PayPal Account Limitations: withdrawal & transfer limits.

Aug 21 2018 | Alice Wong, Small business - North Americas, PayPal

Account limits prevent certain actions on your PayPal account. Keep reading to learn what account limitations are, why they get placed on your account, and what you can do about removing them.
As a small-business owner, it’s crucial that you’re able to continue processing payments, pay vendors, and access your money for other business needs. It’s also important to understand what account limitations are, why they may be placed on your account, and what they mean for you as the account holder. Understanding these limitations and how to address them could help eliminate potential headaches down the road.

What are account limitations?
Account limitations are temporary restrictions placed on a specific account that could prevent withdrawing, sending, or receiving money. Having limitations on an account doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve done anything wrong. Rather, they’re used to help protect both the buyer and the seller.

Why are limitations placed on an account?
There can be several reasons for an account limitation:
  • An unauthorized person may be using your account.​ If PayPal believes someone is using your account without your knowledge, the account could be limited to protect you from fraudulent charges while PayPal investigates the suspicious transactions. Similar steps may be taken if your debit or credit card issuer or bank notifies PayPal that someone has used your card or bank account without permission.
  • The account is out of compliance with regulatory requirements. Limitations can also be placed on an account that has been found to be out of compliance with regulatory requirements. For example, if you receive donations, you’re required to provide documents confirming you’re a registered nonprofit organization. PayPal may limit your account while you gather those documents or while we’re working with you to satisfy any other regulatory requirements. The same is true if you don’t follow PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy—selling banned items, such as prescription drugs or guns, for example.
  • Your account has a high number of claims and chargebacks. When there’s a high number of buyer claims and chargebacks to your account, we may review your account. While we’re reviewing, you may experience an account limitation.
  • Sudden, rapid changes in what or how much you sell. If you start to sell an entirely new type of product, specifically higher-end items like jewelry; or there’s a rapid increase in sales volume, your account may be limited while PayPal reviews it.
 
How does PayPal notify you of an account limitation?
In some cases, you might receive a notification by email or on your account overview page. Responding to this warning quickly by logging in to your PayPal account and taking the necessary actions may help you avoid account limitations altogether.

If, however, you realize your account has been limited, log in to your PayPal Business account and visit the Resolution Center to review details of why your account has been limited. This is also where you’ll find the requested information from PayPal. Requests will vary depending on the issue but some possibilities are:
  • Invoices from your suppliers
  • Information about payments
  • Proof of shipment, tracking information, and buyers’ information
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of identity

When does PayPal remove account limitations?
The time it takes to have account limitations lifted varies depending on the issue. The fastest way to keep the process moving is to submit the requested information as quickly as you can. Once you have, we’ll get back to you, usually in three business days or less, with next steps. We may request additional information.

Tip: You can view your account status at any time in the Resolution Center. If for any reason you can’t complete the necessary steps to remove the limitations, contact Customer Service directly for help.

Traveling abroad? How to avoid account limitations.
Traveling outside of the country may trigger a warning with your account and can lead to account limitations, but you may be able to skip the hassle.
  1. Before your trip, set up a Travel Profile in your account by logging in to your PayPal account from a trusted device, such as your home computer.
  2. Select Profile and Settings.
  3. Enter information about your trip, including the dates and location of travel. You’ll also be prompted to provide a phone number and email address PayPal can use to contact you while you’re traveling if necessary.
Tip: In order to successfully set up your Travel Profile, your trip must begin within 30 days and cannot last more than one year.

Your new Travel Profile will only be attached to your PayPal account and does not impact the PayPal Debit MasterCard. If you plan to use your card while traveling, give us a call at 888-221-1161 or send us an email one to two days prior to travel. We’ll add a note in your account so our Debit Card Security Department knows you’re on the road.

You can also access additional information by reviewing our FAQs at the bottom of this page. Additional information is also available in the User Agreement.

 
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.

Frequently asked questions.

If your account is limited, we will send you an email with the reason for that limitation. For your convenience, we always list the steps to remove the limitation in the Resolution Center under Steps to Remove Limitation.

If you received an email stating that your account is limited but don't see any steps in the Resolution Center, you may have received a fake email. Forward it to spoof@paypal.com and we’ll investigate it for you. After you send us the email, delete it from your inbox. If you clicked on any links or downloaded any attachments within the suspicious email or website, log in to your account and view your transactions. It’s also a good idea to change your password.

Reasons for Account Limitations

Your account could be limited in order to comply with regulatory requirements. For example, requesting certain products, like a debit card, can trigger federal and state laws, and we may limit your account while we work together to satisfy those requirements.

Likewise, if you’re not in compliance with our Acceptable Use Policy, you’ll find that your account has been limited. Selling banned items such as prescription drugs or guns is an example of a violation of the Acceptable Use Policy.

If we suspect someone could be using your account without your knowledge, we’ll limit it for your protection and look into the fraudulent activity. Usually, we ask you to complete one or more tasks to remove your account limitation.

We’ll also limit your account if your debit or credit card issuer alerts us that someone has used your card without your permission. Similarly, if your bank lets us know that there have been unauthorized transfers between your PayPal account and your bank account, your PayPal account will be limited.

Another reason why your account could be limited is seller performance indicating your account is high risk. For example, receiving an unusually high number of claims and chargebacks from your buyers is an indication of poor seller performance. If you start selling an entirely new type of product, such as a higher-cost item like jewelry, or if your typical sales volume increases rapidly, your account may be limited while we do a review.


How to improve your seller performance

Receiving an elevated number of claims and chargebacks from your buyers is an indication of poor seller performance, which can lead to account limitations. Following some simple guidelines can help you improve your performance and reduce the likelihood of limitations. Overall, communication and information are key.

You should:
  • Provide photos and detailed product descriptions.
  • Be upfront about policies such as shipping and returns.
  • Ship orders promptly and track shipments.
  • Respond quickly to any messages from buyers.
  • Work to amicably resolve any problems.
  • Ship to the address provided in the transaction details page.
  • Use quality shipping materials to prevent damage.
Following these guidelines will help reduce the number of chargebacks, disputes, and unhappy customers, which will in turn reduce the chances of account limitations.

How a limitation impacts your account

If your account is limited, you’ll most likely be unable to send or withdraw money, and you might find that you can’t accept payments or add money to the account. In most cases, we’ll email you or you’ll see an alert on your Account Overview before a limitation goes into effect. If you log in to PayPal and address this warning when prompted, you may be able to prevent the limitation.

If you still have questions about your account access, contact PayPal Customer Service.
Learn what a limitation is, why an account may be limited and what to do if your account is limited.

What is an Account Limitation?

Account Limitations prevent you from completing certain actions with your account, such as withdrawing, sending, or receiving money. These limitations are implemented when we see unusual or suspicious activity to help protect both PayPal buyers and sellers. Limitations also help us collect information necessary for keeping your account open, and they help ensure our customers are protected.

Let’s take a closer look at limitations by exploring what might prompt them and how they could affect you.

Reasons for Account Limitations

There are a number of reasons why your account could be limited. For instance, if we suspect someone could be using your account without your knowledge, we’ll limit it for your protection and look into the fraudulent activity.

We’ll also limit your account if your debit or credit card issuer alerts us that someone has used your card without your permission. Similarly, if your bank lets us know that there have been unauthorized transfers between your PayPal account and your bank account, your PayPal account will be limited.

In other cases, your account could be limited in order to comply with regulatory requirements. For example, requesting certain products, like a debit card, can trigger federal and state laws, and we may limit your account while we work together to satisfy those requirements.

Your account may also be limited due to PayPal policies we have in place to ensure we’re in compliance with your state’s regulations.

Likewise, if you’re not in compliance with our Acceptable Use Policy, you’ll find that your account has been limited. Selling banned items such as prescription drugs or guns is an example of a violation of the Acceptable Use Policy.

Another reason why your account could be limited is seller performance indicating your account is high risk. For example, receiving an unusually high number of claims and chargebacks from your buyers is an indication of poor seller performance. If you start selling an entirely new type of product, such as a higher-cost item like jewelry, or if your typical sales volume increases rapidly, your account may be limited while we do a review.

How to improve your seller performance

Receiving an elevated number of claims and chargebacks from your buyers is an indication of poor seller performance, which can lead to account limitations. Following some simple guidelines can help you improve your performance and reduce the likelihood of limitations. Overall, communication and information are key.

You should:

  • Provide photos and detailed product descriptions.
  • Be upfront about policies such as shipping and returns.
  • Ship orders promptly and track shipments.
  • Respond quickly to any messages from buyers.
  • Work to amicably resolve any problems.
  • Ship to the address provided in the transaction details page.
  • Use quality shipping materials to prevent damage.

Following these guidelines will help reduce the number of chargebacks, disputes, and unhappy customers, which will in turn reduce the chances of account limitations.

How a Limitation impacts your account

If your account is limited, you’ll most likely be unable to send or withdraw money, and you might find that you can’t accept payments or add money to the account. In most cases, we’ll email you or you’ll see an alert on your Account Overview before a limitation goes into effect. If you log in to PayPal and address this warning when prompted, you may be able to prevent the limitation.

What to do if your account is limited

The requirements for getting the limitation removed and your account restored are usually quite basic; you’ll just need to address the issue with the account, often by providing information to us. If you find that your account has been limited, the best source of information on what you’ll need to do is the email you receive informing you that your account is limited. Also, you should log in to your account for additional details about your situation and how to resolve the limitation. These are the best resources for information specific to your account. Once your account is under review, please watch for and respond to communications from PayPal.

Guard your information to help prevent Account Limitations

One way to protect yourself is to use caution when you’re online. For instance, be especially careful about clicking on links within emails. Fraudsters often develop official-looking emails with links that supposedly lead to a familiar website. They do this in an effort to get you to share personal information.

Reliable institutions won’t ask you to share sensitive personal information this way, so don’t open any attachments or click on any links. If you receive one of these spoof emails from someone pretending to be PayPal, report it by forwarding the email to spoof@paypal.com and we'll investigate it for you. After you send us the email, delete it from your inbox. If you happen to click on any links or open any attachments within the suspicious email or website, log in to your account and check your recent activity. If you see an unauthorized transaction, go to the Resolution Center to report it.

It’s also a good idea to change your password. Select strong passwords for online accounts (including your PayPal account). Passwords should be long and contain a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols. Never share your password with anyone and don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.

Protecting your computer with anti-malware software will also help protect you by keeping viruses and spyware from infecting your machine. Offline, you should shred any personal documents before throwing them away and keep items such as your Social Security card in a safe place (not your wallet) to prevent theft.

If you still have questions about your account access, log in to your PayPal account, click Contact at the bottom of any page, and then click Call us.

If you've completed the steps to remove your limitation in the Resolution Center and your account is still limited, it means that one of our specialists still needs to review your information. If we need more information, we'll email you. Once our review is complete, we'll notify you. Please note that our customer service specialist can't lift your limitation over the phone.

Please reconsider! If there's a chance that you might want to use PayPal in the future, it's a good idea to keep your account open. There's no fee to keep your account open. If you want to close your account because you don't recognize a transaction, please open an unauthorized transaction dispute.

Before you close your account, make sure to withdraw any money from your PayPal balance. You can transfer money electronically to your bank account or ask us to send a check. (There's a $1.50 charge to send a check.) If you have an email address on your account that you haven't confirmed, remove it from your account before you close it.

You can't close your account if there are limitations, unresolved issues, or a balance. Here's how to close your PayPal account:

  1. Click Profile.
  2. Click Profile and settings.
  3. Click My settings.
  4. Click Close account beside "Account type."

Here's what happens when you close your account:

  • Any unpaid money requests are automatically canceled.
  • You lose any unused redemption codes or coupons.