PayPal Review: Is It the Best Payments App?


What is PayPal and how does it work?

PayPal is an easy-to-use payments app with a great mix of features. PayPal makes it easy to send payments to friends and family or pay for goods and services. Once you’ve set up an account, you can use the app or a web browser to manage your transactions.

You can send, receive, and request money to or from anyone with a PayPal account. You’ll need any of the following information:

  • PayPal username
  • Mobile phone number
  • Email address
  • PayPal.Me link (your personal payment link)
  • Personal QR code

The PayPal.Me link and QR functionality minimize the risk of someone mistyping your information — they just need to click or scan.

The PayPal app also lets you keep track of your spending, and split bills with your friends. You can easily use this app in both your personal and professional life. It’s worth noting that you’ll have to pay fees for certain PayPal functions, which we’ll cover below.

Top perks

Below are some of our favorite features of the PayPal app in more detail.

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Easy to use

No matter your tech skill level, it shouldn’t be challenging to use PayPal. PayPal’s neat and organized interface makes it simple to navigate. The app is available for iOS and Android mobile devices, including tablets.

The payment app has a bill-splitting feature called Money Pool. You can collect funds from multiple friends to cover shared expenses or donate to a cause. That means no more stress about splitting the check when you’re out.

Widely-used payments app

PayPal is a widely-used and accepted personal finance app. Whether you need to send money to someone domestically or internationally, chances are they have a PayPal account.

Millions of stores offer it as a payment option. You can pay with PayPal at many of your favorite stores like eBay, Apple, GNC, Target, Overstock, and The Home Depot. PayPal even lets you store your store loyalty cards within the app so you can get rewarded for your shopping.

Finally, PayPal makes it easy to fundraise or donate to charity. It won’t take any fees or deductions from money donated through its Giving Fund page.

Supports international money transfers

If you need to send money abroad, PayPal is available in 200+ countries and regions. Make sure you’re aware of the fees. And if you make regular international money transfers, it’s worth shopping around for the best deal.

You can also hold multiple currencies within your PayPal account, make or accept payments in other currencies, convert your PayPal balance to another currency, and transfer your balance in any currency.

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PayPal has a reputation as a safe and secure payments app. PayPal doesn’t share your financial data when you make payments. Additionally, PayPal’s protection policies cover you when buying or selling online. If you don’t receive a product you buy with PayPal, you’ll get your money back.

Multiple payment methods

There are multiple ways you can make payments through PayPal. You can fund payments via your bank account, debit card, credit card, or PayPal balance. Just be aware that some payment methods, like credit cards, come with fees.

What could be improved

No payments app has achieved perfection. Here are the areas where we believe PayPal has the most room for improvement.

PayPal fees can add up

Like many payments apps, you’ll pay fees for certain types of PayPal transactions. PayPal’s fees are on target with other apps. And some things, such as sending money domestically to friends and family through your PayPal or bank account can be free. It will cost you to use a credit card to pay someone or send money abroad.

Transfers can take time

When you transfer money from your PayPal account to your bank account, you have two options: A free transfer, which can take one to five business days, or a paid instant transfer. The free transfer is often processed in one business day, but there’s no guarantee. If you need the money instantly, you’ll need to pay 1%. Instant transfers typically arrive in minutes, but a debit card transfer, where you enter your card information rather than bank account details, may take up to half an hour.

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Some users may have sending limits

PayPal does set limits for unverified users. If you have a verified account, which requires you to verify banking or credit card details, you won’t have a problem.

If you’re not verified, you can only send so much money. This depends on your currency, but you may be limited to $10,000 in one transaction, with a cap of $60,000. You can view your limits in your account. Most people probably don’t need to send over $10,000 at once, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Frequent phishing target

Since PayPal is a commonly used app, unfortunately, it’s often targeted by phishing scams. You may receive fake emails that look like they come from PayPal, and these emails contain phishing links. Be aware of this when opening any email or PayPal link. You want to make sure that you only click on official links.

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