Electronic wallet: what is it and what can it be useful for

E-wallets, like bank cards, are electronic means of payment. In other words, an alternative to coins and banknotes.

Using an electronic wallet, you can send and receive money transfers, pay for goods and services, and at the same time do not use either cash or a bank account. Transfers between wallets are instant, many systems allow transactions in different currencies.

Why do you need an e-wallet?

In principle, you can do without it, but electronic money has several advantages, especially when you pay online.

Ease of transaction

To use an e-wallet, you do not need to open a bank account. It is not even necessary to leave the house – you can start a wallet remotely.

There is no charge for opening a wallet. The recipient will receive the money instantly. True, the sender (or recipient) will most likely have to pay a commission, so it is worth comparing the rates of different money transfer methods in advance.


Many large online stores and services accept payments from electronic wallets. You can create a wallet specifically for payments on the Internet and put the required amount on it right before transferring to the seller. It is much safer than paying with a payroll card or a credit card with a large limit.

You do not have to indicate your card number, its expiration date, secret code. This means that even if you end up on a phishing site, scammers will not be able to access your bank account.


Many banks – EMF operators issue (usually free of charge) plastic cards that give access to money in the wallet. They can pay not only on the Internet, but also in ordinary shops, restaurants, and other establishments.

Even if you have debit or credit cards, it can sometimes be advantageous to have a separate card for your e-wallet. EMF operators often offer discounts, bonuses, and cashback. You can compare these offers with your bank”s loyalty program. Perhaps in some cases, you will get more benefits by using an electronic wallet.

What are the disadvantages of electronic wallets?

There are several disadvantages:

  • electronic money is not protected by the deposit insurance system;
  • no interest is accrued on the balance of the electronic wallet;
  • an EMF operator, even if it is a bank, is not entitled to lend electronic money to a client.

In addition, scammers can steal money from an electronic wallet, as well as from a card.

How to deposit funds?

By any means offered by the EMF operator, including depositing cash through ATMs and payment terminals.

You can accept transfers from bank cards and accounts of other people, as well as from companies and individual entrepreneurs.

How to get an electronic wallet?

  1. Select an EMF operator
    First, study the terms of use of the wallet, the rules, and tariffs for electronic money transfers. Find out in what ways and with what commissions you can replenish your wallet and withdraw cash from it.

Pay attention to the period of storage of money in the electronic wallet. It is often stated in the conditions that if the owner does not use the wallet for a long time (usually more than two years), the operator can close the wallet and deduct money from it in his favor.

The terms of the contract are standard, they are usually published on the website of the EMF operator, as well as on the screens of ATMs and payment terminals.

2. Select the type of wallet. Decide which wallet suits you best – anonymous, named, or identified. An already open anonymous wallet can then be turned into a nominal one if you provide the EMF operator with your data. Namely – to the identified one, if you come with a passport to the office of the EMF operator or its partners.

On the contrary, it will not work: the identified wallet cannot become personal, and that one cannot become anonymous. But you can always open another wallet with a different degree of identification.

  1. Choose currency. An identified wallet can be opened not only in rubles but also in foreign currency. Some operators allow you to create several wallets and link one multicurrency payment card to them.
  2. You may want the EMF operator to issue a payment card and link it to your e-wallet. This is convenient – using the card, you can pay for goods and services in regular stores, as well as withdraw cash from ATMs.

Find out in advance how much you need to pay for servicing the card and what are the fees for payments and cash withdrawals from the card.

How to deposit money?

Typically, EMF operators offer many options: From a bank card. In the personal account on the operator’s website, there is always a payment page where you can transfer money from a bank card to a wallet. Often, operators offer to link a card to a wallet, then for any transfer or payment using an electronic wallet, it will be automatically replenished from the card for the required amount.
From mobile phone balance. The number from which money can be debited is known to the operator – you indicated it when registering the wallet. Therefore, in the personal account on the operator’s website, it remains to enter only the required amount.
Cash. Many EMF operators have their own payment terminals, they allow you to deposit money in your wallet. Operators also enter into partnership agreements with banks, mobile companies, and money transfer systems. You can also replenish your wallet through their offices, ATMs, and terminals.
Through online or mobile banking. Many banks have included replenishment e-wallets among popular payments.
Through the Fast Payment System (FPS). In fact, this is a variation of replenishing an account through an online or mobile bank. Some EMF operators have connected to this system, and their customers can replenish wallets from a bank card using their phone number. In this case, the commission will be zero if you do not exceed the monthly limits for transfers. To use this method, in your personal account or application of the bank, you must select “transfers via SBP” or “account replenishment by phone number”, then indicate your mobile number and in the list of banks where you want to transfer money, select your EMF operator.
From another e-wallet. Usually, you can transfer money both from the wallet of the same EMF operator, and others.
You can check which methods are available to you in your wallet account. Before using any of the methods, be sure to check the amount of the commission. It can range from 0 to 10% of the transfer amount.

What should I do if money is missing from my wallet?
By law, you can dispute a transaction that went through without your knowledge. You need to do this quickly – no later than the next day after you received a notification about it.

The EMF operator is obliged to return the lost money if you yourself did not provide the criminals with the data of your electronic wallet or the card of the EMF operator linked to it.

Money stolen from an anonymous wallet cannot be returned – it is not clear to whom they belong.

The EMF operator must inform you about all transactions that take place using the wallet. How exactly you will receive notifications is specified in the contract. If the EMF operator did not notify you of an unauthorized transaction or did not respond to your request for illegal payment, then he is obliged to compensate you for the losses.

In what cases can my wallet be blocked?
The EMF operator may suspend or close your wallet if you violate its terms of use. For example, an anonymous wallet will receive money from the bank accounts of different people, while only the owner has the right to replenish it.

Financial institutions temporarily block wallets when they see suspicious transactions. For example, there is a database of bank account numbers and cards to which fraudsters withdraw money. The operator will refuse to make a transfer to them and inform the owner of the wallet about it.

“My son started a strange story with electronic wallets at school. Students register something, send money to each other. The son said it was a business game. The situation alerted me, I felt a catch … “

Be vigilant, do not step on other people’s rakes!

Electronic money in a personalized wallet, like money in bank accounts, can be arrested and written off by bailiffs to pay off debts.