Fully operating PayPal in Armenia
Written by Lilit Asatryan
Today, I will go a bit 'off-topic' and raise an issue which is closely connected with Bang2Joom as we are geographically and by birth living in a country which we love a lot but which, as every other country, has some issues that should be talked about! The number one problem today for the IT people here is PayPal which is not fully operating in Armenia!
So, what is PayPal?
PayPal is the most popular online payment processors in the world.
What does this mean? PayPal gives you a chance to send and receive money in over 24 currencies simply with some clicks. 193 countries and regions and over 230 million accounts worldwide - this is the coverage of PayPal today. Online transactions do not know borders anymore due to PayPal. Yes, it is that cool if you have not known yet. Larger international audience brings about a great change for your e-commerce business.
PayPal seems like an ideal platform, doesn't it? Even the sign-up process is done quickly and is thought to comfort the users. And the most important factor is that your money is as safe with PayPal as it has never been in your pocket! You can trust PayPal as yourself - PayPal does not share any financial information about you with anyone.
No, this is not a blog dedicated to how awesome PayPal is. And moreover, I do not get paid from PayPal for this blog post; however, what I and many others like me can benefit is having PayPal finally FULLY operating in Armenia. Let's see if we can do this!
We Need PayPal fully operating in Armenia and for Armenia!
Those who have never used PayPal may think what's the fuss about all this PayPal? No, indeed, Armenia is not living in a stone age; we have PayPal but guess what? There is this minor issue with it; we are only able to send money. This might seem like a minor issue to many people; however, this is far greater of an issue for us.
PayPal became the leading and most optimal online method of payments especially when it partnered with Ebay. Withdrawing money is simple from your PayPal account, you can transfer it directly into your linked bank's account using PayPal debit Master Card (with PayPal Debit MasterCard, it takes an ATM to get cash) or request PayPal to send you a check via email. It's as easy as one, two, three. Write the amount of money you want to withdraw in your PayPal account, select the bank account you want to transfer to. Some 3-4 days and $0-$1 and your money is in your credit card.
This is all nice, BUT in ARMENIA we only get to send money using PayPal. This means, if I am a web designer or developer who is a freelancer and uses PayPal, I can not even get the money transferred to my PayPal account, not talking about withdrawing that money. Yes, the question comes up: "What's having PayPal worth if we do not get all this options?".
Feedback from PayPal
"Hello, My name is Giselle from PayPal Customer Services. I appreciate your interest in making use of your PayPal account in receiving money and payments. Like what the previous agent informed you, of the 190 countries where we are available, some countries including Armenia are still unable to make use of certain features such as receiving money. For now, I strongly suggest that you communicate directly with the buyer and arrange an alternative method of payment that would be most convenient for you. This is because of the laws and financial regulations of each country. We want to make sure that once we open certain functions in different countries, that we are fully compliant with local and international financial laws to avoid difficulties down the line with our services. Rest assured that we are constantly working towards expanding the services that we are able to offer to all the countries that use PayPal, since it would be beneficial for both of us to be able to offer this service to you. We will be sure to notify you once additional services and features are available in your country. In the meantime, we would advise contacting the buyer to explore other payment options that are available to you, such as checks and money orders. PayPal strives for improvement and your advocacy is appreciated."
Judging by the letter, one can tell that all it needs is just a simple regulation of law. However, as far as we tried to get with contacting PayPal their answer is it takes time and some regulations. Ok, are there any certain points which we need to take action for and tick it like bullets, so when we get to that final one, we can apply somehow to get PayPal with all of its features to Armenia? This is a question which stays unanswered yet.
So all in all, where is the problem? Armenian banks? They contacted PayPal, no use. As you can see PayPal advises banks on having alternative variants. Where does the problem hide? Maybe Armenian laws and regulations? Might be. To me, the real problem is "not having concrete information" from PayPal on what we need to do, which are the steps, what are the actions that can lead to having PayPal with all features in Armenia? We need a decent feedback from PayPal so that if it needs some regulations or laws, we can start taking some steps towards it. We have many Armenian companies who if needed will take the initiative to start a work toward passing a law. All we need to know is WHAT WE NEED to do as we really need PayPal fully operating in Armenia and for Armenia.
We created an event and started a group on Facebook, tried to get PayPal's attention on Twitter and Facebook. We got same answer - you need to wait. Everything takes time, we understand, but when you have no idea what "time periods" are meant by saying time, you just lose hope to getting somewhere near the realization of the goal.
Hey, PayPal let's cut the time, we can actually help each other! We need a simple guide on what principles and standards are set by PayPal for recognizing Armenia as a "merchant" country so as every Armenian talent who works hard will have no problem getting his/her money right in his/her hands. There are many genius guys out here in Armenia whose hands are bonded because they are not even able to receive money for their freelance job or sell/buy on Ebay. Can you just imagine how we all can boost Armenia's economy?
Hey PayPal, we love you that's why we care!
We NEED you fully operating in Armenia and for Armenia!
Give us feedback, please! Any advice and word counts!