Being a layman when it comes to most technical things, there are certain things that I always seem to discover late and PayPal is one of those. I had always heard it being bandied around but never really took the time to figure out what it was about.

Until, a couple of months back, I was chatting to a potential client in the US who needed some writing work done. I had spent time selling them my services and convincing them that I am best person to do their writing. Everything was going relatively well until we got to payment. ‘What is your PayPal account’ was the question that had me stumped.

I do what I normally do in this situation. Ask people on Twitter. Google. Send up smoke signals. I discover, to my dismay, that while I can open an account and put money into it, I can’t get my money out and into my bank account. Yes, it’s cool to buy online but I need the cash. Had a wonderful rant and moved on.


Today PayPal was launched in South Africa as a partnership with FNB where you can both Top Up to and Withdraw funds from your PayPal account. Two years in the making, FNB has an exclusive deal so one does need an FNB account, which I don’t but will have soon. This is a significant development for small and medium-sized businesses who would like to truly expand into the world beyond our borders.


You can basically:

  • Use your PayPal account to make and receive payments for goods and services online
  • Shop online at merchants in 67 countries and regions
  • Buy from hundreds of online stores
  • Receive payments from buyers in 190 countries and regions

There are restrictions and ramifications from a Reserve Bank perspective but it is a step in the right direction. How useful it will be will be determined by how we use it to create additional revenue streams and business platforms. Don’t know when we will see it in the rest of the continent but it is a start.

For FNB PayPal Podcast and more information on PayPal in SA, check out the info site: FNB / PayPal.

1 Comment

  1. CapetownHolidays

    This is great news for small businesses; especially those who are in the tourism accommodation business who wish to market their services and take bookings from overseas visitors to South Africa.
    I have long been a highly satisfied user of Paypal ( because I had an overseas credit card) and have used it to remit money to family overseas; to accept bookings from overseas guests to our self catering accommodation. and to purchase a wide variety of spare parts for my classic motor cars from Ebay and pay for the stuff by Paypal.
    The restrictions on the use of PayPal by the reserve bank are generally the same as those any credit card.

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