Electronic payment system PayPal will enter the Russian market in a strategic partnership with the postal service and plans to issue cards linked to users' accounts, Kommersant reported Monday.
PayPal vice president Laurent Le Moal said PayPal sees Russian Post as a "strategic partner for providing services in Russia because it has a well-developed network of branches and possibilities for identification of clients, for example, when people are sending letters."
The postal service and PayPal discussed plans to release a co-branded "Russian Post-PayPal" card that can have the balance filled from PayPal accounts and could then be used to pay for postal services, make purchases or withdraw funds from an ATM, said Vyacheslav Avdyukov, head of financial services at Russian Post.
PayPal, who initiated the deal, began its entrance into the Russian market several years ago when it allowed local account holders to register with the service for online purchases at sites like eBay and other Internet stores. In October, PayPal began allowing Russian customers to receive funds as well, opening the possibility for selling items on eBay.
According to market research company comScore, PayPal has a growing base of 106 million active accounts and more than 237 million unique visitors, Kommersant reported. Russians account for only 3.19 million of those unique visitors — a number that has fallen 8 percent in the past year in comparison with overall growth of 12 percent.