One-third of Ukrainians are ready to entirely switch to payments with digital cards – Mastercard survey

Kyiv, Ukraine, February 09, 2023 – Cashless payments remain a strong habit among Ukrainians even in war times, while the popularity of contactless payments using smartphones or other NFC-enabled gadgets has grown significantly. Every second respondent (51%) made such payments over the past year, which is 11 p.p. higher than a year before. One-third of Ukrainians claim they are ready to abandon plastic payment cards in favor of digital ones in the next two years. These are the results of the MasterIndex survey by Mastercard aimed to find out the payment preferences of Ukrainians, banking consumers.

Unbreakable cashless

The most notable increase in the use of cashless payments during the year occurred in several categories, including utilities, where 75% of respondents made cashless payments always or most often, medicines (61%), train tickets, intercity buses, and planes (47%), clothing and shoes (46%) as well as urban public transport (26%).

When making payments in physical retail outlets, 59% of Ukrainians choose cashless payments, and 8% avoid stores where payments with a card are unavailable. At the same time, there is increasing interest in ‘made in Ukraine’ brands. In 2022, 58% of respondents said they were more likely to buy Ukrainian-made goods.

Among the payment services that acquired significant importance in wartime, particular attention should be given to the ‘Purchase with cash withdrawal’ service, which allows people to withdraw cash directly at the checkouts in stores, petrol stations, pharmacies, and other retail outlets when paying for purchases with a card. Last year, 37% of Ukrainians surveyed confirmed they used this service.

"Despite all the challenges of a full-scale war, the Ukrainian financial frontline remains resilient, ensuring the smooth operation of the payment infrastructure and critical access of Ukrainians to financial services. Even under such unprecedented circumstances, Ukraine consistently remains one of the leading countries in terms of the advancement of digital solutions, particularly digital payments. Together with our partners, we continue to implement innovative payment solutions that unlock even more opportunities for Ukrainians from developing technological platforms for money transfers and social payment services to crypto cards and other digital solutions", noted Inga Andreieva, General Manager, Mastercard Ukraine and Moldova.

In 2022, Ukrainians bought online with the same frequency as before the war: 88% had an online shopping experience, while 64% of respondents made online purchases one or more times per month. The study showed that in online payments, there was a noticeable increase in the use of digital wallets (Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.): 37% of Ukrainians, which is 17 p.p. more than a year earlier, mentioned such payment options as one of the most frequent. At the same time, the number of people who pay for online orders with cash upon receipt is decreasing: while in 2021, 39% of respondents chose such an option, last year, their number dropped to 28%.

Helping in a cashless way

Charity has become an essential part of life for Ukrainians. According to the MasterIndex survey, two-thirds (66%) of Ukrainians made cashless donations during the year.

Of all Ukrainians who received financial aid from international organizations or foundations in 2022, 90% received it on a bank card.

Crypto transactions  

In 2022, Ukrainians demonstrated an increasing interest in cryptocurrencies. 30% of respondents have made or plan to make operations with crypto: 13% have already had such experience, doubling the previous year’s number, and 17% plan to make crypto operations this year.

For many years Mastercard, together with the National Bank of Ukraine and other government agencies, banks, and merchants, have been actively developing the country`s payment and digital ecosystem, that helped to ensure stable operation of cashless payments and digital services from the first days of the full-scale invasion. Some of the pre-war financial and digital services got their momentum today. Thus, Mastercard’s ‘Digital First’ programme allows customers to issue a digital card in the mobile banking app and immediately use it for payments. Another Mastercard service – ‘Purchase with cash withdrawal’ – ensures Ukrainians have access to funds on their card accounts at the checkouts in dozens of chain stores. ‘Mastercard Send’ technological platform allows to receive and send money transfers, collect donations, and receive financial aid on cards from international organizations quickly and easily. Also, last year, together with partners, Mastercard introduced the first crypto card in Ukraine and, in cooperation with Ukrzaliznytsia (ENG: Ukrainian Railways), launched a mobile app for ticket sales.


About MasterIndex

The survey on Ukrainians' attitudes to cashless payments was conducted by InMind on behalf of Mastercard in November-December 2022 via an online poll. The survey involved 1,502 respondents aged 18-60 years living in cities with a population of 50 thousand people or more in the territory controlled by Ukraine.