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PayPal enables transfer of funds to Ukrainian accounts at home and abroad

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By AP  with Euronews
PayPal headquarters in San Jose
PayPal headquarters in San Jose   -   Copyright  Jeff Chiu/Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

PayPal will allow its users to send money to Ukrainians -- both in the war-ravaged country and those who are now refugees across Europe.

Until now, people in Ukraine could only use the payments platform to send money out of the country, but the new arrangement will enable them to receive funds and make transfers within the country and abroad.

The decision was made after the Ukrainian government asked PayPal to open up its services to its citizens.

“Thank you for supporting Ukraine and peace!” the country's Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said on Twitter.

It is the latest measure by banks and financial services companies looking for ways to help Ukrainians impacted by the Kremlin's invasion. PayPal cut off Russia from its services last week.

PayPal said it will waive fees on transfers of funds to Ukrainian accounts, or for anyone receiving funds in Ukrainian accounts until 30 June.

The funds in a PayPal account can be then transferred into the user’s local bank or used as a virtual Visa or Mastercard, which is more common in Europe than in the US. Physical cards will also be able to receive PayPal funds.

Since the war began, supporters of Ukraine have been looking to provide financial assistance to Ukrainian refugees as well as those still in the country. 

Some have booked Airbnbs in Kyiv or sent cryptocurrencies to Ukrainians. Money transfer companies like MoneyGram and Western Union have reported surges in demand as people look for ways to send money to friends and family in the region.