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PayPal expands payments services to help Ukrainian citizens, refugees

CNA – PayPal Holdings Inc has expanded its services to allow Ukrainian citizens and refugees to receive payments from overseas, a move a senior Ukrainian official called a huge help as Russian forces continued to attack the country.

PayPal Chief Executive Dan Schulman told Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov in a letter that Ukrainians would also be able to transfer funds from their PayPal accounts to eligible credit and debit cards. The company has waived its fees on such transactions through June 30.

More than three million Ukrainians have fled the country since Russia launched its invasion on February 24, an action Russia has described as a “special military operation.”

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, said Ukraine’s alternative executive director at the International Monetary Fund Vladyslav Rashkovan.

“It makes a huge difference for people,” Rashkovan told Reuters, lauding Schulman’s personal engagement in accomplishing the change in just two weeks.

Rashkovan said he spoke with some Ukrainians on the street outside his office about the new capability and they immediately opened an account at PayPal to send money to their relatives.

Ukrainian officials have been pushing for the expanded services since 2015, after Russia annexed the Crimea region, he added.

PayPal said it made the expanded services available on Thursday, with customers able to send and receive funds from their Ukrainian PayPal Wallet in dollars, Canadian dollars, British pounds and euros.