Russians have only one bank card for any situation

10 October 2019

More than a half of Russians (58%) have only one bank card. 28% of the respondents hold two or three cards. Only 2% of Russians own four or five bank cards. Moreover, two thirds (67%) of the respondents frequently use only one bank card and one in five respondents (19%) uses 2-3 cards. Retail purchase of goods and services (63%), cash withdrawal (58%) and service payment via ATMs (30%) are the most popular operations with plastic bank cards.

Romir research holding within the national poll* has asked the respondents about the use of bank cards. Such surveys were also conducted in 2015 and 2012. The results of the last one showed that Russians shrink from collecting plastic cards and choose only one or two of them but use it regularly.

Thus, the majority (58%) of card owners has only one plastic card (see Histogram 1). Almost the same share of the respondents (53%) claimed the possession of one card in 2015. But in 2012 the number of one card owners was twice as small – 28%. Instead, more than a half of Russians (53%) had two or three plastic cards in 2012. This year the number has fallen by a half – 28%.

Histogram 1. Possession and use of bank plastic cards.

Possession and use of bank plastic cards

Data source: Romir

Ownership of four or five plastic cards has become few and far between – this year just 2% of the respondents claimed that. In 2015 3% of Russians gave such answer, in 2012 – 12%. Almost nobody has claimed the ownership of six cards or more within the current survey. In 2015 this figure was 1% and in 2012 – 3%.

One in eight Russians (12%) don’t have any bank cards. Over the last four years the number of such Russians has decreased by 6%, but over the seven-years period we see the threefold increase.

Speaking about the use of plastic cards, it’s worth mentioning that the situation is relevant to the data on card possession. So, two thirds of the respondents (67%) regularly use only one plastic card and the share of such answers has been constantly increasing. One in five Russians (19%) use two or three bank cards. Since 2012 the share of such answers has decreased more than twofold – from 41%. And almost nobody uses three cards all at the same times.

14% of the respondents said that they don’t use any bank card. It means that some of the card owners don’t use them. Four years ago, for instance, 20% of the respondents claimed such style of a card non-use and in 2012 – only 1% of the respondents.

The last question covered the operations with plastic cards. Thus, the offline purchase of goods and services (63%) has become the most popular answer this year (see Histogram 2). In 2012 the share of such answers was the same. 58% use plastic cards only to withdraw cash in ATMs. Over the seven years the share of such answers has decreased by 10 p.p.

Besides, over the same period the share of Russians who use plastic cards for online paying for goods and services and paying via ATMs has decreased (from 55% to 30% and 42% to 23% relatively). 22% of the respondents accumulate money on the bank card. In 2012 one third of Russians claimed such a use of plastic cards.

Histogram 2. Most popular operations with plastic bank cards.

Most popular operations with plastic bank cards

Data sourceRomir

Andrey Milekhin, the president of Romir and Doctor of Sociological Sciences, comments on the results: “New technologies are actively implemented I our life. Nowadays we can pay for purchases by smartphones, watches and rings, i.e. plastic cards take the back seats to these cutting-edge ways of payment. Besides, modern customers become more literate. After playing with plastic cards of different banks for long enough many people opts for the more convenient one”.

*The poll surveyed 1500 people aged from 18 and older, residing in all types of cities and villages in all federal districts. The sample represents the adult population of Russia.


Romir is the largest Russian private holding specializing in marketing, media and socio-economic surveys. The company has its own large regional network in Russia and countries of former Soviet Union. Romir is an exclusive representative of Gallup International, the international research association, in Russia and CIS countries with the research geography over 40 countries.

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