PayPal, a leading global online payment system, has launched partial services for Russian internet users, permitting them to pay for their online purchases and put money on their personal accounts in the United States.
Russia is a very important electronic commerce market, Russian business daily Vedomosti quoted PayPal spokesman Marc Jaugey as saying.
Russian clients can only put money on accounts in American banks, a difficult task for Russians as U.S. banks require proof of local residence or a social security number. But Jaugey said PayPal and the Russian government were discussing ways to allow Russian consumers to transfer money to local bank accounts.
PayPal, owned by eBay, which partially launched its services in Russia in March, became available for Russian users on Tuesday. PayPal has quietly put Russia on the list of countries, whose citizens are permitted to withdraw money from their PayPal accounts or a card.
PayPal was unavailable for immediate comment on Thursday.
Investcafe analyst Georgy Voronkov said the difficulty with opening a U.S. account made it difficult to expect a significant increase in the number of PayPal users in Russia but local banks would be happy to strike partnerships with the huge international network, which works with hundreds of stores worldwide, when it was fully launched in Russia, a promising, growing electronic payments market.
"Trade turnover in 2010 jumped 75 percent to 70 billion rubles year-on-year, and 47 percent of goods were purchased with the help of Internet wallets," he said.