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Help Center > Payments/Payment methods > What is my backup payment method?

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What is my backup payment method?

When you don’t have enough money in your PayPal balance to pay for something, you can choose how you want to pay. When you choose your payment method, you can also choose a backup payment method.

If your payment can’t be completed using the payment method you choose, we’ll use your backup payment method.

To change the backup payment method for an Instant Transfer payment:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account.
  2. Click Send & Request.
  3. Click Pay for goods or services or Send money to friends or family.
  4. Enter the recipient's email address, the amount you're sending, and click Next.
  5. Click > in the "You're paying with" section.
  6. Choose the payment method you wish to pay with.

Instant Transfer is the default payment method. You can only select another payment method on a transaction-by-transaction basis. The backup payment method can't be changed once the transaction has been sent.

As of October 31, 2016, you will be able to select a preferred funding method for payments made through the regular checkout process as well as Goods and Services via Send Money. You will also have the option to select a different preferred method for online purchases vs. in-store purchases.

Important: It’s a good idea to make sure that you have enough money in your bank account before choosing it as your payment method. Many banks charge fees when you try to pay with your bank but don’t have enough money in your account. 

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