PayPal in South Africa: How to link PayPal to FNB

Withdrawing money from PayPal to South Africa is the bread and butter of many an online entrepreneur and online shopaholic. We are deep in the age of connectivity and if you have even a passing interest in making money online you are bound to cross paths with PayPal. Whether it’s for shopping or for accepting and making payments, PayPal allows you to transact globally without putting sensitive information like credit card details at risk.

Another service similar to PayPal that  allows you to draw your funds from abroad is Payoneer. It is equally good to PayPal and is not tied to a specific bank so if you are looking for an alternative to PayPal, you can create a Payoneer account to pay make payments to people abroad and for services like Amazon or Upwork that use Payoneer to pay out.

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PayPal in South Africa

While PayPal had been around for two decades, in South Africa we have only been able to use it to receive money in local accounts since 2010 thanks to FNB. Even so, it is still not widely used and if you get stuck in setting it up, information on how to set it up is sparse or out of date.

There is an official FNB Guide on how to get set up but it does not some of the critical steps in enough detail and can be confusing, especially if you aren’t technically inclined, so I wrote this guide to help with some of the points that I found confusing.

The guide is written in the same layout as the official guide, covering each of the steps in better greater to help with the parts that are. Otherwise, you can just watch the video below and follow step by step.

Step 1: Verified PayPal Account.

To create a PayPal account you need an email that your account will be based on along with a credit card or debit card. In order to link you PayPal account to FNB and draw money from it the PayPal Account has to be verified and for that you will need the debit or credit card. PayPal accepts several types of cards which are listed on the website. For South African cards you generally need a card that has a Visa or MasterCard logo on it.

When you have followed the steps for verification, PayPal will conduct a small transaction (under $2) on your card in order to authenticate your banking details. The transaction will subsequently be reversed and you will get your money back. This takes up to 24 hours to do so you can wait until the next day to resume. When the process completes you will get an email from PayPal confirming that your account has been verified.

Step 2: Create a FNB online profile

This step is required for general online transacting and is fairly simple. You will need to go to sign up on the FNB website (link). And create an online profile with your email address. You need to have KYC (Know Your Customer) documents on hand such as ID and Proof of Residence that you will email or fax to FNB. If you use the FNB app, you will also need your phone on hand to complete the 2-Factor Authentication (when your phone asks you to okay transactions done on another device).

You don’t need to be a FNB to customer to open a profile so if you bank with a different bank you can still go ahead and create a profile and link to the PayPal profile to an accepted card from any one of the other South African banks. The FNB online platform will allow you to link a non-FNB card and withdraw money from your PayPal account to Nedbank, Absa, Standard Bank and Capitec accounts.

How To Register For PayPal as Non FNB Customer

  1. Go to
  2. Click “”Register” at the top to the left of the username field
  3. Choose “Register for PayPal for non FNB Customers”

From there, just fill in the rest of your information and you will be able to create an FNB profile as a non FNB customer.

Step 3: Linking of PayPal to FNB Account

Now that you have everything else you need in the setup process you can link your account. This is where things can get confusing as some of the options on the FNB website can be difficult to find so I have added pictures showing the particular steps where I get stuck.

Logon to your FNB Profile

Select Forex. This part is one of the confusing parts because the official FNB guide appears to be out of date after a change in the interface. The guide says that you must select bank accounts and there are no options regarding PayPal services under accounts.

PayPal South AfricaSelect Menu option and then select Link to Paypal.

This is the step where I got stuck because I could not find the menu option which is placed in an unintuitive place for a step by step process. It is located in the orange tab to the left of the screen and opens up to a list of draw down options. When you click the orange tab the list of options should appear where you will find the “Link to PayPal” option.

PayPal in South Africa How To Link FNB

The linking consists of a three step process with

  1. Fill in the information that pertains to the details of your FNB and PayPal Account
  2. Fill or confirmation of your personal details of you are an existing FNB Customer.
  3. Authorizing the linking of the account from PayPal. This step will link out of FNB to your PayPal account and need you to sign in to do the authorization.

Follow the instructions and fill in all the necessary information to link your account. As soon as it is linked you will receive email confirmation.

Sometimes this option does not show and if it does not it might be because you have not granted FNB access to your PayPal balance.
To give FNB the access you can choose the option which will link out of FNB and require you to sign to your PayPal account and allow access to your balance.

Step 4: Transact with your PayPal

Congratulations! You have now linked your PayPal to FNB and can now top up your PayPal account in order to pay shop at global marketplaces such as Amazon or to pay people, as well as receive payments from abroad and withdraw the money from PayPal to your South African bank account.

Things to keep in mind

  • Drawing money from PayPal to FNB takes 3 to 6 business days to process. From my experience the average is closer to the full 6 days so if you draw money from your PayPal account it is safest to expect to get it in your account the following week.
  • Money in your PayPal account must be withdrawn within 30 days being deposited into the PayPal account.
  • FNB prescribes that you cannot use money paid to you into your PayPal account to conduct transactions other than withdrawals. This means that you cannot use money paid into your PayPal account to shop with or pay other people, you can only withdraw it. If you want to pay somebody through PayPal or to pay for online shopping using PayPal you have to top up your PayPal account with money that is already in your bank account.
  • Remember to consider the tax liability and ensure compliance with regard to all the money you receive through PayPal. FNB is obligated to report all transactions from PayPal to South Africa to SARS so if you are above the tax threshold you should ensure compliance. Freelancers and business people should already but it is something that is easy to forget when new to global transacting.

44 thoughts on “PayPal in South Africa: How to link PayPal to FNB”

    • Hi Bradley. It sounds to me like you haven’t linked card to your PayPal account yet. You have to have a VISA or MasterCard debit card or credit card that is linked to your PayPal account.

      Login to your PayPal account and in the top menu, click on “Wallet”. After that, click on “Link a Credit Card”, near the top left corner of the white part of the screen. From there, the rest of the process is covered in this article from Step 1. Let me know if that solves your problem.

  1. Hi.The interface has changed,there isn’t an option to click on the forex link.I am not sure how to get to the paypal linking page.Your help would be appreciated.

    • Hello Fayzaan,

      Are you using a computer or a smartphone? I just logged in now and I didn’t see any major change in the interface. It looks the same as before and I have reached the linking step as is laid out in the steps above. From the home menu there is a Forex icon (3rd from the right). After you click that, click on PayPal services. If you want to see want to see the process visually, you can watch the video linked above.

      No matter which step you are on, you can just click on Menu (top left corner) and that should give you a list of icons that includes Forex.

      Let me know if that solves your problem.

    • Hello Ayo,

      What does the full message say. What you need to do depends on why the linking was declined. Is it on the FNB side or on the PayPal side?

      A common problem for being declined is when the card that you use is not accepted for PayPal. This usually happens on the PayPal website. Thirst thing you can check is if your card has the VISA or MasterCard logo on it. If it does, you will have to check with your bank if the card can be used for PayPal.

  2. Hi

    I followed the steps, but it then asks me for a NON Fnb account, but I am with FNB and the card that I have on Paypal is an FNB card. Does not make sense.

    • Hi Debra,

      Did you only create an FNB online profile now when trying to link or did you have it before? When you create account it gives two options, one for FNB customers and the other for Non-FNB customers.
      If you only created it now, perhaps you created the profile as a non FNB customer?

  3. Hi Greg, Thank you so much for this detailed guide. I wanted to find out, how I go about topping up and withdrawing from my PayPal account? I link to my PayPal profile, but I got a message saying that my account is not verified. I logged back into my PayPal account and indeed where my card is, it says in red “unverified” How can I fix this? and also from this step, how can I then top up and withdraw from my PayPal.

    • Hi Mmabatho. Have you followed all the steps for linking your card? And did PayPal debit a small amount and then reverse the transaction?

      If you have done those steps that you just need to wait for the verification to be completed. It takes about a day. You will then get a notification, or you can check tomorrow evening or on Tuesday if you don’t get a notification.

  4. Hi, I’ve been trying to link my fnb account for ever now, I managed to link my Pay pal profile to my fnb account, but it isnt reflecting the correct balance, furthermore, Paypal wont let me link my card, I’m using a premiere cheque card, the only field I’m struggling wit is the security code field, I’m not sure what it wants, i have entered everything but it still rejects it. Any help will be appreciated, Thanks

    • Hi Joel.
      Linking FNB to PayPal just allows you to withdraw from PayPal to FNB. You will not see your PayPal account from the FNB side or vice versa.
      The security code is the last 3 digits on the back of the card (the side with the magnetic tape). Is that the one that you have been entering?
      One might easily interpret security code as meaning the pin code for their card.

  5. Hello Greg, I tried to verify if a ‘For Me’ or ‘Business’ FNB Profile will be required if doing Freelance work and wanting to recieve funds into Paypal account? The FNB Consultant asked if I had a personal cheque account or a business cheque account as this would then determine which FNB Profile to set up. Is this correct, since this I went back to see and Paypal now offers an account specific for Freelancers on the Business section. Also, does it need to then be a business cheque account before setting up an Freelance Paypal Account or can one simply do so with a personal cheque account? Thirdly, with FNB is it a ‘For Me’ or “Business’ FNB Profile that would work best with the Freelance Paypal account? Rather, what would you then advise one needs to set up a Freelance Paypal and with which FNB Profile and with which Bank Account type? Could some one provide step-by-step guides for different scenarios? Thank you.

    • Hi Raymond,

      I will try my best to answer your question although I have no affiliation with PayPal or FNB

      1) Whether you set up a personal account or a business account on the FNB side depends on whether you have set up a business banking account for your freelancing. In the long run, this is the recommended route as it will be less admin for you to do your financials at the end of the year, and it is also good practice to keep your personal and business transaction separate.

      2) The difference you get with a business PayPal account (PayPal side) is that you get more features like allowing multiple people (employees) limited access to your account and invoicing through PayPal. From a withdrawing only perspective, there is no substantial difference. You can make your withdrawals with a personal PayPal account if that’s all you are using it for. That’s what I was doing when I started out. PayPal cannot tell whether your card is from a business account or personal. All it sees is VISA.

      3) If you are not an FNB customer and are doing this for your freelancing, choose Business. As an FNB customer, I never got that option. When I opened by business account, it was automatically added to the same profile that I created for my personal account so I don’t think it makes a difference. But since it is asking you, choose what you are using it for.

      I hope that answers your questions to a fair degree.

  6. Hi Greg men I can see you did help a lot off people with this ,I also need help men to link my pay pal to f n b I did try but keep saying to me there error occur here it is (E_694)01id Exist ,check Existing prof please help , thanks.

    • Good day, I already have a PayPal and a FNB account but I can’t link my accounts. FNB is even charging me R38 for the failed attempts to link my accounts.
      May I please ask for some assistance. I’ve already tried all those steps mentioned above but I can’t link my accounts and I want to access the money I have on my PayPal account.

  7. Hello

    I am trying to link my FNB and Paypal, when i click on grant permission, another window pops up, and i click grant permission. then the window closes and i get an Error code: 8114

    • I don’t recall there being a step that says “Grant Permission”. Follow the embedded video above closely as that shows each and every step.

      • I am getting the same Error code: 8114 also in “Grant Permission”. for fnb to view Balance How can i send u a screen shot

        • Is your FNB account linked to PayPal? FNB doesn’t have to view your PayPal balance. This only comes into use when you want FNB to convert your PayPal balance into a ZAR value so that you see the rand value of how much you can withdraw. But it’s not necessary for you to withdraw your money.

        • Hello!

          I’m getting the same Error: 8114 when I “Grant Permission” for linking my PayPal to my FNB. Why so and how can I fix that?

          • On which step is this? Check the video linked above and let me know the timestamp for where you get this error and I’ll try to figure out where you’re going wrong.

          • Hi,

            This is on the final step after you are redirected from paypal. No one seems to know how to fix this error yet so many people have this issue.


          • Excuse the late response and thanks for clarifying. Looks like its an internal error with FNB. I think going to FNB directly might be the solution.

  8. Hi
    I don’t have a FNB bank account. I created a online banking profile by filling in the form, at the end it said I have to go to my banking profile and upload my documents. Where exactly do I upload mu documents?

  9. Hi,

    Note that i have called FNB and they have responded:

    There is an error on the balance preview “Grant permissions button”, they are fully aware of it and advise that if you know your pay-pal balance you can withdraw without using this feature.


  10. Hi Greg

    I need to verify and link my fnb card but its asking for a sort code and only a 6 digist account number? I figured out the sort code is the branch code but my FNB number is not 6 digits its 11 digits

  11. Hi Greg ,

    I am a non FNB client. i have created an online profile with FNB. How can i pay funds from my Paypal to my Standard bank account via my FNB online priofile .

  12. Hi Greg, thanks for all you effort. I seem to have had good success with all the steps. I’m at the stage where I can see my PayPal balance in the FNB profile. My Capitec debit card is also showing on Paypal and I can buy stuff online using Paypal and the money is automatically taken from my Capitec account. So far so good. So currently when I log into the FNB portal (I’m not a FNB client, just created the FNB Profile as was sugested), it shows my Paypal Balance and next to where the linked Capitec bank account number is, in brackets it now shows Failed verification….do you have any idea what this could be about – it would seem that FNB can not verify my Capitec account? Thanks in advance 😉

  13. Uuuhm, ok, so it turns out I accidentaly typed in my card number and not my account number – OOPS … so now it is showing (Verification pending) … it took about 1 hour before, so lets hold thumbs…just a quick question…on my PayPal account ONLY my Capitec card is displayed, there is no information about FNB displaying on there, is this correct?

    • Excuse the very late reply Alex. I’m guessing you should be fine by now. PayPal is verified with your bank card so only the Capitec card would be displayed.


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