(photo credit: REUTERS)
Online payments giant PayPal said it has no plans in the immediate future to expand its services to Palestinians.
"We appreciate the interest that the Palestinian community has shown in PayPal. While we do not have anything to announce for the immediate future, we continuously work to develop strategic partnerships, address business feasibility, regulatory, and compliance needs and requirements, and acquire the necessary local authority permissions for new market entries," the company wrote in response to a Jerusalem Post inquiry.
The statement followed a Sunday letter from Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee Member, calling on the company to expand its online payments services to Palestinians.
"Without access to PayPal, Palestinian entrepreneurs, nonprofits and others face routine difficulties in receiving payments for business and charitable purposes," she wrote.
"PayPal's absence is also problematic for the overall economy as IT is one of the only sectors with the potential to grow under status quo conditions of the Israeli occupation," she added.
She also noted that Israeli settlers had access to the service's online payments, while Palestinians did not.
PayPal, which lists 202 destinations among the places among the countries that support its payments, said that regulatory requirements make it difficult, but it was working to find a way to expand access.
Paypal requires users to link their PayPal accounts to credit cards, debit cards or bank accounts, meaning it has to take the regulatory frameworks of the places it works with into account.
"PayPal's ambition is for everyone ultimately to have access to our services for digital payments and commerce, in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements," the company wrote.