PayPal was one of the first digital payment platforms to be established, allowing customers to shop and send money online - and letting internet entrepreneurs receive fast and simple payments. If you run an online business, use marketplace platforms like Etsy or eBay or receive an income through selling on social media, you may be considering a business PayPal account.
This guide will run through all you need to know about using the PayPal business account in Singapore, and fees exchange rates you should know of. To help you decide if PayPal is right for you, we’ll also introduce an alternative for comparison - the Wise business account. If you trade internationally, or have your eye on global growth, Wise could suit you, with low cost, secure international payments which use the real mid-market exchange rate.
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PayPal has a huge global user base, and is a popular, fast and secure way to pay - particularly when shopping online or via apps. Offering PayPal as a payment method to your customers could boost your business - and you can also use your PayPal account to manage your business finances more broadly, making payments, and gathering insights and data about how your company is performing.
Here are some of the PayPal Singapore business features you’ll be able to access¹:
- Receive payments domestically and internationally
- Sell online, using email and social media
- Send payments to vendors and contractors
- Request payments and prepare invoices
- Use PayPal Payouts to send mass payments and save time
- Manage your account using the PayPal app
- Benefit from fraud protection and risk management tools
- Use the PayPal resolution centre to support customer service
- Withdraw to your SGD or USD bank account or a bank card
- Get reports and insights into customer and business data
Let’s take a look at some of the fees you’ll encounter when using a PayPal Singapore business account. First, the costs of sending a payment from your PayPal account.
It’s worth noting upfront that PayPal’s fees will depend on the specific terms and conditions of your account agreement - so you’ll need to double check the full details before you start transacting. However, here are the usual charges to send money with PayPal:
|PayPal payment type||PayPal business fee²|
|Send a domestic payment in SGD||Fee may vary depending on how you fund the transfer - some domestic payments are free to make|
|Send an international payment||Fee may vary depending on how you fund the transfer Currency conversion fees may also apply|
|Send a domestic PayPal Payout (pay to multiple users at once)||2% of transaction value|
|Send an international PayPal Payout (pay to multiple users at once)||2% of transaction value + any currency conversion fee|
We’ve already mentioned that you may pay a currency conversion fee when you send a payment overseas with PayPal. But what does this really mean?
To understand the PayPal exchange rate you first need to know about the mid-market exchange rate. That’s the rate you’ll find on Google, or when you use an online currency conversion tool.
However, it’s not necessarily available to retail customers. Instead, many platforms, including PayPal, choose to add a currency conversion fee to the exchange rate they use. This can make it harder to work out the real costs of international payments - and push up the price overall.
PayPal uses a currency conversion fee of 3% - 4% for commercial payments depending on the specific transaction you’re making. While this is a common practice, conversion fees aren’t inevitable. You may find you can get a better deal if you choose a specialist like Wise for your international transactions. Wise actually uses the mid-market exchange rate, with low, transparent fees which are split out so you’ll always be able to see exactly how much your transfer costs. See below how Wise's fees compare to PayPal:
PayPal may impose limits on both personal and business accounts, which can be found by logging into your PayPal account³. If there’s a limit to the amount you can transfer, you’ll be able to reach out to PayPal directly to understand how you can increase this limit - usually by completing further verification steps.
Both PayPal and Wise offer business services - although here the features on offer from each provider are a little bit different. Which is best for you may depend on the transactions you need to make.
Let’s take a quick look at the features available from both PayPal and Wise head to head.
|PayPal for Business||Wise Business|
|Available currencies||Broad range of currencies available for holding, exchange and payments. Send payments in 24 currencies||Hold, exchange and send payments in 50+ currencies; get local bank details for 9 (including SGD, USD, EUR, etc)|
|Fees for sending money||Fees may vary for one off payments, depending on currencies and funding method 2% fee for mass payouts + any relevant currency conversion fee||Send payments overseas from 0.41%|
|Fees for receiving money||Commercial payment fees - 3.9% to 4.4% + fixed fee based on currency||Use Wise local bank details to get paid fee-free from 30+ countries|
|Convert currencies - exchange rate||3% - 4% currency conversion fee added to the mid-market rate||Mid-market exchange rate, low transparent fees depending on the currencies|
|Linked debit card||Not available||Available - there’s a one time 10 SGD fee to get a Wise card|
|Integrate on your ecommerce site for payments||Available||Not available|
|Sell through social media links||Available||Not available|
|Seller protections and dispute resolution in place||Available||Not available|
A PayPal Singapore business account might suit you if you’re an ecommerce seller, and want PayPal to be integrated directly into your site to receive customer payments in a range of currencies. You can also use your PayPal account to pay suppliers and staff, and generate useful transaction data to see how your business is shaping up. However, PayPal doesn’t offer options like a linked debit card for entrepreneurs and their teams, which Wise does have.
Illustration of Wise Business products
Wise Business customers can hold and exchange 50+ currencies, with linked debit cards which can be used for spending and withdrawals, and to manage business expenses. All Wise currency exchange uses the mid-market rate with no markup, which can make this a great option if you send or receive payments in foreign currencies often. Wise also offers business friendly features like batch payments and integration with cloud based accounting tools like Xero to save time.
Compare both Wise Business and PayPal Business accounts to see which will work best for you and your customers. Read more from our Wise vs PayPal Singapore review.
PayPal Business accounts do not usually have any maintenance fees, but you’ll pay for a broad range of transaction types. We’ll look at a couple of the most common costs you’ll face in more detail next, but it’s also worth looking out for charges such as:
- Alternative payment method charges
- Micropayment fees
- Chargeback and dispute fees
- eCheque fees
Not all PayPal merchants will end up paying all of these costs - it really depends on how you use your account. Check through the terms and conditions carefully before you start to transact with PayPal.
One charge which is pretty much unavoidable is the cost for withdrawing money from PayPal. If you’ve received PayPal payments you might end up needing to pay a charge to withdraw to your bank account, depending on how you arrange the transfer:
|PayPal withdrawal type||PayPal Singapore fee|
|Withdraw to a linked SGD bank account||No fee for payments over 200 SGD 1 SGD fee for withdrawals under 200 SGD Currency conversion fees may apply|
|Withdraw to a linked USD bank account||No fee unless currency conversion is required|
|Withdraw to a linked SGD card||1% transaction value Currency conversion fees may apply|
If you’re using PayPal to receive commercial payments, there are fees to pay, which vary based on the transfer detail:
|Payment type||PayPal commercial payment fee|
|Domestic payment in SGD||3.9% + 0.5 SGD fixed fee|
|International payment||4.4% + fixed fee depending on currency of payment|
Ready to get started? Setting up a Singapore PayPal business account is easy. Just follow these steps:
- Head to the PayPal website and select the option to create an account
- Follow the onscreen prompts to enter your personal details
- Confirm your email when requested, by clicking on the link you’re sent
- Add a linked bank account to receive payments
- Add your credit or debit cards which can be used for payments and withdrawals
Once your account is up and running you can choose which PayPal payment options will work best for your business, and start taking sales. Learn more from our how to create a PayPal account guide.
There’s no denying that PayPal revolutionised the way people shop and send money online. And as a business owner having PayPal as a payment option can be an attractive option. However, it’s worth researching the range of fees and charges you’ll need to pay when using PayPal - international charges can be particularly high.
Depending on where and how you do business, you might find you’re better off with a different option - or combination of options - including a specialist multi-currency account from Wise Business to help you receive and send international payments for less.
Here’s a round up of a couple of commonly asked questions.
PayPal personal accounts are intended to let customers make and receive personal payments, and shop and spend securely for themselves. PayPal Business accounts are designed for business owners, online sellers and people who need to send and receive payments linked to their work.
The features and fees of PayPal personal vs business accounts are quite different, so you’ll need to make sure you pick the correct account type for your needs.
You’ll usually be able to close your PayPal account easily simply by logging in and following these steps⁴:
- Click the Settings icon, then Account options
- Click Close your account
- Enter your bank account number if requested.
- Click Close Account.
It’s worth noting that you can’t close a PayPal account where there are active disputes, or which holds a balance. If you’re struggling to close your PayPal Business account, get in touch with payPal customer service to get help.
- PayPal Singapore - business
- PayPal Singapore merchant fees
- PayPal Singapore user agreement
- PayPal help - closing an account
- Receiving USD wire transfers is the only exception, a small fee applies.
Sources checked on 19/01/2023
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 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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