PayPal - A Chance for Georgian Business or an Illusion?
24 April, 2015
PayPal - A Chance for Georgian Business or an Illusion?
PayPal, one of the leading global payment providers, has recently announced plans to allow businesses in Georgia to accept payments via its system, starting April 14th. However, the official website of PayPal still lists Georgia among the countries ineligible for this feature. This raises quite a few concerns – after all, uncertainty is a bane to business.

On April 14th, PayPal became available in full, to individuals and business alike. This opens up a big opportunity for Georgian business, PayPal
believes. Sellers can now be less wary about accepting payments from buyers in new markets, since all money transfers are authorized by PayPal.


The Georgian public happily welcomed the entrance of PayPal in Georgia two years ago. There even was a Facebook campaign in 2010 called, “I need PayPal in Georgia” that gathered nearly 20,000 supporters. The Georgian government boasted that it was not easy to get Georgia on the PayPal’s user list, but thanks to the efforts of the National Bank and the Ministry of Economy this service became available in the country nevertheless.
Initially, the PayPal service was available only to individuals, and the feature of accepting payments was closed. However, on April 14th, PayPal became available in full, to individuals and business alike. This opens up a big opportunity for Georgian business, PayPal believes. Sellers can now be less wary about accepting payments from buyers in new markets, since all money transfers are authorized by PayPal.
Paata Sheshelidze, President of New Economic School, agrees that PayPal represents a big opportunity for the Georgian business. He expects PayPal to increase competition and reduce the price of money transfers in the Georgian market, where banks dominate this field.
Zurab Gvasalia, Chairperson of the Association of Georgian Banks, agrees with the notion of PayPal offering new prospects to Georgian business, especially to the small ones that have no access to the overseas markets. However, he thinks that PayPal is a partner rather than a competitor to banks.geotv.ge
“PayPal payments are tied with banking accounts. It has no other way to conduct money transfers. So the service may reach those people in the regions—I mean individual entrepreneurs—who still have no bank accounts. Banks do not worry too much about securing small businesses as long as they are interested in registering on PayPal in order to sell their product. To do that, they have to open bank accounts. So, ironically, this new service may actually increase the banks’ clientele,” he explained to Georgian Journal.

“PayPal creates a business opportunity mainly for younger people in urban areas, who know English, have computer and internet skills. To be honest, it isn’t much of an opportunity, if one takes into account that the overwhelming majority of adults here do not possess such skills” – financial analyst Lia Eliava.

Dietrich Muller, a legal and financial analyst, is sceptical about PayPal. The fact that PayPal still keeps Georgia on the list of countries ineligible for accepting payments leaves Muller doubtful. He fears that Georgian businesses will only be able to make purchases via PayPal rather than sell their goods.
According to the official stance of PayPal, despite Georgia still being on the list of countries with restrictions on payment acceptance, it is allowed to accept payments nevertheless. But Muller finds this discrepancy very confusing to business, which, as a rule, demands utmost clarity. Besides, he believes the absence of an official local representative office of PayPal will be an obstacle as well.
“You cannot find a serious partner abroad if you claim that you can accept payments, but he runs a check and finds your country on the restricted list. Why should this partner trust you on just a word?” Muller wonders. “What should a business do when it ends up facing problems such as these while dealing with import and export through PayPal? Is it supposed to appeal for explanation to Singapore, where the international headquarters of PayPal are located? Or is it expected to follow the long chain of PR companies (as GJ found out, PayPal reaches its Georgian audience through the local PR company Noblet Media CIS, which has no direct communication with the PayPal, communicating with it through a Polish PR company) to reach PayPal at last? All this doesn’t sound very appealing. I understand that Georgia is a small market, but if PayPal takes it seriously, it could have a small office here with couple of employees. It looks more like PayPal advertising itself rather than creating any tangible opportunities for Georgian business.”
Besides, alleged cheapness of delivery [of goods purchased via PayPal] to Georgia is debatable. As one of the local PayPal account owners explained to GJ, they cannot use it to purchase goods in China, where they are not as pricy. As for purchases in the U.S., PayPal offers free shipping only within the country itself. Shipping to Georgia is far more expensive than through alternative services available in Georgia (usa2Georgia, for instance).
Lia Eliava, a financial analyst, believes that thanks to its huge reputation, PayPal can create real opportunity for Georgian business. It can make Georgia more integrated in global trade. But the question whether or not it allows acceptance of payments to Georgian businesses is crucial and should be made explicitly clear. However, she thinks that PayPal cannot be much of a help to Georgian business at the moment. The problem is that PayPal service implies internet access – something that many regions of Georgia do not have. It also requires a computer and internet knowhow, which is also a rare quality among older individual entrepreneurs.
“PayPal creates a business opportunity mainly for younger people in urban areas, who know English, have computer and internet skills. To be honest, it isn’t much of an opportunity, if one takes into account that the overwhelming majority of adults here do not possess such skills,” Eliava concluded.
To clarify these questions, GJ has repeatedly asked PayPal for official comments, but it did not provide timely answers.

Print
Other Stories
Inovative and reliable online shop in Georgia - Momitane.ge
Status of Georgia as a business and tourism interesting country is growing from year to year.
Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower – Better than the Eiffel Tower?
It is planned to renovate the Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower, one of the landmarks in the capital.
Georgian Fusion Menu by The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi
5,895,914 international visitors have visited Georgia between January and August of 2018. Compared to the previous year the number has increased by 12.2 per cent.
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia. Those who violate the new rule would be fined GEL 10 000.
Lebanese café-lounge Beirut opens in Tbilisi
What is necessary to organize an unforgettable event? – Fun, emotions, lots of surprises, good music and delicious menu.
Georgia second among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe
Georgia is among the fastest growing tourist destinations in Europe. The data is published by the UN World Tourism Organization.
Bitmain launches world digital mining summit in Tbilisi, Georgia
Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu and Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com Head Speaker List featuring Circle, DEX.top and Genesis Mining when Digital Mining Leaders Convene In Tbilisi on September 21-23
GAZELLE FINANCE GEORGIA AND TBC BANK HELP THE WESTERN REGIONAL CENTER OF MODERN MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES EXPAND ACCESS TO QUALITY HEALTHCARE SERVICES IN KUTAISI, GEORGIA
TBC Bank and Gazelle Finance have teamed-up to support Medical City, a leading healthcare provider in the western region of Georgia to launch the Western Regional Center Of Modern Medical Technologies.
Equiavlent to buried treasure – resources that are underused in Georgia
For 2018 the IMF Commission has forecast an annual economic growth for the Georgian economy of about 5,5%.
Does the quality of Georgian wine increase and how the export affects it
If we look at the data collected about modern Georgian wine, we will find out that the Georgian wines produced between 2015-2017 are much better in terms of their quality and Oenologic features rather than the wines produced between 2009-2011.
Japan simplifies the visa requirements for Georgian citizens
Diplomatic and economic relations between Georgia and Japan are now moving to a new phase. Recently Japan has decided to simplify the visa requirements for Georgian citizens.
M&S (Marks and Spencer) and H&M collections to be produced in Georgia
Garments manufacturer MGMTEX will start production of the M&S and H&M trendy collections from this September.
The World Digital Mining Summit to be held in Georgia
The summit is scheduled to take place between 21st-23rd September in the Hualing Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Galt and Taggart - Tourism Boom Continues in Georgia
Tourism has become one of the key drivers for the Georgian economy. Galt and Taggart has recently published research about the Georgian tourism sector in the first half of 2018.
"The worst dream for Putin is that Russians want to live in Georgia"
This year, visitors to the Adjara region would notice that there is a boom in construction in and around Batumi.
Underground gas storage facility to be built in Georgia
KfW, a German government-owned development bank signed a EUR 150 million promotional loan with the state-owned Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) for the construction of the first underground gas storage facility in Georgia.
New gambling rules for Georgia
Georgian lawmakers are preparing a new draft law relating to online-casinos and gambling that will seek to curb gambling addiction in Georgia.
How expensive is it to visit Georgia?
The Georgian Lari (GEL) is the official currency of Georgia and is the only legal means of payment in the entire territory of Georgia.
Trade with the EU and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has grown significantly
Trade with the EU and the CIS has grown by 26% and 33.5 % respectively, says GeoStat, the Georgian National Statistics Office.
The unemployment rate decreases in Georgia
The unemployment rate decreased in Georgia by 1,9% and amounted to 12.1% in the 2nd quarter of 2018 compared with the previous quarter,
Memorandum of Understanding to be signed between Georgia and Malaysia
According to the Georgian Ambassador to Malaysia Nikoloz Apkhazava, Georgia plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia.
“Blauenstein Georgia” due to expand in Georgia
“Blauenstein Georgia” is planning to open more shops in Georgia. It is an agriculture company that sells meat products, meat and convenience food.
The amount of Direct Foreign Investment rises in Georgia
According to the information of the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the amount of direct foreign investment in Georgia has risen
It’s going to get  harder for foreigners to get residence permit in Georgia
It’s going to get harder for foreigners to get permit of residence in Georgia.
Mziuri Park in Tbilisi to be renovated soon
It was the dream of prominent Georgian writer Nodar Dumbadze that when the original Mziuri park was constructed and opened in 1892 that it should be a park for children,
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
16.11.2018
17.11.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6818
2.6727
EUR
1
EUR
3.0299
3.0268
GBP
1
GBP
3.4332
3.4240
RUB
100
RUB
4.0185
4.0447
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6727
EUR
1
EUR
3.0268
GBP
1
GBP
3.4240
RUB
100
RUB
4.0447
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30