Paypal eChecks Explained

Updated on April 22, 2016

What is Paypal?

Paypal is an online payment system which allows you to pay for goods and services online without disclosing your bank/credit card details to the merchant. It is effectively an online bank account which uses your email address instead of a bank account number. When you pay for an item with your bank account or credit card via Paypal the funds go from your account through paypal to the merchants Paypal account. The merchants/sellers funds received into their Paypal account can then be transferred into their normal bank account.

Most eBay sellers and an increasing number of major online retailers accept paypal. It is the most well know and trusted online payment method available.

One in three online shoppers in the USA has a paypal account. It was purchased by eBay and is used for the majority of eBay payments, it is widely believed that soon Paypal will be the only form of accepted payment for eBay items.

The main advantage for merchants & sellers is that they can accept credit cards online instantly without the high fees and credit checks associated with most Merchant accounts.


What is a paypal eCheck and why are they used?

Paypal eChecks are used when the buyer doesn't have a credit card or alternate funding source attached to their PayPal account.

An eCheck works like a normal paper check. When the buyer sends payment the funds are transferred from the buyers bank account into the sellers Paypal account. Paypal says you should expect the echeck to clear in 3-4 working days. The funds are not available to the seller until cleared.

Example of eCheck payment in sellers account -

Payment Type: eCheck
This eCheck payment will be credited to your PayPal balance once the funds have cleared from the sender's account. This usually takes three to five working days so please do not post any items until the funds have cleared. (Estimated completion date: 29 Jan. 2014)


Receiving Paypal eChecks

Information for Sellers

When you receive an eCheck Paypal will send an email and when the eCheck has cleared.

You should expect the eCheck to clear in 3-4 working days. The funds are not available until it has cleared.

Log into the payment page in paypal and it will tell you the expected clearing date & when it has cleared. The payment will show as 'uncleared' or 'Payment Pending'

eChecks can BOUNCE like normal checks!

I have found a lot of eChecks do bounce so don't send the item until it has cleared. I would maybe send a message to the buyer letting them know and give them the expected clearing date.

When you receive an eCheck for an eBay item buyers are often unaware they have sent the payment as an echeque so will just think you are being slow dispatching their item. This can result in Negative feedback. It is always best to send the buyer a message with expected clearing date.

Sending Paypal eChecks

Information for Buyers

A Paypal payment will be sent as an eCheck you don't have a a credit card or alternate funding source attached to your PayPal account.

Paypal eChecks can take up to 7 days to clear and are not instant.

To avoid sending an echeque and having to wait longer for your items make sure you have enough funds in your paypal account to cover the cost of the item and postage costs. Make sure you also have a credit or debit card registered to your paypal account as a source of funding. Make sure you update the card information if you receive a new card (issue number, expiry date will have changed)

Please remember a Seller cannot send items to a buyer until an echeque has cleared.

A buyer can cancel an echeque anytime before it clears and then fund their paypal account or register a credit card and then make payment, it should then be instant.

You can cancel the echeque and send the seller payment via another faster method which will be quicker than waiting for the eCheck to clear. Please always contact the seller if you are planning on cancelling a eCheck.

If you want to send a payment as an eCheck rather than instant payment follow these steps:

1.Log in to your PayPal account.
2.Click the Send Money tab.
3.Enter the required information.
4.Click Continue.
5.Click the Change link.
6.Select the eCheck radio button.
7.Click Continue.
8.Review the information and click Send Money to complete the transaction

Avoid echecks & Get Paid Instantly Anywhere

Paypal is one of the largest and most well known online card payment processing systems. Anyone can open a Paypal account for free and start accepting credit and debit card payments. The main advantage of Paypal is that you don't need a conventional merchant account with a monthly fee and minimum 12 month contact.

It is ideal for people who just want to sell a few personal items or run a massive online business, accepting payments with a credit or debit card.

The only disadvantage was that you could only accept payments online. Paypal has now introduced the 'Paypal Here' card reader and smartphone app which lets you accept card payments anywhere.

A small device which can read cards fits on to a smarthphone and can be used to take payments. It is ideal for taking phone or email orders or any face to face businesses like market stalls, fairs, jumble sales or mobile food and drink stalls.

Paypal eChecks

Have You Ever Received an eCheck

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2014 SpaceShanty


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    • SpaceShanty profile imageAUTHOR


      2 months ago from United Kingdom

      Sorry to hear this happened to you. I recommend contacting your bank/CC provider that was attached to the Paypal account, they might be able to offer more help than Paypal. Good luck!

    • profile image 

      2 months ago

      Paypal sucks. Someone got ahold of my account, charged a ton of money on a cc and debit card I had stored in there. They wiped out my checking account and luckily the cc dismissed the charges, i think I git most shipments stopped because ebay told me my shipment was on its way. Now i feel like a sitting duck. Paypal investigated then cane back and said there was no evidence it wasn't me. Unbelievable.

    • profile image

      Michelle Clemons 

      3 months ago

      I sent money to my husband PayPal on dec 12th it said a completion date of dec 17 well now there saying the 20th PayPal sucks the payment cleared at the bank last week we had major business to do for a home n were going to miss out Because of this

    • profile image

      melissa gonzaga 

      7 months ago

      hello paypal my money was sent last aug 31 2019 but until now is pending its almost 4days wtf! i need my money emergency so can you please clear it my money coz i need it its not your money thats mine!!!

    • SpaceShanty profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      Dark rev 

      5 years ago

      Nice article

    • profile image

      5 years ago

      @Alexandra Its probably the merchant requesting that because they want the money instantly so they can send your item. If they wait 5 days for the echeck to clear, not only is it confusing, but after 5 days waiting, then 5 days for shipping, most people leave a negative review thinking the ususal shipping times apply and the item sat around before shipping..

    • SpaceShanty profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Alexandra,

      I have not come across this situation before.

      Is it for a high value item?

      I know that each Paypal account will have a send/receive limit and you may be close to that limit.

      Removing the limit is simple, just search the PP help pages for 'remove limits' and follow the instructions.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      So what do you do when you have a positive balance in your PP account AND a verified bank account linked to your PP account and yet a merchant STILL insists you link a credit card to your PP account as well before they will accept payment from you? Is it the merchant insisting on this or PayPal itself? If the latter, then WHY?

    • SpaceShanty profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for your comment. Yes Bubblews will always send you a Paypal echeck, I think this is because the advertisers pay the money in to Bubblews bank account and then they do a bank transfer via Paypal. This is why you have to wait a few days to get your money from them.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      I receive echecks from Bubblews, so this was fascinating to know how it works, thanks! voted up and shared! nell

    • cecileportilla profile image

      Cecile Portilla 

      6 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      This is a cool hub. Did not know that you could send pay pal as echeck


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