Getting to know PayPal account limitations.

Aug 29 2019 | PayPal editorial staff | 3 min read

As a small business owner, processing payments, paying vendors and accessing your money for other business needs are part and parcel of your day job. Without that access, problems can occur fast and at PayPal, we’re mindful of this. We also know the importance of keeping your business, your money, your customers and everyone who uses PayPal safe. Sometimes that means account will experience limitations. Understanding what limitations are, when and why they occur, and how to resolve them can help avoid headaches down the road.

So what are account limitations?

Account limitations are temporary restrictions placed on a PayPal account. In most cases, they prevent you from sending or withdrawing your money. Sometimes, they also limit your ability to receive money and process sales through your PayPal account.

Why are limitations placed?

Account limitations are frustrating, but they don’t necessarily mean you’ve done anything wrong. They’re our most rigid way of making sure you have control of your account, that it’s you that should have control of the money in that account, and that no one’s trying to steal it or defraud you.

Here are some of the reasons we limit accounts:
  • We need to comply with regulatory requirements. This is the main reason PayPal accounts are limited in Australia. Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing laws mean we need to verify your identity and some information about your business. Whenever possible, we do this electronically but sometimes, particularly if you have a more complex business structure, we need your help.
  • We suspect someone else is using your account. If we believe someone may be using your account without your knowledge, we’ll limit it to protect you from fraudulent charges and loss of money. We might also do this if your bank or card provider has told us your card or bank account has been used without permission.
  • We’ve seen sudden and major changes in what or how much you sell. If you start to sell an entirely new type of product, particularly if they’re riskier products, or if there’s a big jump in your sales volume, we might limit your account while we talk with you about what’s going on.
  • You’ve received a lot more claims and chargebacks than usual. Maybe something has happened to impact your fulfilment and customer service, or maybe a fraudster is targeting your business. We’ll limit your account to keep your business and customers safe until we can resolve the issue.
  • You’re breaching our Acceptable Use Policy. As a global company, our Acceptable Use Policy complies with global laws and trade restrictions. That means that even if your sales activity isn’t a problem in Australia, if it breaches our policy, we’ll limit your account.

How do I remove a limitation from my account?

If we limit your account, we’ll email you and add an alert in your PayPal account. When you receive that email or alert, log in to your account and go to the Resolution Centre.

In the Resolution Centre, you’ll see details about why your account has been limited and the information we need from you to resolve it. Our requests vary depending on the issue, but some of the things we might ask for include:
  • Proof of identity
  • Business registration details or trust documents
  • Identity documents for partners, board members or other significant figures of your business
  • Proof of shipment or tracking information
  • Information about sales
  • Invoices from your suppliers

Upload the required information to the Resolution Centre as soon as you can. Our team will review your submission and get back to you with next steps, usually within 3 days. Sometimes we will request more information as we learn more about your business, so do keep an eye out for our emails. You can also keep an eye on the case status in the Resolution Centre.

If you have any questions or can’t provide the required information for any reason, contact us for help.
The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. The information in this article does not constitute legal, financial, business or investment advice of any kind and is not a substitute for any professional advice. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

Frequently asked questions.

There are several reasons why your PayPal account may be limited. Here are some examples:

Unauthorised use

We may limit your PayPal account to protect you from potential losses and review any fraudulent activity if:
  • We believe someone accessed your PayPal account without your authorisation
  • Your bank informs us that someone may have used your card/bank without your consent.
Account limits

You reached your sending, receiving or withdrawal limits and haven't yet completed the steps to remove them.

Higher-risk activity

Examples include:
  • You received a higher number of claims and chargebacks than usual
  • You started selling a completely new type of product, such as much higher value items
  • Your sales volume rapidly increased, which is out of nature with your usual sales patterns.
Inactive account

As an extra security measure, we may also limit your PayPal account if you haven’t used it much since you signed up. To restore access to your account, provide a Proof of Identity (such as copy of your driving licence or passport). To upload it, click the notification on your Summary page and follow the instructions. 

If your PayPal account is limited, go to your Resolution Centre for more information on why the limitation was placed and how it can be removed. Once you complete all the required steps, we'll remove the limitation from your account.
Under the terms of the “Restricted Activities and Holds” section of the User Agreement, we can limit your ability to pay or send money while your account has a negative balance.

You may see an error message on PayPal when trying to transfer money. Here are the most common error messages and what they could mean:

“You’re transferring more than your weekly limit allows. Try a smaller amount.”

To see your minimum/maximum transfer limits, and transfer rates, visit our PayPal Fees page.

“We’re not able to complete this transaction at the moment.”
“We can’t complete this transaction right now.”

There may be a limitation on your PayPal account that prevents the transfer. Remove the limitation to restore your full account functionality.

Your debit card or bank account may not be eligible to process the instant transfer. Select a different bank or card that supports instant transfer from PayPal.

The information you entered when linking your bank account doesn’t match what your bank has on file. Double check your bank information. If the existing information is incorrect, please remove your bank account and link it again.

If the transfer still doesn't go through after you've taken the troubleshooting steps above, you can try these alternative options below to transfer your money:

If you were able to request a transfer but it’s showing up as “Pending”, normally it just needs some additional time to go through our internal review.

We’d like to help you to lift your account limitation so you can continue using PayPal. What you need to do to lift the limitation is shown in the Resolution Centre. Once you've completed the requirements, we'll review your limitation and contact you within 24-48 hours by phone or email.
The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. The information in this article does not constitute legal, financial, IT, business or investment advice of any kind and is not a substitute for any professional advice. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, IT and legal advice before making any business decision.