PayPal Ukraine: Residents can now receive e-payments from abroad

PayPal Ukraine? Ukraine moves forward to global PayPal business. Starting Feb. 13, Ukrainians can receive electronic payments from non-residents of Ukraine in foreign currency, according to a statement by the National Bank of Ukraine on Feb. 12. This ruling opens the way for citizens of other countries to transfer electronic money to accounts in Ukrainian banks.

As a decree by NBU states, "Individual is entitled to receive electronic money, issued by the nonresident emitter, from nonresidents, provided that the international Internet payment systems provide a repayment of electronic money by transferring funds to individual’s account in the resident banks,...”.

This is a step closer to attracting international online payment system PayPal into Ukraine, according to Ilia Kenigshtein, CEO of Creative Quarter and advisor to Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi. The problem before this change was that Ukrainians were able to make payments through PayPal using their credit cards issued in Ukraine, but could not receive payments through the system. Finally PayPal is left with few reasons to continue ignoring Ukraine. This is supported by Kenigshtein in a Kyiv Post on Feb. 14.

Anyway Kenigshtein mentioned that these changes do not solve everything. Kenigshtein plans a meeting with PayPal Ukraine representatives in March to discuss the launch of the company’s services in Ukraine. And this is a perfect moment since the National Bank allowed receiving electronic payments. However, the only obstacle for PayPal to start operating in Ukraine is the lengthy process of registration and receiving a banking license.

The decree issued on Feb. 13 is the first part of the National Bank’s three-point plan to liberalize the banking legislation and make electronic payment system available for Ukrainian users. Two more decrees are to follow soon to finalize the process.

Ukraine wants PayPal, they want to be part of Europe. This is why much public pressure has been put on PayPal lately to make its payment services fully available to Ukrainian residents. Nearly 18,000 people signed an online petition on Change.org. Another initiative on Facebook, christened “PayPal for Ukraine Initiative,” has attracted more than 21,000 “likes,” including those from leading figures of the Ukrainian high-tech scene.

Now resigned economy minister Aivaras Abromavicius added some pressure in a public statement: “We want Ikea in Ukraine, we want H&M, we want PayPal Ukraine, we want to be part of Europe,” he said last year.