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How to receive money on PayPal from friends, family, or customers

Let's get your money in no time!
By
November 21, 2023

We all love money just as much as we love to make life a little easier. Luckily for all of us, PayPal tends to agree. It’s one of the best platforms for sending and receiving money, and things couldn’t be simpler. Once you’ve created an account, you must give someone your email address to receive money on PayPal. Really, it’s as simple as that!

Ok, so there is a bit more to it than that, but the fact remains that it’s quick and easy to receive money on PayPal. Here’s everything you need to know.

QUICK ANSWER

Receive money on PayPal by sending a request. Log into your PayPal account, and click on the Send and request tab on top. Go into Request. Enter the sender's email and select the right person from the listed options. Hit Next. Type in the requested amount, fill in the other sections, and choose Request Now. Now, you just have to wait for the sender to make the payment.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Editor’s note: We used a custom Windows 11 PC and a Google Pixel 7 to develop these instructions. We also verified that the steps are the same using an Apple iPhone 12 Mini running iOS 17.2.

How to receive money on PayPal

PayPal stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

If you have a PayPal account and know your email address, you are ready to receive money on PayPal. All you need to do is give someone your email address, and they can send you money through PayPal. In fact, you don’t even need a PayPal account for someone to send you money. You will need to create an account to claim it, but as long as the sender correctly inputs your email address as the recipient, and doesn’t cancel the payment, the funds will be waiting for you.

Just give the person your email address. The sender can then follow these steps to send you money.

How to send money on the PayPal website:

  1. Log in to PayPal.com.
  2. Select Send and Request.
  3. Click on the Send tab.
  4. Enter the person’s email and select the recipient from the list.
  5. Hit Next.
  6. Enter the amount and hit Continue.
  7. Select where you want the funds to come from, the nature of the transaction, and confirm all info. When done, select Send.

How to send money on the PayPal mobile app:

  1. Launch the PayPal app.
  2. Hit the Send button.
  3. Enter the name, username, email, or phone number of the person you want to send the money to. Then select the receiver.
  4. Enter the amount of money you want to send and hit Next.
  5. Select where you want the funds to come from, the nature of the transaction, and confirm all info. When done, select Send.

This method relies on another person actively sending you money, but there are ways to request money to receive money on PayPal as well. We’ll run through the steps for the web, but they’re virtually identical on the PayPal app.

We won’t cover it in this guide, but you can create an invoice from the right side of this screen, create a Paypal.me link where people can send you money, or create a money pool.

How to request money on the PayPal website:

  1. Log in to PayPal.com.
  2. Select Send and Request.
  3. Click on the Request tab.
  4. Enter the person’s email and select the right one from the list.
  5. Hit Next.
  6. Enter the amount and hit Request Now.

How to request money on the PayPal mobile app:

  1. Launch the PayPal app.
  2. Hit the Request button.
  3. Enter the name, username, email, or phone number of the person you want to send the money to. Then select the receiver.
  4. Enter the amount of money you want to send and hit Next.
  5. Select Request Now.

Are there PayPal fees involved?

PayPal has plenty of small fees involved, but they are very lenient on basic transactions between common users. No fee is applied if the sender sends the money using the PayPal balance or a linked bank account, using the friends and family transaction type. The only issue is that there is no customer protection when using friends and family, which makes it a bad choice when paying for goods and services.

PayPal also waives fees on AmexSend accounts. There is, however, a 2.9% fee for using a card and a fixed fee that will vary depending on the currency used ($0.30 if using USD).

Things get more complex when using PayPal to sell goods and services. You can look at PayPal’s Merchant Fees page for more details.

How long does it take to receive money on PayPal?

PayPal stock photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The answer depends on the source of the funding from the sender. It takes just a few minutes to send from their PayPal balance or a debit/credit card. At least that is what PayPal claims, but in my experience, it’s usually mere seconds.

If the money comes from a linked bank account, it can take two to three business days to clear the bank. As a result, it may not be faster to receive money on PayPal than via standard bank transfer in some situations.

How to transfer money from PayPal to a bank account

Getting money on your PayPal account is only half the battle. Now it’s time to transfer it over to your bank account! We’re here to help with that process, too.

How to transfer from PayPal to bank using the website:

  1. Log in to PayPal.com.
  2. Under your balance, select Transfer Money.
  3. Find Transfer to your bank under the Money Out section.
  4. Select if you want to receive your money in minutes or in 1-3 days.
  5. Select the bank or card you wish to send the money to.
  6. Click on Transfer Now.

How to transfer from PayPal to bank on the mobile app:

  1. Launch the PayPal app.
  2. Tap on the Transfer option under your PayPal balance.
  3. Select Transfer to bank.
  4. Select the amount you want to transfer, then select whether you want the transfer to process in minutes or in 1-3 days.
  5. Pick the bank or debit card you want the money to transfer to.
  6. When ready, hit Transfer.

Also, if you prefer, you could get a PayPal debit card and use it to spend the money you received, or to withdraw cash from an ATM.

Note: We used an iPhone for these last screenshots, as Android wouldn’t let us capture certain pages. The steps are identical, though.


FAQs

PayPal has some transaction limits. These vary by market, but we’ll focus on USA policies. People without a PayPal account can send as much as $4,000. If you have a verified PayPal account, you can send as much as $60,000 per transaction, and PayPal might limit that to $10,000. Regardless, there is no total limit.

You can cancel PayPal money transfers, but only under particular circumstances: if the recipient has no account or the account isn’t verified. Otherwise, completed transactions will require a refund or dispute.

PayPal transfers using the PayPal balance or debit/credit card are almost instantaneous. If using a bank account, transfers can take about two to three days.

Friends and family transfers are reserved for personal transactions. As such, they aren’t covered by buyer protection. If you send someone money as friends and family, you will get no help from PayPal in case of any purchase issues.