Review: PayPal international money transfers for businesses
Open up a world of international payment solutions with this digital giant.
With PayPal, you can manage transactions, accept payments and run an international marketplace through a convenient dashboard. But its currency conversion fees aren’t often the strongest in the market.
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What can PayPal offer my business?
PayPal boasts helping more than 17 million businesses through a suite of international payment solutions for 200 markets worldwide.
Choose from two main business accounts to get started:
- PayPal Payments Standard. Add a simple button on your e-commerce site to accept credit or debit, PayPal payments and even PayPal Credit for seamless checkout. The account is free with flat fees of 2.9% and $0.30 each transaction.
- PayPal Payments Pro. Step up from standard to support a broad range of customizable e-commerce needs, including the Virtual Terminal that extends your payment acceptance to phone, fax and mail. It costs $30 per month and the same flat fees of Standard with discounts for eligible nonprofits.
Other business tools
Each account offers access to a suite of e-commerce tools and products, like:
- PayPal Business Debit MasterCard. Earn you 1% cash back on eligible purchases with no annual fee.
- PayPal Working Capital. Eligible businesses can apply online for capital of up to $97,000 with no credit check.
- PayPal Credit. You’re paid immediately for your services, while your customers gain the flexibility to pay over time.
- Business in a Box. Launch or grow your online business with integrated payments, store design tools, marketing and tracking and loans.
- PayPal Invoicing. Create, settle and organize bills with customizable templates and API integration.
Can I send bulk payments through PayPal?
Yes. You can send money to multiple recipients at one time through PayPal Payouts. Each of your recipients must own a PayPal account, and transfers are nearly immediate.
PayPal also supports batched payments through its Mass Pay API, which allows you to instantly send money to multiple payees at the same time. Upload a CSV file of your recipients’ PayPal account emails, the amount you want to pay and their currency code, adding a custom message for each person, if you’d like.
How are PayPal’s exchange rates?
PayPal isn’t transparent about the markup it adds to the mid-market rate. For starters, its rates are calculated by a third-party financial institution and updated multiple times a day to reflect the fluctuating market. PayPal’s bank then adds 2.5% to a wholesale rate price to calculate the service’s retail foreign exchange rate. At the end of these many layers, you could end up paying 4% or more above the mid-market rate — the rate banks use when trading money among themselves.
Read our guide to business transfers to learn about your options for stronger one-off payments.
How much will my business pay to send money with PayPal?
You won’t pay fees for transferring money from your PayPal account to a linked bank account in the US. However, merchants or businesses that accept payments from customers pay flat fees of 2.9% and $0.30 each transaction — and potentially more if you take advantage of other integrated services.
Because PayPal tailors its tools to your needs, speak to a representative to learn more about the fees you face for merchant services.
|Payment method||Fee||Funding fee|
|PayPal account||5% of the send amount (max of $0.99, min of $4.99)||No funding fee|
|Credit or debit card, or PayPal credit||5% of the send amount (max of $0.99, min of $4.99)||2.9% of the transaction amount, plus a fixed currency fee|
If customer purchases are processed through your PayPal account, here’s the company’s cut from each transaction:
|Fee per transaction||In the US||Outside of the US|
|Online||2.9% + $0.30||4.4% + a fixed currency fee|
Pros and cons of PayPal for business
PayPal is a globally trusted way to transfer cash around the globe. But before committing long term, weigh its potential drawbacks against strengths.
- Two business accounts. PayPal’s free starter account may be all you need for easy online payments and transfers among US accounts. But you’ll have access to a suite of comprehensive e-commerce tools if you need more.
- Efficient bill pay. PayPal Payouts lets you send up to 5,000 payments at once, with a $0.25 fee for domestic payouts.
- Global presence. PayPal offers services to more than 200 countries, opening the world up to your business needs.
- Accessible financing. Qualifying business accounts can get financing without being submitted to a credit check.
- Weak exchange rates. PayPal adds a margin of up to 4% or more to the mid-market rate — which you can beat with competitors that specialize in international transfers.
- High fees punish large transfers. PayPal’s fee structure is based on how much you’re sending, which can add a lot to your overall cost.
- Slow fund withdrawal. It can take up to four days for a recipient’s withdrawal to go through.
How does Paypal compare to other services?
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
How do I make an international business payment with PayPal?
To make an international business payment, start by signing up for a PayPal Business Account.
After PayPal validates your account, you’ll link a bank account by inputting a checking and routing number. You’ll also have the option to add a credit or debit card.
To make a payment, simply enter the email address or phone number associated with your recipient’s PayPal account and the amount you want to send. Your recipient will receive an email or text letting them know the money is ready.
How do I manage my online account?
Log in and scan your business dashboard to manage your account. You can track transfers, create and send invoices and pay bills from one convenient spot. You can also access your account from your smartphone or smart device through PayPal’s app.
Get in touch with PayPal’s support system by:
- Sending an electronic message through your account.
- Posing a question in the PayPal Community Forum.
- Reporting a problem in the Resolution Center.
- Sending a message from the Message Center.
- Calling customer service at 888-221-1161.
- Search common questions in the online Help Center.
PayPal gives small businesses the tools they need to manage payments, whether account-to-account or through point-of-sale services. But if you’re interested in the occasional one-off business transfer only, you can find stronger rates and lower fees with a competing business transfer specialist, especially on large transactions.