Since Russia’s incursion on February 24, more than three million Ukrainians have fled the nation.
PayPal Holdings expanded its services on Thursday to allow Ukrainian citizens and refugees to accept funds from outside the nation, a move hailed by a top Ukrainian official as “great aid” as Russian soldiers continued to invade the country.
In a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman stated that Ukrainians will be able to transfer payments from their PayPal accounts to authorized credit and debit cards. Until June 30, the business has waived its costs on such transactions.
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Since Russia’s incursion on February 24, which Russia has dubbed as a “special military operation,” more than 3 million Ukrainians have fled the nation.
According to Vladyslav Rashkovan, Ukraine’s alternative executive director at the International Monetary Fund, PayPal’s move will allow refugees and Ukrainians to receive funds from friends and family members in the United States and elsewhere, and could also be used to transfer social payments by governments in the future.
“It makes a significant difference for individuals,” Rashkovan told Reuters, praising Schulman’s personal commitment to making the transformation happen in two weeks.
Rashkovan said he told other Ukrainians on the street outside his office about the new possibility, and they registered a PayPal.com account to send money to their families right away. He noted that Ukrainian officials have been advocating for the enhanced services since 2015 when Russia annexed Crimea.
Customers will be able to send and receive payments in dollars, Canadian dollars, British pounds, and euros from their Ukrainian PayPal Wallet beginning on Thursday, according to PayPal.
The money will be available in the currency associated with the card after a consumer transfers funds from their PayPal Wallet to an approved Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card.
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While PayPal is removing its costs for a few weeks, the company cautioned that exchange rates and fees imposed by a customer’s card issuer or bank account may still apply.
Ukrainian citizens were previously able to send money via PayPal accounts but not receive it.
PayPal shut down its services in Russia earlier this month, joining a slew of other financial and IT firms in halting operations in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.