PayPal Expands Presence in Eastern Europe and Africa

Internet payment company PayPal, which is owned by eBay, is launching in 10 new countries this week, bringing the total number in which it operates to 203.

From today consumers in Nigeria, which has 60m users and has Africa’s largest population, will be able to make payments through PayPal along with those in nine other markets in sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

PayPal, which last year added three countries – Egypt, Georgia and Serbia – will now be available to up to a further 80m internet users in the five European markets of Belarus, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco and Montenegro; four in the African nations of Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe; and the South American country of Paraguay.

Announcing the expansion, PayPal spokesman Rupert Keeley said: “PayPal has been going through a period of reinvention, refreshing many of its services to make them easier to use on mobiles, allowing us to expand into fast-developing markets.

“We think we can give our sellers selling into this market a great deal of reassurance,” he added. However, PayPal would not for the time being be covering peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions, which allow consumers to send money to other consumers. It has not yet enabled local merchants in the new markets to receive payments, nor is it offering other forms of banking services, Keeley confirmed.

Once the services go live, customers in the 10 countries with access to the Web and a bank card authorised for internet transactions will be able to register for a PayPal account and make payments to millions of sites worldwide.

Initially, PayPal is only offering ‘send money’ services for consumers to pay for goods and services at PayPal-enabled merchant sites while safeguarding their financial details. The service is free to consumers and covered by the fees charged to merchants.

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