Why Is PayPal So Slow? (10 Reasons Why)

PayPal is a multinational financial technology company that operates through an online platform. However, sometimes the internet doesn’t always work, which can cause things to glitch or slow down.

If you use PayPal often, and have noticed that your account is slow sometimes, you might be wondering why? Well, I looked into it, and here is what I found!

Why Is PayPal So Slow In 2024?

PayPal may be running slow for several reasons in 2024. It could be a problem on PayPal’s end with the website or internet, or that you haven’t properly confirmed your account or payment methods. Furthermore, PayPal may have noticed fraudulent activity on your account, or your bank may not approve your transactions. There are also several reasons not listed.

If you would like to learn more reasons why PayPal is slow and how to solve the issue, keep reading to see 10 reasons why! 

1. PayPal’s Website Might be Having Issues

PayPal is a financial technologies business, meaning it operates through online platforms, and unfortunately, sometimes the internet glitches or stops working.

If you are having issues with PayPal being slow or not working, your first step should be to check if PayPal is working.

You can check on PayPal’s functions by going to PayPal Status. This page will tell you if any specific functions are not working, or if they are all having issues.

Additionally, if you think it might be an internet issue, and it’s not an issue through PayPal’s internet, you can check your own connection.

2. You Have Not Properly Confirmed Your Account

If you’re having troubles making or receiving payments through PayPal, it may be because your account is not properly set up.

PayPal has a confirmation process through its platform for your identity, bank account, credit and debit cards, and any other payment options you choose to use.

If you do not properly set up and confirm each of these items, then PayPal will not allow you to make purchases.

Here are the directions for how to confirm your identity (CIP), your bank account, and your credit or debit card

3. PayPal Placed a Hold on Your Transaction

PayPal sometimes temporarily places holds on transactions based on the account activity, until the company has enough information to decide whether it’s fraudulent or not.

Reasons your transaction may be on hold are as follows:

  • You are a new seller and have not yet established a positive transaction history
  • You have been inactive for a period of time
  • There have been several complaints or refund requests
  • Your selling patterns are unusual or have changed
  • You are selling high-risk items. These include tickets, consumer electronics, gift cards, travel packages etc.

Unfortunately, a hold can last up to 21 days, unless you provide PayPal with the information it needs sooner than the 21 days. To speed up or release a hold you can do the following:

  • Add tracking information
  • Print USPS or UPS shipping labels, or
  • Update the order status

4. PayPal May Have Placed a Lock or Limitations on Your Account

PayPal will sometimes place temporary limits on accounts, and this can stop or slow the functions on your account.

There are several reasons why PayPal may limit an account, which are as follows:

  • Regulatory requirements
  • Acceptable use policy
  • Unauthorized use
  • Higher-risk activity
  • Inactive account

To remove a limit on your account, you can do the following:

  1. Start by logging into your PayPal account. You will have to log in on PayPal.com to use the “Resolution Center”
  2. Next, click “Go to Account Limitations”, it will be under “‘Your account access is limited’
  3. Click “Resolve”

PayPal will usually take 3-5 business days to process your information and lift the limits on your account. However, if your case is more difficult, it may take longer.

PayPal will email you once the details have been reviewed.

Additionally, here are some tips to help if PayPal has requested documents to remove your limits on your account.

5. Refunds Are Sent by the Merchant You Paid

5. Refunds Are Sent by the Merchant You Paid PayPal

PayPal does not issue refunds. Rather, the merchant you originally paid issues the refund.

Refund return rates can differ because of merchants, the ACH System, and also the original payment method you used to pay for the item or service.

Refunds through PayPal are usually processed as follows:

  • 3-5 business days for your PayPal balance
  • 7-10 business days for your bank account, and
  • Up to 30 days for credit and debit cards

6. PayPal Uses the ACH System

ACH System stands for Automated Clearing House System. The ACH System is the main system that is used for “electronic funds transfer” (EFT) by many agencies.

ACH takes longer, because the funds are processed through the federal reserve before they are sent to your bank.

Additionally, processing funds through the federal reserve can take up to 5 days itself, which is why PayPal transfers take 7-10 business days to process into your bank account.

7. It’s a Holiday or the Weekend 

When requesting a refund, transferring money, or any other process that takes time to complete, each processing period says “business” days (ex. “3-5 business days”).

Unfortunately, weekends and holidays do not count as “business” days.

Therefore, if you start any of these actions on a weekend or holiday, you are going to have to wait an additional 1-2 days along with the standard waiting period.

8. You Don’t Have Enough Money in Your Account for the Transaction

Sometimes payments fail to process, which may happen if you don’t have enough money in your account to process the payment.

If your payment fails, you should receive an email or message from PayPal explaining that the company cannot process your payment.

PayPal will try to send the payment through the same method up to 3 times, but the best way to fix this problem is to change your payment method.

To change your payment method, do the following:

  1. First, log into your account through the app or PayPal.com
  2. Second, click “Change” under “Payment Method”
  3. Next, pick another one of your payment methods, and click “Continue”
  4. Last, confirm the payment method you chose and click “Send Money”

Here is an example of someone who had this issue and PayPal’s response.

9. Your Payment Method Might Not be Working

Unfortunately, if your payment will not process, it could be because your payment method is the problem.

Sometimes credit or debit cards don’t work, which could be because the information is wrong, there isn’t enough money on it, it’s expired, or a similar issue.

Whatever the reason, if you think it may be your card, you can try switching to another payment method. If you switch your payment method and the transaction processes, then you have found the issue.

10. Your Bank May Not Have Approved the Charges

Another reason your payment may not process is that your bank flagged or won’t approve the charge. Banks sometimes apply filters to charges to keep fraudulent activity from happening.

If your bank is not approving your charge, you will need to contact it directly to figure out how to fix this.

An associate at the bank can give you more information on their policies, and you can also let them know that you are the one making the transaction.

To know more, you can also read our posts on why is PayPal so expensive, why is PayPal so bad, and what is PayPal Key.


There are several reasons why PayPal may be slow or not working. Some issues are through PayPal itself, your bank, and through your own error. Whatever the reason may be, you can always find a way to fix it.

If your Paypal is slow or isn’t working, go through a checklist on PayPal’s website status, your account and payment methods, and your bank until you find the issues.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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