Everything you wanted to know about Paypal and the Israeli Shekel

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[If you’re looking for PayPal customer support, the number is 1-809-477-777 and is open 9am to 6pm  Sunday through Thursday.]

People are always asking us about Paypal and how it works in Israel with the Shekel. So, I went back to the announcement on the PayPal blog, New PayPal Currencies: Mexican Peso and Israeli Shekel. After reading over comments from Moshe,  Fabio,  Roi, Roberto,  Yeong-Ping Koh and the like, I learned more from the comments section than from the post itself. Here’s what I discovered:

  • You can withrdraw money to any Israeli-issued VISA cards or U.S. Bank. Israeli PayPal users cannot withdraw funds to a MasterCard.
  • You can use your ILS balance to pay anyone in 190 markets worldwide. You can also receive funds from buyers or family and friends in Shekels.At this time, Israeli users can only withdraw money to a Visa card. Israeli users can also withdraw funds to a U.S. Bank account.
  • They’re using the ILS instead of NIS because PayPal uses the international currency code (ISO 4217) to represent all our currencies, and the first 2 characters has to be consistent with the country code IL.
  • The functionality is no different from any of the other multi-currencies like EUR, GBP etc. So for example, you can use your ILS to pay someone in the US in USD, the seller will receive his money in USD and the equivalent amount of ILS will be withdrawn from your PayPal account after a conversion charge. If you are using the card to pay a domestic Israeli seller, then it should work like a domestic purchase. If you are using your credit card to make a payment internationally through PayPal, then it should work just like when you use the card at an international merchant website or at a foreign retail store, and there may be applicable charges from your credit card company depending on their policy.

Hopefully, cross your fingers, PayPal will keep its word to its commenters and implement local card acceptance (like Isracard), direct transfer to Israeli banks and add the Hebrew language to the Paypal site.

What online payment service do you use?

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