At this stage, one of the most popular platforms used today is PayPal. It is one of the millions of accessible online platforms that can help you exchange money domestically as well as across borders.
In this article, I will explore how PayPal has earned money through its millions of users. The article will also help us learn how PayPalcan continue its service as a third party app to help conduct over a million transactions per day.
Before exploring their services in detail, do watch this article that will help you start your own ecommerce business:
What is Paypal?
PayPal is an online service that can help you send and receive money from anywhere in the world. Once you create an account with them, you are given an account number that can be linked to up to eight email accounts.
These linked emails will help you hide your real identity to others during these transactions. You would also have to provide a credit card or bank account for you to withdraw and provide money through the platform.
- Exchange money within 190 countries worldwide
- Use your account to pay for your online purchases conveniently and quickly
- Receive and spend money in almost any currency
- Offer PayPal as a payment option for your clients and customers
- Protect payments exchanged between you and the receiver
- Set up future payments for future transactions
- Make a list of invoices for each transaction done on the platform
- Generate all your financial reports from account history to tax documents
Income sources of PayPal
After learning the various advantages of owning a PayPal account, let us explore how this online payment processor earns money and keeps its services open.
You can use your PayPal account to pay for most online and offline services. This account can be used in various ways: from buying items from multiple e-commerce websites to exchanging money from clients.
However, you would have to pay if you are using your account to sell a product or service.
Standard fees for business owners
This rate that your account has to shoulder depends on two things. The first is whether the transaction was done online or in person. It is also determined on which location the PayPal account was created.
In any online transaction, each transaction would require you to pay a fixed fee based on the currency used. If the paying account is from the United States, you would have to pay 2.9% of the total transaction amount. Meanwhile, if it was from outside, this rate is increased to 4.4%.
In-store purchases do not require you to pay a fixed fee. However, you will still be charged depending on the amount the customer used to pay. You will be charged 2.7% of the transaction amount for a paying account in the U.S. while it would be 4.2% for any other account.
If your products and services are priced not over $10, you would have to pay for micropayment fees. After qualifying for this type of transaction, you would have to pay a fee for each person who bought.
A microtransaction from a U.S. account would require you to pay 5% of the total amount plus an amount based on the currency used. Meanwhile, a transaction from an account outside the U.S. would have 6.5% instead of a fixed fee.
Also Read: Shopify or Etsy? Which one should choose
Standard fees for charitable organizations
If you are going to receive amounts from PayPal accounts for charitable purposes such as a food drive or to build a public pet hospital, you would still have to pay for fees per transfer to your account.
This involves paying a fixed fee based on the currency, similar to paying an online store purchase. However, a fee of 2.2% of the total amount in the transaction made in an account from the U.S. while it would be 3.7% for accounts in other countries.
There are three different packages that you can opt for your Business account. These will allow your customers to pay for purchases directly to your account.
If you want to give your customers a recurring billing option, you would have to pay $10 per month to use this service. Aside from that, you can pay an additional $10 and $0.05 per transaction for their advanced fraud protection services.
Buyer authentication also costs $10 per month and a fee of $0.10 per transaction.
When you use other online merchants using PayPal, you also have the following fees:
- Currency conversions fee: 3.0%
- International transaction fee: 1.5%
- Chargeback fees
- Uncaptured authorization fee: $0.30 per transaction
- Card verification fee: $0.30 per transaction
- American ExpressⓇ card usage fees: 3.5% per transaction using PayPal Payments Pro, PayPal Payments Advanced, and Virtual Terminal
- PayPal Payouts and Mass Pay Fees
- Swiped and check-in transaction fee: 2.7%
- Keyed or scanned transaction fee: 3.5% + $0.15
- International fee using PayPal’s mobile card reader: 2.7% per swipe with 1.5% cross-border fee with or without 2.5% currency conversion
This is a free package that can be availed with your PayPal Business account. With this package, you can integrate your current account with your e-commerce provider of choice. Also, you can get checkout buttons and specialized payment methods (available for Europeans only).
PayPal payments standard
PayPal Payments Standard can be availed for free as well. It opens you to more unique features, such as paying through credit or debit cards and special financing options. Aside from that, it can also increase your range of customers to 202 countries and 25 currencies.
PayPal payments pro
Finally, this package is PayPal’s premier package for any business owner. For $30 per month, you can get the following:
- Customized checkout pages
- Accept payments through phone, fax, or mail
- Provide a recurring billing for your customers
Aside from that, you would also have to pay the following fees:
- U.S. fees: For each transaction, pay 2.9% plus $0.30
- International fees: For each transaction, pay 4.4% plus a fixed fee
- Virtual Terminal
- Domestic: 3.1% plus $0.30 per transaction
- Cross-border: 4.6% plus $0.30 per transaction
- Transactions using American ExpressⓇ cards: For each transaction, 3.5%
PayPal’s payflow payment pateway
Unlike the first three options, PayPal allows those with business accounts to process payments through major credit cards, major debit cards, PayPal, and PayPal Credit.
You only have to pay $0.10 per transaction done by any of your customers when you sign up for this service. This also includes mobile payment support, accepting payments in 25 currencies, and exchanging money in 202 countries.
The first plan you can get under this service is called Payflow Link. You don’t have to pay extra per month before availing of this service. You get a secure, PCI-compliant website that you can customize using a template or use their default version.
Payflow Pro, on the other hand, requires you to pay $25 per month. For this plan, you can create a customized checkout experience, unlike the Payflow Link. You can offer PayPal Credit to your customers as well.
You would need to pay an extra $99 to set up your account for Payflow Pro as well. Do take note that any currency conversions and any international payment have fees that apply per transaction as well. It is 2.5% and 1% respectively.
Aside from being able to use these features, you can connect with fellow businesses by joining their PayPal Partner Program. You can also get discounts, marketing support, and technical tools for your entire team.
Withdrawing money from your PayPal account
In this section, I will discuss the difference in fees that you will incur while transferring your PayPal account balance to somewhere else.
Do take note that you can claim your money through a standard or an instant transfer. Money sent through standard transfer would have it transferred the next business day. Instant transfers can help you get the money into your bank account or debit card.
If you want to transfer your balance through a standard transfer, you do not have to pay any fee for the transaction. However, using instant transfer to add an amount to your linked debit card or bank account would have a fee of 1% of the amount transferred that can cost only up to $10.
Encashing checks through PayPal
Performing a withdrawal from check to cash would also require paying a fee. This can be accessed through the mobile PayPal application under the “cash a check” feature.
Encashing this check can be free if you opt to wait for ten days for it to come.
However, there will be fees if you want to get it in minutes. They charge you 1% for a payroll and government check with a pre-printed signature. Meanwhile, a minimum of $5 to 5% for any other accepted checks.
P2P payment withdrawal fees
This feature can only be accessed through PayPal.Me. It is a one-sided transfer that helps a person send payments directly to a PayPal account.
If the transaction involves using your PayPal balance or bank account, you don’t need to pay a fee if you are sending it to a PayPal U.S. account. For using a credit or debit card, you would have to pay 2.9% of the total amount plus $0.30.
The person who gets the money in either transaction has to pay a fee.
Sending money using PayPal
This function is reserved for personal account holders. With that in mind, it is categorized in two ways. They judge the fees depending on where the sender’s account is made and the source of the amount to be sent.
Sending to a U.S. PayPal account
Moving money between two different U.S. accounts using PayPal Cash, PayPal Cash Plus, or linked bank account does not incur a fee. Meanwhile, if you use a credit card, debit card, or PayPal Credit, you will have to pay 2.9% of the total amount and a fixed fee.
Sending to a PayPal account outside the U.S.
With a PayPal account that is not in the U.S., how the fees are calculated is different.
If you are sending it to a person using your PayPal balance or a linked bank account, there is a transaction fee. It costs between $0.99 to $4.99.
Meanwhile, using a credit card, debit card, or PayPal credit would need a transaction and funding fee. The latter costs 2.9% of the total amount to be sent at a fixed price. After that, you would have to pay between $0.99 to $4.99.
Earning interest from maintaining a balance in your PayPal account
While your account balance is not zero or negative, the money you left untouched is being used for maintaining the service. PayPal combines this balance with the other untouched balances from other users and uses it for liquid investments.
Doing so helps PayPal follow the state money transmitter laws. They claim that any profit earned through this will only be used to keep the service open and active and serve as an emergency.
Paypal working capital fee
If you are thinking about opening a new business or expanding your organization, you can also apply for their small loans service. They offer up to 15% of your last 12 months of PayPal sales. It can only reach up to $85,000 while there is a fixed fee with no interest.
If you do not pay this back,PayPal automatically reduces your profit per day until you have repaid the entire loan. This is computed depending on how much you set a percentage of your daily sales towards repaying this.
Other companies PayPal has acquired and collaborated with
Aside from these features, the company also has four other platforms from where they earn money.
- Braintree was acquired by PayPal in 2013. They are another payment processing service that is mostly known for their mobile user base.
- The second company is called Venmo, a popular service among millennials. This company was acquired by Braintree back in 2012 for $26.2 million. They are a payment app where they allow peer-to-peer sharing of money.
- Meanwhile, the Paydiant Platform is known as a mobile wallet solution. They are touted for merchants, banks, resellers, distributors, point-of-sale providers, and ATM providers.
- Finally, the fourth company they have acquired is called Xoom. It is known for its money transfer, bills payment, and mobile reloading services between the U.S. to 66 countries.
They have also partnered with Xero and Woocommerce. It is included in the latter’s platform as an extension of its services. With it, you can deploy an all-in-one e-commerce website. They earn through this partnership and through affiliate commissions.
Debit card withdrawal fees
Once you sign up for a PayPal account, you can also request and claim a PayPal Business Debit MastercardⓇ. Aside from access, you can also get a 1% cashback on eligible purchases and withdraw your balance from ATMs.
While using the card, you have to pay the following fees:
- ATM Domestic Withdrawal fee – $1.50 per ATM withdrawal within U.S.
- Teller assisted withdrawal fee – $3.00 per signature if it was used to get cash
- ATM international withdrawal fee: $1.50 per withdrawal from a non-U.S. machine
- Foreign transaction fee – 1% of the purchase amount from a foreign merchant, 1% of the withdrawal amount at a foreign ATM
PayPal credit interest
As mentioned earlier, PayPal Credit is a service where customers can pay for an item in advance in any store that accepts it. At the start, you get a credit line of at least $250.
If you purchased something for $98.99 or less, you have the option to pay the balance in full each month before the deadline. Aside from that, you can ask to pay a minimum every month until your balance has been paid.
Any purchase that exceeds$99 will help you save more money. PayPal waives the interest if paid in full by six months. If you get this penalty, you will be charged at least $2 for the interest. Your late fee is up to $39 too.
The final service I will be talking about in this article is their PayPal Here service.
After creating an account with PayPal, you can get a free card reader for your small business.
Due to its acceptance of major credit and debit cards, do keep in mind the following fees:
- U.S. card swipe – 2.7%
- Keying cards – 3.5% + $0.15
- Invoice – 2.9% + $0.30
- Cross-border transfers – 1.5%
PayPal is a global payment service that can help from buying clothes from merchants to buying stock for your own home kitchen.
In this article, we have explored the channels through which they earn money as well as keep their services alive. From transaction fees to affiliate commissions, they have various sources of income to expand their customer base and maintain it.
Did this article help you? Read my other articles on how they can earn money:
Comment below on what you think about how Paypal earns its money.