All You Need to Know About Using PayPal in Japan

If you’re familiar at all with foreign travel, you understand just how much of a hassle it can be to deal with foreign currency and exchange rates. 

Many people want to avoid the hassle altogether, so they seek alternative methods to using cash. 

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Going cashless isn’t new: with the rise of ApplePay and other digital forms of paying for items, people are questioning which cash-free method of payment is easiest for them. 

PayPal is the everpresent safe and secure way to pay online, or to send or receive money between bank accounts and PayPal accounts themselves.

But can this popular financial transaction company be used in Japan, and if so, is it financially worth it? Read on to learn all you need to know about using PayPal in Japan. 

Can you send money from PayPal to a Japanese account? 

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When in Japan and not sure about the cost of living in rural areas, you can use PayPal to transfer the amount of money you think you need to tide you over.

PayPal allows users to transfer funds between over 200 countries, and Japan is included among them. 

Simply log into your PayPal account and follow these steps. 

  1. Go to the toolbar at the top of the page and select the “Send and Request” tab, and then select “More”. 
  1. Under “Send Money Abroad” select “Send Money”. 
  1. Select Japan from the dropdown list of countries.
  1. Choose your desired method of fund delivery.

There are various methods of transferring funds via PayPal. You can use a debit or credit card, or use funds that are already within your PayPal account.

  1. Enter the value and currency you’d like to transfer.
  1. Enter the recipient’s email address or phone number and click “Next”. 
  1. Click “Send Payment Now” and complete the transfer. 

Is there a fee when sending money from PayPal to a Japanese bank account? 

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There is a 5% fee for an American to send money to a Japanese account. 

There is a minimum international fee of 0.99USD, and a maximum international fee of 4.99USD. Those numbers apply to all payment methods: PayPal balance, bank account, or cards. 

There is a fixed fee for personal transactions of 40.00JPY or 0.30USD.  

PayPal gives you the exchange rate that will be used for the transaction when you enter the value that is to be transferred. 

There is no way to avoid the fee or exchange rate. 

Do online retail stores accept PayPal?

Yes, some online stores do accept PayPal as a means of payment. 

Rakuten is Japan’s answer to Amazon, and many of their retailers do accept PayPal payments. 

Can you use PayPal in physical shops in Japan?

Yes, many physical stores offer PayPal as a payment method. Don’t bank on this though – the decision to accept PayPal payments is individual to each shop. 

You may even be able to purchase camera equipment or Japanese floor chairs that are good for your back with PayPal while in Japan.

Would Wise be a better option than PayPal in Japan?

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PayPal can be a good option to use if you’re looking to go cashless in physical retailers, but Wise just may be the better option when transferring money between accounts.

Wise does not include any hidden fees when calculating the exchange rate – what you see on Reuters is the rate you will receive. 

If you’re only looking to transfer money between accounts, consider using Wise to save on fees and the exchange rate.