A change in Turkish law has temporarily halted the transfer of Turkish liras abroad through a peer-to-peer money transfer platform, TransferWise said yesterday. It has stopped sending Turkish liras from Turkey to bank accounts abroad due to new licensing requirements. "In a nutshell, Turkey has introduced a legislation that means businesses now require a license to offer money remittance services out of Turkey," company spokeswoman Antonia Rofagha said. "This brings it in line with other countries – the new law is a good measure to protect consumers' rights. We're intending to obtain this license but until we do so, we won't be operating ‘from Turkey,' " Rofagha stressed.
Rofagha said the law affects all "money service businesses." She added, "Until we're absolutely sure that TransferWise complies with this legislation, we've made the decision to close down this route." Customers can still transfer foreign currency out of Turkey using the service. Transferwise has handled more than $150 million in international transfers since it was established in 2011. The company operates on the basis of charging lower fees and better exchange rates than banks.