Apr. 11 – Users from any country, other than Russia, can make payments to the sites of Russian companies or e-shops through Russia’s online payment system Yandex.Money. Yandex is a popular Russian search engine.
The payment system has recently launched a redesigned website: money.yandex.ru. The website is the main space for transactions, such as money transfers, online payments and transfers of virtual Yandex money to users’ bank accounts. Money transfers will take up to two business days.
Such transfers will make it possible to convert virtual money into real currency which can be used on Visa or MasterCard.
Users can bind a card of any bank operating in Russia or abroad to a personal Yandex account. Currently this offer is not yet available to users with bank cards issued in the United States or Canada.
Users from other countries are able to pay for all products connected to online payment system stores, for example: Russian goods such as books, music, movies. In addition, Yandex users can pay for digital goods and virtual services: Watching movies, online language courses, and subscriptions to electronic libraries.
“This is a fast and secure way to make payments in Russia,” one user who already tried the new service wrote in their comments. Of course, merchants do not store any card details; it is not very different from Paypal.
The limit of the amount is set to 75,000 rubles (around US$2,600) per transaction for verified account holders at Yandex and 15,000 rubles (around US$500) for anonymous account holders.
The company believes that the new service will soon become very popular, considering Yandex (unlike classic banks) does not charge any commission on payments.
The Internet payment system Yandex is one of the largest in Russia, with over 80,000 various transactions made daily on Yandex by Russian Internet users.
By launching the new service, Yandex is trying to reach their target audience – Russians abroad. According to some estimates, there are as many as 1.25 million Russian citizens living abroad by mid-2011.
The next step for the Russian online payment system should be a web site in English, one user wrote on their blog. Meanwhile, Yandex has not announced any plan to adopt new services to English-speaking users.
There are some other payment systems that are used for online monetary transactions and payments in Russia, like RBK Money (also known as RUpay), MoneyMail and Moneta.ru (which offers currency exchange).