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Paypal Expects to Open Up Its Xoom Money Transfer Service to Cuba

As U.S.-Cuba hostilities dissipate, American businesses are lining up.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

As the White House continues to ease restrictions on U.S.-Cuban relations, American financial services companies are lining up to do business.

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said in a blog post Sunday that his company planned to open up its money-transfer service, Xoom, to Cuba by year’s end. Xoom, which PayPal acquired for $890 million last year, specializes in remittance — essentially cross-border money transfers.

“Today, remittances to Cuba are time-consuming and expensive,” Schulman said. “Xoom will help make it easier, faster and more affordable for Cubans to gain access to funds. Introducing these money transfer services will not only foster financial inclusion, but they can have a positive impact on the day-to-day quality of life — eliminating long lines and fostering greater choice in this community.”

Remittances currently account for 3 percent of Cuba’s GDP, the blog post said, but Xoom has not previously allowed its users to send money to the communist country. Schulman was one of the U.S. business leaders invited to travel to Cuba this weekend in conjunction with President Obama’s visit — the first by a sitting U.S. president in 88 years.

Patrick Collison, CEO of payment-processing startup Stripe, also made the trip this weekend. On Friday, his company said it would expand its new Atlas service to Cuba, which helps entrepreneurs with global ambitions incorporate a U.S. business remotely, and open a bank account, too.

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