What does it mean if my PayPal payment is denied, refunded, or unclaimed?

Denied: If your payment was denied, it means that the recipient chose not to accept it. A payment can also show "denied" when a card payment is attempted, but is declined by the card issuer. Learn more about card payment troubleshooting.

Refunded: If your payment was refunded, it means that the recipient accepted the payment but then sent your money back to you. If you've made a payment in error, you can contact the recipient and request a refund.

Pending/Unclaimed: If the recipient hasn’t accepted the payment yet, the payment status will appear as "pending" or "unclaimed". Here are a few reasons why your payment is pending/unclaimed:

  • The recipient hasn’t signed up for a PayPal account. When you send a payment, we immediately email your recipient, who can click the link in the email to sign up a PayPal account and claim your payment.
  • The recipient hasn’t confirmed the email address for the PayPal account to which you sent your payment.
  • You sent a payment to an email address that the recipient hasn’t added to their PayPal account. As soon as they add the address to their account, the funds will show up in their balance.
  • The recipient is still deciding whether they want to accept your payment.

If your payment is unclaimed for 30 days, it’ll be returned to you. If you paid with your credit card, the funds will be returned to your card. It can take up to 30 days for the refund to appear in your card. If you paid with your PayPal balance, the funds will be returned to your PayPal balance.