Why was my PayPal payment denied, refunded, or unclaimed?

To find out why your payment hasn’t been claimed yet, or why it's been denied or refunded, please contact the person to whom you sent it.

Denied: If your payment was denied, it means that the recipient chose not to accept it. You may be able to find out why on the Activity page. A payment can also show 'denied' when a card payment is attempted, but is declined by the card issuer.

Refunded: If your payment was Refunded, it means that the recipient accepted the payment but then sent your money back to you.

Unclaimed/Pending: If your payment is Unclaimed/Pending, it means that the recipient hasn’t accepted it yet. There are a few reasons why your payment might be pending.

A payment might be pending because:

  • The recipient hasn’t signed up for a PayPal account yet.
  • You sent money to an email address or phone number that the recipient hasn’t added to their PayPal account. As soon as they add this information to their account, the money will show up in their balance.
  • The recipient is still deciding whether they want to accept your payment.
  • The recipient hasn't confirmed their bank account.

If your payment is unclaimed/pending for 30 days or your payment was denied or refunded, you’ll get your money back.

If you paid with your debit or credit card, the money will go back to your card. (It can take up to 30 days for the refund to appear on your card statement.) If you paid with your PayPal balance or bank account, the money will be returned to your PayPal balance.

Cookies help us customise PayPal for you, and some are necessary to make our site work. Cookies also let us show you personalised offers and promotions, both on and off our site. Of course, you're in control. You can manage your cookies at any time.