Papara Turkey : Payments | Transfer | Debt Cards

Discover Papara, the virtual bank transforming digital payments in Turkey. This guide covers everything you need to know about Papara Turkey – how it works, account opening, card types, features, pros and cons, and who it’s best suited for. Learn how Papara is disrupting banking and payments with its innovative approach.

Papara burst onto the scene soon after PayPal was banned in Turkey. This left a massive gap for easy online payments solutions. Papara swooped in to fill this void, providing digital banking and payments to the tech-savvy population.

papara Turkey card

What Exactly is Papara?

In simple terms, Papara is an electronic wallet and virtual bank. It allows users to easily make payments online, shop online, send/receive money, withdraw cash, and manage their finances digitally.

Some key things Papara lets you do:

  • Make purchases online at any merchant that accepts credit/debit cards
  • Send and receive money transfers to other Papara users instantly
  • Split bills and expenses with friends through the app
  • Withdraw cash from ATMs using a Papara debit card
  • Manage expenses and budgets via the app’s tools
  • Earn cashback rewards on spending

Papara aims to provide seamless digital banking and payments tailored to the modern user. As more commerce moves online, Papara meets this growing need in Turkey.

Opening a Papara Account in Turkey

The process of opening a Papara account is designed to be quick and convenient.

New users can sign-up via Papara’s website or mobile app in just a few minutes. All you need is an email address and phone number.

Here’s an overview of how to open an account:

Via Papara’s Website

  • Go to Papara and click to open a new account
  • Enter your email address and confirm
  • Enter your phone number and confirm
  • Verify your identity
  • Accept the terms & conditions
  • And just like that, your new account is ready to use!

Via the Mobile App

  • Download the iOS or Android app
  • Tap to open a new account
  • Enter your email address and confirm
  • Enter your phone number and confirm
  • Verify your identity
  • Accept the terms & conditions
  • Your digital wallet is now open

Opening an account through the website or app takes less than 5 minutes in most cases. The process is hassle-free compared to opening a traditional bank account.

papara Turkey

Activating Your Papara Account

Once your new Papara account is opened, there is one additional step – activation. Activation is mandatory before you can start using features like transferring funds.

The activation process verifies your identity and ensures security.

As part of activation, you’ll need to provide some form of Turkish identification based on your citizenship/residency status. Options include:

  • Turkish Citizens – Provide your national ID number
  • Foreign Residents – Provide your foreigner ID number

In the Papara app, go to the “Hesap Onaylama” (Account Verification) section. Enter your document number and details.

Click “Onayla” to complete activation.

Once activated, you can order your free Papara debit card and start using your account!

Papara Card Types & Options

One of the best features of Papara is the debit card options. Papara offers several card types tailored to different needs.

Here’s an overview of the Papara card lineup:

Papara Black Card

The Papara Black Card is the premium card choice. Perks include:

  • Accepted worldwide
  • No monthly or annual fees
  • Contactless payments
  • ATM access
  • 500 TL monthly ATM withdrawal limit
  • Ability to earn cashback

It’s feature-packed for frequent spending and ATM access.

Papara Lite Card

This is a toned-down card with essential features:

  • Accepted worldwide
  • No monthly fees
  • Contactless payments
  • 500 TL monthly ATM deposit limit

It’s a solid basic card for everyday spending.

Papara virtual card

The Papara virtual card is a virtual debit card that offers a few unique benefits:

  • Activates immediately upon creation
  • Great for online purchases
  • No plastic card is shipped

It provides temporary one-time access without needing a physical card.

Papara Metal Card (Launching Soon)

This is an upcoming premium metal debit card made from stainless steel. It will have unique designs etched with lasers. Perks will include contactless use, premium cashback rewards, and more. It’s currently in beta testing before being launched.

As you can see, Papara really aims to provide tailored debit card options for all types of use cases, from digital payments to in-store shopping.

papara Turkey bank

Key Features & Benefits of Papara

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s explore some of the key features and benefits that make Papara so useful:

Digital Payments Accepted Everywhere

Papara cards are accepted anywhere major credit/debit cards are accepted – both online and offline. This makes shopping, paying bills, and more seamless.

Send/Receive Money Instantly

Users can instantly send or receive money transfers to/from other Papara accounts. It’s like virtual cash – no waiting or holds.

Withdraw Cash From Any ATM

Papara cards can withdraw cash from ATMs worldwide, providing access to your money on-demand.

Top-Up Mobile Payment Accounts Instantly

Papara makes topping up mobile payment wallets like Paycell fast and easy. No waiting or extra steps.

24/7 Access

Papara’s app and website provide banking access around the clock. You can send money or check your balance at 2 AM on a Sunday. No downtime or holidays.

User-Friendly Mobile App

Papara’s mobile app has an intuitive design making digital banking simple. Everything is streamlined from one home screen.

Built-In Expense Tracking

The app provides expense tracking tools to monitor spending. Sort purchases by category or merchant. This makes budgeting easier.

No Hidden Fees

Papara is transparent with no surprise fees. Things like ATM withdrawals, account use, and transfers are free. (Just look out for merchant fees).

Earn Cashback Rewards

Papara provides cashback for purchases at hundreds of popular retailers. You can earn up to 50% cashback at places like Netflix, Youtube, Spotify, pharmacies and more. It’s a nice perk that adds up.

Supports Money Lending

Users can digitally lend money to or borrow money from contacts. Everything is done through the app securely.

Papara Fees

Account Opening and Usage FeeOpen and use a Papara account instantly for free.Free
Money Transfer to Papara AccountsSending money from one Papara account to another is always free.Free
Money Transfer to IBANSend money to any IBAN from your Papara account for free.Free
Bill and Other PaymentsPayment of bills and other transactions on the payments page.Free
Papara CardPurchase, program membership fee, no monthly/yearly dues.Free
ATM Withdrawal with Papara CardATM withdrawal details for other bank and international transaction fees.Free (Akbank ATMs)
Other BanksTransaction fees from other banks.%1 + 1 TL
International ATM WithdrawalApplied as 5.00 TL for transactions up to 500 TL.%1
Balance Inquiry at Akbank ATMsCheck your balance in the app instead of using the ATM.Free
Balance Inquiry at Other Banks’ ATMsCheck your balance in the app instead of using the ATM.0.25 TL
ATM Deposit with Papara CardDetails of transaction fees for other banks.Free (Akbank ATMs)
Other BanksTransaction fees from other banks.%1 + 1 TL
Bank Transfer DepositTransfer money from your bank account to Papara account for free.Free
Bank Transfer WithdrawalTransfer money from Papara account to your bank account for free.Free
Cardless Transaction at ATMsDeposit money to your Papara account for free at ATMs of partner banks.Free
Deposit at CarrefourSA StoresValid for a short period.Free
Deposit at Teknosa StoresValid for a short period.Free
Deposit at PTT BranchesApplied as 8.00 TL for transactions up to 800 TL.%1
Bank/Credit Card DepositApplied to deposits from bank/credit card linked to your account.%2.50
Commercial/Excessive Usage FeeApplied when you receive transfers from 5 different people totaling over 5,000 TL in the same month or when you receive transfers from 10 different people regardless of the amount.%3.40 (Excluding BSMV)

The Downsides of Papara

Of course no fintech provider is perfect. There are some drawbacks to note with Papara:

  • No incoming external transfers – You cannot receive transfers into Papara from an external bank account. The sender needs their own Papara account.
  • No checks – Papara does not support depositing or cashing checks since it’s digital-only.
  • Cash deposits require fees – If you need to deposit physical cash, you’ll pay a fee at locations that accept this.
  • No savings/investing features – Papara focuses solely on simplifying everyday digital banking. No high yield savings or investing options.

While Papara lacks some traditional bank features, it shines when it comes to digital payments, money transfers, withdrawals, and everyday spending.

Who is Papara Best Suited For?

Given its pros and cons, Papara will appeal most to digital natives who:

  • Make purchases online frequently
  • Use payment apps like Paycell
  • Travel internationally often
  • Send/receive money transfers regularly
  • Use ATMs frequently when cash is needed
  • Want debit card options for different uses
  • Prefer app-based banking over branch visits

Younger consumers tend to be the best demographic fit. But anyone who lives their financial life online can benefit from Papara.

How Does Papara Make Money?

For a free service, you may be wondering – how does Papara generate revenue? Papara earns money in a few key ways:

  • Interchange fees – Papara collects interchange fees from merchants on card transactions. A % goes to Papara on purchases.
  • Cash withdrawal fees – While ATM usage is free up to a limit, excess fees apply. This generates significant revenue.
  • Merchant offers – Brands pay Papara to promote deals/cashback offers to users which leads to purchases.

The combination of these revenue streams allows Papara to provide free entry-level service and maintain growth.

How to transfer money with Papara out of Turkey?

  1. Log in to your Papara account and navigate the “Money Transfer” menu.
  2. Select the “International Money Transfer” option.
  3. Select the destination country.
  4. Specify the transfer amount either as the amount to be withdrawn from your account in TL or as the amount the recipient will receive in the recipient country’s currency.
  5. Check the transaction amount screen for information regarding the transaction fee, foreign exchange tax, exchange rate, and estimated delivery time.
  6. Provide the necessary recipient information, such as their name, bank account details, and transfer details.
  7. Review the transaction details and confirm the transfer.
  8. Once confirmed, Papara will process the international money to the designated recipient and inform you about the transaction result.
  9. Track your transaction on the “Pending Transactions” option on the “Money Transfer” menu.

You can send money with Papara to most European countries and it will take around 1 hour for the transfer to reach the receiver.

Abdullah Habib
Abdullah Habib

Merhaba! I'm Abdullah Habib. In this article, I share the essence of my 7-year journey in Turkey - as an expat and foreign student. With a heart full of stories and a mind rich with insights from my experiences, I've written this piece just for you. So, without further ado, sit back, relax, and enjoy the read!

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