PayPal’s Pay by Check

PayPal is a convenient hub from which you can receive, use, and transfer money. PayPal works much like a checking account and thanks to a free app the company developed for iOS and Android users it is now possible to deposit business and personal checks using the camera on a smartphone or tablet. This makes PayPal more convenient and versatile than ever before.

If you don’t have a smartphone or tablet you cannot make payments by check with PayPal. In this case, you can transfer funds directly from a bank account to your PayPal account and pay using your PayPal balance.

Rules and Regulations

A check deposited into a PayPal account can only be made out to the person who owns the account. Third-party checks are not accepted, meaning you cannot send a check made out to you to another PayPal person or entity. PayPal accepts personal and business checks from all banks as long as they are not made out to “cash.”

PayPal does not accept traveler’s checks, cashier’s checks or money orders.

PayPal allows up to $1,000 in checks to be captured in a single day but caps each account holder at $3,000 in checks per month.

Set up a PayPal account

1. Go to and set up an account. It’s free and it’s secure.

2. Visit PayPal’s website [], the Apple App Store, or the Google App store and download the PayPal app. Follow the prompts to finish the installation. Once this process is completed, you may immediately begin depositing checks as long as you have an active PayPal account (step 1 above).

Capturing the Check

1. Launch the PayPal app on your device.

2. Click on the button at the bottom of the screen that says More

3. Select “Cash a check” and accept the service terms and conditions.

4. Fill out your date of birth, SSN and phone number of your cell phone.

If you are uncomfortable providing your SSN, STOP. Instead, set up a PayPal account using direct bank transfers from your bank. You don’t need to provide your SSN for that. You will need money transferred into your PayPal account to pay us with.

4. Select “capture new check” and make sure the camera on your device is ready. Your device may ask to link your device’s camera to the app, click yes.

5. You will need to take pictures of both the front and back of the check. Make sure the check is signed before you do this and complete the process for one check before starting it for another. Use good lighting during both captures and no other objects should be in the frame. As long as the picture is crisp, the check is not cut off in the frame, and all writing is clearly visible, it should be accepted.

Finishing the Process

After taking pictures of the check, you will be prompted to manually enter the amount for which it was issued. After doing so, click “process check” and you are finished. Please be aware that it takes between five and six business days for PayPal to process the check and verify it is authentic. PayPal recommends that you keep the physical check for up to 15 business days. Once the money is available in your account, destroy or void the check.