Like so many other business leaders last winter, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman didn’t believe Vladimir Putin would actually send Russian forces into Ukraine. “I thought for sure there would be politics that would intervene,” Schulman recently told Fortune. So when infantry and tanks barreled across the border toward Kyiv on Feb. 24, Schulman and his team faced a distressing surprise, and a flood of tough tasks.

Job one was making sure employees and customers’ balances were safe on both sides of the border. (Russia and Ukraine together accounted for about half of 1% of PayPal’s revenue in 2021.) The company quickly shut down its Russia operations. But far more urgent was the challenge of extending a lifeline to the swelling numbers of Ukrainians displaced by the war. Refugees would need humanitarian aid; and both those who left and those who stayed would need to access money even as their banks were shuttered, hacked, or destroyed. PayPal and its partners would have to quickly vet a swath of pop-up Ukraine-focused charities; verify the identities of those who said they were displaced; and put fraud protections in place for users who were now hundreds or thousands of miles from their homes.

Experience and global reach made those tasks less daunting. PayPal has long-standing relationships with central banks and regulators worldwide, including in Ukraine. Its donation platform, PayPal Giving, had already been used by some 400 million customers and merchants before the war broke out. Under normal circumstances, building a person-to-person payment network that could reach hundreds of thousands of people would take nine months to a year; PayPal had one up and running in Ukraine in nine days. “I told the team, like, let’s move mountains,” Schulman recalls.

PayPal has certainly moved an enormous amount of much needed money. Through late September, its customers used the platform to raise more than $600 million for relief efforts in Ukraine. PayPal has also helped Ukrainian citizens receive and send another $330 million in person-to-person payments and money transfers. And it has tallied almost 300,000 new Ukrainian account sign-ups since the war began. Someday those may become paying customers, but that’s a question for a more peaceful day: PayPal is waiving all money transfer and remittance fees for Ukrainian accounts through Dec. 31.
Courtesy of PayPal

Company Information

As of 2/1/2023
Country
U.S.
Headquarters
San Jose
Industry
Consumer Credit Card and Related Services
CEO
Daniel H. Schulman
Company Type
Public
Ticker
PYPL
Revenues ($M)
$27,053
Profits ($M)
$2,299
Market Value ($M)
$90,165
Employees
30,900
Figures are for the latest twelve months ended Sept. 30, 2022. Market value as of Jan. 20, 2023. Sources: Bloomberg; S&P Global.

Change the World

Impact Segment
Human Rights/Social Justice
Sector
Business Services
Prior Year Rank
7

Historical Data

YearRevenues ($M)Profits ($M)
2016$9,248$1,228
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