PayPal enables customers to send money to Ukrainians

FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2018, file photo the PayPal logo appears on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square. PayPal says that its users will now be able to send money to Ukrainians, both in the war-ravaged country as well as those who are now refugees across Europe, Thursday, March 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) (Richard Drew, Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

NEW YORK – PayPal said Thursday that its users will now be able to send money to Ukrainians, both in the war-ravaged country as well as those now refugees across Europe.

Previously, people in Ukraine were only able to use the payments platform to send money out of the country. They will now be able to receive funds, as well as make transfers within Ukraine and abroad.

The decision by PayPal came following a request from the Ukrainian government to open up its services to its citizens.

“Thank you for supporting Ukraine and peace!” said Mykhailo Fedorov, the country’s vice prime minister, on Twitter.

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

Since the war began, Americans and other supporters of Ukraine have been looking for ways to financially support Ukrainian refugees as well as those still in the country. People have booked Airbnbs in Kyiv or sent cryptocurrencies to Ukrainians. Money transfer companies like MoneyGram and Western Union have seen surges in demand as people look for ways to send money to friends and family in the region.

PayPal, which is based in San Jose, California, said it will waive fees on transfers of funds to Ukrainian accounts, or for anyone receiving funds in Ukrainian accounts until June 30. 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 U.S. Physical cards will also be eligible to receive PayPal funds.

PayPal's Xoom international remittance service is also waiving its transaction fees, the company said.