The service was launched in 2007. Officially, its headquarters are in Cyprus, and there are also offices across Eastern Europe and certain countries of Central Asia. Qiwi is listed on NASDAQ and complies with PCI DSS. It is also verified by Visa, MasterCard, and ApplePay among other services.
Developed mainly for users from Russia and extremely popular in this country, Qiwi also appeals to clients from Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, to mention a few other key markets.
Using this payment method is extremely easy. It takes under 1 minute to register an e-wallet via the official website, an iOS or Android app, or via the Qiwi terminal. The procedure requires players to provide an active phone number, to which the system sends an SMS with a verification code. A user is then to determine the e-wallet’s username and to figure the best way to load it with cash.
There are multiple ways of adding funds to the wallet. The easiest one is to tie a credit card to it. This means that you won’t need to send funds to the wallet. Instead, you can choose to pay with an e-wallet online, and the system will automatically process the payment cards. This is very similar to what PayPal offers.
If you’d like to lead the wallet by a credit card instead of trying one, this service will be free from service fees if you top-up the account by 200 RUB or more. Via a Qiwi terminal, there will be no commissions for loads over 1,501 RUB. Alternative ways to add funds to the account include bank transfers, ATMs, Qiwi-friendly stores and kiosks, or payments from the phone balance.
In addition to having an e-wallet, you can also order a virtual or a physical Qiwi card, which will be co-branded with Visa or MasterCard. Virtual cards are free and can be used to pay online. Physical cards will allow using funds from the wallet without withdrawing those first. They cost around 350 RUB or more depending on the level of services.