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What's the difference between friends and family or goods and services payments?

When you send money, we ask you to choose a payment type. You can send money as:

  • a personal payment to friends and family (“Sending to a friend”)
  • a purchase for goods and services (“Paying for an item or service”)

Personal Payments

Choose “Sending to a friend” for the everyday exchange of money between you and your friends and family. You can use personal payments when you send money as a gift, split a lunch bill, pay your share of living expenses, or something similar.  

Personal payments aren't covered by PayPal Purchase Protection.


You can make a personal payment to anyone in the US for free if you use your bank account or PayPal Balance. If you use a debit or credit card, there will be a small charge for your payment.

Go to our Fees page for more information.

Note: We're currently unable to allow personal payments to or from India.

Purchases for Goods and Services

Choose “Paying for an item or service” when buying goods or services. You can use this type of payment when you pay for an item you won in an auction, buy merchandise online, download a digital item, or something similar.

We cover eligible goods and services payments under PayPal Purchase Protection.


When you make this type of payment, the seller pays a small fee to receive your money. Go to our Fees page for more information.

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