PayPal is suspending service in Russia

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PayPal is suspending service in Russia, CEO Dan Schulman wrote in a note to employees that he also posted on LinkedIn Saturday.

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“PayPal supports the Ukrainian people and stands with the international community in condemning Russia’s violent military aggression in Ukraine,” Schulman wrote. Its Xoom money-transfer service was also affected by the move, according to Reuters.

It wasn’t clear from Schulman’s note if concern for Ukraine or the difficulties in moving money posed by tightening international sanctions prompted the move. PayPal had stopped accepting new users in Russia Wednesday, and it had previously exited the domestic money-transfer business in Russia in 2020. Sanctions passed to date do not broadly prohibit financial transactions with ordinary Russian citizens.

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PayPal first entered Russia in 2006, allowing Russian users to use PayPal on foreign sites, and began domestic service in rubles in 2013. PayPal bought Xoom in 2015.

Money-transfer services Wise and Remitly, which compete with Xoom, had ended transfers to Russia this week. Remittances make up a small percentage of Russia’s economy, but the suspension of PayPal service will make it more difficult for Russian consumers to engage in cross-border ecommerce.

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Schulman also noted the use of PayPal to raise funds for Ukrainian relief. The company has launched donation campaigns that have raised $3 million in recent days, he wrote.

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