PayPal has added another bank partner under its international belt to help the payment provider's global expansion. This time, it's in Georgia — the country of 5 million people bounded by Russia, Turkey and Armenia. PayPal has partnered with TBC Bank to help its customers make and use PayPal accounts with through the bank.
This integration will help Georgia remain one of the leaders of growth in our region,” Damien Perillat, Managing Director of PayPal Central and Eastern Europe, told The Financial in an interview. Now, TBC bank customers can create a PayPal account from the bank's online banking page. Customers can then have full access to PayPal's global online payment options. The move will also streamline the option for customers to create a PayPal account, giving PayPal another way to expand its global presence.
“PayPal has made paying online and mobile a way of life for its customers around the world. We make it safer and quicker to pay and send money. We are delighted to help TBC Bank develop its customer experience by making it even easier and quicker to create your PayPal account now on the TBC Bank platform,” Perillat said.
In the interview with The Financial, Perillat answered a series of questions about the benefits for TBC, PayPal and Georgian customers and how PayPal is developing business across Central and Eastern Europe. Gerogia's market size, maturity and ability to accept cashless payments was one reason to extend the PayPal relationship into the country.
"This way, the cooperation will bring together the strengths of both companies - PayPal’s global online and mobile payment solutions with 157 million active accounts in 203 markets, along with TBC Bank‘s extensive local market knowledge and a total of one million consumers in Georgia," he said. "We see growth in all Central and Eastern European countries and Georgia is one of the leaders. Overall, the perspective is bright. The internet users’ number growth determines also an increase for online shopping.
Perillat also addressed if PayPal will become a competitor with bank cards in the country. PayPal will, of course, aims to change the payments system but regulatory compliance in new countries takes significant time.
"PayPal is unique. We are a technology company, but PayPal is also a financial services company. We sit between these two worlds and bring them together - making money work seamlessly around the globe. This puts us in a unique position to innovate at scale on behalf of our customers," he said. "It has taken us more than a decade to build a regulatory compliance framework and a global customer support network that enables us to operate seamlessly in 203 markets around the globe. Whether it’s a financial services company or a tech company, we believe that they don’t have our reach, relationships, risk systems, global scale or innovation."
PayPal has eyed the Georgian market for many years, according to the interview, but the Georgian government initially said it wasn't ready for PayPal. Through fostering relationships with the government, PayPal has changed that mindset.
"Entering new markets is a long-term commitment. As is our experience everywhere else in the world, expanding our business in a new market requires a lot of preparation, attention and investment." Perillat said. "It requires working closely with the local ecosystem (including regulators) and understanding deeply local consumer needs. This is particularly important in the field of payment services and Georgia is no exception."