PayPal Stories Archive

The View from Havana
This week, I’m proud to be in Havana as one of the U.S. business leaders invited to join President Barack Obama, US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, and top administration officials for a historic trip to Cuba. It’s an honor to participate on behalf of PayPal in the first visit by a U.S. president to Cuba since Calvin Coolidge, almost 90 years ago.
Our invitation to participate, as one of a small number of U.S. companies, is a recognition of our commitment to financial participation and our reputation as a known global payments platform to help expand economic opportunities.  It’s also an incredible opportunity to experience Cuba in person as the normalization of ties between our two countries makes it easier for Cuba to connect to the global economy.
In particular, I look forward to the discussions between U.S. business executives and young Cuban entrepreneurs, organized by Secretary Pritzker and Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.  We’ll have the chance to hear about their dreams and aspirations, learn how we might help them sustain and expand their businesses, and get a sense of the challenges and the opportunities they see ahead.
We are excited to see how PayPal’s global payment platform can help small businesses in Cuba thrive and grow by making it easier to connect to international markets. Particularly now with the recently-announced changes to U.S. commercial and financial regulations that will start to open the door to the flow of financial transactions between the U.S. and Cuba.
For example, remittances can open up economic opportunities in many countries, including Cuba, where up to $2 billion is sent from the U.S. to Cuba annually.  These U.S. remittances serve as 3 percent of Cuban GDP. 
A natural first step would be to bring Xoom, our global money transfer service to Cuba. Today, remittances to Cuba are time consuming and expensive. 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.
With services like Xoom, PayPal can also offer a whole new world of possibilities to Cuban Americans, who have very little choice today when they want to send money back home to their loved ones. With Xoom and the power of the Internet, Cuban Americans save on high fees – which means more money going back to their families.
By working closely with our partners, we expect Xoom to be available in Cuba by the end of this year. 
We also recognize important future opportunities to help expand financial participation and improve financial health for families and businesses in Cuba. Numerous studies make it clear that as people gain access to the financial system and begin to use basic financial services regularly, it has a clear, measurable impact on economic growth and it serves as a catalyst for people to start new businesses and invest in education.
PayPal’s core commitment is to serve as a customer champion, making it easier, safer, and more affordable for people across the globe to access financial services. We believe the same digital tools and capabilities that are helping individuals and small businesses around the world participate more fully in the global economy can now help improve financial health in Cuba.
This trip is an important milestone in the history of diplomatic and commercial relations between the U.S. and Cuba, and it is an honor to participate. We look forward to helping connect people and businesses in Cuba to the tools and services they need to create opportunities and improve the financial health of their families, their businesses and their communities.

Dan Schulman, President and CEO, PayPal

Stay up to date.

Sign up to receive the latest news to your email.