Several payment and remittance platforms, now including PayPal, have restricted access to their services in Russia as Western sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine continue to expand. Fintechs have been limiting operations in the Russian Federation as well in response to Kiev’s call for help.
Payments giant Paypal stops services in Russia and keeps withdrawals for now
Paypal, the global online payments provider, has joined a growing list of fintechs backing Western sanctions against Russia for its decision to invade neighboring Ukraine. The company, which offered Russians only international transactions, canceled its services in the Russian Federation on Saturday.
Cited by Reuters, President and CEO Dan Schulman explained the measure in “current circumstances”, noting that Paypal supports the international community and condemns Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. The platform stopped accepting new users based in Russia earlier this week.
Through a spokesperson, Paypal added, however, that withdrawals will be supported for an unspecified period of time. The payments giant aims to “ensure that account balances are dispersed in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.”
The announcement follows calls from Kiev authorities to suspend services in Russia and support Ukraine’s fundraising efforts. The US-based California-based company revealed ahead of the weekend that it “has helped raise more than $150 million for charities supporting response efforts.” The Ukrainian government and local NGOs have also received millions in cryptocurrency donations.
Paypal’s move comes after other payment and remittance platforms already suspended certain services in Russia in late February. This includes Wise, which processed international payments for Russian users, and Remitly, which made it easy to send funds.
UK-based fintech Wise initially imposed a daily cap of £200 ($265) on transfers to the Russian Federation, but later suspended all money transfers as the US and its European allies imposed further restrictions on the system. financial situation, including the expulsion of some Russian banks. of the SWIFT interbank payment system.
As a result of the tougher sanctions, Remitly has also suspended support for money transfers to Russian recipients. Other remittance service providers have also introduced similar measures, including Transfergo and Zepz.
According to crypto media reports, UK-based Revolut has suspended payments to Russia and its ally Belarus, while an advertisement on its websites indicates the fintech is doing everything it can to ensure its users can send money to Ukraine. In a blog post, the company’s CEO, Nik Storonsky, highlighted its Russian and Ukrainian roots and expressed its opposition to the war.