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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3,698 customer reviews on PayPal on Trustpilot


02/05/2018
by Danny Casseau

1 stars

Unreliable and customer unfriendly company!

Keeps my refund pending for days without a reason. I contacted the seller, he send me a proof that they already took his money 10 days ago from his...Read more

Keeps my refund pending for days without a reason. I contacted the seller, he send me a proof that they already took his money 10 days ago from his account. I'm going to try to avoid payments with paypal now, I'm through with it.

02/04/2018
by Hassan Ghajar

1 stars

I am struggling to collect my refund …

I am struggling to collect my refund from Paypal since September 2017 without any result as of today 2/2/18. For sure Paypal is fraudulent business and...Read more

I am struggling to collect my refund from Paypal since September 2017 without any result as of today 2/2/18. For sure Paypal is fraudulent business and big scam. DO NOT TRUST PAYPAL STOP DOING BUSINESS WITH BUSINESS

01/18/2018
by Beez

2 stars

Atrocious security and high fees

Paypal has become the stereotypical big company/bank that doesn't really care all that much for their customers. The customer service is friendly, but...Read more

Paypal has become the stereotypical big company/bank that doesn't really care all that much for their customers. The customer service is friendly, but doesn't really communicate with each other in a clear way, in a span of 3 weeks, it took me 5 phone calls, 6 messages, and 10 documents (you just need the 2) to get my account in decent working order. Fees are way to high (3.5%) there is a way to get cheaper fees, but this is ''conveniently'' hidden behind many pages. The protection that paypal advertises is so out dated that it can be easily taken advantage of. For example; lets say someone buys a product and pay for it through paypal. That person then easily can start a claim and scam his money back this way, claiming that his account got ''hacked'' and that the purchase was illegitimate. So fellow sellers, please be carefull with your products, hopefully you won't fall victim to this scam.


More reviews

02/04/2018
by Jonathan Faulkner

1 stars

Run by Con artists who send agonying …

Run by Con artists who send agonying e-mail need closing down this site for the good of the internet close paypal down now

02/04/2018
by lmfao authwiththis

5 stars

LMFAO why is this unlegit site called …

LMFAO why is this unlegit site called TrustPilot stating that so many people say that PayPal is a scam. TRUSTPILOT IS A SCAM!

02/02/2018
by Marcin Bara

1 stars

Dissapointed and angry!

It was generally ok until I had an issue with undelivered/lost parcel. As I could not sort anything with the seller I had to dispute through paypal....Read more

It was generally ok until I had an issue with undelivered/lost parcel. As I could not sort anything with the seller I had to dispute through paypal. Provided all the information including confirmation from the courier that parcel has been lost and claim form was sent to seller. Dedpite this fact paypal decided to close the case in sellers favour as apparently he provided tracking reference?! If they actually checked the tracking, they could see that item was not delivered to me. After appeal they basically have not investigated anything and sent script response. Very annoyed and closing account!

02/02/2018
by Ingrid B.

1 stars

Unprofessional and liars

I have been using PayPal for some time and everything seemed fine until I had a problem. I had a small credit in USD in my account which I was keeping for...Read more

I have been using PayPal for some time and everything seemed fine until I had a problem. I had a small credit in USD in my account which I was keeping for a purchase in the USA to avoid any bank fees. I made several purchases over the last 3 months and I always paid with my card until the other day when the payment in Pounds was taken from my USD balance. I called the customer service because I wanted to pay with my card and not my balance. I asked the name and which country they were based in (as proof of my call as I always do). Initially the operator told me they were in Asia. I told her Asia was not a country and after a few minutes she reluctantly replied to me that she was in the Philippines. That was not a good start. Anyway the conversation went from bad to worst as the operator did not know what she was talking about. She first told me the company I was paying was based in the USA that is why I was debited from my balance in USD. Then she told me the company had a Euro account. These were lies because the company I was paying was a UK based company. The operator clearly did not know anything about PayPal. On top of everything she kept talking over me and would not let me speak. After 40 minutes I asked to speak with a Manager. He was even worst as he kept lying unless he did not know how PayPal worked. He told me that Paypal would take any pay,ent from the balance before the credit card which is not true because I did other payments after and I kept my balance. Anyway after 1 hour I was told I would received an email. I did but only to be told by the head office in the Netherlands that I was debited from my balance because the company I paid had requested it. Paypal is very good until you have a problem. The customer service is a disgrace. The complaint department is a disgrace. They are liars and dishonest. I will use my USD balance nd then I will stop using PayPal.

02/02/2018
by Jiten Raja

1 stars

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT use …

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT use PayPal!! This is a warning. I have had Paypal for several years and all seem to work well since I paid off immediately. ...Read more

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT use PayPal!! This is a warning. I have had Paypal for several years and all seem to work well since I paid off immediately. Then I got put on Paypal Credit somehow and it has taken me 6 months to remove and found that staff couldn't give a damn, would not escalate complaints, no managers seem to exist or shall I say everyone I spoke to was a manager and in trying to cancel my paypal credit account I got caught in their trap where you buy something and they pay it for you. You then owe them the money which hits their credit (lending) process. Problem is that you always end up having late payement charges!! this is the catch and a customer credit trap. For ten years I never had any fine until this company decides to put me on this and which I could not cancel since there was always an amount to clear then closure was never actioned. Plus no trace of person accountable. I thought I would add a layer of security to my payments online but infact it adds further risk and financial penalties. If anyone is suing, please let me know and Ill be happy to hold them to account!! I'm sick of companies like this calling you after they read reviews like this and try to apologies. Unless they are going to compensate, I'm not interested. No sound business process, or quality assurance in service. I told them I will do anything I can to publically share my experience so this is my rant! Thanks for reading.

02/02/2018
by Nicolas

1 stars

Paypal has major issues

Paypal has major issues,first i cant use it with ebay,i contacted their customer service nothing they could do,second their customer service section is...Read more

Paypal has major issues,first i cant use it with ebay,i contacted their customer service nothing they could do,second their customer service section is 99% down it cant be accessed to compose a new message with every browser i tried and also from my phone.What a piece of garbage..

02/02/2018
by Harry

1 stars

Buyers Protection...ha ha ha.

I had a monitor delivered with a hole in it. I went through the inappropriately named "Buyers Protection" that decided, with no reason or no...Read more

I had a monitor delivered with a hole in it. I went through the inappropriately named "Buyers Protection" that decided, with no reason or no opportunity of reply that this is acceptable. Don't trust an avoid Pay Pal.

02/01/2018
by Janice Payne

1 stars

Useless

Useless, they have decided that selling items of different amounts is 'unusual' so have put a hold on my withdrawls!!! This is MY MONEY not paypals so...Read more

Useless, they have decided that selling items of different amounts is 'unusual' so have put a hold on my withdrawls!!! This is MY MONEY not paypals so how do I use the money for my business? Help centre is a joke, should be call none help centre

02/01/2018
by JBARJ J

1 stars

I wish there was a rival to PayPal..

I wish there was a rival to PayPal.. TERRIBLE for sellers GREAT for buyers because if you want to buy something online but then say to yourself,...Read more

I wish there was a rival to PayPal.. TERRIBLE for sellers GREAT for buyers because if you want to buy something online but then say to yourself, actually I want my money back, you will get your moneyback because Paypal sides with the buyer EVERYTIME EVEN WHEN THE BUYER IS DEFRAUDING THE WHOLE SYSTEM

01/31/2018
by Terry Meager

1 stars

Sold something via Paypal won’t let me …

Sold something via Paypal won’t let me log in can’t email them because you have got log in tried phone can’t under stand language so they have got...Read more

Sold something via Paypal won’t let me log in can’t email them because you have got log in tried phone can’t under stand language so they have got my money and I can’t get it never again

01/31/2018
by Phil Byrne

1 stars

As a business owner PayPal are abysmal

As a business owner PayPal are abysmal. Everything about them from sorting out our accounts (PayPals website crashes ALL the time and its the SLOWEST...Read more

As a business owner PayPal are abysmal. Everything about them from sorting out our accounts (PayPals website crashes ALL the time and its the SLOWEST website EVER when in the backend) Even with customer disputes they tend to email you generally on a Friday to respond URGENTLY within 2 days or the customer will be refunded. They also seem to email over holiday periods a lot with URGENT in the title. Its a HOLIDAY period. Who can urgently respond to PayPal while having Christmas dinner? A also double paid for an item on Ebay a long time ago and they NEVER refunded me. I give up with this company. Really bad. Also they say sellers have protection but they fail to tell you that there is NO protection for "Ineligable" sales which are about 20% of sales that come in are "ineligable" and they do NOT allow retailers to restrict "ineligable" sales. So we then have to cancel all these orders. Headache. Get yourselves together.

01/31/2018
by Rosie

5 stars

I honestly cannot thank PayPal enough.

I honestly cannot thank PayPal enough. I ordered an iPhone 8+ a few weeks ago from John Lewis to collect at Waitrose. My partner collected it on his way...Read more

I honestly cannot thank PayPal enough. I ordered an iPhone 8+ a few weeks ago from John Lewis to collect at Waitrose. My partner collected it on his way back from the gym and and took it home to me- I was really excited as I’d spent a lot of money (£779) on this phone and it was a big deal for me. I opened the cardboard box (which looked awfully taped together but I didn’t think anything of it) and low and behold the phone was not in the unsealed iPhone box inside. I was shocked and in complete disbelief but we immediately drove down to Waitrose to show them- I phoned John Lewis straight away and explained the situation, to which the woman was completely useless and gave me no re-assurance at all. I was told that they would get back to me in three days, in which they did not- in fact it actually took over a week of constant phone calls to the police, citizens rights and John Lewis to hear anything back. I told John Lewis that I had reported it to the police and had a crime reference but they seemed completely unbothered ( I’m only 20 years old and I genuinely felt like they weren’t treating me like an adult and taking me seriously which was disgusting) , to which I then opened up a dispute with PayPal. Paypal were on the case straight away- reassuring me that they would take the case from then on and if they didn’t hear back from John Lewis within the given time that immediate action would be taken. I was absolutely racked with anxiety after spending every moment of my spare time (evenings, lunch breaks at work) on the phone, writing up references, gathering as much information as I could and I was absolutely exhausted. I had a short holiday coming up with my partner which I wanted to enjoy but I struggled to because of the upset of the situation. However, my luck completely turned round at the end of the holiday. I was obsessively checking my emails as the given time was up for John Lewis to reply, and in the afternoon I got a message from PayPal saying that they took my favour and refunded the whole balance. I was absolutely over the moon and I felt and still feel so lucky to have bought through such a reliable company. I cannot thank PayPal customer services enough as they gave me the re- assurance which John Lewis never gave me. I really wish I got the names of the people who I spoke to because they were so helpful and could tell that I was very stressed so they did everything they could to talk me through the situation and make me feel less anxious. Thank you so much. I feel extremely lucky to have bought through PayPal and I will be using them for the rest of my life.

01/31/2018
by Bruno

5 stars

Just excellent!

I was very surprised to see quite a few one star opinions about Paypal here. I've been using their service almost since the beginning and they got me out...Read more

I was very surprised to see quite a few one star opinions about Paypal here. I've been using their service almost since the beginning and they got me out of many a jam. Every time a big company tried to take advantage of me as a customer, Paypal operators efficiently and kindly looked after my rightful interests, and always delivered. I couldn't recommend their service more, and I find the charges they apply well worth the level of service they provide. Over the years I used their website on several different devices and browsers, and things have always been running smoothly. My experience as a vendor is more limited, but that also has been very positive, and so was using the problem resolution center. I truly believe that Paypal staff try their best for their customers, and that if you are a honest and trustworthy person you'll get the best out of using Paypal.

01/31/2018
by Dean Unknown

1 stars

Constant holds and the whole system has …

Constant holds and the whole system has become online risk, selling mobile phones and laptops all high eletronic goods will get your paypal account...Read more

Constant holds and the whole system has become online risk, selling mobile phones and laptops all high eletronic goods will get your paypal account limited and won't be able to get it back, paypal will ask for dozen documents and then after say your high risk and block you from trade and Ban you for no reason its become a nightmare for new sellers paypal never reply back on here they hardly dont care anymore i wonder how many people have been limited and cant get accounts back

01/31/2018
by Listen To me

1 stars

Horrible company , don’t care and limited account for no reason

Horrible company , I’m not a Business seller !! I sold some phones that I got on contract they limit my account and say that I’m a risk !! They...Read more

Horrible company , I’m not a Business seller !! I sold some phones that I got on contract they limit my account and say that I’m a risk !! They want my I.d , I used my short version of my name and a different address Why should they care !!! I’m now out of pocket by over 400 quid!!! Thanks a lot Monet grabbing company , I provided Proof of delivery, and they still won’t give me my money

01/31/2018
by j.

1 stars

Don't believe Paypal Buyer Protection

Don't believe Paypal Buyer Protection! It doesn't exist! I opened a case in the Resolution Center for items not received & the French company I...Read more

Don't believe Paypal Buyer Protection! It doesn't exist! I opened a case in the Resolution Center for items not received & the French company I purchased from has said they would refund me many times but failed to do so. The case was escalated & I was told "Paypal can't refund you at this time." I have called Paypal 3 times to appeal the decision and each time the customer service reps tells me I will win the case and get the refund; but each of the 3 times Paypal fails to refund me with NO explanation and only states "Paypal can't refund you at this time." So I don't get what I ordered when I paid with Paypal, and even though the company has stated in the comments of the case they owe me the money & there is no refund for the transaction on Paypal - Paypal still doesn't give me the refund with no explanation. When I speak with Paypal the Customer Service reps guarantee each time I will get the refund but say they aren't able to process the refund themselves but another department does that - then the department that is supposed to refund doesn't do it with no explanation. I would NOT BUY ANYTHING USING PAYPAL AT ALL BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH THEY MARKET MONEY BACK GUARENTEES IN FACT THEY DON'T DO ANYTHING WHEN YOU DON'T GET AN ITEM & THE CUSTOMER SERVICE IS INCOMPETENT & OUTSOURCED. THEY ALSO DON'T TELL YOU WHEN YOUR CASE IS CLOSED WITH NO REFUND BECAUSE PAYPAL HOPES YOU FORGET ABOUT IT. PAYPAL IS A HORRIBLE SCAM WHEN YOU USE IT OUTSIDE OF EBAY BECAUSE WHEN PAYPAL SPLIT UP FROM EBAY PAYPAL WAS NOT ABLE TO DEVELOP EFFECTIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION OR CUSTOMER SERVICE. SO THE MONEY BACK GUARENTEE IS A SCAM & DON'T BELIEVE IT & AVOID USING PAYPAL IF YOU CAN BECAUSE THEY SCAM CUSTOMERS & HAVE NO CUSTOMER SERVICE AT ALL. THEY SHOULDN'T EVEN BOTHER TO HAVE A RESOLUTION CENTER BECAUSE IT DOESN'T DO ANYTHING AT ALL & IT'S JUST MISLEADING TO HAVE ONE SO PEOPLE BELIEVE PAYPAL HAS CUSTOMER SERVICE OR SAFETY WITH PAYMENTS WHEN IN FACT PAYPAL IS ESSENTIALLY DOING LOTS OF FALSE ADVERTISING & IS A BIG SCAM!

01/31/2018
by sean

1 stars

I have the paypal app which I use …

I have the paypal app which I use frequently well over this past few months I started to work more with the app while using it with ebay well I sold an...Read more

I have the paypal app which I use frequently well over this past few months I started to work more with the app while using it with ebay well I sold an item from ebay through paypal which I got a notification to ship item while the buyer cancelled as I shipped item and now paypal nor ebay will guarantee my sell. I have been dealing with this for about 2 months now, got a new phone and they want me to submit proof that the app said okay to ship like how?!? worthless company they draw you in and eat you up. I don't recommend on using a lot of business with this type of company.

01/30/2018
by thunerb

1 stars

Paypal "Buyer Protection"... False Advertising!!!

I have been using Paypal for several years, and believed that the company was legitimate and helpful. However, I recently got ripped off by a company who...Read more

I have been using Paypal for several years, and believed that the company was legitimate and helpful. However, I recently got ripped off by a company who never sent some items to me. It was so unambiguous even their website, which has order updates, clearly showed that the items had not ever been dispatched! I put in a claim, and originally had only ordered from this company because of Paypal's "buyer protection scheme" (I thought if they rip me off, which was a distinct possibility, I can get my money back). I filled the forms in, did what I could where (these automatic messages and forms are dated and broken), and emailed Paypal several times to explain I was unable to upload documents but requested where I could instead to support my claim. After a month of the review going back and forth, finally there was a way to upload the files. Then several days later Paypal closed my claim, without notifying me, for the reason "Your documents were not provided in a timely fashion"... In a nutshell, they have automated systems which can't answer your questions, and when you have trouble using their broken forms for buyer's claim they'll then reject your claim on the grounds that you didn't do what they asked!!! ABSOLUTELY AWFUL.

01/29/2018
by Mel Pepper

1 stars

Paypal is RUBBISH

Paypal is RUBBISH. DONT BELIEVE THEIR MONEY BACK PROTECTION. I bought an item from Ebay and it came incomplete. I opened a case with Ebay and Paypal and...Read more

Paypal is RUBBISH. DONT BELIEVE THEIR MONEY BACK PROTECTION. I bought an item from Ebay and it came incomplete. I opened a case with Ebay and Paypal and both companies asked the seller to arrange for courier service at seller cost within a stipulated time. Seller refused to reply and it has been 3weeks.EBay ruled in favor of me but asked me to take it up to Paypal to get my money back. Paypal refused to return my money (170 pounds) unless I shipped (191 pounds) it back to seller because seller didn’t arranged to pick the item and according to Paypal user agreement, the item has to be shipped back to seller before they give you a refund. Who is the winner -Paypal. DISGUSTING COMPANY- BIG TIME BULLY BEWARE

01/29/2018
by Patrick

1 stars

Paypal Customer Service Robots

I was transferred to Paypal 'customer services' from eBay, and wasted around 10 frustrating minutes trying to negotiate a maze of voice recognition...Read more

I was transferred to Paypal 'customer services' from eBay, and wasted around 10 frustrating minutes trying to negotiate a maze of voice recognition questions and keyed numbers before finally putting the phone down in frustration with my problem still unsolved and no-one to actually talk to. It's no wonder Paypal have so many bad reviews, they really are the worst for customer service.

01/28/2018
by Peter Fountain

1 stars

STAY AWAY!!!

STAY AWAY!!! Paypal holding my money without reason as a fully verified customer without limitation. Yesterday, after I tried to pay for an item on Ebay,...Read more

STAY AWAY!!! Paypal holding my money without reason as a fully verified customer without limitation. Yesterday, after I tried to pay for an item on Ebay, my Paypal account been limited due suspicious activity. I using the same laptop, same IP, same browser, they verified me via phone as well, uploaded all my 5 type of proof of address with the letter from Ebay and still nothing happened. Ive lost around £3800 due I couldnt buy some item on Ebay which I wanted to use to sell for higher price. My buyer cant wait days to get his order so I lost money. Disgusting company, hope Ebay will implement another payment processor which not gonna steal people money.

01/27/2018
by Jason

1 stars

I really thought PayPal were the bees …

I really thought PayPal were the bees knees until today when I realised that if you had a dispute with a big company that obviously do a lot of business...Read more

I really thought PayPal were the bees knees until today when I realised that if you had a dispute with a big company that obviously do a lot of business with them you don’t stand a chance appalling

01/27/2018
by ALP

1 stars

BE AWARE

Absolutely appalled! The PayPal Credit popped up everywhere. Telling me to check if I can apply. You know what, great! I’ll have a look at this. Filled...Read more

Absolutely appalled! The PayPal Credit popped up everywhere. Telling me to check if I can apply. You know what, great! I’ll have a look at this. Filled in the very short application form and unfortunately I wasn’t accepted. That’s fine. 5 months later, my credit score has dropped 100 points because they did a HARD SEARCH on my credit scoring! Couldn’t find any details of this anywhere apart from in the tiniest print at the bottom of their terms (which even now I have to put glasses on to read). Anybody reading this may think “you applied for credit, what did you expect” my answer to that is no, no I did not apply for credit - to my knowledge anyway! I was merely seeing if I could do it and what payment plans they offer (again, very hard to hard information for) This has now effected my credit score badly and will stop me from future credit in the next, I’m guessing, couple of years. IF YOU SEE PAYPAL CREDIT ADVERTISED AS A ‘quick and easy eligibility form’ PLEASE DO MORE RESEARCH BEFORE YOU DO.

01/27/2018
by Shefalei Pandey

5 stars

PayPal is best buddy

PayPal is best buddy ....I never could get refund from Mirraw.com for selling my pile of junk unless paypal didn't helped me

01/26/2018
by JC

1 stars

Terrible

Raised a dispute as a seller had cancelled my order but not refunded the order fully. Paypal 'decided in my favour' "IF I RETURN THE...Read more

Raised a dispute as a seller had cancelled my order but not refunded the order fully. Paypal 'decided in my favour' "IF I RETURN THE ORDER". Proof that they don't actually review the cases, or their staff can't read English. Or both.

01/26/2018
by David

1 stars

Lost Over £1,300

I've been happily using PayPal for years, under the impression that it provided better buyer protection than cards (which I have now found is not the...Read more

I've been happily using PayPal for years, under the impression that it provided better buyer protection than cards (which I have now found is not the case). However, recently I made a purchase for over £1,300. The purchase ended out to be highly defective and of no use to me. However, PayPal decided in the seller's favour, leaving me having to spend £1,500 on an alternative product for my work. I'll never be using PayPal again and have removed it as method through which I accept payment.

01/26/2018
by nesta

1 stars

Appalling

I honestly wish there would be a rating lower than 1 star. And I really hope that soon there will be someone to be used rather than Paypal. I hope they...Read more

I honestly wish there would be a rating lower than 1 star. And I really hope that soon there will be someone to be used rather than Paypal. I hope they will close down to some lawsuit someday. Such a dishonest company, ignorant and not even providing reasonable ways to contact them. There was a period of time when I have refused to use Paypal for my online sales and will be strongly looking to stop using it sometime soon, and hopefully for good this time.


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