Can You Cash a Check Using Paypal?

FT Contributor
A hand holding up a smartphone, displaying the PayPal app.

Paypal is one of the online options for cashing a check. If you follow the correct steps, you can make an online deposit directly into your Paypal account. To do this, you use the Cash a Check feature on the Paypal mobile app. Technically, when you deposit a check with the app, you are not “cashing” it because you do not receive cash directly.

After Paypal processes the deposit, you have several options. You can use the money in Paypal, get cash from an ATM, make a purchase with your Paypal debit card, or transfer the balance to your bank checking account. If you choose the fee-free option for moving the money to a linked bank account, the process can take up to one day. You can pay a fee, usually 1% of the total transaction, maxing out at $10, for an instant transfer.

There are a couple of basic rules for an online check deposit using Paypal. You need to endorse your check first. Also, the check needs to be made out to you. Finally, the funds need to come from a bank inside the United States (including U.S. territories).

You need to understand how to cash the check, Paypal’s requirements, and the fees associated with using this service.

Table of Contents

What Types of Checks Can I Cash Using Paypal’s App?

Paypal accepts most standard checks. There are some limitations, however. The minimum deposit amount is $5, and the maximum is $2,500.

Checks Paypal Accepts

  • Payroll checks. Paypal accepts both handwritten payroll checks and printed checks with a pre-printed signature.
  • Government checks. You can deposit checks from tax returns or other payments issued by a government agency.
  • Personal checks. You can deposit personal checks, including two-party personal checks.
  • Insurance checks. Payments from an insurance settlement or insurance company.
  • Cashier’s checks and money orders. With these options, you draw money directly from the issuing bank, not from an individual account.

Checks Not Accepted on Paypal

  • Conditional endorsement checks.
  • Credit card checks.
  • Gift certificates.
  • Traveler’s checks.
  • Checks that draw from a bank outside the United States and U.S. territories.

How to Cash a Check on Paypal’s Mobile App

You need to follow the right steps to cash a check on Paypal.

  • Download the Paypal mobile app if you haven’t already. You can get this app for Android at the Google Play store and for iOS from Apple.
  • Open the Paypal app and sign in to your account.
  • Tap More at the bottom of the home screen.
  • When the next screen opens, you select Cash Checks.
  • At this point, you will need to set up a Paypal Cash Plus account if you do not already have one. You can also set up this account on your laptop or desktop before logging into the mobile app.
  • The deposit process involves taking a picture of each side of your check. All relevant information must be visible in the image and all of the check must be inside the frame. The app will let you know if the image is acceptable or prompt you to retake the picture.
  • Once you take an acceptable picture, you will need to confirm the amount of the check.
  • You then need to wait for approval. Approval usually takes a few seconds, but, occasionally, you need to wait for three to five minutes. If Paypal needs to verify information on the check, the process can take an hour, though Paypal says that waiting this long is rare.
  • After you receive approval, you can write VOID on your check so that no one else can use it. You should not write VOID until prompted to do so.

Paypal Mobile Check Deposit Fees

You do not need to pay any fees to use Paypal’s check cashing service. However, you need to wait for your money if you wish to avoid extra charges.

If you wait for 10 days, and the check does not bounce, you can get your money without incurring any fees. The money goes into your Paypal Cash Plus account. If you wish to transfer the money to a bank account, you have to wait an additional day for the transfer to take place. If you want to transfer instantly from Paypal to your bank, there is an additional fee.

To get your money right after approval, you need to pay:

  • 1% of the total amount for government or payroll checks with a pre-printed signature.
  • 5% of the total amount for all other checks.

The minimum fee for all checks is $5. If the check bounces or the transaction is not completed for any reason, you do not have to pay this fee.

The Paypal Cash a Check service can help you conveniently deposit checks online. However, if you wish to avoid fees, you cannot access your money right away.

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