Greek crisis hits online payments market

Greece’s financial meltdown is affecting some of the world’s largest technology companies, with credit control laws banning citizens from making online card payments to international firms, including PayPal and Apple.

The capital control laws were enforced by Prime Minister Alex Tsipras last week as he tries to stop vast amounts of cash escaping the country. Greek citizens can no longer transfer money abroad and are limited to withdrawing €60 a day.

The credit control laws also prohibit Greece’s 11m citizens from making payments to foreign companies, including technology giants Apple and PayPal.

The loss of PayPal is a mighty blow to the online payment market, as both traditional and digital-only banks rely on money transfer services to make and receive transactions across the globe.

PayPal are monitoring the situation closely, with the money transfer group hoping to resume operations in Greece as soon as possible.

‘‘Due to the recent decisions of the Greek authorities on capital controls, funding of PayPal wallet from Greek bank accounts, as well as cross-border transactions, funded by any cards or bank accounts are currently not available. We aim to continue serving our valued customers in Greece in full, as we have for over a decade,’’ said a PayPal spokesperson.

With Greek voters rejecting a bailout from the European Union, it is becoming more and more likely that the Mediterranean country will leave the Eurozone.

This may have lasting implications for companies like PayPal, with observers stating that an event on this scale was completely unprecedented:

It’s just that no one who created these services foresaw a world where developed countries would have restrictions on the use of credit cards for foreign payments,” commented BuzzFeed News UK deputy editor Jim Waterson.

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