PayPal Review: All You Need to Know 2024

PayPal is well known by anyone who shops online – but it also offers fast digital payments for deposit to PayPal accounts at home and abroad. Its huge user base makes PayPal an easy way to send a payment to friends and family – but it can end up pretty pricey if you’re sending overseas or need currency conversion.

This guide walks through all you need to know about using PayPal in New Zealand for international transfers, including fees, whether it’s safe to use, how fast it is, how to get set up, and more.

PayPal: Key points

Key features:

  • Send money to anyone with a PayPal account globally
  • 25 supported currencies for holding and exchange
  • Many transfers are instant
  • Funds are deposited to the recipient’s PayPal account
  • International fees are usually on the high side

Key stats:

  • Available in 200+ countries and regions, with 25 currencies offered
  • Over 400 million active accounts globally
  • Pay in 3 ways – PayPal balance, linked bank account, or with a card
  • The PayPal group includes a range of businesses in finance, credit, online returns, consumer discounts and more
PayPal pros PayPal cons
✅ Huge global network, with a large user base
✅ Often no fee to send money locally
✅ Send payments without bank account details
✅ Funds may be instantly deposited into the recipient’s PayPal account✅ Easy ways to use your account to shop online
❌ Fees can be complicated and particularly high for international transactions
❌ Currency exchange is expensive, and fees when paying for transfers with a card can also be costly
❌ Send money to another PayPal account only – not direct to a bank account

Overall: PayPal is very popular globally and has a huge user base. That means that if you need to send a payment to someone, the chances that they’ll have a PayPal account to receive the money is pretty high. Transfers are often instant and can be made more or less globally.

PayPal’s main drawback is in its fees. Foreign currency transactions such as sending an international payment come with a high conversion cost, as well as additional charges for the transfer. These fees add up quickly, particularly if you pay with a card.

How much can I save with PayPal?

Using a specialist international money transfer service is often cheaper than using a bank to send a payment in a foreign currency. However, the costs do vary a lot based on the provider you pick. PayPal may not always be the cheapest option – although the convenience and scope can still make it a strong option for many customers.

Here’s a quick overview of PayPal’s costs compared with another specialist service, Wise, and a major bank – ANZ – so you can see how much your recipient will get in each case across several different payment values. In this case we’re modelling a payment from your bank to another bank, to be received in GBP in the UK.

Send amount in NZD With PayPal your recipient gets: With Wise your recipient gets: With ANZ your recipient gets:
1,000 457.24 GBP 479.92 GBP 469.25 GBP
5,000 2,298.99 GBP 2,400.07 GBP 2,365.88 GBP
10,000 4,601.20 GBP 4,800.27 GBP 4,736.03 GBP

Fees and exchange rates correct at time of research – 31st January 2024

As you can see, in this example, Wise was the cheapest for the payments we sampled. Generally where PayPal’s fees crept up was in the exchange rates applied to convert NZD to GBP. We’ll look at this in detail later, but it’s worth noting that the costs of sending a payment overseas can include both a transfer fee and a currency conversion cost. The conversion fee might be hard to see, but is often the most costly individual element of a payment.

Go to Wise

What is PayPal?

PayPal was one of the original digital payment services, founded way back in 1998, and a real pioneer in ecommerce. You can use PayPal through an app and desktop site, to make secure digital transactions, send and receive payments and spend easily when shopping online. Here’s a rundown of some of the ways you can use a PayPal account in New Zealand:

Send and receive personal payments

PayPal account holders can send and receive instant digital payments, online or via its app with just a phone number or email address. That’s easier than needing full bank details to make a transfer, so useful for quick payments to split bills or send money to friends and family for example.

Great for: Anyone sending money to friends and family, or for things like splitting bills, or paying someone back for a coffee

Shop online

PayPal is perhaps most famous for its options for online shopping. It’s very widely accepted by ecommerce sites, marketplaces and similar platforms, and you can make a secure payment without needing to enter your card details every time. That’s super convenient and fast.

Great for: Secure transactions when shopping online and in apps

PayPal Business and Merchant services

PayPal also offers merchant services for business owners. The terms, conditions and fees of a merchant account are somewhat different to a PayPal personal account, but you can use your PayPal business account to take payments from customers in a selection of currencies conveniently.

Great for: Business owners and online sellers looking for easy ways to accept payments

Is PayPal available in New Zealand?

Yes. PayPal is available in New Zealand, and in 200+ countries and territories globally.

How does PayPal work?

You can set up a PayPal account online or in the PayPal app. You’ll then need to link a bank account or card to fund payments, and can start to manage your money, make payments, and spend money online.

Ways to send money with PayPal:

  • Send money online
  • Send money in the PayPal app

To send a payment with PayPal you’ll need an active PayPal account. To receive a payment, your recipient also needs a PayPal account.

Is PayPal safe to send money?

Yes. PayPal is a huge global company, which is covered by a selection of regulators around the world. It’s safe to make payments to family and friends, and if you’re shopping online there are buyer protections in place to keep you safe as you spend.

PayPal pricing

Let’s look at how PayPal New Zealand prices domestic and international transfers:

Payment type PayPal New Zealand fee
Domestic payment in New Zealand, funded by PayPal balance or bank account No fee
Domestic payment in New Zealand, funded by card 3.4% + fixed fee
International payment, funded by PayPal balance or bank account 6.99 NZD
International payment, funded by card 6.99 NZD + 3.4% + fixed fee

PayPal exchange rate

PayPal has a currency conversion fee that applies whenever you need to switch from one currency to another. This may be when you send a payment to someone overseas, for example, or if you’re shopping online with a foreign company. In New Zealand, the PayPal currency conversion fee is 4%. That means an extra charge of 4% is added to the mid-market exchange rate to calculate the costs of your transaction.

How long does a PayPal transfer take?

PayPal payments can be instantly deposited into the recipient’s PayPal account, although this may vary based on the way you pay. Once your recipient has the money they can hold the funds in their own PayPal account, or withdraw to their linked bank account. Depending on the currency and where in the world your recipient is, a fee might apply to make a withdrawal to their bank account.

How to use PayPal

Use PayPal to hold a balance, send and receive payments, and to shop online. You’ll need to create a PayPal account before you can access services, but this is done easily with just your phone. We’ll look at that in more detail later.

How to send money with PayPal

Generally sending a payment with PayPal is very simple, and can be done in the PayPal app or online:

  • Log into your account and select the option to send money
  • Enter the email address, mobile number or name of the recipient
  • Confirm whether you’re making a personal or business payment
  • Enter the amount, currency and payment method you want to use
  • Review and complete your transaction

The details you’ll need when you’re sending money

One of the key advantages of PayPal is that you don’t need the recipient’s full bank information to send a payment. Usually all you need is their email address or mobile number – or just their name if they’re already in your phone contacts.

PayPal payment methods

To use your PayPal account you’ll need to link an eligible bank account or card. You can then pay for a transfer in the following ways:

  • Pay from your bank account
  • Pay with your PayPal balance
  • Pay using a credit card
  • Pay using a debit card

Payout methods

PayPal transfers are deposited into the recipient’s PayPal account. They can either hold or spend the funds, or withdraw to their linked bank account.

How to track PayPal transfer

Track your payment online or in the PayPal app. As payments are usually instant, there’s not often any need to track the transfer.

How to create an account

Here’s how to sign up for a PayPal account:

  1. Open the PayPal desktop site or app
  2. Click Sign up
  3. Select the type of account – personal or business
  4. Follow the prompts to enter the required information
  5. Follow the instructions to link a bank account or card for verification

What documents you’ll need

When you set up your PayPal account you’ll need to verify it. That can be done by linking a bank account or debit or credit card, and following the onscreen or in app prompts.

How long does PayPal verification take

PayPal verification can be quick or instant.

Do I need a bank account for PayPal?

To set up a PayPal account you need either a bank account or card, which is used to fund payments and to verify the account. As your transfers will be sent to your recipient’s PayPal account, they’ll also need either a bank account or card to create their own PayPal account to receive their money.

How to receive money from PayPal?

If someone sends you money to PayPal you won’t need to do anything to receive it. The funds will simply be deposited into your account, and you can withdraw, spend or hold them.

PayPal limits

If your PayPal account has not yet been verified there will be a limit on the amount you can send. This will be visible in the app when you set up your payment.

There’s no limit to the amount of money you can send from a verified PayPal account. However, you may find there are limits per transaction of the equivalent of 10,000 USD to 60,000 USD depending on your specific account.

Supported currencies

PayPal lets you hold and send payments in 25 major global currencies, to PayPal accounts held all over the world.

PayPal reviews

While PayPal has a huge user base and is popular with customers, it’s not particularly active on review site Trustpilot. There’s a claimed PayPal Trustpilot account, which shows that PayPal customer services teams have access to the reviews – but there are only around 28,000 reviews posted, which is pretty tiny for a company with over 400 million active accounts.

If you’re keen to learn more about what customers think of PayPal you’ll be able to find out a lot from word of mouth. Ask friends and family what they think of the services on offer to build your own view.

PayPal accessibility

PayPal can be accessed online, or in the PayPal apps which are available on Apple and Android phones.

PayPal customer service

For the best service, PayPal recommends you use their in app chat to get help. However, you can also call or access comprehensive advice from both PayPal and other account users, online.

Support channel PayPal contact information
In app chat Log into your account to begin a chat
Call Call by logging into your account for the best service


You can also call as a guest on 0508 257 434

Online PayPal FAQ and community resolution centre available 24/7

PayPal alternatives

PayPal vs Wise – Wise offers international payments deposited to bank accounts in 160+ countries. There’s no hidden fee in the exchange rate – you get the mid-market exchange rate and pay just low transparent fees.

PayPal vs Western Union – Western Union has a network of agents as well as online and in-app services.  Payouts for cash collection are available from 600,000+ locations, which can mean it’s a good PayPal alternative for cash transfers

PayPal vs WorldRemit – send instant or near instant payments for cash collection, to mobile money accounts, to banks and as airtime – handy for people who don’t have access to a bank

PayPal vs Revolut – open an online international account to send money globally, with some no fee currency conversion every month

PayPal for business

PayPal has different accounts for business and merchant customers. These accounts offer ways to get paid by customers online – and come with a very different set of fees compared to a PayPal personal account. You can use a personal account for occasional business-type transactions, such as selling a few items online, but if you’re an ecommerce seller professionally, you’ll need to get a merchant account to access the full suite of services available.

Conclusion: Is PayPal a good way to transfer money?

PayPal is a popular service globally and has a great range of products for customers looking to spend online, send and receive payments. It’s especially handy for sending domestic payments funded with your PayPal balance or with a linked bank account. These transfers are often free and instant. However, as soon as transactions require currency conversion, the costs can creep up a lot. It’s even more expensive when you pay with a card for a transfer overseas.

Compare your options before you make an international payment with PayPal, to see which provider has the best mix of convenience and cost for your specific needs.

PayPal money transfer review FAQs

Is PayPal legit?

Yes. PayPal is a huge, trusted and long established digital payment provider – it’s legit and safe to use.

How much does PayPal cost?

PayPal domestic payments funded with your PayPal balance or with a linked bank account are usually free. However, international transfers cost 6.99 NZD, or substantially more if you pay with a card.

How long does PayPal take to transfer funds?

PayPal transfers may arrive instantly in the recipient’s PayPal account – however, it may take a day or two for the recipient to withdraw the funds to their bank.

Is it safe to transfer money with PayPal?

Yes. PayPal transfers to friends and family should be safe as long as you’re sending to someone you know.

How does PayPal apply exchange rates?

The PayPal exchange rate has a conversion fee added – in New Zealand that’s an extra 4% on top of any other international charges you pay.

Does PayPal have a mobile app?

Yes, you can get PayPal apps on Apple and Android phones.

How does PayPal work?

Create a PayPal account online or in the app, to shop online, or to send and receive domestic and international payments.

How many currencies does it support?

PayPal supports 25 currencies to send, hold and receive.


Oscar Murray
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Ileana Ionescu
Content manager
With a background in business journalism, Ileana is an experienced content manager, creating content for Exiap that helps its audience make informed decisions about their finances.
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Last updated
February 1st, 2024