Account Reserves FAQs.

Aug 21 2018 | PayPal editorial staff

Get answers to commonly asked questions on account reserves.
Q: I've had an account for years, why is my account being reviewed now?
A: It could just be time for a routine account review. Or, changes in your account may have prompted the review. For example, we may see a sudden increase in your sales volumes, selling price, or the number of buyer disputes, claims, chargebacks, or refund rates you’re receiving on your account.
 
Q: Why do I need to send you more information about my business or my financials?
A: The information helps us verify your business will be able to deliver what the customer ordered. Here’s a summary of the information we may be requesting, and how we use it.
 
 Requested informationHow we use it
Business information
  • Time in business
  • Industry
  • Number of employees
  • Website
Time in business:
This helps us know if you’re a new business starting out, or have been in business for a while.
 
Industry:
This helps us evaluate if you’re operating in a high or low risk industry. Presale items such as events, travel, tickets, and furniture are considered high risk.
 
Number of employees:
We use this information to assess your company’s ability to deliver products or services.
 
Website:
We use this information to review your policies and checkout pages to determine what information your buyers receive. We’re interested in your return policy, customer service information, shipping time, presale listing, product, and service descriptions.
Processing historyWe use your processing history to determine what products you have been selling, how long you’ve been processing these types of transactions, and what types of customer problems you’ve experienced.
Supplier informationWe use your supplier information to verify your supplier is legitimate.
Financial statementsWe use your financial statements to assess the strength of your business, your ability to pay your suppliers, and deliver the product or service.
Business creditWe use your business credit information to assess your current and past ability to pay creditors.
Personal creditWe use your credit information to assess your current and past ability to pay creditors. Consumer credit may be used if your business has minimal or no historical business credit.
Business model:
  • Product
  • Price
  • Delivery
  • Promotion
Product/Service Offering:
We review the types of products you’re selling, how the products are manufactured, and who your suppliers are. Certain products, services, and suppliers carry a higher risk. We also need to validate you’re able to deliver the product or service to the customer’s satisfaction (product quality and on time delivery).
 
Price:
This helps us evaluate if your volume significantly increased because of a change in price or new product offering.
 
Delivery/Shipping:
We review your shipping processes and delivery timelines.
 
Promotion:
We may ask you if you’ve had any recent sales which might have caused a large increase in your volume.
Fraud prevention/detection processes or toolsWe want to make sure you have adequate controls in place to help detect fraud.
 
Q: I sent in the information you requested. How long do I have to wait to see what type of reserves will be on my account?
A: Once we receive all the requested information, we’ll typically contact you within 3 business days. Be sure to check your email within these 3 days.
 
Q: When will I receive my money?
A: Once we place a reserve on your account, you’ll receive a communication outlining the terms of your reserve. Your terms are also outlined in your account. When your money is released depends on the type of reserve you have.

If you have a rolling reserve, the funds will be released after a certain period of time. For example, if you have a 90 day rolling reserve, funds from Day 1 sales will be available on Day 91. The funds will be released at the time of the original payment. So, if a payment was received, and held, at 9am on Day 1, it will be released at 9am on Day 91. Even though you will receive Day 1 sales on Day 91, we will continue to capture new reserves on an ongoing basis. You’ll always have the last 90 days of payments in reserve at any given time.

For a minimum reserve, reserves are reviewed within every 180 days. PayPal proactively reviews reserves and based on improvements to your business performance it is possible that your reserves could be adjusted or removed.
 
Q: When will my account be reviewed?
A: We review your account within every 180 days. If there’s a change in your business performance, we may adjust or remove your reserves. We actively work to release reserves where possible.

Q: What's the maximum amount of time you can hold my money in a reserve?
A: We can hold your money in a reserve for up to 180 days. This may change depending on business performance. 
 
Q: If I close my account, how long will it take for me to get the money that was held in a reserve back?
A: You’ll typically receive your money 180 days after your account is closed. In some cases, it can take more than 180 days.
 
Q: Will PayPal use the money being held if I receive a chargeback?
A: No, we'll only use money from your available balance to cover any chargebacks you receive. We hold funds in a reserve when we’re unable to collect on your past due balances from: chargebacks, claims, debit transactions with insufficient funds in the account, and fees.
 
Q: Am I selling a product that’s considered high risk?
A: Certain goods are associated with a high level of risk such as tickets, furniture, gift cards, consumer electronics, computers, commodities, and travel packages. These items tend to have high refund rates, fluctuating values, or long delivery lead times. Presale items are also considered as high risk.
 
Q: I’ve never had a problem with claims or chargebacks, why are you holding my money in case these things happen?
A: Claims and chargebacks are one factor we consider when reviewing an account for a reserve. We may also review other factors, including:
  • Your processing history with PayPal and other providers
  • Whether your industry has a higher likelihood of chargebacks or refunds
  • Whether your account has an elevated number of customer claims and disputes
  • Your business and/or personal credit history
  • Whether you're selling products or services in advance (preselling orders).
  • Your delivery time frames - whether there are extended delivery timeframes
 
Q: What appeared on my credit report that caused you to place a reserve?
A: We make reserve decisions based on multiple factors (see above), your credit information being one. If you’d like to know more about your credit reports, please contact the respective credit bureaus below to review your history.
 
Credit Bureau NamePhone
Equifax1-800-727-8495
Dun and Bradstreet1-800-234-3867
Experian1- 888-808-8242
 

 

The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

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Frequently asked questions.

An account reserve is an amount of money that is on hold in your PayPal account to cover potential financial risk such as payment reversals you may receive like chargebacks and claims. PayPal uses three types of reserves: rolling reserves, minimum reserves and jumpstart reserves.
  • Rolling reserve is a reserve where a percentage of each transaction you receive each day is held and then released later on a scheduled basis. This is the most common type of reserve.
    • For example, your reserve could be set at 10% and held for a 180-day rolling period – meaning 10% of the money you receive on day 1 is held and then released on day 181, 10% of the money you receive on day 2 is held until day 182, etc.
  • minimum reserve is a specific minimum amount of money that’s held in your reserve balance. The minimum reserve is either taken as a percentage of money held until a certain amount has been reached, or a one-time amount.
    • For example, 5% of your daily transaction volume is held until a balance of $5,000 is reached.
  • Jumpstart reserve is when funds are held from your available balance immediately.
    • For example, if we make the determination to keep a $10K jumpstart reserve and there is $20K in the PayPal account balance, $10K is moved to reserves straight away.
We may also use a combination of a reserve types on your account.

Why does PayPal use reserves?

Reserves are used to prevent transaction losses that may occur from payment reversals like chargebacks and claims filed by your buyers. Ordinarily, if you have a reserve on your account and receive a chargeback or dispute, we will deduct that amount from your available balance and not from any reserve balance. However, if a seller goes out of business or stops processing payments through PayPal, we will use any reserve to satisfy future payment reversals.

Reasons for placing reserves

Reserves are a common industry practice. They are used to minimize losses and to create a safer shopping experience. If you would go out of business or would be otherwise incapable of covering your financial obligations, we would still need to pay back the buyer. If a buyer contacts PayPal or their financial institution because they didn’t receive what they ordered, we’re responsible for making things right. A reserve can be placed on your account for a number of reasons and is set on a case-by-case basis. PayPal considers a list of factors to determine this including:
  • Your processing history with PayPal and other providers
  • Whether your industry has a higher likelihood of chargebacks or refunds
  • Whether your account has an elevated number of customer claims and disputes
  • Your business and/or personal credit history
  • Whether you are selling products or services in advance (preselling orders)
  • Your delivery time frames - whether there are extended delivery timeframes
PayPal will periodically review the account to determine whether the reserve placement and amount needs to be adjusted. Reserves may be eligible for the reduction or removal with positive changes to key areas such as performance, industry, claims reduction, etc.

When will I get my money?

Once a reserve is placed, you will receive communications outlining the terms of your reserve. Your terms are also outlined in your account. When your money is released depends on what type of reserve you have.

If you have a rolling reserve, the funds will be released after a certain period of time. For example, if you have a 180 day rolling reserve, funds from Day 1 sales will be available on Day 181.

For minimum reserve, reserves are reviewed every 180 days. PayPal proactively reviews reserves, and based on improvements to your business performance, it is possible that your reserves could be adjusted or removed.


How to prevent reserves from being placed on an account

Reserves may be a necessity throughout your relationship with PayPal. Preventing reserves isn’t always possible, and depending on your industry and your credit history, you might never be able to fully remove a reserve from your account.

However, you can reduce the likelihood of having a reserve and improve your customer service in the process by following Seller Best Practices, which is a win-win for everyone.

Seller Best Practices
Some best practices to follow are:
  • Ship promptly and give your customers valid tracking information through PayPal, so they can keep tabs on their purchases and know when to expect delivery
  • Communicate early and often with your buyers and let them know about any changes, delays, or other important information
  • Monitor your buyer complaint rates regularly and try to keep complaint rates below 1% of your sales.
  • Avoid long refund times, which can lead to complaints from unsatisfied customers
A customer who receives prompt service, accurate order fulfillment, and speedy billing is a customer who will be less likely to file complaints or make returns in the future – and more likely to buy from you again.

You can also access additional information on account reserves by reviewing our Business Resource Center.
 
An account reserve is an amount of money that is held in your PayPal account to cover potential financial risk such as payment reversals you may receive like chargebacks and claims. PayPal uses three types of reserves: rolling reserves, minimum reserves and jumpstart reserves.

Reserves may be a necessity throughout your relationship with PayPal. Preventing reserves isn’t always possible, and depending on your industry and your credit history, you might never be able to fully remove a reserve from your account.

However, you can reduce the likelihood of having a reserve and improve your customer service in the process by following Seller Best Practices – and that’s a win-win for everyone.

Seller Best Practices
Some best practices to follow are:
  • Ship promptly and give your customers valid tracking information through PayPal, so they can keep tabs on their purchases and know when to expect delivery
  • Communicate early and often with your buyers and let them know about any changes, delays, or other important information
  • Monitor your buyer complaint rates regularly and try to keep complaint rates below 1% of your sales.
  • Avoid long refund times, which can lead to complaints from unsatisfied customers

PayPal proactively reviews reserves and based on improvements to your business performance it is possible that your reserves could be adjusted or removed. So, if you’ve made improvements in key areas, for example performance, industry, and claim reductions, it’s possible that your reserve will be lifted or reduced.

From time to time, we may need to adjust your reserve amount. If that happens, we’ll email you about the changes.

 
The collateral summary section represents the rolling reserves of a PayPal balance, held in reserve to cover possible disputed charges, chargeback fees, and other expenses.
 
If a charity fails to meet the terms of our Nonprofit Certification Policy and/or fails to meet PayPal Giving Fund's due diligence standards as described above for receipt of a donation at any time, we reserve the right to reassign funds to another charitable organization. We may also reassign donations in the event we are unable to distribute the funds successfully, if the charity fails to cash the checks we send, for example. Where possible, we will contact the original donor to ask for a new charity recommendation to benefit from their donation.

You can learn more about how we grant funds to enrolled and unenrolled charities by reviewing our Donation Delivery Policy.

If you would like to contact us and don’t have a PayPal account, please click here and fill out the form so we can help you resolve your PayPal Giving Fund issues.