How do I cancel a payment?

We cannot reverse a transaction which is Completed, so in this case we suggest that you contact the recipient directly to arrange a refund*.

A refund to a debit or credit card may take up to 30 days to process, depending on the card issuer.

You may cancel a payment you’ve sent only if the status of the payment shows as Unclaimed.

To cancel an unclaimed payment from your computer:

  1. Go to Activity.
  2. Use the date range, 'Advanced search' options or the keyword search box to find the payment you'd like to cancel.
  3. Click on the payment to open the details.
  4. Click Cancel.
The Cancel option only appears if the payment was sent to an email address that was misspelt or which is not registered with PayPal, preventing the payment from completing.

To cancel an unclaimed payment from your PayPal app:
  1. Tap Your activity.
  2. Tap the payment you want to cancel.
  3. Tap Cancel Payment.
An Unclaimed payment will be automatically returned to the sender after 30 days, if it's not claimed by the recipient.
  • If you used your credit card, the money will be returned to that card.
  • If you used your bank account, the money will be returned to that bank account.
  • If you used your PayPal balance, the money will be returned to your PayPal balance.
* Refunds can't be issued through the PayPal mobile app, but they can be on the website.