FNB and PayPal, a subsidiary of online auctions giant eBay, have struck a deal with each other and the SA Reserve Bank that will finally allow South Africans to receive international payments into their PayPal accounts and transfer this money into their bank accounts.
PayPal has had to partner with a local financial services institution as a way of dealing with SA’s onerous exchange control regulations. All transactions involving the PayPal service will automatically be reported to the Reserve Bank.
Both parties say the Reserve Bank was open to the idea and helped ensure the deal was done with the minimum of fuss.
Neither FNB nor PayPal will say how long the exclusivity between them lasts, or when other banks might get access to the same services.
FNB says it will levy a flat 1,5% fee on all PayPal-related transactions. This is on top of PayPal’s fees. The bank will guarantee quoted rates of exchange. The service, which is available to businesses and consumers, is fully integrated into FNB’s online banking website.
E-commerce providers in SA have been clamouring for PayPal’s full service to be made available in SA. It’s seen as an important way of facilitating global e-commerce and minimising security risks associated with transactions.
“From now, any small SA e-commerce merchant can offer goods and services to any of the 81m active PayPal users around the world. That’s a huge opportunity,” says Oded Zehavi, head of PayPal in Israel and SA. “Also, South Africans can now sell their goods on the global eBay platform.”
Payments are available in 21 different currencies. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral