How to pay someone on PayPal in the UK?

Gert Svaiko

Need to pay your share of last night’s restaurant bill, or pay for something you’ve bought online? One way to do it is via PayPal, one of the most popular online payment systems used in the UK and worldwide.

But how exactly do you go about it? In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to pay with PayPal from the UK. This includes how to do it with the PayPal app, and much more.

We’ll also show you how to use PayPal to make international payments, and use alternatives such as Wise which could save you money. You can send money worldwide with Wise for low fees and fair exchange rates, all in just a few clicks.

Learn more about Wise

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

How to pay someone on PayPal?

The way PayPal works for personal users in the UK is pretty straightforward. You sign up for a free account online, and link a payment method such as a bank account or debit card. This is how you’ll fund your PayPal account.

Then you’re ready to buy things online using PayPal at the checkout, or to send money within the UK or overseas.

To send money to someone using the PayPal website, simply follow these steps

  1. Sign up or login to your PayPal account
  2. Click on ‘Send and Request’ at the top of the page
  3. Enter the name of the person you want to pay. You can also enter their email address, PayPal username or just their mobile number.
  4. Enter the amount you want to send and the currency
  5. Add an optional note if you like (for example, to say what the money is for)
  6. Check the information you’ve entered
  7. Click ‘Send Payment Now’.

Step-by-step payment with the PayPal app

You can also pay someone using the PayPal app. Once you’ve downloaded it to your device and signed in, follow these steps

  1. Select ‘Payments’
  2. Enter the recipient’s name, email address, PayPal username or mobile number. Alternatively, select from contacts you’ve previously saved.
  3. Enter the amount you want to send
  4. Choose the currency
  5. Add an optional note if you like
  6. Tap ‘Next’
  7. Select how you’d like to fund the payment (e.g. bank account, PayPal balance or card)
  8. Review the information and tap ‘Send’ when you’re happy.

Step-by-step payment with PayPal.Me

Another way to send money with PayPal is through something called PayPal.Me. This is designed to be an easier way to get paid using the platform. It involves sharing a unique PayPal.Me link to someone else, which they can simply click to pay.

If someone has sent you a PayPal.Me link, here’s what to do

  1. Click the link you’ve been given (alternatively, type or copy and paste it into your browser)
  2. Select ‘Send’
  3. Enter the amount you’d like to send and an optional note if you like
  4. Choose between ‘Sending to a friend’ or ‘Paying for an item or service’ if asked
  5. Select your payment method and click ‘Next’
  6. Check the details and click ‘Send Payment Now’ when you’re happy.

Can you pay someone on PayPal with just their email address?

Yes, PayPal lets you simply enter your recipient’s email address or even just their phone number. The recipient will receive an email (or message) letting them know that they have money available. They can then sign into their PayPal account to access and withdraw it.

If the recipient doesn’t have a PayPal account, they’ll need to sign up for one and confirm their email address in order to receive the money

Can you pay someone on PayPal with a UK credit card?

Yes, you can use a credit card to pay someone on PayPal. You’ll just need to make sure you’ve linked it to your PayPal account first

Then you can either set it as your preferred payment method on PayPal, or just select it for this one-off payment.

Details you need before you pay someone on PayPal

Before you can pay with PayPal, you’ll need to open an account. And this means providing certain details, such as:

  • Your name, address and date of birth
  • Your email address and phone number
  • Your bank details - to link your bank to PayPal
  • Your card details - to link your card to PayPal.

PayPal may also ask for further information or documents to verify your identity.

The good news is that to send a payment to someone on PayPal, all you’ll need is their full name, PayPal username, email address or mobile number.

How to pay someone with PayPal without an account

Unless you’ve received an invoice to pay, you’re likely to need a PayPal account in order to use the platform to send money. The same goes for your recipient, who’ll need to sign up in order to access any money you send them.

How to pay someone in another currency using PayPal?

It’s pretty easy to pay someone in another currency with PayPal. All you need to do is use the steps above, and select the currency when prompted.

But be careful - PayPal charges fees for sending international payments. You’ll pay 5% of the transaction amount, a minimum of £0.99 and a maximum of £2.99. There are also likely to be extra costs for converting the currency, as PayPal adds a margin of 3% onto mid-market exchange rates.⁴

If you do want to send money abroad, it pays to compare alternatives. Send money worldwide with Wise and you’ll only pay low, transparent fees. Best of all, you’ll always get the mid-market exchange rate with no margins on top.

Sending GBP to EUR and what it costs

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Sources used:

  1. PayPal - Help - How do I send money?
  2. PayPal - How do I receive money through PayPal?
  3. PayPal - Help - How do I link a debit or credit card to my PayPal account?
  4. PayPal - Fees

Sources last checked on date: 24-May-2023

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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