Analysis of Financial Behaviour, Peculiarities of Russian Citizens and the Level of Financial Inclusion in Russia

with CGAP and Beyond Philanthropy
2800 respondents
52 regions

Research objectives

The study of peculiarities of financial behaviour of the Russian Federation citizens not using bank services and not having an access to them; assessment of the current level of financial inclusion. Research main tasks:

  • To define the groups of the Russian population not using or having no opportunity to use banking services; socio-demographic, socio-economic and behavioural segmentation of current and potential users;
  • To determine the level of demand for credit, savings, insurance and other financial products and the services of each of the singled out segments of the population, including those not using the services, by groups of products and services;
  • To reveal objective and subjective barriers for the population regarding access to credit, savings, insurance and other financial services for different segments of consumers, as well as to reveal the directions of the most effective activities for working with these social groups;
  • To assess possible ways to overcome barriers for financial inclusion by the method of development of remote services-channels;
  • To determine the factors having, according to the market players, the highest impact on increasing the services accessibility for the population;
  • To study the service provider’s strategy in terms of increasing accessibility of financial and insurance products and services.

Project Partner

The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor is a global partnership of 34 leading organisations that seek to advance financial inclusion. CGAP develops innovative solutions through practical research and active engagement with financial service providers, policy makers, and funders to enable deliverance of the required services to an acceptable volume. Housed at the World Bank, CGAP combines a pragmatic approach to responsible market development with an evidence-based advocacy platform to increase access to the financial services the poor need to improve their lives.

Methodology of research

The present report is prepared on the results of comprehensive analysis* of financial behaviour peculiarities of the Russian Federation citizens who do not use banking services and do not have an access to them, as well as of the financial inclusion assessment based on the results of the conducted survey by method of focus groups discussions,* in depth interviews with experts * and consumers of the Russian Federation. The research was conducted in May and June of 2014 for the international organisation CGAP, with the aim to prepare recommendations on increasing the level of financial awareness and inclusion in Russia.

* Russia-wide public opinion poll: individual (personal) formalised face-to-face interviews at respondent’s place of residence (mass survey according to a formalized questionnaire) – 2800 interviews.
* Focus group discussions: group discussions with representatives of different segments of the population with the aim to reveal the barriers and demand for using particular types of financial services, as well as their attitude towards using remote service channels – 5 focus-groups
* In-depth expert interviews: individual face-to-face conversations, based on a non-formalised discussion guide with representatives of the financial organisations responsible for market development strategy (top-management, executives of strategic and other relevant business units) – 40 interviews.

Key findings


Awareness of finance products and services:

  • The population awareness of current financial services in the market is at a middle level: the share of Russians who are aware of and know how to use different financial instruments varies from 22% to 71% depending on the product type. At the same time, the target audience representatives are best aware of the so called passive services i.e.- salary cards, savings deposit accounts, as well as “short-term credits” (POS-credits, cash loans).

  • The share of awareness of insurance instruments is significantly lower and does not exceed 58% for the most popular products. Russian consumers are best aware of the products that are provided to them automatically (VHI) or in accordance with the applicable legislation (OSAGO). At the same time Russian consumers frequently confuse different types of insurance (VHI and CHI, DSAGO and KASKO insurance, property damage insurance with residents liability insurance):

  • The awareness level of payment channels depends on the channel type: Russian consumers are well aware of direct or traditional channels (banks cash departments, in-store cash desks, mobile phone stores); the awareness level of transition channels (ATMs, terminals) is satisfactory, while the awareness level of innovative channels (mobile and online banking, e-wallet) can be evaluated as low.

  • The main factors having an impact on awareness levels, and, therefore, on usage, are: respondent’s income, the size of their place of residence, age, as well as (at tendency level) remoteness from both capitals.

Financial services usage experience:

  • The experience and the usage level of these instruments correlate with indices of products awareness. The most popular products of Russians are passive financial and insurance instruments (salary cards, OSAGO, VHI) and traditional payment channels

Intention to use financial services:

  • The demand for financial instruments is at middle level and closer to low. Less than 25% of respondents plan to apply for the most popular financial products (cash loans). Russians express the highest interest in credit and least demanded are savings products and plastic cards.

  • The demand level of insurance products is extremely low. On average from 5% to 22% of Russians plan to apply for different products (OSAGO is not included).

  • Direct payment and money transfer channels (implying making payment in cash directly to the salesperson or a financial company employee) are the leaders in payment instruments.

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