Send and Receive Money With PayPal's Mobile App

A Versatile App for Financial Transactions

A shopper uses her PayPal app to send money to a friend.

Westend61 / Getty Images

Since launching in 1999, PayPal has grown into an online payment system used by millions of people around the world. Its mobile app for Android and iPhone provides a convenient way to send and receive money. PayPal offers business accounts mobile point-of-sale hardware, too.

Send and Receive Money With the PayPal Mobile App

The PayPal Mobile App, like other payment apps, lets you send and receive money to and from other PayPal accounts using just your mobile device. There's no fee when you send or receive money from friends and family; just enter the recipient’s phone number or email address to send or request payment. 

PayPal requires you to link a bank account to open an account, but you can add credit cards and debit cards as payment methods once your account is open. 

You can use your PayPal account to pool money with other PayPal users (“Money Pool”), donate to charity, and send money abroad.

You can access your PayPal account from your iPhone or Android phone at any time. The app allows you to:

  • Check your account balance and recent activity
  • Transfer funds to and from your bank accounts
  • Add or remove credit and debit cards
  • Download account statements

Shop and Pay Online With Your PayPal Account

You can shop and pay online without using a credit card if you have a PayPal account. To do so, you’ll choose the PayPal option at checkout. PayPal will give you the option of paying with your balance or a linked credit, debit card, or a checking account.

PayPal offers a protection plan that will reimburse you for the purchase price and shipping fees if a PayPal purchase doesn't arrive as specified.

Use the PayPal Cash Card to Pay in Stores

PayPal offers a very simple way to use PayPal to pay in stores: the PayPal Cash Card debit card. The card uses your PayPal balance to fund purchases. You can use it anywhere Mastercard is accepted and track all your purchases from your phone.

PayPal also offers two credit cards—the PayPal Cashback Mastercard and PayPal Extras Mastercard—as well as Pay in 4, a buy-now-pay-later plan that splits purchases up into four payments repaid over six weeks.

Connecting Your PayPal Account to Google Pay

If you have an Android phone, you can connect your PayPal account to your Google Pay account. Then, you can use PayPal to pay in stores that accept Mastercard contactless payments. Just tap your Google Pay-enabled phone at the payment terminal when you check out.

Unfortunately, you can't use PayPal as a payment source in Apple Pay with iOS phones and tablets. But, you can add PayPal as a payment method for in-app purchases.

Buy and Sell Cryptocurrency With PayPal

PayPal’s cryptocurrency exchange allows U.S.-based customers (minus Hawaii) to buy and sell Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin using their PayPal accounts. However, you cannot transfer crypto in and out of your account. 

The company has plans to expand crypto trading to its other platform, Venmo, to select international markets within the first half of 2021. 

PayPal announced it has plans in 2021 to allow users to fund purchases with cryptocurrency. When launched, you’ll choose which crypto you want to pay with. PayPal will then convert the cryptocurrency you select into cash to fund the transaction.

Crypto Fees

PayPal charges a fee based on the difference between the market price from their trading service provider Paxos and the exchange rate between U.S. dollars and the crypto asset. PayPal discloses this fee, known as “spread,” before you complete your transaction. In addition to spread, there’s a transaction fee for buying and selling crypto:

Purchase/Sale Amount Fee
$1.00 – $24.99 $0.50
$25 – $100  2.30%
$100.01 - $200 2.00%
$200.01 - $1,000 1.80%
Over $1,000 1.50%

PayPal Transaction Fees

Outside of cryptocurrency transactions, in most cases, using the PayPal app is free. Buying online or in stores will cost you nothing. Sending and receiving money directly from or to a PayPal account is free, but if you want to use a credit or debit card to send money, it will set you back 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction.

The person sending the funds can decide whether they are going to absorb the fee, or if they will pass it on to the person receiving the funds. International transactions have higher yet still tolerable fees, which you can find on PayPal's fee statement.