PayPal purchases

How to withdraw funds from PayPal in South Africa

How do you withdraw funds from your PayPal account in South Africa? I was asked this question a lot after running this article and explaining how I use PayPal for business transactions. While PayPal is great for online shopping it is also a great way to get people to pay you for services. Yet, when I mentioned this a few of you replied saying you could not figure out how to withdraw funds from your PayPal account.

I’m well aware that the guidance on both PayPal and the FNB website are pretty unhelpful so I’ve made a quick guide to assist.

To begin: YOU DO NOT need an FNB bank account.

withdraw funds from PayPal in South Africa

If you have FNB online banking, great. Then you should skip to the bit about linking your PayPal account to your FNB account. If you’re not an FNB client, never fear. You can easily withdraw from your PayPal account to your selected bank. However, you will need to go through FNB to do so. It is pretty simple:

Head on over to the FNB site > Click Register > Select Register for PayPal for non FNB Customers > Select whether this is for you or a business > select “I do not bank with FNB > Fill out your account info

Now once set up you need to link your PayPal account to your FNB profile – both FNB banking clients and non-clients need to do this.

using PayPal

Log in to your FNB account > Click My Bank Accounts > Click My Account Menu* > PayPal Services > Click My Bank Accounts Menu**> Link PayPal Profile > Follow the prompts

*This is the confusing bit. The My Account Menu is the orange tab on the left hand side of your screen running down the screen. It is not on the top tabs.

**Again, the My Bank Accounts Menu runs down the side and is an orange tab

Once you’ve linked your PayPal Account it is easy to withdraw funds

withdraw funds from PayPal in South Africa

You’ve linked your account and now want to withdraw the funds received into your usual bank account. This is actually really easy:

Log in to FNB Banking > Click My Bank Accounts > Click My Account Menu* > PayPal Services > Click My Bank Accounts Menu** > Withdraw funds from PayPal > Follow the prompts

*This is the confusing bit. The My Account Menu is the orange tab on the left hand side of your screen running down the screen. It is not on the top tabs.

**Again, the My Bank Accounts Menu runs down the side and is an orange tab

You then need to fill in the amount you wish to withdraw. Keep in mind that the South African Reserve Bank exchange control regulations come in to play here. You’ll need to disclose the transaction and explain where the money came from, what it was for and provide necessary contact information as this is a cross border transaction. The layout and prompts are pretty simple to follow though so it isn’t too much of a headache.

And there you go, an easy guide to withdraw funds from PayPal in South Africa. I struggled in the beginning because the guides supplied aren’t clear. Hopefully this one is a bit more helpful!Β 


  • Reply Patricia Baillie January 28, 2018 at 12:33

    Thank you for this info. I have been trying to find out how to get my money paid from on-line surveys into my Absa account. I will try this but am terrified that I will get lost again in the works. as I have not done this before. The amount is only $45 but a lot for me as a pensioner.

    • Reply Lynette May 30, 2018 at 09:00

      Hi Patricia, if I may ask which website are you using for your online survey? Because iveI been doing a few but they pay very little and seems to waste time.

      Help please.
      Thank you.

    • Reply Marcel April 6, 2019 at 14:07

      You can apply for a card through payoneer and use it in south africa at any atm machine .
      works really nice .

  • Reply Patricia Baillie January 28, 2018 at 14:03

    I got halfway through, thank you. I am stymied at the end because I do not have a credit card or cheque account to link my Paypal account to FNB, only a debit card. I don’t know what to do now. If I changed my option to a shopping one instead of a withdrawal would it be easier to spend my money? I really don’t want to go through all this again.

    • Reply Sam Wright February 6, 2018 at 07:30

      Hi Patricia. If you change to shopping you’d be able to spend the money. Unfortunately you’ll have to change to a cheque account to link and withdraw.

      • Reply Gene Archery... (Sam, your site is worse than FICA) July 31, 2018 at 07:15

        Hi Sam, I’m Gene.

        Sorry I don’t have a face! According to Paypal, S. Africans alone in all the world, cannot spend funds received from overseas, sitting in your Paypal account. You have to bring them home within 30 days. Then you must apply again through you bank for foreign exchange. A seperate application for each purchase, with a fee for each!

        Our banks are running a racket. In the USA the banks don’t charge bank charges. An uncle needed extra funds on holiday in London, so he took his bank statement to Standard bank there to transfer funds from S. Africa. He says the man who served him was totally shocked by the bank charges on the statement. He even went over to a colleague to show him the statement. What shocked them most was that we are even charged to deposit money into the bank.

        It’s why foreign banks love to be here. Barclays was FNB and left because of sanctions. Once that was over, they were back and bought ABSA.

        The government is in cohoots with them too. A few years back there was a commission to investigate why some banks charged so much for Saswitch withdrawals at Atms. When they were done the fees didn’t come down. All the other bank’s fees rose to match the highest!

        Also why do we need to go through FNB? I wonder what cut they are getting out of it.

        Fond regards,

    • Reply Vee May 8, 2018 at 04:07

      Hi there Patricia

      Would love to find out what surveys you’re doing. I am also looking on starting to do some online work and have been doing some research. It’s so overwhelming and many of them look like scams.

      Would really appreciate a reply. Thanks

  • Reply Mymy Kanku March 7, 2018 at 16:59

    Hi Patricia, what is I use Capitec and don’t have a FNB bank account?

  • Reply Sonto April 11, 2018 at 15:21

    Hi Patricia. I have a Paypal account but when I try to link my cheque card it does not want to accept it.

    • Reply Sam Wright April 14, 2018 at 10:05

      Don’t think you can link a cheque card it needs to be a debit or credit card

      • Reply Stephan June 5, 2018 at 04:33

        πŸ˜€ Where can you apply for a Cheque Card?

        • Reply Sam Wright June 5, 2018 at 08:32

          Stephen, I’m not the bank πŸ˜›

      • Reply Micha June 16, 2018 at 07:33

        Hi sam ! What about Visa card ? Can i link a visa card ?

    • Reply nupyrat. (@nupyrat) December 2, 2018 at 13:07

      You can actually link your cheque account. You just need to have atleast the minimun amount required to link your PayPal with your FNB, in around 2015 it was R10, today it’s currently R14 something. Lets say you should have alteast R15 then try to link it again

  • Reply Mahlatse Montjane April 18, 2018 at 01:56

    hi, What confirmation do you get that your account is linked?? I have doe it more than once and I still don’t have the withdraw option…

    • Reply Sam Wright April 22, 2018 at 11:55

      I’d suggest emailing the support cause that doesn’t sound right. The confirmation usually happens rather quickly

  • Reply Jessica May 7, 2018 at 19:00

    Hey Hey,
    Thanks for the great post. Unfortunately every time I try “Link PayPal profile” it gives me this message “You are unable to perform this function as there are certain FICA requirements outstanding”. Not sure why this should be a problem, as I just registered as a non FNB user, just for paypal. Trying to withdraw funds from my Paypal has literally wasted hours. Please help! I’m so confused.

    • Reply Sam Wright May 8, 2018 at 07:56

      Hiya. When you set up the non FNB user account you will get to a confirmation page after filling all the details in. This confirmation page gives you an address to send FICA documents to. You’ll need to submit proof of ID, residence and banking. This isn’t a PayPal issue but an SA government issue – they consider PayPal forex and therefore won’t let the money into your account without that info πŸ™

      I find PayPal one of the best ways to transfer money and the like but I know it can also be frustrating trying to set it all up and get it working πŸ™

  • Reply Deshnee Naidoo May 8, 2018 at 19:04

    Hello, did you have to verify your business to receive funds?

    I have a business account and used to receive fund without a problem.

    but its now telling me to verify a business and upload business registration details to remove the limits on my account.

    • Reply Sam Wright May 10, 2018 at 08:25

      Yes. You’ll need to send the official documents πŸ™

  • Reply John (@EvermanApparel) May 18, 2018 at 09:59

    Just a quick note to say thanks for guiding me through that UX mess.

    • Reply Sam Wright May 21, 2018 at 14:33

      Only a pleasure and glad I could assist!

  • Reply Anonymous May 19, 2018 at 23:24

    Hi thanks for the information, but every time I want to draw my money it asks for a routing number? What is a routing number?

    • Reply Sam Wright May 21, 2018 at 14:30

      I’m not 100% sure to be honest. Never had that problem or request.

  • Reply Altitude House May 29, 2018 at 11:41

    The disclosure reasons listed seemed to be tailored for business and not personal accounts. What option do you think is best for just income. I’m thinking ‘contributions’ or ‘proceeds for intellectual property’? Also how long has it actually taken you to receive funds?

    • Reply Sam Wright May 30, 2018 at 10:44

      I gave an honest answer about what the income was for. Took 24 hours for the funds to clear.

  • Reply Korede Taiwo June 3, 2018 at 09:25

    Hi sam , i would love to ask if its possible to link 1 PAYPAL ACCOUNT with different FNB bank accounts , i opened a new fnb saving account recently and whenever i try to link it with my paypal account , it says “The New Email Address Does Not Belong To The Linked Paypal Account” i dont know what this means and i keep trying to call the customer care number on the side of the error note ,but it doesnt exist..if perhaps u had another customer care details i could contact,it would be really helpful

    • Reply Sam Wright June 5, 2018 at 08:34

      Hiya, chatted on IG. Hopefully you’ve come right.

  • Reply Idalie Wolfaardt June 26, 2018 at 12:32

    Hi Sam! You rock!!! With your help I have finally managed to link both my bank account and my card to paypal. Thank you!!!

    Just one question.. Do you perhaps know what the code would be to get my salary into the country? I work for a Chinese company that pay my salary to paypal, then I need to get it here to me.

    Thank you so much!

    • Reply Sam Wright June 26, 2018 at 15:31

      So glad I could help. Honestly I’m at a loss when it comes to the code for salary. Think you might need to check with an accountant on that one. Sorry πŸ™

      • Reply Idalie Wolfaardt June 26, 2018 at 15:33

        No worries! Thank you so much!

  • Reply Ren June 28, 2018 at 16:16

    Hi! Do you perhaps know what the fees are when withdrawing the money from paypal?

  • Reply Natasja Pillay June 29, 2018 at 13:25

    Hi, just checking if would even be worth my while to go to all this trouble to withdraw, $12 from my paypal account, here in SA, or would they just take a huge chunk of it after tax? Thanks.

  • Reply Mayton August 25, 2018 at 23:15

    Would it be advisable to withdraw a large amount, say $4000 at once or would it be better to split up the withdrawals

    • Reply Sam Wright August 27, 2018 at 07:51

      You’re taxed either way so it doesn’t matter. I’ve done large and small.

  • Reply Rob September 20, 2018 at 17:08

    Don’t touch them, you’ll regret the day you ever opened an account – PayPal is the by far worst organisation on the surface of the earth to deal with, and I wouldn’t wish the experience on my worst enemy as the frustration could actually kill you. They keep your money, their exchange rates are terrible and they rip you off on interest and fees. They charge a fortune and they have NO way to contact anybody to assist you, even after they mess things up.

  • Reply Michael Agiri September 26, 2018 at 14:51

    Please I’m not south African but after withdrawal to fnb, can I send the money to my country

  • Reply Sibusiso Nengovhela September 27, 2018 at 09:03

    Thank you so much, this is going to be so helpful

  • Reply Amanda October 10, 2018 at 01:06

    Hi what is the routing number of FNB to link PayPal or what is the CSC number please need help Hartbeespoort

    • Reply Sam Wright October 16, 2018 at 07:56

      Hi Amanda. I’m so sorry but I honestly have no idea πŸ™

  • Reply Charl D October 11, 2018 at 14:20

    Thanks for the breakdown, Sam!

    Just a quick question – would you say that PayFast is the best payment gateway for South Africans selling online to international customers?

    It seems, despite the solution you pointed out, that there’s quite a bit of red tape to get your money out. And I think PayFast is just for South Africans selling to South Africans, and Stripe isn’t available in SA.

    So is PayPal our only real solution? That’s for a WooCommerce site.

    • Reply Charl D October 11, 2018 at 14:22

      ***I meant that ‘is PayPal the best solution’, not PayFast, of course.

    • Reply Sam Wright October 16, 2018 at 07:55

      For online stores and WooCommerce specifically (as I have one set up on here) I use Payfast πŸ™‚ Payfast also can integrate PayPal into their payment offering if required.

      • Reply Gabi November 18, 2018 at 18:59

        Hi, I’d like to know how Payfast can integrate PayPal into payments please? I have a client in the US I’ve done some freelance work for and he wants to use Paypal to pay me, though he’s paid me before with Payfast and it was really easy (I just had to send the invoice in ZAR). Is there a way he can use his Paypal to pay into my Payfast account? I have been googling for answers but this page is the closest I’ve come. TIA!

        • Reply Sam Wright November 23, 2018 at 11:13

          Unfortunately I’m not PayPal or Payfast support staff. I’d email them. Or just go look on their FAQ.

  • Reply Bradley November 2, 2018 at 11:01

    Good day Sam. Great info in this threat. So I’d like to start by saying thank you for the update and support you’re giving in this threadπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ˜-I’m sure I can say that we all appreciate it. πŸ‘πŸΌ

    I have a few questions of my own.
    I have setup and online store (powered by Shopify) focusing mainly on the US market and therefore my products are listed in $. If I’m not mistaken, Pay fast only acknowledges if your site sells in ZAR (is this correct? If not, please assist)
    I need to integrate a payment gateway for the store. As Stripe is not applicable to us in SA, what payment gateway is the best? I want to integrate PayPal express checkout as well.

    I am a sailor by trade and have an offshore bank account. Thus I would need to open an SA bank account to link to my payment providers.
    * What is the best bank account for me in regards to this?
    * what is the best payment gateway for international sales that we are eligible to?
    * Would you recommend me using PayPal as well?

    Finally, I would like if we may chat a bit via DM as I would greatly appreciate and benefit your insight.

    Thank you in advance 😊

    • Reply Lucy January 9, 2019 at 15:00

      Hi Bradley
      I am in a similar situation… I have an offshore account and am an ex sailor 😬 And wondering if you came up with any solutions? Also looking to start an ecommerce website potentially aimed at the overseas market and would love to hear what you came up with? Thanks so much, Lucy

  • Reply Gideon C du Toit December 10, 2018 at 15:14

    You need to warn the readers that if you make a single mistake or miss a field when registering for this, it will register you with half the information and you wont be able to log in, ever. They apparently cannot fix this either so you will be buggered for life. The developer of the registration page obviously had no clue what he was doing since the normal procedure would be to suspend the submission of the information until whatever empty field prompted the error has been completed, NOT submit half the information and leave the user hanging.

    I have never been able to figure out why PayPal have selected South Africa’s most incompetent bank to do business with.

  • Reply Faseeha December 22, 2018 at 12:06

    Hi Sam, I’m currently on day 20 of trying to withdraw my funds from paypal using FNB. Everytime i try to withdraw I get an error of hard hold on the account. FNB says the hold is not with them, I just want to know if anyone has experienced this and how was it resolved. Also, thanks so much for the step by step, it has certainly helped!

    • Reply Sam Wright January 2, 2019 at 15:12

      I haven’t experienced this in the past. FNB should be able to track where the hold is though? So if not with them obviously PayPal maybe?

  • Reply Khaya Mposula March 8, 2019 at 03:48

    Hi Sam. I have linked my Visa Cr Card to my PayPal account. How do I use the online shopping option.

    • Reply Sam Wright March 26, 2019 at 16:20

      When shopping just choose to pay via PayPal. Easy.

  • Reply Laurika March 12, 2019 at 10:46

    Just to say thank you for your brilliant post on retrieving funds from paypal. I have struggled for years now, found your advice through good old google and voila!! Thank you so much for sharing! Best regards, Laurika

    • Reply Sam Wright March 26, 2019 at 16:21

      Oh awesome news! Yay! So glad it helped you πŸ™‚

  • Reply Pieter Van der Merwe March 13, 2019 at 20:23

    Hey Sam…

    So I went through the whole thing and after linking my account it says “verification pending”.

    How long does it take to verify my account?

    • Reply Sam Wright March 26, 2019 at 16:22

      Took mine about 24 hours I think? Was relatively quick.

  • Reply Jane March 20, 2019 at 12:55

    Hi Sam,
    This helped me so much! It took abit of back and forth but I finally managed to link my account.
    Thank you!

    • Reply Sam Wright March 26, 2019 at 16:23

      Woohoo! So glad it helped πŸ™‚

  • Reply Chris March 20, 2019 at 19:11

    Hi Sam!
    I managed to follow through the process but when it came time to receive the money from overseas PayPal says we must have the payment received into a U.S. dollar account.

    That doesn’t make any sense.
    We are trying to receive 300 Euros into our South African FNB account via PayPal.

    Does anyone know why they are asking us to receive the funds into a U.S. dollar account?

    • Reply Sam Wright March 26, 2019 at 16:25

      The transaction needs to be PayPal account to PayPal account. So you can’t receive money directly to FNB from someone else’s PayPal account. They need to use their PayPal account to transfer the money to your PayPal account and then you opt to have it paid from YOUR PayPal account to your linked FNB account. Make sense?

  • Reply Franz Fuls March 29, 2019 at 12:50

    Hi Sam,
    Thank you for a very well structured instruction!

    For info, (i found out the very hard way), if you have a 32 day notice, or any other FNB product of whatever nature, then you SHALL open an FNB current/savings account. There is simply no other way. Even if you close all your FNB products (including Ebucks), it makes no difference.
    I found this out after hours of rigmarole, hours on calls with the call centre and a visit to an FNB branch. FNB blames it on Paypal, Paypal blames it on FNB. If you have ever been an FNB customer in the past, you shall open an FNB account to receive paypal payments.

    Others be warned, save yourself time.

    I now off to open an FNB account that I don’t want.
    (I am really tempted to lay a complaint against FNB with the consumer commission, the Banking Ombud and the Competition Commission)

    • Reply Marion April 2, 2019 at 09:30

      Hi, I am so happy I found this forum. As I have to open a PayPal account to receive payments in SA for transcription services paid in USD. I might go the route and open an account, but just to make it more difficult – I am a permanent residence holder, not South African… With the 30 day rule, it sounds like the fees would take up more than the payment received. Thanks for all the input.

  • Reply KK April 4, 2019 at 12:41

    Hi, as I click the PayPal services. I receive an error messages requesting FICA documents. I soon uploaded my ID and POR dozen of times but i get no response

  • Reply Debbie Boettcher April 9, 2019 at 07:39

    I have followed all the steps in your guide but it seems you do have to have an FNB account. I need to login with my FNB banking details to go any further and I don’t have an FNB account neither do I want one.

  • Reply Debbie Boettcher April 9, 2019 at 07:42

    Re my above post …. what am I doing wrong to register as a non FNB account holder?

    • Reply Sam Wright April 11, 2019 at 08:20

      I’ve explained at the start how to set up for a non FNB account holder.

  • Reply Rene May 2, 2019 at 16:25

    Hi Sam, thank you so much for all the information you provided regarding Paypal.
    I wonder if you can advise me also: would it be worth it to pay a South African travel agency with my Paypal dollars or would the banking fees be too much vs e.g. paying them with a South African credit card? I am South African with an ABSA cheque account and a VISA MasterCard. This is for international travel that the South African travel agency is booking for me, so I need to pay for it in Rands, but I have US Dollars in my Paypal account?

    • Reply Sam Wright May 9, 2019 at 16:20

      Use the paypal dollars if they have a paypal account!

  • Reply Kim May 13, 2019 at 10:44

    I went through the whole procedure an when I submitted the registration it said I need to visit my nearest FNB branch to register for online banking….. or have I done something incorrectly

    • Reply Carri Kuhn July 2, 2019 at 17:00

      Same thing happened to me…

  • Reply Shannon July 2, 2019 at 00:59

    Hi, I just wanted to thank you for your amazing directions. I have been struggling to withdraw my money from PayPal for nearly a month now, I’ve been sending so many emails to PayPal that I lost count and have been in and out of the bank for directions but still did not succeed, it just left me more frustrated than before. I am so happy and grateful that I’ve come across your page, I finally got the transaction done. Thanks a million girl.

  • Reply Melissa Jones July 16, 2019 at 15:21

    Thanks so much Sam. Struggled a bit and had to call the FNB Paypal call centre, but we’re all good now. I was freaking out about how to get the money out.

    • Reply Sam Wright July 22, 2019 at 07:23

      Glad you came right! I actually need to update this article because the FNB interface has changed. But still stoked you got your money out!

  • Reply Nazir Oodally July 19, 2019 at 08:11

    So @Sam say for 1000 dollars how much the bank charges to withdraw it?

    • Reply Sam Wright July 22, 2019 at 07:22

      I have no idea. I don’t work for PayPal or FNB.

  • Reply Phyllis Eleftheriou July 30, 2019 at 11:05

    Hi Sam, thanks so much for this, I received a refund via PayPal and couldn’t retrieve it.
    The problem I have is that many, many years ago I banked with FNB however I don’t currently. When I register they are picking up that my ID number already exists however I no longer have any of the info (card no. ATM PIN). Any idea on how to resolve this?

    • Reply Sam Wright July 31, 2019 at 06:58

      Phone FNB – could be the account wasn’t properly closed?

  • Reply Louise September 18, 2019 at 20:20

    Hi, I did all the FNB stuff but when I click on the final confirm I get an error message. Some required fields are not valid. The a whole lot if stuff about FNB aacount holders

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