From post to PayPal

PAYPAL: No more need to expose your credit card or banking details

BUYING and selling goods and services online is fast becoming the preferred way to shop and conduct business this century, and it recently became easier with the introduction of PayPal to South Africa.

This enables South Africans to buy from and sell to PayPal’s global customer base of more than 81 million active accounts in 190 markets around the world in 21 different currencies. South Africa is the 190th country to get access
to PayPal accounts and it’s about damn time too!

What is PayPal?

To put it simply, PayPal is a safe and easy way to perform online transactions without exposing your credit card or bank account number. It can be thought of as an extension of your bank account that allows you to send and receive money globally 24/7.

It has always been possible to make foreign payments, but now South Africans are getting a chance to cash in by being able to sell goods themselves within the global eCommerce marketplace. There are currently 200 million people that use PayPal to send and receive money today and for good reason.

paypalYou can use a PayPal account to:

  • Receive payments in 190 countries.
  • Checkout quickly at hundreds of online stores.
  • Shop at online merchants or shops in 67 countries.
  • Make or receive payments for goods and services online.
  • Pay for things and send money without sharing your financial information.

How do I get a PayPal account?

To open a South African PayPal account, visit and follow the instructions provided. You’ll be asked to fill in your details and link your credit or cheque card to your new PayPal account.

A small charge ($1,95) will then be debited from your account, which will be refunded (in two to three days) once you supply a four-digit reference number that is provided with this transaction to PayPal. This verification method is a security precaution that ensures that only you can access your PayPal account.

FNB’s Top Up and Withdraw service

Currently PayPal is exclusive to First National Bank customers, but no doubt it will soon be offered by other major banks as well. It is also likely that other PayPal options and services will become available once more South Africans get on board and become comfortable with using PayPal.

One particular offering is FNB’s exclusive Top Up and Withdraw service, which allows FNB customers to top up and withdraw funds from a PayPal account via a qualifying FNB account. FNB Customers can simply open a PayPal account and link it to a qualified FNB account and receive PayPal payments in 21 different currencies. FNB will then convert the currency to South African rands once the money is transferred into their accounts. No more lost cheques in the post.

How do I register for this?

To register for such PayPal services you’ll need a South African PayPal account, a qualifying FNB bank account and access to FNB Online Banking. (The following steps are specific to FNB and may differ for other banks offering PayPal services).

Step by step, you will need to:

  1. Have a qualifying FNB bank account (FNB cheque, savings or transmission acc).
  2. Have an FNB Online Banking profile.
  3. Register a South African PayPal account on
  4. Verify your PayPal account on
  5. Login to your FNB Online Banking profile; register for this service and link your PayPal account to your FNB Online Banking profile.

Qualifying FNB accounts include most FNB savings, cheque and transmission accounts. When completing a FNB Top Up or Withdraw with PayPal, a list of all your qualifying FNB accounts that can be used for this service will be displayed.

Remember that they will have to be linked to your FNB Online Banking profile in order for them to be displayed. Also note that a credit card account is not a qualifying account for this service.

How do I withdraw and transfer money into my PayPal account?

FNB’s Top Up and Withdraw services allow you to transfer or withdraw funds from a qualifying FNB bank account into your PayPal account. To do this, simply login to FNB Online Banking and select the “PayPal Services” menu option.

Once you have registered for the service, you can transfer funds (in rands) from your qualifying FNB account into your PayPal account in United States dollars, which can then be used to make purchases from PayPal merchants worldwide.

Note that when completing the FNB Top Up service you will be required to disclose the purpose of your transaction and provide contact information to ensure that you comply with all South African Reserve Bank regulations. A Top Up of funds from FNB to a PayPal account may only be used for the specified reason.

It is also important to remember that according to South African Reserve Bank exchange-control regulations, all funds received into your PayPal account must be withdrawn within 30 days of receipt.

Fees: what does it cost?

FNB charges a transaction commission of 1,5% for each Top Up or Withdraw transaction using a PayPal account. This commission is calculated on the rand equivalent of the U.S. dollar amount requested.

An exchange rate is quoted by FNB on all rand/U.S. dollar transactions and may vary for Top Up and Withdraw transactions.

Certain PayPal transactions may also attract certain fees. Visit for more information regarding any hidden costs.

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Galen (name), meaning: "Curious One". A lover of language, human ingenuity and the forces of the universe. Hugely drawn towards the mysterious and unknown. Regular laughter and escapism essential.

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