If you are used to just paying everything online with a credit card back home, you might be in for a bit of surprise once you move to the Republic of Georgia.
Though some companies can accept online card payments, it is still typical for foreign cards to be declined, and for many companies simply not to have online payment processing at all.
Because local bank transfers are very fast (if transferring between two accounts at the same bank, it typically takes just seconds) many Georgian companies accept bank transfers as their main form of online payment.
For foreigners without a Georgian bank account, other options have to be considered. Below we cover all the main options, as well as some important legal information on currency in Georgia.
Legality Of Currency & Transactions In Georgia
It is legally mandated that Georgian companies may only charge for goods and services in Georgian Lari (GEL) when the service recipient is a person who normally resides in Georgia (Article 34, Law of Georgia on the National Bank).
For tourists and foreigners not residing here, foreign currency purchases are legally allowed.
But because so many of our clients are based in Georgia, or imminently about to be, ExpatHub will normally invoice assuming the client is based in Georgia and hence we do not include our foreign currency payment options on invoices without first checking the resident status of the client and establishing that they are not able to easily pay in GEL.
Quick Summary Of Payment Options
This summary is to help you decide quickly how to pay ExpatHub*.
If you normally reside*2 in Georgia:
You must legally pay in GEL, through one of the above methods:
- Local Georgian bank transfer.
- In person with a debit/credit card (local or foreign).
- Via a transfer service like Wise (who will exchange your currency into GEL before depositing it to our bank account).
If none of the above are possible in your case, please contact our customer service team (firstname.lastname@example.org) for assistance.
If you do not normally reside in Georgia:
- All of the options listed above for those that normally reside in Georgia are possible.
- You can pay in GEL / USD / EUR / AUD / GBP / CAD. For other currency options, contact us. Your invoice will still be in GEL.
- Send a standard transfer (no additional fee by ExpatHub) or wire transfer (fees vary) to one of our foreign currency accounts. Please contact us email@example.com and explain that you do not reside in Georgia, and we can supply foreign currency payment options.
* If paying another company, seek advice directly from them. Please do not email us for payment advice/assistance unless your payment will be to ExpatHub.
*2 You would be considered as “normally residing” in Georgia if it is the place where you typically live (regardless of whether you rent or own your accommodation). And/or, if you have made clear intent to relocate to Georgia imminently, or have already arrived with that intent. And/or, if you have no other country of regular residence (actually physically living, not just being a citizen or legal resident of) and you spend more of your time in Georgia than any other single country. And/or if Georgia is your center of vital interests (evidenced by life/work/real estate, etc., here).
Still not sure or need other assistance? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.