When you search for “PayPal Israel,” our posts on the topic show so high in search results that we get a few calls a year asking us PayPal questions.
We are not PayPal experts, but using PayPal has become an integral part of our business, since it opens up an easy and relatively inexpensive way to accept payments for us and for our clients’ websites. And, unlike many US-based services like Stripe and Authorize.net, with PayPal your money isn’t stuck online, you can see and feel the actual money by depositing it into an Israeli bank account.
PayPal’s Documentation and Phone Support
Recently, PayPal redesigned their website – well some of it anyway. The homepage and some of the sales pages are new and shiny, but most of the support documentation is still stuck in their design mode circa 2001, which makes it hard to find clear answers to our questions. Luckily, Israel has a customer service number which we call every once in a while to get real answers.
As we wrote in June 2010, PayPal has an Israeli customer service phone number you can call. The number is: 073-713-7777. But there is something very strange about it… you can’t call the number from a land line! Only from a cellphone. Yup.
The menu is in Hebrew but if your Hebrew isn’t great, try pressing 2 and then 2 again. The representatives speak English and Hebrew.
PayPal’s Recurring Billing Options in Israel
We offer WordPress hosting and maintenance on a monthly basis and we manage the recurring payments via PayPal. Some of our clients don’t have PayPal accounts and prefer paying for the recurring monthly or annual payment by credit card. Currently, Israeli PayPal account owners can only accept recurring credit card payments if the payer opens a PayPal account and links it to their credit card. They don’t even have to put any money into their PayPal account, but it has to exist to make the credit card payments. (Note: payers using credit cards do not have any additional fees added on to their payment by PayPal.)
However, US PayPal account owners can use PayFlow PRO to do recurring billing directly to a credit card (without having the payer set up a PayPal account). That’s a much more user-friendly system than the current one available to Israeli merchants.
It’s awesome that PayPal has worked so hard to become compatible with the Israeli financial systems. Their efforts mean that they are pretty much the only option available to Israeli merchants who don’t want to go through the standard complicated and expensive credit card merchant account setup. But there are still some things that need improving: like a phone number that works with land lines, and an easier way to accept recurring credit card payments.