Is PayPal safe in Australia? What you need to know

Roberto Efflandrin

Shopping online has never been easier with a variety of payment platforms and methods available to purchase goods quickly and safely. PayPal is one platform that has grown and expanded with the boom in online payment services to provide safe and effective options for those buying or selling goods online.

If you’ve never used PayPal before or have always wondered how your accounts and money are kept safe, this article will answer some top questions when it comes to PayPal safety features.

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Who is PayPal in Australia

PayPal is a multinational US payment platform that facilitates transactions between buyers and sellers online. Customers can also add money to their Paypal digital wallets to make or receive international transfers or maintain a balance to shop with. Paypal expanded its operations into Australia in 2005, where it now has over 7 million Australian customer accounts.¹

Is PayPal safe in Australia?

PayPal has been a reputable and widely used payment service for many and due to their large global customer base, they actively implement a variety of features to help keep their users and their money safe. This makes it a generally safe platform to use for online transactions.

To see what we mean by this, we’ll go through some ways your money is protected when using PayPal. This includes how it’s regulated, security features and gives you some extra tips to keep your account and money safe.

How is Paypal regulated in Australia?

PayPal Australia operates and is subject to meeting laws and regulations set out by several Australian regulatory bodies including Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) where it holds a Purchased Payments Facility licence² and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) where it holds an Australian Financial Services Licence number which is 304962.¹

Paypal must also ensure they are compliant with Australia's Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing laws overseen by AUSTRAC and are expected to meet Australian consumer protection laws overseen by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).²

How is your money kept safe at PayPal ?

PayPal keeps your money safe through a combination of fraud protections, security controls and buyer and seller protections. We’ll expand on these now.

Fraud Monitoring³

PayPal monitors every transaction to prevent suspicious behaviour to protect your money and you from identity theft. Users can also report unauthorised transactions to their customer service team.

Buyer and Seller Protections

PayPal offers buyer and seller protection programs. For buyers, eligible purchases up to $20,000 per item are protected and reimbursed by PayPal if they do not arrive to a buyer or do not match the seller's description. ³

Non-sharing of sensitive data

PayPal does not share any financial or other sensitive personal details including debit or credit card details with any service provider.⁴

Holding large amounts with PayPal

The PayPal Australia website does not specify any limits on how much you can hold, send or receive with your PayPal wallet at any given time. However, for unverified accounts, there is a limit of $700 per calendar month for withdrawals. This is lifted once an account has been verified.⁵

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What about scam protection at PayPal?

As a platform that holds sensitive financial details of its customers, hackers are known to impersonate PayPal to gain access to users accounts or their private information. Here are some of the ways that PayPal protects its users from scams.

1. Technical features implemented in official correspondence⁶

All official emails sent by Paypal are authenticated with Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) technology. Emails that are not marked with this technology are usually sent to the spam or junk folder or not delivered at all.

2. Dedicated information pages on detecting scams⁶

Paypal provides customers with information on how to detect common scams through its website, including common scams to look out for and gives advice for users on ways to protect themselves online and when using Paypal.

3. Customer service department

PayPal has customer service dedicated to answering any phishing email queries and a dedicated email to report unusual correspondences.³

4. Data encryption

All communication, personal and payment data that PayPal handles is protected with encryption technology.⁴

Data protection at PayPal

PayPal has a privacy policy in place to protect users' personal information.⁷ They state that they do not share financial details with sellers, employees or third-party service providers and offer options to control how users personal information is used and shared.⁴

How long is your data kept at PayPal

PayPal states that it retains customer data for the legally required retention time.⁸ In Australia, entities that are overseen by AUSTRAC are required to retain the personal data of each of their customers for a period of 7 years after they have ceased using the service.⁹

Requesting deletion of your data at PayPal

In Australia, you do have the right to request your personal data to be deleted. To do this with PayPal, you will need to email or message customer support and make a request for your personal details to be deleted.

You should be aware that in some instances, PayPal may need to keep your records until it's legally able to be deleted in their systems.⁸

What are the protection systems in place for your PayPal account in Australia

Although we’ve touched on a few ways your account is protected, here is a breakdown of the protective systems in place that ongoingly protect your PayPal account.

  • Verification of accounts
  • Fraud monitoring
  • Encryption protocols
  • Two-Factor Authentication¹⁰
  • Maintaining PCI compliance¹¹
  • Oversight bodies and upholding to Australian laws

PayPal does not disclose specific technical details about their overall security mechanisms as a means to keep their platform safe.⁴

Read more: PayPal rewards (credit) card in Australia.

Transferring money with PayPal and security measures

PayPal runs periodic audits of accounts to check for any unusual transactions. If there is an issue with a transfer or transfers, the transaction may be put into a hold and not released to the intended account.

For the funds to be released, further information will be required to be provided about a given transaction and PayPal may limit the use of the account until the issue is cleared. Certain activities such as withdrawing, sending, receiving or spending may also be stopped.¹²

Tips to help you keep your account safe at Paypal

It's important to note that no online service is completely immune to risks, and users should always be cautious when using any online platform to spend money. Here are some ways that you can keep your account safe by your own due diligence.

  • Always use strong passwords⁶

Create a unique and strong password for your PayPal account. You can do this by using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. You should also not use the same password across different platforms or websites.

  • Keep your devices updated with the latest software⁶

Ensure that the devices you use to access PayPal are protected with up-to-date security software, and only use trusted Wifi networks when making transactions.

  • Make yourself aware of common and new scams⁶

You can keep up to date with some of the common scams by visiting PayPals website. Otherwise, it’s important to be** aware of phishing emails**, messages, or websites that ask you for your PayPal login details or any other personal information.

  • Regularly monitor your account activity⁶

Log in every now and again to keep an eye on your PayPal account activity. You should also review your transaction history and if you notice any suspicious or unauthorised transactions, you should report them to PayPal immediately.

Read more: Are international transfers safe in Australia.

Contacting PayPal

If you need to contact PayPal for any reason, it is recommended to have a look through their extensive help centre for support resources for common issues on the platform. In the case you need direct support, you can use the PayPal resolution centre to submit a query or call PayPal directly on 02 8223 9500.

The Wise Account

The Wise Account enables you to store over 40 international currencies and get local account details for a number of different countries, including AUD, NZD, EUR, USD and GBP. You can use these to easily transfer your money to Wise or get paid by others.

You’ll also avoid high international transaction fees and get access to the mid-market rate on all conversions and money transfers. The best part — you can open and manage your Wise account completely online.

Safety is super important at Wise and it’s regulated wherever it operates. In Australia, it is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL number 513764). On top of this, Wise has dedicated compliance teams and systems working around the clock to keep our customers’ money safe.

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  1. PayPal about
  2. Australian Treasury PayPal regulators
  3. PayPal security protections
  4. PayPal data security
  5. PayPal AUD limit
  6. PayPal Scam Protection
  7. PayPal Privacy policy
  8. PayPal data protection and retention
  9. AUSTRAC records keeping
  10. PayPal security
  11. PayPal PCI compliance
  12. PayPal account limitations

Sources checked on: 15th May 2023

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 Wise Payments 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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