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Supercharging Your PayPal Business Account: how to minimise your FX cost

3 minutes
FinanceBusiness tips
In this article

PayPal has been one of the giants of the online payment ecosystem for as long as most of us can remember, and it’s part and parcel of many buying experiences. 

But despite its ease of use, as a merchant, you’ve no doubt noticed that PayPal’s fees can quickly eat into your margins. And if you’re collecting payments from international customers, you can end up getting slugged with a combined fee of up to 6.6%. It doesn’t sound like much on paper, but most e-commerce retailers only have profit margins of 10-20% so this is could be almost a third of your margin. 

Airwallex has a solution that lets you avoid unnecessary FX fees so you can keep more of your hard-earned profits or re-invest it more to grow your business. By connecting an Airwallex Global Account to your PayPal account, you can avoid certain charges and bring your total fee down by over 50%, in-turn supercharging your PayPal business account into a profit-generating machine.

In this article, we’ll show you how you can achieve this, and what this means for you as a business.

A breakdown of PayPal’s fees

PayPal is quite open about its fees, and it’s spelled out clearly in their Product Disclosure Statement that they’ve designed them as a way to earn money from your currency conversions. 

For the Australian e-commerce retailer selling overseas into the US, you are most like going to be paying:

  1. A payment acceptance fee of 3.6% for every sale

  2. A FX conversion fee of 3.0% above their base FX rate if you want to convert back into AUD OR A withdrawal fee of 3.0% to withdraw your USD balance to your linked United States Bank Account

This combines to be a fee of 6.6% if you are selling in the US and then bring that money back into AUD

Improve your profit margins by eliminating unnecessary conversions with Airwallex Global Accounts

With an Airwallex Global Account, you can integrate it seamlessly with your PayPal account, so you can withdraw your USD straight into your Airwallex account.

This allows you to hold currency in USD, avoiding double conversion. Some retailers are converting their PayPal USD into AUD by withdrawing to an Australian bank account, then converting it back to USD when paying suppliers. This can add as much as another 4% FX fees on top of the 6.6% they were already paying when converting their USD into AUD. By withdrawing and holding USD in your Global Account, you can avoid this double conversion by using your USD directly to pay suppliers.

The best thing about Airwallex Accounts is that they are completely free to set up online and incurs zero monthly fees.

Save on international transaction fees with Airwallex Borderless Cards

But it doesn’t stop at Global Accounts. When you set up an account with Airwallex, you also get access to our Borderless Visa Cards. These cards can be set up in minutes, and you can start using them instantly. Simply load the desired currencies in your wallet and away you go. You’ll pay zero transaction fees on your purchases (which makes it perfect for international software subscriptions).

Borderless Cards provide you with added security for your payments. You can add transaction and spend limits to these cards to reduce fraud risk and they can easily be blocked or deleted in our webapp if there are security concerns.  You’re able to assign individual cards to specific suppliers or vendors, so you always know exactly where your money is going and what it’s being spent on. 

Airwallex empowers you to get the most out of your PayPal account

Airwallex has helped a number of growing Australian e-commerce businesses like Coconut Bowls, Aexae, Nimble Activewear and RAQ Apparel improve their margins by avoiding unnecessary FX fees.

If you’re looking to grow your US business, get in touch with Airwallex today.


Our products and services in Australia are provided by Airwallex Pty Ltd ABN 37 609 653 312 who holds AFSL 487221. Any information provided is for general information purposes only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of the information in light of your own objectives, financial situation or needs. Please read and consider the Product Disclosure Statement available on our website before using our service.

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In Australia, our products and services are provided by Airwallex Pty Ltd ABN 37 609 653 312 who holds AFSL 487221. Any information provided on this website is for general information purposes only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of the information in light of your own objectives, financial situation or needs. Please read and consider the Product Disclosure Statement.

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