Though it’s long been possible to transfer money into a PayPal account using an SA credit card, for the past 18 months the only way SA users of the payment service could retrieve funds from it was via a linked First National Bank (FNB) account. Now users of any SA bank can withdraw from PayPal, too.
The ability to withdraw from a PayPal account from a bank other than FNB is available for both commercial and individual customers. To do so, interested parties need to open an FNB online profile, link this to the receiving bank account, and can then make withdrawals from PayPal.
Chris Savides, GM for FNB’s complementary online services, says the bank has enjoyed a big uptake of the service since launching it in March 2010. However, the need to have an account with FNB was a barrier for some customers, particularly businesses, he explains.
Some companies were opening FNB accounts purely for PayPal and it “seemed logical to remove the barriers for cross-border e-commerce”.
Users will need to supply FNB with documentation, which can be faxed or e-mailed. “Once we’ve got your [this]information, we verify it and then you can link your PayPal to your bank account,” Savides explains. FNB then confirms with the other bank that the person’s banking and PayPal details correspond.
The new arrangement pertains to withdrawals exclusively. Those looking to do person-to-person PayPal payments will still require a linked FNB account.
There is no cost to register for the FNB online account. Standard PayPal transaction fees apply to all transactions and FNB charges 1,5% on transactions, which is the same for both FNB customers using PayPal and users of other banks.
Savides says this will remove “a major barrier to entry” for businesses looking to explore global e-commerce and says businesses “have to consider it” because there are over 100m active PayPal users worldwide.
Locally, he says FNB has seen businesses from “taxidermists to tour operators” using the platform, which is growing 8% month on month. There are more than 500 000 registered PayPal users in SA. — Craig Wilson, TechCentral
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