PayPal Request Money: How does it work, Fees & More

Adam Rozsa

PayPal has a range of options for making and receiving payments, whether you’re looking to pay back a friend, or bill a customer. PayPal Request Money is one way to request a payment. And you can use it via email or SMS.

To help you decide if PayPal Request Money is the right route for you, here’s a handy guide to how it works — and what it’ll cost you.

You may find there’s a better deal out there with a specialist in international payments like Wise — but more on this later.


How does PayPal Request Money work?

With PayPal Request Money, you can send an email or SMS to ask for a payment. The recipient will receive either an email or message with a link, through which they can make a payment directly to your PayPal wallet¹.

You can add a note and explanation to your request, and use it for either personal or work use — although different fees apply for business transactions².

PayPal Request Money fees: Is there a fee for requesting money on PayPal?

If you’re planning on using PayPal Request Money, you’ll want to get familiar with the fee structure.

There are different charges depending on the type of payment, and where in the world the money is going to. Here’s an overview.

Domestic fees (friends and family)

To send money to friends and family who have a PayPal account in the US or Canada, you’ll pay the following:

Domestic fees (friends and family)Fee
Funded by PayPal balance, a linked bank account or Amex Send accountNo fee
Partly or fully funded by credit or debit card, or PayPal Credit2.9% of the total transaction amount + $0.30 fixed fee⁷
💡 The fixed fees are relatively low amounts and are added to transactions carried out in different currencies.⁷

Domestic fees (goods and services)

If you have a US PayPal account and are being paid by a customer who also has a US PayPal account, then the fee is 2.99% of the total payment amount.⁸

International fees (friends and family)

If you pay for a request money from friends and family outside the US, there will be a fee to pay, which could be covered by the person sending the money, or removed from the transferred amount before it reaches your PayPal wallet. The fee that you have to pay also depends on where your recipient is located, but are as follows:

International fees (friends and family)Fee
Funded by PayPal balance, or a linked bank account5% (with a minimum of $0.99 and a maximum of $4.99).⁷
Partly or fully funded by credit or debit card, or PayPal Credit5% + 2.9% + $0.30 fixed fee.⁷
💡 PayPal also notes that if you pay in a foreign currency, the fee will be the equivalent to the US dollar fee, but in that currency. PayPal also notes that they add their own currency conversion spread, which is an additional cost that varies between 3-4%.⁷

While PayPal can be a great service to shop online or send money to friends domestically, it’s not always the best choice for international payments. You could be better off if you choose a specialist in international money transfer, like Wise, to make a transfer using the real exchange rate, and with only a single, small, up front fee to pay.

See how much you can save with Wise:

The true cost of sending USD to EUR

International fees (goods and services)

If you’re requesting payment from a customer based abroad, the fee will be higher than for a domestic commercial payment.⁷⁺⁸

For an online sale, you can expect a fee of 1.5% of the transaction amount + a fixed fee based on the currency used.⁸ You’ll also have to watch out for the exchange rate used, as a currency spread of 3-4% might be added, which can increase the costs.

💡 Try our PayPal fees calculator to see how much you need to pay with PayPal. As Wise doesn’t add any extra fees for international transfers made for business purposes – you could save compared to PayPal.

💡 If you need to receive local and international business payments, then a Wise Business account could save you time and money.

Some key features of Wise Business include:
  • Better visibility and organization of business finances. This is helpful for account reconciliations and audits
  • Major local account details for a simple one-off fee to receive international payments with ease
  • No monthly account fees or minimum balance requirements
  • Receive payments from e-commerce platforms such as Amazon or via Stripe
  • Create invoices using the free Wise invoice generator or invoice templates
  • Accounting integrations, including a QuickBooks Bill Pay connection
  • Batch payment options. Fast payment of up to 1,000 people

Discover the difference between
Wise Business vs Personal

How do I avoid PayPal fees when requesting money? — is it even possible?

If you send a PayPal money request, then the fee depends on the method of payment, and whether the person paying has a PayPal account in the US or not.

It’s free for a friend in the US to send you a payment funded by their own PayPal balance, or their linked bank account – so, this may be an option Otherwise, there will be a fee to pay for the transaction.

How to request money on PayPal?

Requesting money on PayPal is easy. Simply log into your PayPal account, and click on the ‘send and request money’ button. From here you can follow the steps, clicking request money, and entering the email address or mobile number of the person you want to request money from.⁹

Requesting money from multiple people

You can request money from multiple people at the same time, simply by adding in additional email addresses or phone numbers. You'll then have to specify whether you’re looking to split a bill, and therefore have everyone contribute towards a set total amount, or make a basic request in which everyone is asked to pay the same fixed amount.⁹

Sending unique requests to multiple recipients

If you want to send unique requests to multiple recipients — rather than asking everyone to equally split a single bill, for example — you'll need to create separate money requests for each individual.

PayPal Request Money vs invoice: What’s the difference?

With a PayPal invoice, the sender can add much more detail and customization compared with a PayPal money request. An invoice might be more useful if you need to provide an itemized statement of work done, for example³. While a money request is sufficient for personal use or if the business payment is straightforward to describe.

However, both options allow the sender to be paid directly into their PayPal wallet.

PayPal Request Money vs PayPal.Me: What’s the difference?

PayPal money requests can be sent to people who do not have a PayPal account. You may then be able to get your payment offline, as a check, for example. If you want to receive payment via PayPal, though, the person you’re requesting might have to open a PayPal account themselves, if they don’t have one yet, depending on the way they want to pay for the request.⁴

To use PayPal Me, either to send a link asking for money or to make a payment, you must have a PayPal account. It’s not really designed for offline payments. There may also be slight differences in the fees charged if you’re requesting or sending money abroad, depending on the exact nature of the transaction.⁵

Is there buyer protection when you use PayPal Request Money? Is a money request on PayPal safe?

If you’re using PayPal to request money for a business payment, then you might be covered by buyer or seller protection. This only applies to eligible transactions, and there are some purchases which are excluded.²⁺⁶

If you’re a buyer, and are sent a PayPal Money Request, it’s worth checking that the reason for and description of the payment are detailed enough. This can help you if there’s a dispute. For example, if you receive goods which don’t match the description you agreed, having this detailed in the Money Request will act in your favor and help to prove that you weren’t treated fairly.

PayPal Request Money: How long does it take?

Once your money request has been paid, you’ll get an email, and the status of the payment will be updated in your PayPal account. The money will appear in your balance, and you can either spend it or withdraw it to your linked bank account.¹⁰

💡 Need more info? Check out these PayPal articles

PayPal can be a fantastic way to shop online, and send or request cash from friends and family living locally. However, if you’re running a business, or need to get money from someone based overseas — either for work or pleasure — you need to be aware of the fees that will be applied.

You might find you’re better off with a different method of payment, especially if you’re dealing with payments from overseas. Try a specialist in international money transfers like Wise to see if you could save yourself some money.


¹ PayPal - Request money
² PayPal - Requesting payments
³ PayPal - Mobile business app
PayPal - How do I pay for a payment request or invoice?
PayPal - PayPal me
PayPal - Safety and security
PayPal - Fees
PayPal - Merchant fees
PayPal - How do I request payments or send an invoice?
¹⁰ PayPal - How do I know if my money request or invoice has been paid?

All sources checked on 18 July 2022

*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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