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PayPal Bank Account review

Learn about the fees and features you'll get with Germany's most-loved online shopping payments provider.

According to the Institute of Banking Innovation at the University of Regensburg, 57% of surveyed German online shoppers with a clear payments preference chose PayPal as their go-to payments provider. Why exactly is PayPal so popular with German buyers?

This review will cover the fees and features offered to help you decide if it’s worth the hype.

How does PayPal work in Germany?

For merchants

A business account comes with flexible online payments solutions, secure contactless payments and a Business Debit Mastercard. Besides this, merchants can apply for credit through PayPal business loans. Ultimately, PayPal offers a secure online platform for financial management, which is especially catered towards small and medium enterprises.

For buyers

Buyers may enjoy a range of features, from online shopping and sending money to requesting money and buying/selling items on eBay. These buy-side accounts are priorities secure payments, low-fee transactions and fast money transfers. This would ultimately provide and safe and convenient online transaction experience for all users. This article is primarily focused on PayPal for buyers in Germany.

What can you do with a PayPal account?

Make payments online

Online payments are seamless and convenient with PayPal. Link your account to your debit or credit card, and pay online using only your email address. Here are some features that PayPal offers for online payments.

  • Secure payments. By keying in your email address instead of providing your full banking details, you could avoid having your sensitive financial information being stolen online.
  • Make payments worldwide. PayPal supports payments in over 25 currencies across 200 markets.
  • Quick payments. Activate the One Touch feature for even faster, more convenient payments online. Alternatively, you could try using PayPal’s mobile app.

Send money

Send money securely to any recipient using just their address.

  • Quick payments. Money is sent instantly and in just a few clicks.
  • Pool your funds together. Invite your friends or family to come together and pool your funds to reach a joint savings goal on PayPal.
  • Fee-free transfers within the EU. No transfer fees are incurred for payments sent within Germany, as long as the currency is not converted.
  • Send money abroad easily. Use Xoom to send money abroad, directly into international accounts or even for cash collection at select partner branches.

Receive money

Simply inform the other party of your email address and they can send money over to you through your account. No personal details are required.

  • Receive money even quicker. Alternatively, you may receive money by creating a custom link and sharing it with your friends.

Buy and sell goods on eBay

PayPal has partnered with eBay for quick sending and receiving of payments. Simply choose PayPal as your preferred payment option.

Key benefits of using PayPal

PayPal comes with a range of features designed to help its customers make faster and safer payments, such as:

PayPal Buyer Protection

All eligible orders paid with PayPal are covered by buyer protection, which entitles you to a full refund of your purchase (including the original shipping costs) if you did not receive the item or receive an item that does not match the one you ordered. Do note that the issue has to be reported within 180 days of ordering or paying and that other terms may apply.

Free returns

If you’re not satisfied with your purchases and the retailer does not offer free returns, PayPal’s free returns service will refund your shipping costs for overseas purchases – up to EUR 25 euros, for up to twelve times a year.

Data security

One of the main draws of using PayPal for your overseas purchases is security. With advanced data encryption and fraud prevention technology, you’ll not need to worry about your personal details or card information being compromised.

PayPal app

Manage all your transactions on the go. Whether you’re looking to transfer funds overseas, send money requests or even make contactless payments in-store, you can do so with just a few clicks on the PayPal app.

PayPal offers the option to link your bank account to streamline your online payments:

  • Fast and convenient checkout. Pay for your online purchases quickly and securely with just your email address and password
  • Pay for expenses. If your PayPal balance is insufficient to cover the total cost of the transaction, the amount can be debited directly from your linked bank account or credit card.
  • Top up or withdraw your PayPal balance. You can reload or make a withdrawal from your PayPal balance to your linked bank account quickly.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to link a bank account to PayPal:

  1. Go to your PayPal wallet.
  2. Click ‘Add credit card or bank account’.
  3. Select ‘Add bank account’.
  4. Input your bank details and follow the instructions on the screen.
  5. Tap on ‘Instant confirmation’ on your bank’s verification page, then click ‘Agree and continue’ to confirm your bank details.
  6. Enter the username and password of your online banking account.
  7. If all your login credentials and bank details matches, your bank account will be confirmed immediately.

How much does an account cost?

PayPal accounts are free to open and use. However, you may encounter certain fees depending on the nature of your transfer.

  • Transfers outside of the EU. Transfers beyond the EU are subject to fixed fees depending on the currency your money is converted to.
  • Cross border personal payment fees. A fee of 5% will be leveraged on cross border payments.
  • Withdrawal charges. PayPal charges a fee on certain withdrawal methods, such as a 1% fee on select instant transfers to a linked bank account.

Is PayPal safe?

PayPal Purchase Protection ensures that your money is safe. If your transaction qualifies for PayPal Purchase Protection you will receive coverage for the full purchase price and shipping costs. If an item doesn’t arrive or is not what was agreed on, PayPal will assist customers in getting a full refund. Additionally, PayPal at its core promotes safe online payments by offering only your email instead of bank details when paying online.

Pros and cons


  • Fee-free payments within the EU
  • Reputable platform and guaranteed security
  • Convenient and intuitive payments platform


  • Hidden fees could add up, such as overseas transfer fees, foreign currency fees or instant withdrawal fees
  • As a payments platform, lacks the spending insights and budgeting features offered by digital banks

Frequently asked questions

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