As recently as a decade ago, the Russian banking sector was an antique monstrosity, a huge system of paper-based transactions inherited from the former Soviet Union.
Businessmen in the fledgling capitalist economy were forced to carry suitcases of cash – typically American dollars – in order to make business deals. There wasn’t even a system of paper checks. People paid for utilities, bought groceries, paid rent and received their salaries in cash.
However, within the past few years, and particularly since the 1998 collapse of the ruble, an avalanche of technological changes has swept through the Russian banking system.