PayPal - Independent review

Should you use PayPal to send money abroad?

While PayPal is great to send money to friends living in your country, it's probably not a good idea to use PayPal for your international transfers.

5.90/10 Ok
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PayPal review by Monito

PayPal is the largest internet payment company in the world, with nearly 200 million active account holders. Over 6 billion transactions are made through PayPal every year, representing a total volume of $354 billion. PayPal is mainly used by consumer and merchants for e-commerce payments (i.e. payments for goods and services online), but it also allows users to make personal payments to friends and family around the world.

With PayPal, you can send money from 161 countries to PayPal accounts in 78 countries and in 26 currencies. Your recipient can then use their PayPal balance to withdraw funds to their bank account, or to pay for goods and service online.

While PayPal’s service is very convenient and safe, it comes at a high price. Indeed, the total cost of a cross-border personal payment with a currency conversion with PayPal is at least 2.8% of the transaction amount, including both payment and currency conversion fees. You will generally pay much more than this, and in the most extreme cases you could incur a total cost of close to 10%! Since much cheaper services are almost always available, we recommend you always compare all your options here. If you decide to make a money transfer with PayPal nonetheless, read our “PayPal Exchange Rate & Fees” section to find out how to save on costs.




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3,296 customer reviews on PayPal on Trustpilot


10 hours ago
by Mister Squirrel

1 stars

Awful company…If I could give minus stars, I would!

I have spent two hours on consecutive days, simply trying to send MY money to someone. When asked to verify my identity by calling me or sending an...Read more

I have spent two hours on consecutive days, simply trying to send MY money to someone. When asked to verify my identity by calling me or sending an email, i entered both numerous times, only to receive no call and no email. Now I had someone annoyed at me, because I can;t pay them and they're waiting for my money for their own cash flow. This, I was assured was sorted on tuesday (just try again in an hour) I waited until wednesday. NOPE still doesn't work... so here I am again, taking time when I finally finish work, to sort out problems that the billionaire corporation should be sorting out themselves. And my creditor now is untrusting of me, as he still hasn't been paid I hate banks, but even they aren't as awful as this. Hideous Company I would like to say that the two separate women I spoke to were courteous and helpful, unfortunately their employers are dreadful and clearly hold their customers in utter contempt

10 hours ago
by nicoleta

1 stars

Paypal abusive policies hold on to people money

I don't think you understand The buyer left positive feedback on a sealed phone What do you expect to go wrong? Why don't you just aknowledge you're...Read more

I don't think you understand The buyer left positive feedback on a sealed phone What do you expect to go wrong? Why don't you just aknowledge you're using customers money under the abusive policy I have £6 in my account and I need to survive on those till you decide to let me use my money , not yours , mine . I am so furious I won't hesitate to share this abuse with everyone I know. I bet you're not that desperate and I know you don't know how it's like Just wish you will get better competition out there and all customers move over from abusive , greedy paypal Let go of my money today ! Buyer is happy! Phone is brand new! Feedback was received positive! Thieves!It past 3 days already! I will post on trustpilot and other websites everyday!

10 hours ago
by DL

1 stars

Don't trust them!

I returned an item I bought online and which I used Paypal to pay for. Paypal informed me on 10/10 that they had received the refund. On 17/10 the money...Read more

I returned an item I bought online and which I used Paypal to pay for. Paypal informed me on 10/10 that they had received the refund. On 17/10 the money had cleared, phoned them and they say it will be another 5-7 working days before I will be refunded, effectively meaning they are holding on to my money for no reason whatsoever (when we know they could immediately transfer to my bank account) for two and a half weeks! Have used PayPal for years and often had problems (do not trust their 'protection' claims, they will quote this and that policy to get out of refunding you) but this is the final straw. I will never use Paypal again. I recommend you don't either.


More reviews

1 day ago
by Sebastian Miller

1 stars

These guys steal from your accounts and …

These guys steal from your accounts and don't even show it in the history. About a couple of months ago I noticed that every other day $1 to $5, never...Read more

These guys steal from your accounts and don't even show it in the history. About a couple of months ago I noticed that every other day $1 to $5, never integer values, always with a few cents, were being deducted from my running balance. Checked history, nothing that shows why: no purchase, no payment, no fee, nothing. I let it go for a few weeks until it went from $1050 (it was this exact balance I received from a site and I had a clean balance before) to $996,11. That's when I called them and had to to talk to 3 different operators each keeping me on hold for 15 to 30 minutes until the last one lied to my face saying I never had $1050 in my account and their own history proves it! I took all my money away before they could steal from me and closed the account. These guys make their billions stealing from the little guys like me and they know the little guy has no money to put them in court. This is my experience and I will never use PayPal again... there no "Pal" there.

1 day ago
by nicoleta

1 stars

This is unacceptable thieves!

This is unacceptable , these bunch of thieves are using peoples money without their consent. I sold a Iphone 6 for £249 and they place the money on hold...Read more

This is unacceptable , these bunch of thieves are using peoples money without their consent. I sold a Iphone 6 for £249 and they place the money on hold because that's what they want to do and they compose a policy and thats it there's nothing you can do. They say its for safety but the buyer sent positive feedback and still they keep my money. Transaction was succesfull and they won't allow me to have my money , however the greedy bastar took their share first so that was ok to do. I have 2 children and they need nappies and food but I cannot buy because paypal holds my money. You don't have my consent to keep my money thieves!! F***k your policy!!! Give me my money they are not your money thieves!!! Nicoleta Vraciu

1 day ago
by sue Schofield

1 stars

Victim of on-line fraud now PayPal harassing me

Someone managed to hack into a number of PayPal accounts all on the same night, all payments to Ann summers. I contacted my bank and PayPal and my bank...Read more

Someone managed to hack into a number of PayPal accounts all on the same night, all payments to Ann summers. I contacted my bank and PayPal and my bank refunded the money. I took time off work and even managed to get the goods sent back to sender. PayPal now are threatening debt collectors. They are harassing me on the phone demanding money. I have proof they have never refunded me but they don't care. It's an absolute scam. I have been a victim of a crime, that was awful now I've realised PayPal are trying to con me. I am under so much stress and feel sick every time the phone rings. AVOID AVOID most awful company ever. Your money is not safe with them!!

1 day ago
by clifford pollard

5 stars

I've never had a problem with them

I've never had a problem with them. At least it's not worldpay where there stealing your money by getting you on a contract you didn't sign up for. A...Read more

I've never had a problem with them. At least it's not worldpay where there stealing your money by getting you on a contract you didn't sign up for. A rude employee is not so bad compared to worldpay

1 day ago
by Lee Lee

1 stars

STOP!!! Bad company, bad service!

STOP!!!! I transferred money from my PayPal account to my bank account and the money just went missing. Nearly four weeks later and many many phone calls...Read more

STOP!!!! I transferred money from my PayPal account to my bank account and the money just went missing. Nearly four weeks later and many many phone calls l have had to make l finally received my money. What a shame l use to use PayPal to purchase things online, but not anymore. I had no call backs as l was told l would, bad customer service skills. DO NOT TRUST PAYPAL!!!! I DONT THEY HAVE NOW BEEN DELETED, I SUGEST YOU ALL DO THE SAME DONT BE RIPPED OFF!!!

2 days ago
by Tyesha Peterson

1 stars

They have been holding my money for …

They have been holding my money for almost 3 days now and I still have not got an answer to why all I've been getting is there so sorry and they will try...Read more

They have been holding my money for almost 3 days now and I still have not got an answer to why all I've been getting is there so sorry and they will try to have it resolved shortly I was strongly strongly suggest to never use PayPal I have recently transferred over to zelle pay and they are so much better you get your money faster and they don't charge you 3%bike PayPal to put you through all these problems please please please let my pain and suffering be a lesson to you and please do not use PayPal

3 days ago
by Sheila Ditch

5 stars

I have been having dreadful problems …

I have been having dreadful problems trying to get a refund from MY Hermes. Fortunately, I paid them via PayPal and one phone call to Paypal had the...Read more

I have been having dreadful problems trying to get a refund from MY Hermes. Fortunately, I paid them via PayPal and one phone call to Paypal had the problem sorted. I would recommend PayPal without reservation but avoid MY Hermes like the plague!

3 days ago
by Adam

1 stars

PayPal held my money and blocked me forever

I had money in my PayPal account and when I tried to withdraw it they blocked me from using PayPal forever. I was treated with disdain by the staff, as if...Read more

I had money in my PayPal account and when I tried to withdraw it they blocked me from using PayPal forever. I was treated with disdain by the staff, as if I was a common criminal. No good reason was given other than someone somewhere had issued a "parting ways" to my account. Now I have to wait up to 180 days for them to give my money back. Use PayPal at your own peril. PayPal may find an erroneous excuse to permanently close your account then hold your money for half a year (no doubt generating interest for them). I have many friends who have been treated this way and reading around online, this is a common occurrence. Some people have had as much as 40,000 held in their account. I am a genuine certified surgeon. For anyone to have been treated his way is a disgrace. I hope people see the light and leave this unreliable bullying corporate giant.

3 days ago
by SMCA

1 stars

I use them to buy items online …

I use them to buy items online specially if I'm not familiar with the website I'm buying from due to the security they USED to offer. however, my last...Read more

I use them to buy items online specially if I'm not familiar with the website I'm buying from due to the security they USED to offer. however, my last experience with them was the WORST experience of my online shopping EVER. I found a website selling cute stuff online and they had a sale (or that's what I thought). I ordered some items and my total was about $335. I used Paypal of course. They started to send me the stuff in different packages. Horrible quality fabric (discolored fabric on two), cheap replica of the pictures they used on their site and the sizing was from hell. I'm a size small and some of them wouldn't go higher than my knees. the body suite was made in the kids size and some of them had different measurement between right and left sides. On top of that, they didn't send me two of the items saying they are out of stock but they didn't refund me for those two. I opened a claim with Paypal explaining everything. I've been following up with them for the past two months and NOTHING. they keep repeating themselves like a recorded voice on a machine. they are asking me to return everything in order to receive my money back. Guess what? the site managed to not show that they are not USA based and they are located in Hong Kong. my return label will cost me over $130 dollar and they won't pay for it. they know I won't spend that much and they are refusing to provide me with a return prepaid lable since they know they stuff are garbage. I sent Paypal picture of my estimated shipping cost and pictures of the items and they keep repeating themselves " you have to return everything to get your money back" why would I want to spend that much money on top of what I paid already to send garbage back and I'm not even sure if they will refund me. I asked to at least get a refund on the two items I didn't receive and they say it's either all or nothing???????? WHAT???????? they won't even follow up on what I paid for and didn't get. I was soooooooooo upset and when I talked to few people about them, they all confirmed that Paypal customer service is NOT what it used to be and they don't care for their customers protection anymore. OBVIOUSLY. THE ONE WHO HELPS A THIEF IS A THIEF HIMSELF.

3 days ago
by Alex Grant

1 stars

Terrible and unhelpful customer service

Worst customer service I have ever experienced, called today to try and get information about a pending payment and was greeted by an incredibly rude and...Read more

Worst customer service I have ever experienced, called today to try and get information about a pending payment and was greeted by an incredibly rude and unhelpful woman, who continuously interrupted and spoke over me, not letting me get a single word in whilst I was trying to explain my problem properly. And then seemed to find it amusing and even laughing in a patronising manner when I asked her to clarify something. She spent the whole of two minutes droning on about mostly unrelated things and how she was just going to send an email, then when she finally shut up a moment for me to get a chance to ask about the problem I was having, she completely ignored me, said thank you for calling and ended the call. So after a twenty minute wait, was on the phone for three minutes max, didn't get a chance to explain anything and was left none the wiser to the issue of my payment and only more frustrated by the end. Honestly think I would have received more help from a chimpanzee, appalling service and unprofessional staff attitude. Hopefully they'll have more helpful people there in the future but this was nothing but a waste of time and the only result was feeling annoyed afterwards.

4 days ago
by Jonathan Worthy

1 stars

Shambles

Shambles! I can’t begin to tell you the amount of calls I have put into PayPal about one issue or another and the answer is always the same...we can’t...Read more

Shambles! I can’t begin to tell you the amount of calls I have put into PayPal about one issue or another and the answer is always the same...we can’t help you will have to wait for the refund/process/transaction/investigation.....the list goes on! Awful company that have completely monopolised the eBay marketplace! Latest issue is a refund that was taken from my account 3 times! Yet I have to wait for it to be returned 7 working days! Robbery!

4 days ago
by Melissa R. Riley

5 stars

PayPal is awesome

I always use PayPal to make my online purchase and it's always a smooth experience! It's very reassuring knowing that they provide protection from fraud,...Read more

I always use PayPal to make my online purchase and it's always a smooth experience! It's very reassuring knowing that they provide protection from fraud, and that they keep my credit card information private from websites. I would recommend them to anyone!

5 days ago
by Mark Rountree

1 stars

Ebay seller with local pickup issues

If you are a seller on Ebay and you elect to have the item as "local pickup" and accept payment through paypal, you will have to wait at least...Read more

If you are a seller on Ebay and you elect to have the item as "local pickup" and accept payment through paypal, you will have to wait at least 21 days to have access to your funds once the buyer pays through paypal. There is no way for the buyer to complete the transaction at the time of delivery and release the funds to the seller. It would have been better to just accept cash at the time of delivery but I thought having the convenience of adding paypal to the auction would be beneficial for buyers and make the transaction more attractive. As a seller, you have the paypal fee deducted immediately and still have to wait for your money. This is an unacceptable practice for this type of transaction - sellers be aware of this situation.

5 days ago
by Sunny

1 stars

Bad experience with Paypal

I had bad experience with Paypal. They give opportunity to online crime. I purchased a CV service from targetedcv.co.uk The supplier asked me to make...Read more

I had bad experience with Paypal. They give opportunity to online crime. I purchased a CV service from targetedcv.co.uk The supplier asked me to make payment in advance. The service is called full Monty. I paid £99.98 for it. The supplier let me choose one of 5 templates for CV, to be honest, you can find the 5 CV templates anywhere. Eventually, I only got a draft CV and very short draft CV cover letter from him. Since then I contacted the supplier for many times for full Monty service. He never replied me. I have to claim money back though Paypal. However, Paypal told me their buyer protection policy does not cover this kind of service. I lost £99.98 to a liar, but a learnt from my mistake. Please carefully check with Paypal when you make purchase online. Paypal wouldn't protect you if you fall in online scam.

1 week ago
by Soren

1 stars

Do NOT relay on "Buyer Protection"

Do NOT relay on PayPal's buyer protection .. !! I bought a product at "ExtremeDeals" (which ignores your inquiries .. !!), but the purchased...Read more

Do NOT relay on PayPal's buyer protection .. !! I bought a product at "ExtremeDeals" (which ignores your inquiries .. !!), but the purchased item was never delivered. I therefore requested PayPal to withdraw my payment, which they refused on the grounds that ”..PayPal had received a ”valid tracking number" from the seller.” ..?? I contacted PayPal and emphasized that a tracking number (which, incidentally, referred to an useless tracking site ...) does not provide any prove for whether the buyer has received the item, as this can only be proven by submitting a receipt signed by the recipient. For the same reason, I asked PayPal to claim a prove for my reception of the alleged delivery, but PayPal simply reiterated that "PayPal had received a valid tracking number and therefore closed the dispute" .. !! Believe me! PayPal is not you pal at all..! "Buyer Protection" must clearly be perceived as "Seller Protection".

1 week ago
by jason millar

1 stars

Worthless company owner now making …

Worthless company owner now making electric cars which drive themselves off mountains by all accounts. Poorly trained staff recent case involved engine...Read more

Worthless company owner now making electric cars which drive themselves off mountains by all accounts. Poorly trained staff recent case involved engine sale purchased by Forrest Gump ordered wrong one shipped back to a different company at a different address. PayPal above the law acted as judge jury and executioner and filed with the buyer and I lost my goods. Well I lost temporarily using the county court let’s see what a real judge makes of this worthless American crap that’s washed up on our uk shores

1 week ago
by Александр Наркомандр

1 stars

PayPal Limited my Account and Stole MY Money for non-existent Transaction(s)

Hi, To briefly state my legal points: Paypal is operating as a financial institution with power of seizure, without legal authority to do so. ...Read more

Hi, To briefly state my legal points: Paypal is operating as a financial institution with power of seizure, without legal authority to do so. Paypal is committing felony fraud (possible laundering activities going on as as well, since it seems to be widespread and ongoing), but just my own money is $4,746.90 Paypal is refusing to release funds, not belonging to themselves, which is called grand theft. I have been a PayPal account holder for more than 10 years and never had any major issues nor violated any policies in the past. Recently (10/8/2017) I received an email from PayPal support that one of my newly added listings is violating "PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy" and that my account has been permanently limited without an option of appeal. In addition to that, under my PayPal account, they have posted and immediately closed a case where they stated: "Oct 8, 2017: When you signed up for your PayPal account, you agreed to our user Agreement and Acceptable Use Policy. Because some of your recent transactions violated this policy, we've had to permanently limit your account. Please remove any references to PayPal from your website you'll be able to withdraw any money in your account 180 days after your last transaction. We'll email you when it's ready to be withdrawn (Your case ID for this reason is PP-006-227-902-783" In addition to that, PayPal stated: " Under the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for items that infringe or violate any copyright, trademark, right of publicity or privacy, or any other proprietary right under the laws of any jurisdiction. This includes transactions for any device or technological measure that descrambles a scrambled work, decrypts an encrypted work or otherwise avoids, bypasses, removes, deactivates or impairs a technological measure without the authority of the copyright owner. This also includes transactions (WE HAD 0 TRANSACTIONS FOR THIS LISTING, 0!) for devices that allow domestic video game consoles to play back-up or import versions of games, such as mod chips, game enhancers, boot disks, software packages that remove protections from DVDs, HD DVDs and Blu-Ray DVDs and allow the user to copy the protected information into other formats, and card sharing services, which is a method of allowing multiple digital television receivers to access subscription television services with only one paid subscription card. " While I completely disagree on PayPal's accusations that my company violated any of their policies, especially trademark/copyright policies, PayPal is basically claiming that my company violated their user agreements based on the Transactions which NEVER happened. The listing based on which they have limited my account never had a single sale or transaction, it was added 4-5 days before they blocked the account, which contradicts their statement. While I no longer want to be any part of PayPal, they are forcefully holding onto my money without allowing me to withdraw it, in the amount of: $4,746.90 (screenshot is attached "unable-to-withdraw-our-money.jpg") for at least 180 days, which is absolutely unacceptable and is a criminal action against me. This is disregarding the fact that I currently have 2 eBay stores completely on halt, because of this, which I am now considering closing down as eBay is like a PayPal in a mirror. Now, as for the listing, which they used to steal my money, based on PayPal's side: I am breaking some sort of their rules/trademark violations. The listing (which is already removed) contained a system, built on Raspberry Pi 3, with 2 pre-installed operating systems: Lakka and Raspbian, which are both under GNU General Public License , allows "The terms and conditions of the GPL must be made available to anybody receiving a copy of the work that has a GPL applied to it ("the licensee"). Any licensee who adheres to the terms and conditions is given permission to modify the work, as well as to copy and redistribute the work or any derivative version.". The unit is enclosed within a similar to classic NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) casing, which is freely sold on eBay and everywhere else, without any NES labels and such. In addition, several peripherals are included with the system, which are simply purchased and re-sold. Now, if PayPal would let me know that such listing does not comply with their policy - I would happily remove the listing and go on, however, with PayPal completely locking down my account and basically stealing my money - I want nothing to do with such a horrible and criminal company and withdraw my money immediately! I tried calling PayPal couple of times, which usually ends with extensively long hold times/call rops and when i finally able able to talk to someone - they have no information to provide or anything they could help with the matter. The only thing they would suggest is to email aup at paypal and that they will create a ticket in "that" department. So far I have not heard nothing, am very concerned about MY money! In addition to that, it is a shame, that this so called "company" is getting away with ripping so many people off. Therefore, I am asking for any help possible to push on PayPal to stop practicing such criminal activities and give their customer's money back! Aleksandr Kamenev

10/11/2017
by Karol O

2 stars

Credit card details? No! Junk? No!

When I want to set up a reoccurring payment like a subscription, I'm asked to provide credit card details even if I have enough in my paypal account to...Read more

When I want to set up a reoccurring payment like a subscription, I'm asked to provide credit card details even if I have enough in my paypal account to cover two years. The WHOLE POINT of paypal for me is that I DO NOT PROVIDE CREDIT CARD or BANK DETAILS. Otherwise why I would not choose to lose a portion of the payments I receive?! I have NEVER signed up to receive offers, promo or marketing materials. I'm always careful to opt out. But once in a while, paypal changes my settings and I get s* in my mailbox.

10/11/2017
by Pip

1 stars

Pay cash when possible

Pay cash when possible, I paid £280 for an item which we were to collect 5 days after I had paid through PayPal, the seller was new and PayPal would not...Read more

Pay cash when possible, I paid £280 for an item which we were to collect 5 days after I had paid through PayPal, the seller was new and PayPal would not release his money for 21 days, so he decided to cancel the transaction and refund it back to me. Now I have to wait 14 days till I can transfer the monies back to my bank account. Win win situation for PayPal

10/11/2017
by Anitka M.

2 stars

I had problems recovering money

I had problems recovering money. I waited two weeks, and after that time I got the money with deduction commission.

10/08/2017
by joe mamma

1 stars

A shell of what it used to be prior to …

A shell of what it used to be prior to breaking ties with Ebay Customer service is a complete joke, nothing but total idiots who have no clue on how to...Read more

A shell of what it used to be prior to breaking ties with Ebay Customer service is a complete joke, nothing but total idiots who have no clue on how to handle a situation that is mostly created by their company's own doing. Wait times are even more of a joke......waiting 45 minutes just to get some idiot on the phone is like what??? why did I even bother!! Email contact states 24 hours but you will wait even longer because once again there are nothing but idiots running the show on this crap hole. Their policy's are pretty much something that a child dug up and here again any idiot will defend such ignorant behaviors. In a sense, finding another way to pay for and move online funds is probably best for any consumer, Paypal is just full of stupid ...

10/08/2017
by Mr. Ufqyblug

1 stars

Impossible to contact?

Impossible to contact? Is there a tutorial how to contact them? Contact us leads to "self help" and I'm too old for merry-go-arounds. How hard...Read more

Impossible to contact? Is there a tutorial how to contact them? Contact us leads to "self help" and I'm too old for merry-go-arounds. How hard is it to make single email link and to get it working, chinese sellers can do it...go ahead... I think there's need for yet another law... Example video for contacting reps and a fine if it's rubbish. It's unacceptably hard to get them in contact. I guess US/EU should give them a fine.

10/07/2017
by Audrey Laur

1 stars

Worst Customer Service imaginable

Worst Customer Service imaginable. They take 1 hour to pick up a call, they are rude, and unhelpful, telling you off to call at the wrong time to justify...Read more

Worst Customer Service imaginable. They take 1 hour to pick up a call, they are rude, and unhelpful, telling you off to call at the wrong time to justify that you had to wait. and limit your account and don't review documents submitted or email before another 4 weeks! PayPal is slow and bad at offering a service and do not wish to use it anymore. so many better options.

10/07/2017
by Emiliano Toska

1 stars

Horrible, lost 1000€ and they can't verify it.

I sent money to a friend for a shipment. The transaction is completed the money never arrived to the reciever. I feel like i lost 1000€ PayPal cannot...Read more

I sent money to a friend for a shipment. The transaction is completed the money never arrived to the reciever. I feel like i lost 1000€ PayPal cannot verify the money. My friend sent me pictures of his account. We sent again to verify if payments worked and the others work fine. Just that one didn't go through. And he can't refund me what he didn't receive. Aaaah I'm mad.

10/07/2017
by Tim Grant

1 stars

Paypal is a total nightmare!

Paypal is a total nightmare. My wife and I have a joint bank account. She has an account with Paypal and I use paypal through my debit card. Because it's...Read more

Paypal is a total nightmare. My wife and I have a joint bank account. She has an account with Paypal and I use paypal through my debit card. Because it's near her birthday I wanted to put some money into Paypal to buy her a present, without her knowing how much I had spent. So i tried to change my paypal to an account with them? But I can't as paypal won't accept me using our joint account to withdraw money?

10/07/2017
by Adam

1 stars

Cannot close account

Cannot close account, cannot remove bank account direct debit from account closed months ago although replaced. If it wasn't so big I would have called...Read more

Cannot close account, cannot remove bank account direct debit from account closed months ago although replaced. If it wasn't so big I would have called the police. No online features work, you are not allowed to manage your own money.

10/06/2017
by James Cordorly

1 stars

Literally the worst business i've dealt with

Literally the worst business i have ever had to deal with. Completley unfair and inexplicable limitations. DREADFUL customer support. Complete lack of...Read more

Literally the worst business i have ever had to deal with. Completley unfair and inexplicable limitations. DREADFUL customer support. Complete lack of regard for customers. Always holding your money for no valid reason. Only use paypal as a last resort.


PayPal has very poor reviews on Trustpilot, with close to 50% of the over 2’700 customers who have given their feedback rating the company 1 star out of 5. However, the reviews on Trustpilot concern all of PayPal services and might not reflect the opinion of people using PayPal’s specific personal payments service.

Note: PayPal is not inviting its users to share their experience with TrustPilot which could explain part of the reason for the high proportion of bad ratings.



Can I trust PayPal?

PayPal is one of the largest independent, publicly traded, consumer financial technology companies in the world. Headquartered in San Jose, California, the company was founded in 1988 and now employs more than 18’000 employees across the world. PayPal is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol PYPL, and has a current market capitalization of approximately US$50 billion.

PayPal’s brand is recognized worldwide and used by 200m people for its convenience, security, and global availability. More than US$354 billion have been transacted using PayPal, including US$102 billion from mobile devices. That’s 6 billion transactions in total, and 2 billion on mobile!

PayPal offers its service worldwide, which requires the company to be registered, authorized and/or licensed in many jurisdictions. In the US, Paypal is licensed as a money transmitter in 55 states. In the European Union, PayPal is licensed as a bank in Luxembourg. Thanks to EU regulations, PayPal can “passport” this license and operate in other countries throughout the EU. PayPal also holds local entities in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Mexico and Russia. In every other country, PayPal provides its service through PayPal Pte. Ltd., a Singaporean company.

Clients’ funds are held in pooled accounts which are segregated from PayPal’s own accounts. The funds are never used by PayPal for its own expenses, and are not voluntarily paid to creditors in case of a bankruptcy.

PayPal’s dedicated security team monitors every transaction 24/7 to identify theft, and prevent fraud and email phishing tactics. All transactions and private information are secured with state of the art encryption and security measures.

So, can you trust PayPal with your money? Yes, definitely. PayPal is a leading financial institution with a worldwide recognized brand, duly regulated, with pioneering technology and millions of customers. We have to note that some customers, mostly merchants, have expressed complaints that PayPal was holding their funds for some time for security and compliance reasons, but it doesn’t seem to concern individuals making international money transfers.

 




How PayPal works


1. Log into your PayPal account.

2. Click on “Tools” and then “Send Money” at the top of the page.

3. Click on “Send money to friends and family” and enter the address of their PayPal account. If your recipient doesn’t have a PayPal account yet, simply enter their email address and they will be invited to open a PayPal account to receive the funds.

4. Enter the amount you wish to send, and which currency to send the money in.

5. Review the details (including PayPal’s exchange rate if your payment includes a currency conversion), and if everything looks good, click “Send Money Now”.


 


PayPal Payment Methods

PayPal will use the first available payment method in the order above to fund the transaction. If any of these payment methods are not available in your account (or are only partially sufficient for your transfer amount), PayPal will automatically use the next available method in the list to fund the transaction (or its remainder). If multiple payment methods are available to fund a transaction, PayPal will sometimes let you choose your preferred payment method.

Note that not all payment methods are available in every country. More importantly, the payment method chosen can also significantly influence the cost of your transaction, as certain payment methods attract additional fees and/or more expensive currency conversions. The cheapest solution is usually to add funds to your PayPal account, convert your balance into the receiving currency, and then use this balance to fund your payment. See the section on “PayPal Exchange Rate & Fees” for more information on this topic.

The sources used by PayPal to fund a transaction are the following, in order:

  1. Your PayPal balance in the receiving currency
  2. Your PayPal balance in another currency
  3. (An instant bank transfer from your linked bank account)*
  4. (PayPal credit)*
  5. (Your PayPal-branded debit or credit card)*
  6. Your debit or credit card
  7. (A regular bank transfer from your linked bank account)*
* Only available in a few countries

To better understand how this works, imagine you are in the United Kingdom and wish to send EUR 100 to your mother in France. Let’s consider a few examples:

  • You have a balance of EUR 150. In this case, PayPal will use your EUR balance to entirely fund the transaction.
  • You have a balance of GBP 50, and a balance of EUR 75. In this case, PayPal will first use your entire balance of EUR 75, and will then use part of your GBP 50 balance which it will convert into EUR to pay for the remaining EUR 25.
  • You have a balance of GBP 50 and have a credit card linked to your PayPal account. In this case, PayPal will use your entire balance of GBP 50 which it will convert into EUR (e.g. giving you EUR 55), and will then charge your credit card for the remainder of the transaction. (e.g. GBP 40.91 which it will convert into EUR 45).

PayPal Exchange Rate & Fees

PayPal fees

For personal payments to friends or family members, PayPal charges a fee if the payment is international, i.e. if the PayPal accounts of the sender and the recipient are in different countries. Domestic personal payments generally carry no fees, unless you pay with a credit card or debit card.

The fee for international personal payments depends on the payment method, the country of the sender, and the country of the recipient. The fee is calculated as a percentage of the payment amount, plus a fixed fee for payments funded by a debit or credit card.

The personal payments fee is much lower for payments made from your PayPal balance (or linked bank account) than with every other payment method (e.g. debit or credit card). Therefore, if your payment isn’t urgent, it’s much cheaper to add funds to your PayPal account through a bank transfer to pay for your transaction, or to use your linked bank account (this can also give you a much better exchange rate as explained in the “PayPal exchange rates” section).

PayPal generally does not charge fees for adding or withdrawing funds to or from your PayPal account, so you and your recipient should not have to pay any other fees.


PayPal fees calculator

As you can see, calculating PayPal’s fees for an international personal payment can be quite complex. If you’re looking for a PayPal fees calculator, look no further. You can calculate PayPal’s fees and compare them to all other money transfer services here.


PayPal exchange rate

The exchange rate which PayPal applies to personal payments is calculated based on PayPal’s wholesale exchange rate. PayPal’s exchange rate for personal payments includes a 2.5% to 4.5% margin subtracted from the wholesale rate, depending on the sender’s country and the receiving currency.

PayPal usually applies different exchange rates for the conversion of balances in different currencies (a “balance conversion”) than for the conversion of currency during a personal payment (a “payment conversion”). What is the difference between the two?

  • In a balance conversion, you first must hold a balance in one currency, which you convert into a balance in another currency.
  • In a payment conversion, you convert your currency into another currency while making a personal payment. The currency you are converting into is entirely sent to your recipient, you will not hold a balance of the new currency after a payment conversion.

If you use any other payment method than your balance in the receiving currency, PayPal will automatically make a payment conversion. Since the exchange rates for balance conversions are nearly always much better than those for payment conversions, it’s best to load money on your PayPal account (which also attracts less fees as explained in the “PayPal fees” section), make a balance conversion and then use that balance to fund your transaction. This will give you the best exchange rate (and the lowest fees).


Mobile apps

PayPal’s mobile app is available for Apple iOS and Google Android. It is beautifully designed, and is a real pleasure to use. The PayPal app allows you to view your balance and account activity, add and withdraw money, and send and request money. The app is very highly rated across both app stores, with a 4.5/5 rating on the Apple App Store and a 4.3/5 on the Google Play Store.

The only feature which the PayPal app is missing is the ability to convert your balance between different currencies. If you send money through the app in a currency for which you do not hold a (sufficient) balance, you will be forced to make a payment conversion which is more expensive than a balance conversion (as explained in the “PayPal exchange rates” section). Therefore, if you frequently use that PayPal mobile app to send money, it is best to make a balance conversion on the PayPal website before making your transfer from the mobile app.

 


Additional services

PayPal offers many services in addition to personal payments to friends and family. In fact, PayPal’s main and original territory is e-commerce. PayPal is now a group of several different companies offering various payment-related services.

Commercial payments

PayPal is one of the most widely accepted methods to pay merchants for goods and services online. PayPal can also be used on mobile applications and at offline retail locations (through the “PayPal Here” service, available only in the US, the UK, Australia and Japan).

For consumers, PayPal provides a wide array of different payment methods for their purchase (as described in the “ PayPal Payment Methods” section). Another key value proposition is the PayPal Buyer Protection Program, which completely insures consumers against the risk of unauthorized charges to their account, as well as damaged and incorrect orders, or orders which are never delivered. Consumer’s financial information is also never shared with merchants, which protects consumers’ privacy.

For merchants, the advantage of using PayPal is that it is a payment system used and trusted by millions of consumers worldwide, allowing them to cater to a wider variety of consumers and needs. While accepting payments through PayPal can be costly for merchants, PayPal’s end-to-end solution takes care of everything and provides an instant access to funds. Merchants are also protected against fraudulent or abusive claims.

Xoom

Xoom, founded in 2001 as one of the first digital remittance providers in the world, was acquired by PayPal in 2015. The service allows migrants in the United States to send money back home to 41 countries, pay bills in 7 countries, and reload prepaid phones in 25 countries. For more information, read our review of Xoom.


BrainTree

BrainTree is a payment gateway allowing merchants to accept payments with credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Venmo, Bitcoin, Apple Pay, Android Pay, among others. In addition to the wide array of payment methods accepted, BrainTree’s simple pricing and the ease of integration are key features of its service.


Venmo

Venmo is a mobile and social payment service which allows users in the United States to make payments to each other, and is typically used to split bills with friends, give a relative a gift, or reimburse small loans. Venmo wallets can be funded by a bank account, debit card or credit card. Transactions are free unless a credit card is used, in which case a 3% fee is charged. Venmo was acquired by BrainTree in 2012, which was itself absorbed by PayPal in 2013.


PayPal Credit

PayPal Credit offers credit lines to consumers in the US. This can be used to delay payments on purchases or money transfers made with PayPal. There are currently no annual fees, and no interest is charged if the credit is fully reimbursed within 6 months. The annual percentage rate (APR) on PayPal Credit lines is currently 19.99%. Applying for PayPal Credit requires providing only a birth date and a social security number (SSN), and a credit decision is made within seconds. .


The story behind PayPal

PayPal was founded by legendary entrepreneurs Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, Luke Nosek, and Jack Selby in 1998 in San Jose, California. PayPal was launched as an e-wallet service allowing merchants to process payments, and individuals to send money to one another. Shortly after the company’s IPO on the Nasdaq Stock Market in 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay, as it was the payment method used by most of eBay users. PayPal grew exponentially inside eBay, generating up to 40% of eBay’s revenue. At that point, it was time to separate the two companies and for PayPal to become independent again. The spin-off of PayPal was completed on July 2015, the same month the company announced it was acquiring the digital money transfer company Xoom. In 2016, PayPal employed more than 18’000 people, had 198 million users, and generated US$10 billion in revenue.

 


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Key facts about PayPal

Service information

Time to open an account A few minutes
Pay-in options Credit card
Debit card
Bank Account
Paypal
Pay-out options Bank account
Minimum amount -
Maximum amount -
Available languages
Français
English
Deutsch
Polski
Español
Português
Italiano
Personnal transfers Yes
Business customers Yes
Advanced currency contracts No
Required documents -
iOS app Yes
Android App Yes

Company information

Type of service provider Digital Wallets
Active since 1998
Headquarter Palo Alto

Contact information

Contact support -
Service hour -
Twitter @paypal
Facebook paypal


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