When will Paypal be able to transfer money to SA accounts?

Paypal became available a few years ago now to South Africans. Unfortunately, it remains a one-way vacuum cleaner, happily taking money out of the South Africa, while South African entrepreneurs and businesses remain hobbled and unable to earn anything back.

After years of seeing the stock PayPal continues to research how best to
expand its offering in South Africa
on their website, I decided to ask Paypal for details on why this remains the case.

I specifically asked for details – is it because of government exchange control regulations? Resources on their side? Fear of fraud?

Unfortunately the answer wasn’t very helpful…

Dear Ian,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us with your concerns in regards
to receiving funds, my name is Barbara.

Ian, due to the complexities of global finance, members in some countries
and regions may not use PayPal to receive payments only send payments, but
this is certainly not a reflection on our customers nor their countries.

For more information on individual country and region capabilities to send
and receive funds, visit https://www.paypal.com/ and click “PayPal
Worldwide.” The countries listed under “Send Money to Anyone in the Growing
PayPal Network” cannot receive payments.

PayPal is constantly working to expand and improve our services for our
customers. We hope to expand our features for these countries or regions
but due to the complexities of global finance, we cannot give a timetable

for this expansion.

We appreciate your patience and understanding regarding this matter, and
please continue to check back for continuing changes.

PayPal, an eBay Company

Can anyone shed any light on this? Alternatively, feel free to pester Paypal with requests for me info until they provide something more useful!

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  1. So it’s the “complexities of global finance”. Always knew there had to be a reason.

  2. What does that mean? “Complexities of global finance”? What type of answer is that?

  3. Thanks for the blog. An excellent subject – and a source of great frustration that we South Africans are disadvantaged. I can’t help thinking that the reason we’re not on the PayPal map for receiving funds may be something to do with SARS – either because they have no control over funds coming in (tax purposes); or because they have concerns about these accounts being used for money laundering?

    I don’t know – but I do know it’s a great pity it can’t be sorted out!

    Cheers – Bill.

  4. Bill, that’s what I was hoping to find with my request to Paypal. An honest answer, such as “the SA government isn’t permitting it for now”, or “We think SA is too small, too risky”, rather than some corporate BS.

  5. Tight exchange controls is the reason – South Africa restricts the amount of offshore capital you’re allowed to hold offshore, and PayPal does not hand over records to SARS. So therefore SA banks are restricted from receiving monies from PayPal.

  6. Hi Ian
    I am looking hard for the right and most cost-effective (cheap!) method of enabling online payments from our overseas clients to us when they sign up for our wildlife courses.
    Have you come up with any more solutions or know of other options since these last posts?

  7. I think its just they do not want us to transfer money into SA. Cause they want us to stay poor bloody whole lot of robbery the govt

  8. I have just returned from the UK where i was a frequent user of the paypal system, however after a year of use my bank (HSBC) refused to honour payments made through paypal as a result of paypals inability, or unwillingless to verify required bank security checks, as a result my Ebay account became suspended, for not honouring agreements.

    paypal, while convienient is not the answer, as its policy’s are not in accord with the banks.

    I to have been looking for a way to recieve international payments in south africa through a system that is as easy, convienient, and widespread as paypal, unfortunately i have not found one. if you have, i would love to hear from you.

    unfortunately victim mentality such as veez will not get us anywhere closer to a working solution, its one thing to complain, another entirely to find a solution

  9. I agree, complaining will not get us to a solution. The biggest problem for not being able to receive payments through Paypal is that you cannot make use of all the affiliate programs out there, not to mention that there is a large buyer market out there who has funds in their paypal accounts. One blog that I read, explained why the Paypal market is so favourable, and it boils down to the fact that people perceive money in their Paypal accounts as play money.

    I spent alot of time on the Internet to search for a solution. I am still busy though, because there is alot of alternatives. I have discussed it in my blog: Can you receive money with Paypal if you are in South Africa. Click the link at the top of this comment.

    And to answer you, there is also an alternative for Paypal, but it is not as popular. Also read about it in my Blog.

  10. So as I have gathered we can recieve money into our paypal accounts, however we just can’t transfer it from there back to our credit cards right? Now we all heard of Setcom right? If not go google it or something. So now course one would be loosing some cash through transfers but, is it possible to send money from paypal to your setcom account and then retrieving into your bank account from there?

  11. Try http://www.ikobo.com they send you a debit card and people are able to deposit money into it from all over the world using there credit cards. It’s not perfect but it’s beter than nothing.

  12. Hi Guys, I’m raising an old nag!

    Has any one found a reasonable answer to monetry restrictions imposed by SARB in connection with importing affiliate payments into South Africa?

    I have been investigating PayPal, SETCOM and a few other online banks and they all come up with the same reply about our paranoid policies.

    Even sending $50 to USA cost me 24% + charges. Can we ever hope to get into world wide business with these kind of restrictions?

    Please help, this is a real set-back to my endeavours to establish an Internet business.

    Cheers, Garth

  13. I always heard that you can ONLY send money using Paypal….. but how because that’s what I want to do, sending only. Anyone one who can help me send money using Paypal please….I’m banking with ABSA.

  14. Bheki, Paypal are more than keen to take your money, and make it very easy for you. Just go to their site and follow the prominent “Send money” instructions.

  15. If Paypal were to work in properly in South Africa I think our ecommerce revenue would sky rocket. I have also been looking for a solution to this but have none.

    The payment gateways available to South Africans like Setcom, MyGate & VCS do allow for us to receive money from international credit cards and transfer the funds into our bank accounts.

    However all of these systems are not as simple to implement and have no where near the uptake like that of Paypal.

  16. Try using http://www.xoom.com. After a frustrating search to find the best way to transfer money for services overseas I tried them. Easy to use, easy to understand, effortless. I only tried sending money overseas, not receiving at this stage, but they do state that they pay out in SA. Their fees are reasonable, better than Western Union, better than the bank.
    Paypal would not enable me to use my credit card to send payment – came back with some non-sensical reply.
    PayPal “When our system does not allow a certain funding source for a transaction, it is merely an indication that the individual transaction fits a pattern we have observed in the past to have a high risk of failure.”

  17. the reason is simple,

    the South African reserve bank is a private company, with private shareholders, who control the goverment by lending them money at interest they can never pay back, and they have decided that SA may not get paypal; if you think the minister of finance runs anything in regards the economy you are sorely mistaken; the board of the SARB run the show, they decide how much currency and credit will be in the system

  18. The issue has nothing to do with Government or Reserve bank. If it was moneybookers would not be sending money to south africans. But the fact that south africans can receive and send money abroad, means Paypal just dont want. If you look at it Paypal does not remit money to any of the 53 countries in Africa. Are there complexities all over Africa? Clearle it a lot of bs.

  19. i am south african and expecting a payment ahead of 2010 world cup. I think Xoom may be just the answer ive been looking for. I hope they wont dissappoint thou. I gave up on paypal!

  20. BTW, globill.net specializes in ‘high risk’ transactions such as adult, pharma, MLM etc. type websites which PayPal will not process

  21. I use 1st Contact to send my money to South Africa and its alot cheaper than using my bank.

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