PayPal – Globally Recognised WooCommerce Compatible Payment Gateway

PayPal is one of the most globally recognised payment gateway. Supported in over 200 countries around the world and over 180 million active users, PayPal offers merchants and buyers a simple solution for transferring funds electronically and transacting online.

PayPal is known for its high transactional expenses, combined with the 1.5% fee FNB adds for withdrawal, you do end up paying quite heavily for the use of their services.

An FNB account is the best and most cost effective option when it comes to linking an account to withdraw funds from PayPal. It is possible to do this with an account with one of the other SA banks but it can be complicated and costly to do so.

There are two types of accounts offered by PayPal:

  1. Personal
  2. Business

In order to utilize PayPal through WooCommerce a PayPal business account is required. Funds can be withdrawn into a linked account or card but be aware that there are withdrawal fees involved as well as currency conversion fees.

PayPal Fees

PayPal does not charge a signup or monthly fee, but make up with it with their hefty transactional and withdrawl fees:

  • PayPal charges between 2.4% and 3.4% + USD 0.30 per transaction
  • PayPal currency conversions fees may apply at 2.5% above the prevailing exchange rate
  • FNB quotes a ZAR/USD exchange rate for every withdrawal or top up
  • FNB charges 1.5% of the quoted amount in ZAR per withdrawal or top up

Recurring Billing

Recurring payments are supported for business and premium accounts with the PayPal Standard Extension, allowing merchants to accept repeat credit card and bank payments for subscription services.

Supported plugin functionality

WooCommerce Payment tokens

PayPal supports WooCommerce payment tokens so that buyers can select to store their payment method for a faster check out in the future.

Woocommerce Subscriptions

The WooCommerce subscriptions extension allows for additional functionality to be added to recurring and subscription type payments.

Mobile Payments

PayPal makes mobile payments a breeze. Whether you are paying through the PayPal App or selecting PayPal at checkout, mobile payments are simple and fast.  PayPals mobile payment pages are fully responsive and can be customized with your businesses branding.

Supported Countries

PayPal is supported in over 200 countries and allows merchants to receive international payments into their PayPal account. A full list of supported countries is available here.

Supported Currencies, Banks & Payment Methods


FNB is the recommended bank when it comes to linking accounts to PayPal as they have an existing relationship and partnership in South Africa.  Its is possible to link accounts from other SA banks to PayPal but an FNB online banking profile is still required.


PayPal supports payments in 25 currencies. View the full list of supported currencies and codes here.

Payment methods

Send Money Online

PayPal allows you not only to make payments for online purchase but also enables you to send money to almost anyone with an email address. Paypal users simply enter the recipient’s email address, select the amount they want to pay and hit send.

Credit and Debit Card Payments

Buyers can store multiple card details from which they can easily transact during online checkout. Business and Premium account holders are able to receive payments via credit and debit card through PayPal.

Online Invoicing

This option allows for receipt of payment via online invoice. Sellers can email customers a customized invoice and receive payment. No integration is required for this option and sellers can receive payment without a website.


Buyers can use funds stored in their PayPal account to pay directly for goods and services.


There are no transaction limits imposed by PayPal.


Sandbox Testing

In order to test PayPal in sandbox mode you need a separate sandbox account provided by PayPal. Once enabled you can process test transactions and ensure that all your settings and configuration is correct with any before switching back to live transactions.


PayPal is a great payment option to add to your WooCommerce store and most of the settings can be managed from the WooCommerce dashboard. It is relatively easy to setup and configure and allows you to start receiving payments from your customers through this established and familiar platform.
Costs need to be carefully considered as it is the most expensive gateway for South African merchants, but if offered along with a selection of other payment options it makes selling online and reaching a wider customer base that much easier.

Additional Options

We have created a complete summary of the best Woocommerce Payment Gateways available in South Africa. If you haven’t yet found what your looking for, you may just find it here.