Sberbank analyzed usage of foreign credit cards, cash payments and currency conversion.

World Cup 2018: who spent money, where, and why?


Mag. Linda Michalech
Head of Corporate Communications

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Football fans spent around EUR 1.3 billion in Russia during World Cup 2018

Sberbank analyzed usage of foreign credit cards in the European part of Russia during the FIFA World Cup 2018, taking into consideration all credit cards purchases, cash payments and currency conversions within Sberbank network. The outcome: Between 14 June and 16 July 2018, guests from abroad spent around EUR 1.3 billion in Russia.

Fans spent most on hotels

Football fans spent most of their money on hotels and restaurants, with the largest expense surge registered in the sports goods segment. Hotels earned around EUR 67.9 million during the World Cup, with the aggregate figure for the entire country being even higher, as fans used different housing and payment options.

US, Mexico and China leading in cashless payment

During the tournament Sberbank’s acquiring network serviced clients from over 190 countries. The largest increase (+17.4%) was registered among bank cards issued in the United States, with a plus of 113,000 cards. Bank cards from Mexico ranked second (63,000), followed by Chinese cards (33,000). New countries whose cards were not serviced in the previous period included Ethiopia, the Republic of Vanuatu, Tonga and Guinea-Bissau.

Cash is not king

8.2% of all expenses were covered by ATM cash withdrawals, whilst currency exchange accounted for 6%. The share of cash-free expenses in Sberbank’s acquiring network for European cards amounted to around 70%; for North and South America it came in at approximately 90%. The share of cash-free transactions for Chinese cards stood at 94%.

The 2018 World Cup kicked off on 14 June and ended on 16 July 2018, with France beating Croatia 4:2 in the final match. The matches were played in 11 cities across Russia. Read the whole survey here:  World Cup 2018: who spent money, where, and why? (PDF)

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