Russia Credit Card

By: EconomyWatch Content   Date: 23 February 2010

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Russia is an emerging credit card market. With several international players operating in the Russia credit card industry, individuals have multiple product choices. One can make payments through credit cards in all the major business cities. Online payment through credit cards is also popular in Russia.

Russia Credit Card Industry

The Russia credit card industry began to soar in the early 2000s. As consumers tasted the power of plastic money, the economy saw a considerable shift. According to the US Department of Commerce, there were 8 credit card companies in Russia in 2005, with market penetration of 0.02 per capita. This was almost a 1000% surge from the 1998 data.

After 2004, foreign credit card issuers start investing in Russian banks to grab a larger share of the pie. France's BNP Paribas bought 50% stake in Russian Standard Bank and GE Consumer Finance acquired Delta Bank. Both the Russian banks were pioneers in offering credit card products in the nation. Their policy to approve credit card applications instantly revolutionized the scene. This led to a reduced share of the state-owned savings bank, Sberbank, in the credit card industry.

Over the years, several Russian banks have begun to offer credit cards. In the post-2008 recession period, aggressive credit card marketing was subdued. The government, in collaboration with the central bank, has developed pro-active credit card policies for a smoother ride.

Russia Credit Card: Major Issuers

Major credit card issuers in Russia are:

  • Avangard JSB

  • Alfa Bank

  • Barclays Bank

  • CB Industrial Credit Bank

  • Citibank

  • CB Alta-Bank CJSC

  • Delta Bank

  • HSBC Bank

  • International Industrial Bank

  • JS Bank Rosevrobank

  • New Symbol Bank

  • Russian Standard

  • Sberbank Russia

  • Stolichny Bank International N.V.

  • West Siberian Commercial Bank

Russia Credit Card: Popular Credit Cards

Russia credit card issuers have associations with MasterCard and Visa Inc. The standard card and gold card are available through most issuers, with a range of rewards programs. Major players, like Citi, HSBC, Delta and Russian Standard, offer affinity cards as well.

Russia credit cards are available at lower interest rates as compared those in the US. Many people use them simply as an ATM card. The ensuing years may see the Russian economy shifting towards a cashless mode.

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