How to Send Money on PayPal: The Lowdown

Wise
24.07.20
4 minute read

Most of us are familiar with PayPal, as it’s one of the most popular ways to send money worldwide. It’s commonly used for paying for online purchases and sending money to friends, as well as by businesses paying their suppliers.

But how easy is it to send money on PayPal, and what will it cost? Here, we’ll take a look at the different ways you can send cash via PayPal, along with alternative options which could save you money.

For example, get a free Wise multi-currency account and you can send money all over the world for a tiny, transparent fee and the real exchange rate on every transaction. But more on that - and how it could potentially save you a bundle - later.

Sending money via PayPal

It’s super simple to send money to friends and family with PayPal. Once you’ve signed up for an account, you can log in and send money just with the recipient’s email address or mobile number. If you’re sending to someone without a PayPal account, they’ll be prompted to sign up in order to access the money.

You can also use the PayPal app to send and receive money using just your smartphone.

When sending money, you’ll have the option to use a linked bank account or debit card, or your PayPal balance.

Fees for sending money with PayPal

So, just how much does it cost you to use PayPal to send money? Let’s take a look at the essential fees you need to know about:

Transaction typePayPal fee¹
Sending money within Australia – with linked bank account/PayPal balanceNone
Sending money within Australia – with credit or debit card2.6% + $0.30

But what about sending money internationally? This is where it could be well worth looking at other solutions like Wise, as PayPal isn’t necessarily the cheapest when it comes to international transfers.

To see how the figures stack up, let’s imagine you’d like to send $100 AUD to a friend in France (EUR). How much will it cost you?

ProviderTransaction feeExchange rateOther fees
PayPal²5% of send amount (max fee of $5.99 AUD) if funded by PayPal balance or bank accountExchange rate + markupNone
5% of send amount (max fee of $5.99 AUD) if funded by a debit or credit cardExchange rate + markup2.6% of send amount + $0.35 Personal Payment Fixed fee for EUR currency
Wise³$1.84 AUD‘Real’ mid-market exchange rateNone

As you can see, it could cost you at least $5 AUD or possibly more to send money to your friend in France with PayPal. But with a provider like Wise, there’s just one straightforward and much more affordable fee to pay.

It’s also worth remembering that the exchange rate can make a big difference to how much an international transfer actually costs you. Wise always guarantees the ‘real’ mid-market exchange rate, which is the mark-up-free one you’ll find on Google or currency sites like XE.com.

Sending money between PayPal accounts

If the person you want to send money to is already a PayPal user, this makes it a breeze to set up a payment.

Unlike using your bank, where you need to enter account numbers and BSB codes, all you need to send money between PayPal accounts is your friend’s email address or mobile number. Both should be linked to the person’s account, so it’s quick and easy for PayPal to identify the account you want to send to.

Once you’ve entered the email or phone number, you need to enter the amount and choose how you want to fund the payment (i.e. bank account, debit card, PayPal balance). Then, hit ‘send’ and your friend will receive the money into their account almost instantly.

Sending money to a bank account with PayPal

It’s not possible to send money directly to a recipient’s bank account using PayPal. ⁴ You’ll need to send money to your friend’s PayPal account, and they will need to withdraw it to their bank account.

But don’t worry if you’re in a hurry, as each step is super quick and only takes a couple of clicks at both ends of the transfer.

A couple of alternatives to PayPal

As we’ve discussed above, PayPal isn’t always the cheapest option for sending money – especially when it comes to international payments. If you’re smart with your cash, it pays to have better value alternatives in your pocket.

Here are just a couple to consider:

TorFX⁵

TorFX is a good pick if you want to send money abroad and swerve PayPal fees. There are no transfer fees to worry about and the provider promises a ‘competitive’ exchange rate. This could well make your transfer cheaper than PayPal, and certainly more affordable than using your bank, but it won’t necessarily be the best exchange rate out there.

Wise

Unlike many other international money services, Wise only ever uses the mid-market exchange rate. This is often described as the only rate that’s really fair to use, as it doesn’t have an expensive mark-up on top. Fees are always low, transparent and instantly available – so you won’t need to wait for a ‘quote’ like with other services.

There aren’t any hidden costs or complicated fees tables to navigate with Wise. Simply enter the amount you want to send, choose the sending and receiving currency and up pops the total transfer fee.

Get a Wise borderless account – it’s completely free to sign up – and you can send money for less, receive money for free and hold up to 50+ currencies⁶ in your account. You’ll even get a free Platinum debit MasterCard, so you can spend like a local when jetting off abroad.


PayPal is undoubtedly a convenient service for sending and receiving money – especially considering that domestic transfers are fee-free. It’s fast, secure and easy to use.

But it’s important always do your homework before setting up a payment, especially when it comes to international transfers. The last thing you want is to be stung by an unexpected cost.


Sources used:

  1. Paypal Fees
  2. Paypal Fees
  3. Wise Australia
  4. Transferring between Paypal Accounts
  5. Alternatives to Paypal
  6. Wise Multi-Currency Account

Sources checked on 16-July 2020.


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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