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 MYR 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 Malaysia?

You might think that switching the payment from USD to MYR 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.

A good option to bring down the currency conversion fees is to send your money to a Wise multi-currency account instead (Wise review). Wise accounts are easy to open online or in the Wise app, and can hold 50+ currencies. Your account comes with local bank account details for 10 currencies, which means you can use your MYR or USD account details to withdraw from PayPal, and then switch to the currency you need. Wise currency conversion uses the mid-market exchange rate, and so comes with lower overall costs compared to both your normal bank or PayPal. 

Once you have money in your Wise account you’ll be able to hold it until you need it, spend or withdraw it 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, so you can just use the account as and when you need it, and only pay for the services you require.

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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.

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 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 Link a bank account to get started. 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 may be able to confirm your account by logging into online banking. If you’re not able to do this you can follow a manual process instead. 

For manual verification you’ll be sent 2 small transfers from PayPal. Once you have the deposits, head back to your PayPal account and enter the exact deposit amounts to confirm your account. The amounts deposited are random, and these funds will subsequently be debited from your bank 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 you can transfer out your PayPal balance ready to convert into a different currency later - and 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 the Central Bank of Malaysia. 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 just need your passport or MyKad - and you might also be asked to take a selfie with your documents for checking.

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

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

  • Withdraw MYR funds to your MYR linked bank account - under 400 MYR withdrawal: 3 MYR fee

  • Withdraw MYR funds to your MYR linked bank account - over 400 MYR withdrawal: No PayPal fee

  • Withdraw MYR funds to your MYR linked bank card: Fixed fee based on the currencies involved

  • Withdraw USD funds to a USD linked bank account or card: No fee as long as no currency conversion is required

  • 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.


PayPalWise
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 around 0.5% + low, fixed fee
Domestic transfers

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


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

Not available
Exchange rate

Currency conversion fee of 3% - 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

  • FPX

  • 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 Malaysia. 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.

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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.

FAQs

How much does it cost to create a Wise account?

It’s free to create a Wise account. 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 Wise really cheaper?

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

By Seyma Mektepli
Updated 30 June 2022