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PayPal Taps Into Zimbabwe e-Commerce Vacuum

International online payment platform PayPal became officially available to Zimbabweans for the first time Tuesday, enabling online shoppers to buy goods from such multinational sites as ebay and others.

PayPal announced Monday it was also opening up its services to nine other countries in Africa, Europe and South America, including Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Cameroon.

But in the case of Zimbabwe, buyers are not able to use the facility to buy items from the local markets, just yet.

"PayPal has been going through a period of reinvention, refreshing many of its services to make them easier to use on mobile, allowing us to expand into fast-developing markets," Rupert Keeley, the executive in charge of the EMEA region of PayPal told Reuters.

Tech expert Limbikani Makani said the coming of PayPal to Zimbabwe is a big deal.

"It's a very good development both on the consumer side and PayPal side. Basically it means that PayPal now has access to some 5 million users in Zimbabwe," Makani said.

Economic analyst Masimba Kuchera said the PayPal scheme was most likely to conflict with Zimbabwean laws regulating the outflow of cash.