PayPal has (not) discovered Russia

From September 24 PayPal will start sending money to Russia. So far, for fear of Internet scams, the company has restricted transfers to this country.

In 2006 PayPal – and, by the way, one of its co-founders is a Russian - allowed Russian residents to open accounts, but they could only send money. Currently, a Russian resident can get money from another PayPal user in special cases only such as, for example, a refund on undelivered merchandise from eBay.

They are rumours that PayPal plans to open an office in Moscow by the end of the year. Russia, after all, is one of the largest and fastest-growing markets in the world: in 2010 online payments turnover here rose by 75% reaching $2.5 billion.

According to the newly published tariffs, the charges will vary from 0.4% for transfers from Scandinavian countries, 0.5% - from the US, Canada and Western Europe to 1% from Eastern Europe (including Russia and Ukraine) and 1.5% from the rest of the world.

Update: On the 30 of August PayPal announced that it will not start money transfers to Russia as earlier reported. ‘PayPal currently has no plans to launch additional services in Russia in September of this year,’ the statement said.

Russia and Ukraine were included on the list of countries for payment reception by mistake, PayPal said. ‘This mistake has been corrected,’ the company said, ‘Russia and Ukraine are very interesting markets, which PayPal is intently studying. Our goal is to provide PayPal services everywhere there is a noticeable demand but this needs time.’