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PayPal South Africa: How Does It Work

PayPal is a world-leading payment solution, trusted by millions of customers and businesses worldwide. It's a great way to receive payments online for your online store or business. But how does PayPal work in South Africa? There are several specificities, such as the currencies you can receive and how to withdraw your funds. Using PayPal in South Africa might not be as straightforward as in some other countries, but it still remains a powerful tool to receive payments from international clients.

PayPal to South African Banks

PayPal and Standard Bank South Africa

If you're a Standard Bank South Africa customer, you may wonder how PayPal works in conjunction with this bank. Standard Bank allows you to link your PayPal account to your South African bank account, enabling you to withdraw your PayPal funds seamlessly. This integration provides a convenient way to access your money.

PayPal and ABSA South Africa

ABSA customers, you can also enjoy the benefits of using PayPal in South Africa. Link your ABSA account to your PayPal account, and you'll have a channel to withdraw your funds. It's worth noting that the process for ABSA is similar to other banks, ensuring accessibility for ABSA customers.

PayPal and Capitec South Africa

For Capitec Bank customers, the process of using PayPal in South Africa involves linking your Capitec bank account to your PayPal account. This step allows you to withdraw your PayPal funds and utilize them as needed. Capitec Bank provides a practical solution for accessing your PayPal earnings.

Quick Summary

To use PayPal in South Africa, follow these steps:

  1. Create a PayPal account: Visit, choose between an individual or business account, and verify it.
  2. Link to your South African bank account: Link your PayPal account to your South African bank account to withdraw funds.
  3. Withdraw funds: Remember to withdraw your funds within 30 days of receipt.

Now, let's dive deeper into how PayPal works in South Africa and explore an alternative that can save you from high fees.

Is PayPal Available In South Africa?

Yes, PayPal is available in South Africa, allowing you to pay and receive payments online for goods or services. However, South African regulations bring certain limitations to using PayPal in the country.

Currency Constraints: You cannot receive payments in South African Rand, but you can accept international payments in the 25 different currencies offered by PayPal, including USD and Euros. This makes PayPal a convenient option for international customers but not ideal for local transactions.

No Fund Storage: You cannot keep funds in your PayPal account. Funds received must be withdrawn to your South African bank account within 30 days.

Despite these constraints, PayPal in South Africa offers numerous benefits.

Benefits of PayPal

  • Wide Acceptance: PayPal is used by hundreds of thousands of websites worldwide, making it a trusted choice for customers.
  • Multi-Currency Support: PayPal enables you to receive payments in 25 different currencies, ideal for selling to international customers.
  • Security: PayPal provides buyer and seller protection against fraudulent transactions, ensuring safe transactions for you and your customers.
  • Data Security: PayPal handles payment details securely, giving you peace of mind regarding data protection.
  • Trust Factor: Offering PayPal as a payment option can enhance trust and credibility for your business.

How Does PayPal Work in South Africa?

Here's a step-by-step guide to set up PayPal for receiving payments in South Africa:

1. Create a PayPal Account

  • Visit and create your PayPal account.
  • Choose between an individual or business account, depending on your needs.
  • Verify your account by providing documents such as your National Identity card or Passport, proof of address, and a bank statement.
  • Link a credit/debit card to your PayPal account for verification.

2. Link Your PayPal Account to Your Bank Account

  • Link your PayPal account to your South African bank account. Note that this process involves creating an FNB online profile, even if you don't bank with FNB.
  • Register with the FNB PayPal Service on the FNB website.
  • Complete the setup process to enable fund withdrawals to your bank account.

3. Withdraw Your Funds

Due to South African regulations, you cannot use your PayPal funds directly. You have 30 days from the receipt of funds to withdraw them to your South African bank account. Once withdrawn, you can use the funds as needed.

PayPal Fees in South Africa

While PayPal doesn't charge setup or monthly fees, it's essential to be aware of its transaction costs:

  • Fixed PayPal Transaction Fee: Ranging from 2.4% to 3.9%, plus $0.3 USD per transaction.
  • Currency Conversion Fee: A 2.5% fee above the exchange rate, set by FNB, with a margin included.
  • FNB Withdrawal Fee: Varies between 0.81% and 1.51% based on transaction amount and volume.

This adds up to total fees between 5.7% and 8% per transaction, making PayPal an expensive payment solution in South Africa.

A Cheaper Alternative: FiveWest

While PayPal offers global recognition and multi-currency support, it comes at a significant cost in South Africa. If you're looking for a more cost-effective option, consider FiveWest.

FiveWest is a payment gateway that doesn't charge the high 4-6% fees associated with PayPal. This makes it a compelling choice for businesses operating in South Africa, allowing you to keep more of your hard-earned money.

In conclusion, using PayPal in South Africa provides advantages such as trust, multi-currency support, and security. However, its fees can be substantial. If you're focused on cost-efficiency, exploring alternatives like FiveWest could be a wise move for your business.

Setting up a successful online store requires several steps, and selecting the right payment method is crucial. Whether you choose PayPal or an alternative like FiveWest, ensure it aligns with your business goals and customer needs.

Ready to start your online store and explore payment options? [Create your online store](insert your store creation link) and start selling in minutes!

Save on your PayPal Transfers to South Africa
It is common to lose up to 3-5% on your PayPal transfers to South Africa. Fivewest offers a USD transfer service which allows you to transfer at the live currency rate, saving you up to 3% per transfer!
Published: 05 October 2023Uncover insights into PayPal fees, including details with Standard Bank, ABSA, Capitec, and more.

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