggest share of payment compared to other payment methods (gaming payment statistics).
In 2012 the eWallet market suffered major changes following introduction of the new regulations (National Payment System Law). These regulations require from eWallet operators going through a proper registration and licensing process. It is widely believed that this legislation will lead to further standardization of the Russian electronic money market.