[If you’re looking for PayPal customer support, the number is 073-713-7777 and is open 9am to 6pm Sunday through Thursday.]
Still confused by how to use PayPal in Israel? You’re not alone. No matter how many times we write it up and try to understand all the ins and outs, and jump for joy over new developments, we still have more questions. Ever since PayPal started paying attention to Israeli online payments, we’ve eagerly been following the developments along the way, and have even become so PayPal obsessed that we’re now considered PayPal experts.
But of course we’re obsessed since being able to easily accept and send online payments is crucial to any kind of online commercial activity. If you’re driving traffic to your ecommerce site with SEO (search engine optimization) and/or social media marketing, you need to see measurable results and often that includes making sales. The ability to use PayPal or other online gateways without having to sell our unborn children (someone on twitter actually made that comparison) can make all of that possible.
Luckily, Nissim Ohayon, Sr. Business Development Manager at PayPal Israel came to Jerusalem Web Professionals last night to try to calm our anxiety.
Here were the major questions and answers from the evening
- Can you withdraw US dollars in Israel?
No, you can only withdraw money in the currency of the country you’re in. In Israel, you can withdraw shekels. In the US, you can withdraw dollars.
- Can I use a local Israeli credit card like Visa Cal or Isracard to RECEIVE money?
No, but now it’s not really an issue since you can withdraw funds to your Israeli bank account.
- Can you use a local Israeli credit card to SEND money?
No, only PayPal or international credit cards at this point. No plans yet to make this available.
- How can I fill up my PayPal account with money?
Right now, the only way to fill up your account is through getting paid by someone else. No plans announced yet for when you can transfer funds from your bank account to your paypal account.
- There are 3 types of PayPal accounts – Personal, Premier, and Business. What’s the difference?
Personal: You can receive payments via PayPal only.
Premier: You can accept credit cards. For individuals who buy and sell online.
Business: You can accept credit cards. For merchants who buy and sell online.
- What are the fees associated with the Merchant (Business or Premier) accounts?
You can look at the PayPal Israel site to see a list of transaction fees.
- Are there any fees associated with the Personal account?
PayPal to PayPal payments are free. However, let’s look at the following example. Let’s say you have a personal account and someone is supposed to pay you $10. If their account has $0, the money will come from their bank account or credit card. If it comes from their credit card, you pay 5.4% fee to PayPal.
- Can you set up a PayPal Debit Card in Israel?
Not at the present time.
- Are there any plans for Hebrew integration, Hebrew buttons, etc.?
Not at the present time.
Handy Israel-Specific Send, Receive, Withdraw VISUAL
For Web Developers
Nissim discussed X.com, a developer network community for developers looking to extend PayPal’s usage with new applications.
Alternatives to PayPal in Israel for accepting local credit cards
Since PayPal doesn’t accept local Israeli credit cards, Tranzila came up as the only alternative to PayPal to accept local Israeli credit cards. The problem for small businesses in Israel is that Tranzilla charges a monthly fee which is not cost effective for minimal monthly transactions.
In short, Nissim reminded me what a great option PayPal is for safely accepting international payments. He also emphasized what a huge marketplace PayPal is with over 200 million users and $3Billion in play every 2 weeks.
It was also so nice to see a real person behind the faceless company come to Jerusalem to explain the nitty gritty and answer our zillions of questions.
Unfortunately, PayPal Israel doesn’t look like it will be in Hebrew or accept local Israeli credit cards any time soon.
For more questions, you can follow Nissim on Twitter, or ask questions here in the comments. He’s been very responsive here on our other posts about PayPal.
More on using PayPal in Israel: