Alternative Finances

Kiosk-based Money Transfers In Russia Double

Money transfers sent through kiosks in Russia have nearly doubled in the past year, according to Self Service World.

Payment services provider Qiwi, which dominates the Russian money kiosk business, said that transfers through its own systems and those of its partner, Unistream International, grew close to 100 percent compared to 2013. The volume of transfers has been roughly doubling every year since 2011.

Consumers in Russia, who are leery of financial institutions after a series of banking collapses, have kept the country largely a cash society. Only 20 to 25 percent of Russian adults have bank accounts, and even fewer have credit cards — most of which are only used for cash withdrawals.

As a result, money remittance services are very popular in the country, as well as between Russia and the former Soviet states that make up the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), according to Anna Stoklitskaya, managing director for Qiwi.

Qiwi’s network includes 171,000 kiosks and 70 million users, with operations in former Soviet-bloc countries as well as the U.K., Vietnam, Israel, Mongolia, Czech Republic and Turkey.

 

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