PayPal has completed one of the last obstacles that stood in the way of beginning its services in Russia. It was recently announced that PayPal finally received its "Non-Credit Banking Institution" (NCBI) license, issued from the Central Bank of Russia to begin planning an official launch later this year.
According to East-West Digital News, Karina Grosheva, PayPal Russia's pr director said, "PayPal Russia is now preparing its Russian launch, which will happen later in 2013. After getting the license, there are still a number of regulatory and commercial stages that need to be completed before we can offer our services to Russian customers."
The NCBI license will allow PayPal to commence working on its payments launch within the country, as long as they adhere to Russia's new payment laws.
The new legislation for Russia's payment systems was adopted and signed in 2011, and implemented limits on electronic currency transactions within the country. The requirement to acquire licensing was also a part of the national payments laws.
PayPal finalized the first stage of planning operations in Russia back in March 2013. The first step included an application approval from the Central Bank of Russia for PayPal to register as a complete payments operator in Russia. This was no easy feat, as it took the international payments company a full three years to gain approval.
PayPal also began services in the Russian market in late 2011. Local users were allowed to receive money into their virtual wallets, which was part of PayPal's participation with eBay in Russia.
However, Russian customers were still not able to pay for merchandise using PayPal accounts, and they were also restricted from transferring money to PayPal accounts registered with a Russian bank account.
Once PayPal has become a full-fledged payment operator in Russia, these services will be made available for Russian customers.
When PayPal makes its official launch, they will face a highly saturated market with well-established competitors. There are several operating electronic currency providers in Russia—notably among them are Yandex.Money, Qiwi and Sberbank.
Viktor Dostov, member of the Russian Electronic Money Association, said to East-West Digital News, “Unlike its Russian competitors, PayPal has so far allowed account replenishment only from bank cards. With Russians still very reluctant to use bank cards online, that option may not be enough."