Russia, the largest country of the world, has over 83 million active internet users and high smartphone engagement. But how does the internet connected tech-savvy population uses QR Codes in Russia?

Back in Jul 2012, J’son and Partners Consulting conducted a survey in Russia. The aim was to check QR Code awareness amongst the Russian citizens. The data depicted that:

  • 33% people knew what a QR Code is
  • 8% people understood it incorrectly
  • 23% have scanned QR Codes (half of them did it all the time)
  • 44% did not know how to scan a QR Code

This was way back in 2012. Things have changed since then. Now QR Codes are used in e-commerce, advertisements, architecture, and transport in Russia.

Here are some of the use cases of QR Codes in Russia:

1. Currency

The Russian currency notes, Rubles, bear a QR Code. In 2017, the Central Bank of Russia and the National Mint Goznak unveiled QR Codes on 200 and 2,000 Ruble notes.

qr codes in russia ruble

The aim behind adding QR Codes to Russian currency was to get the banks and businesses to upgrade their technology.

These QR Codes direct the users to the Central Bank’s official website. The site provides information such as security features and overall design of the notes.

2. Payments

Not everyone in Russia uses a latest model of smartphone. Rather, they have a very democratic smartphone market. This makes space for e-wallets based on QR Codes and not NFCs (Near Field Communication). So QR Codes are used widely to make payments in Russia.

a. Yandex.Checkout

It is the leading service for accepting online payments in Russia as per MARC’s survey, 2016.

Yandex.checkout helps merchants accept payments through QR Codes. It allows the sellers to place a QR Code on their merchandise such as:

  • Material goods (pizza boxes, books, etc.)
  • Digital products
  • Documents

To make payment, user should have Yandex.Money app on the smartphone. All that one needs to do is:

  • Open Yandex.Money app
  • Scan the QR Code
  • Choose a payment method— e-wallet or a bank card

Also see how statistics indicate the soaring use of QR Codes worldwide.

b. Messengers and social networks

Russians will be able to transfer money via messengers and social networks with a QR Code by 2019. FinTech association under the Bank of Russia is developing an app to make it possible.

This option will emerge as an alternative to over-the-phone money transfers.

The users will generate a QR Code in the app, add it to a bank card, and save the changes.

To transfer the money, the user will open the QR Code and select the channel of transfer (messenger or social network). Next, the user will enter the recipient’s account number to deposit the amount in his bank.

The experts predict this to boost the cashless transactions by almost 40%.

3. Architecture

In Aug 2012, Russia opened the futuristic QR Code encrusted Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale. Every inch of the pavilion—floor, walls, ceiling— is covered with QR Codes.

qr codes in russia Russian Pavilion Venice

The visitors can access the virtual exhibition with a tablet. These QR Codes reveal the plans for Skolkovo city, dedicated to science and technology.

4. Train Tickets

The tickets for the train—Moskva— feature the train on one side and a QR Code on the other. Only 6000,000 such tickets were printed in Apr 2017.

qr codes in russia train tickets

The QR Code is for a mobile app with augmented reality technology. The app allows users to transfer the digital model of Moskva train to anywhere in the world.

5. Railway History

Moscow Central Circle (MCC) has put up Railway History posters and QR Codes at stations. This helps the passengers see what these stations looked like a 100 years ago.

qr codes in russia railways

The QR Codes help passengers download the information on history and construction of MCC. They can then read this downloaded information while on their journey.

6. Heritage sites

The heritage sites in moscow have QR Codes printed on the fence. These QR Codes reveal the site’s history.

qr codes in russia heritage site

One can scan the QR code to find the information as text, images, and maps. It also provides an audio option that allows you listen to the text.

These examples show wide use of  QR Codes in Russia. The QR Codes are versatile enough to direct the users from print media to online content.

If you’re a marketer and you want to run a campaign in Russia, QR Codes are the ‘way to go’ for you.

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