For many expats, an easy and quick way to send and request money online is by using PayPal. Their service allows the transfer money (internationally, if needed) to family, friends, online shops, and auction sites like eBay.
However, from this December, PayPal is to introduce an annual £9 ‘inactivity’ fee for anyone whose account has been dormant for at least a year, but still has some money left in it.
PayPal considers the account to be inactive if the user has not sent, received or withdrawn money, or logged in for a year or more. Importantly, that means users can avoid the fee simply by logging in.
The move is aimed at those who might have signed up to PayPal years ago – because they wanted to try out eBay or similar – but soon gave up.
The fee won’t be applied to those who have a zero balance, where there is a credit or debit card linked to the account. PayPal will only take the fee from the balance and not from a linked card or a bank account.
The company says it will warn inactive customers in advance when the fee is set to be charged. But check your email address and phone numbers are the same as when you opened the account.
And as usual, be aware of scammers trying to use this as a way to gain login information. Customers unsure of an email warning them about the new fee are advised not to click on the link. Open a new page, and sign in separately.
PayPal says customers who don’t have money in their PayPal accounts won’t be charged, no matter how long their accounts have sat dormant.