How to accept international payments with your PayPal Business account

Ready to start selling internationally? In a few simple steps, you can set up your PayPal Business account to accept payments in foreign currencies and convert them to USD automatically, manually, or not at all.

In this guide, we’ll explore some potential benefits of accepting international payments, as well as factors to consider when it comes to currency and fees in the world of global payments.

Why accept international payments?

There are several reasons businesses may benefit from accepting international payments. Here are some examples:

  • Access the world: Accepting international payments can allow businesses to tap into a vast global market. It unlocks opportunities to reach customers from different countries and regions, potentially expanding your customer base and revenue streams.
  • Competitive advantage: Offering the option to pay in international currencies can give businesses a competitive edge and attract international customers who prefer companies that make payments convenient and seamless for them.
  • Flexibility: Offering multiple payment methods, including international options, provides flexibility to customers, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Seamless checkout: Businesses may experience high conversions from consumers when they can pay in their local currency.
  • Easy currency management: PayPal takes care of currency conversion to U.S. dollars. Businesses may also accept payments in other currencies (details below).

Accepting international payments through PayPal Business Account

Let’s explore ways to receive money internationally. First, here’s how to accept international payments to your PayPal Business account.

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account.
  2. Go to your name on the home page and choose Account Settings from the drop-down menu.
  3. In Account & Security, choose Payment preferences.
  4. In Block payments, choose Update.
  5. Under Block payments, make sure that the box next to "Have non-U.S. PayPal accounts" is unchecked to allow PayPal account holders from other countries to pay you online.

You can choose to convert foreign payments into U.S. dollars automatically or accept without converting for up to 21 other currencies that you can hold in your PayPal account.

Hold payments in foreign currencies

Payments received in currencies other than U.S. dollars will be automatically converted to U.S. dollars. The amount is converted at the latest applicable conversion rate and is then credited to your PayPal Business account. International payments are charged a percentage of the transaction amount on top of the exchange rate.

Looking to receive payments made in currencies other than U.S. dollars and hold them in your PayPal Business account? Follow the steps below to update your Preference for receiving payments. The benefit here is you can hold balances in foreign currencies and arrange to convert yourself.

  1. Log in to your PayPal account.
  2. Go to your name on the homepage and choose Account Settings from the drop-down menu.
  3. In Account & Security, choose Payment preferences.
  4. In Block payments, choose Update.
  5. Go to Preferences for receiving payments, and select the third option: "Accept all payments without converting the currency, either adding to an existing balance or creating a new holding currency where needed."

Currency considerations when accepting global payments

Handling multiple currencies in a business may be complex, but with the right strategies and tools, it can be manageable. Before you start to accept international payments, consider some of these factors:

  • Accounting software: Invest in accounting software that supports multi-currency transactions to track and manage finances accurately.
  • Transparent pricing: Clearly communicate to customers how exchange rates and conversion fees may affect the final price of products or services.
  • Cash flow: Keep in mind that fluctuating currencies can impact cash flow.
  • Payment processing: Different countries may have unique payment methods and regulations. Make sure to adapt your payment processing strategies to each market.
  • Compliance: Stay informed about international financial regulations, tax requirements, and reporting obligations to ensure legal compliance.
  • Offer multiple payment options: Provide customers with various payment options, including international payment gateways, credit cards, and digital wallets.

Navigating international payments fees

When accepting international payments, cross-border fees may apply because multi-currency payments generally involve additional costs.

For PayPal international payment fees, there may be a standard fee, plus an additional fixed fee based on the currency of payment. Keep in mind that some fees may apply if PayPal performs a currency conversion to complete your payment.

Learn more about international fees.

How to accept international credit card payments?

Businesses like yours can accept international credit card payments by setting up a payment processing system that accommodates foreign credit cards. Here are a few tips as you get started:

  • Choose a payment gateway or processor: Select a payment gateway or processor that supports international credit card payments.
  • Check legal and regulatory requirements: Ensure compliance with local and international regulations related to accepting foreign payments. This may include anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) requirements.
  • Verify card acceptance: Confirm that the payment processor accepts major international credit card networks. Different countries may have preferences for specific card networks.
  • Implement geolocation detection: Use geolocation detection to identify the customer's location and automatically display prices and payment options in their local currency.

Discover more strategies on how to accept payments from shoppers globally.


Was this content helpful?

Related content

Sign Up for the PayPal Bootcamp

In partnership with three expert business owners, the PayPal Bootcamp includes practical checklists and a short video loaded with tips to help take your business to the next level.

*Required fields.

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site. May we use marketing cookies to show you personalized ads? Manage all cookies