How to send money from PayPal to Wise

If you’ve got a foreign currency balance in your PayPal account you’re probably wondering how to get your money deposited into your regular bank account for spending. 

While PayPal offers convenient, fast payment services, the charges involved when converting between currencies can be on the high side. That’s where a currency specialist like Wise might be able to help, providing lower overall costs and a better exchange rate, whether you’re withdrawing a foreign currency, or looking to send your SGD PayPal balance to someone overseas. This guide covers how.

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Why sending money from Paypal to Wise can save you money

Let’s say you’ve been sent a payment to your PayPal account by a friend in the US. It lands in your PayPal account safely - but how do you get your hands on the money to spend here in Singapore?

You might think that switching the payment from USD to SGD in your PayPal account would be the obvious option, so you can then withdraw your money to your local bank account here. However, because PayPal charges a relatively high fee for currency conversion, this can mean you lose out.

Keep more of your money for yourself - and cut out high currency conversion fees - by sending your money to a Wise multi-currency account instead (Wise review. You can open a Wise account online or in the Wise app, to hold 50+ currencies, and get local bank account details for 9 currencies. Use your SGD or USD account details to withdraw from PayPal, and whenever you need to switch to a different currency you’ll get the mid-market exchange rate with lower overall costs compared to both your normal bank or PayPal. 

Hold your balance in your Wise account, spend or withdraw using your linked Wise debit card, and send payments to 80+ countries direct from your account. There’s no minimum balance and no monthly fees - just easy, cheap currency conversion and international payments.

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How to send money from PayPal to Wise

Let’s take a look at how you can send money from PayPal to Wise. It’s worth noting that from Singapore you’ll only be able to withdraw funds from PayPal in SGD or USD - but Wise accounts offer local bank details for both Singapore and the US, making this a neat solution whichever currency you prefer.

Moving your money from PayPal to Wise requires a couple of steps, which can be easily completed online or on your phone:

Here’s all you need to do to get set up:

PayPal Steps 

To withdraw funds from PayPal you’ll need to first link your Wise account to PayPal using your local Wise USD or SGD bank details. If you don’t have a Wise account yet you can easily open one online and for free - more on that a little later.

To link your Wise account to PayPal online just log into PayPal and head to Wallet. Here you can tap either Link a bank account or Link a US bank account, depending on what you’d prefer. In the PayPal app you’ll need to find the wallet icon, then tap the + symbol near Banks and cards. Just follow the onscreen instructions to enter your account details and get started.

Step 2: Verify your Wise account with PayPal

PayPal requires customers to confirm their bank account before they’re able to use it. This keeps you and your money safe, and prevents fraud or illegal account use. If you’ve added your Wise account in the PayPal app you’ll be able to confirm your account by logging into online banking. Online you’ll be able to do this, too, or you can follow a manual process instead. 

For manual verification you’ll be sent 2 small transfers from PayPal, each between 0.01 SGD and 0.99 SGD. These can take up to 7 days to arrive, so you’ll need to keep an eye on your bank statements. Once you have the deposits, head back to your PayPal account and enter the amounts deposited to confirm your account.

Step 3: Log into PayPal and view your Wallet

Once your account is confirmed, you’re ready to withdraw your funds from PayPal to Wise. Log into PayPal and head to the Wallet section. Depending on how your account is set up you might have the option to withdraw to a bank account - which takes a few working days to arrive - or opt for an instant withdrawal to a card. However, fees vary for these services, so make sure you check out the terms and conditions before you decide. More on PayPal fees a little later.

Step 3: Click Transfer, then withdraw to your linked bank account

Once you’re in your PayPal account just select Transfer funds, then Transfer, and follow the onscreen prompts to confirm. You’ll just need to select your Wise account as the linked account you’re withdrawing to, and confirm the amount you want to send to Wise.

Step 4: Review and confirm your withdrawal

Check everything over, tap to confirm, and you’re done.  

Summary:

Withdrawing money from PayPal to Wise might require a couple of steps the first time, but once you’re all set up with your Wise account linked to PayPal it’ll just take a couple of taps to get your money. By using Wise to transfer out USD - or to get hold of your SGD balance ready to convert into a different currency later - you’ll save significantly on the costs of currency conversion, too. More on that later.

Withdraw money from PayPal to Wise

Get started on Wise

If you don’t have a Wise account yet you’ll be able to open one quickly and conveniently, online or in the Wise app. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Register with Wise online or in the app with an email address, Google, Facebook or Apple account

  • Verify your identity - more on that below

  • Enable the currencies you need within your Wise multi-currency account

  • Use your Wise account details to get paid by others and make PayPal withdrawals

Wise is a financial technology company, authorised by MAS in Singapore. To comply with legislation, and keep your money safe, Wise requires customers to complete a verification process when opening an account. You’ll be guided through this stage when you create your account, and can get everything done online or in the app easily. Usually you’ll need to upload an image of your proof of ID and proof of address - and you might also be asked to take a selfie with your documents for checking.

Get started with Wise

How much does it cost to transfer money from PayPal to Wise?

PayPal Singapore has a range of fees which may apply when you withdraw funds from your account:

  • Withdraw SGD funds to your SGD linked bank account - under 200 SGD withdrawal: 1 SGD fee

  • Withdraw SGD funds to your SGD linked bank account - over 200 SGD withdrawal: No PayPal fee

  • Withdraw SGD funds to your SGD linked bank card: 1% fee, minimum 0.5 SGD, maximum 15 SGD

  • Withdraw USD funds to a USD linked bank account or card: 3% fee

  • If currency conversion is required before you make a withdrawal from PayPal there’s an extra fee of 3% - 4%

You won’t pay any Wise fee when you receive payments using the local bank details that come with your account.

Is there a transfer limit?

There’s no fixed transfer limit stated in the PayPal terms and conditions - limits typically depend on your account type and transaction history. If you hit a limit when arranging your PayPal to Wise withdrawal, you’ll be notified by PayPal. 

PayPal vs Wise: International money transfer fees

If you need to send a payment internationally you’ll be able to do so from your PayPal account - but you’ll often find you get an inflated exchange rate and pay a high fee. Using a specialist online provider can save money - and your payment will be deposited into your recipient’s bank account directly for speed and convenience, too. 

Let’s look at how PayPal and Wise international transfers compare.


PayPal

<Wise

International transfers

When funded from PayPal balance or linked bank account: 4.99 USD


When funded with a card: 4.99 USD + 3.4% + fixed fee applies

Cost depends on send amount and currency: From 0.35% + low, fixed fee
Domestic transfers

No fee when funded from PayPal SGD balance or linked bank account


When funded with a card a fee of 3.4% + fixed fee applies

Low, fixed fee
Exchange rateCurrency conversion fee of 4%Mid-market exchange rate with no markup

Can I do a PayPal transfer to someone else on TransferWise?

PayPal payments are sent from one PayPal account to another. That means that you’ll not usually be able to send a payment from your PayPal account to someone else's Wise account. Instead, try withdrawing your PayPal funds to your own Wise account, and then make a fast, low cost transfer with Wise to get your money where it needs to be.

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Can I pay with PayPal on Wise?

You’ll be able to send money with Wise using:

  • Bank transfer

  • Debit or credit card

  • PayNow

  • Your Wise account balance

Wise account holders in the EEA are able to pay for transfers with PayPal. However, at this point you can’t use a PayPal balance directly to fund a Wise payment, assuming your Wise account is registered in Singapore. Wise is rolling out this option so it’s worth checking when it’s time to send your payment, to see if PayPal is an option for your region yet.

If you can’t use your PayPal balance directly to send money with Wise, simply follow the steps laid out above to withdraw your PayPal balance to Wise. You can then send a payment funded by your Wise balance, in the Wise app or on the desktop site.

Why does PayPal have a fee compared to Wise?

PayPal and Wise are both financial technology companies offering payment services - but how they work is quite different. 

Wise was set up to make it cheaper, easier and faster to send money overseas. This includes a commitment to offering transparent pricing, with the costs of moving money set to come down over time. Wise is doing this by using new and innovative technologies and their own payment network to drive down the costs of international payments. The savings are then passed on to customers in the form of lower fees.

PayPal on the other hand was set up with a focus on ecommerce, offering secure and simple ways to shop online. PayPal’s model allows it to offer some free domestic transfers between user accounts, but when it comes to anything international, there are steep fees. International transfers just aren’t PayPal’s core business - and so you’ll pay a premium to use these services via your PayPal account.

Open your free Wise account

Conclusion

PayPal is justifiably popular thanks to its account services and great solutions for online shopping. However, for any transaction which involves money moving across borders, it can be a pricey way to go.

If you hold a foreign currency balance in PayPal - or if you want to use your PayPal balance to send money overseas - you might find you can cut the costs by withdrawing PayPal funds to Wise first. Link your Wise account to PayPal, move your money to Wise, and then benefit from Wise’s low cost international payments and currency conversion which uses the real exchange rate with no hidden fees.

FAQ

How much does it cost to create a Wise account?

It’s free to create a Wise personal account. If you’re a business customer you may pay a one off Wise fee of 54 SGD to get full account features. There are no ongoing costs, minimum balances, or monthly fees.

How much does it cost to create a PayPal account?

It’s free to create a PayPal account.

How long does PayPal and Wise take to send money internationally?

PayPal payments are sent from one PayPal account to another, and can often arrive quickly. However, once your payment has arrived in your recipient’s PayPal account it may take a few days to withdraw the funds to their bank account for use. Wise transfers are often fast, too - 45% are instant, and all payments are deposited right into the recipient’s bank account for convenience.

Is TransferWise really cheaper?

TransferWise (Wise) is often one of the cheapest providers for international payments and currency conversion, thanks to their low, transparent fees and great exchange rate.

By Ileana Ionescu
Updated 27 April 2022