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.
- 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 card, debit card, or checking account.
PayPal offers a protection plan that will reimburse you for the purchase price and shipping fees if a purchase doesn't arrive as specified.
Use the PayPal Cash Card to Pay in Stores
PayPal offers a very simple way to pay in stores: the PayPal Cash Card debit card. It uses your PayPal balance to fund purchases. You can use it anywhere Mastercard is accepted and can track all of 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 contactless Mastercard 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 (except those in Hawaii) to buy and sell Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin using their PayPal accounts. However, you cannot transfer cryptocurrencies into or out of your account.
In April 2021, the company expanded crypto trading to its other platform, Venmo, with plans to expand to select international markets within the first half of 2021.
PayPal announced in March 2021 that it will now allow users to fund eligible purchases with cryptocurrency by using Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, or Bitcoin Cash. Users with enough crypto in their accounts will see the option pop up during checkout.
PayPal charges a fee based on the difference between the market price from its 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:
|$1.00 – $24.99||$0.50|
|$25 – $100||2.30%|
|$100.01 - $200||2.00%|
|$200.01 - $1,000||1.80%|
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 will absorb the fee or pass it on to the recipient. International transactions have higher yet tolerable fees, which you can find on PayPal's fee statement.