Pending Transactions. Why Is Money Pending On PayPal?

PayPal transactions are marked pending whenever PayPal takes time to review the transaction. Money pending on PayPal is typically released within 21 days but sometimes it can take longer.

These transactions will remain marked as pending until it expires.

So why does PayPal say payment pending? What can you do to get your money faster?

“If the order status is “Pending”, your order has been received by the seller, but your payment has not yet been processed. The status of an order will continue to display as pending until it expires, is completed, or has been voided.” – PayPal

7 Reasons Why You
May Have Money Pending On PayPal

1. PayPal account type

Many PayPal businesses make the mistake of trying to sell on PayPal while using a Personal account.

The problem is Personal accounts are not suitable for running an e-commerce store or any other type of business because of the limits associated with the account.

That is why merchants should always upgrade to a Business account and make use of the extra features made available by PayPal such as :

  • Setting up a subscription management service.
  • Sending and receiving invoices.
  • Eligibility for PayPal credit offers and discounts.
  • Less payment holds and pending transactions with a verified business.
7 reasons of pending money

2. PayPal may need a while to review the transaction

Sometimes PayPal will spend a lot of time reviewing the transaction to ensure there is no risk of fraud or any other illegal activity.

For certain types of high-risk products, PayPal will need to review due to government compliance and regulations.

It is a good idea to check the list of items marked as high risk by PayPal

3. First-time sellers

While starting out, sellers will need to establish a certain level of trust with PayPal before PayPal allows their business to make sales without much hassle.

To do that, it is necessary to have a stellar transaction record (buyer-seller transaction history) that is free of disputes, complaints, and chargeback requests.

And, don’t forget to verify your identity by providing as many legitimate business documents (proof of address, business owner documents, etc) as possible.

While in this phase, it is possible to find many of your pending transactions being placed on hold by PayPal.

Read this guide to understand how to avoid such payment holds in the future.

4. Nothing being sold for a long period of time

Inactive sellers may find pending payments as they will need to rebuild credibility after coming back. As mentioned above, sellers will need to re-establish a positive buyer-seller transaction record to gain back PayPal’s trust to reduce the amount of money pending on PayPal.

5. Customers filed formal complaints for a refund, dispute, or chargeback.

PayPal does not take too kindly upon sellers who are only in it for the money and not to satisfy customers.

Repeatedly receiving such complaints may significantly harm your business.

Fortunately, there is a way to win disputes even when it is not your fault, all thanks to the Seller Protection program.

To unlock Seller Protection for each of your orders, be sure to provide tracking numbers so that PayPal and customers can track the shipment by checking with the courier.

And, if you find it difficult and time-consuming to provide tracking information (proof of shipment/proof of delivery) for each order, then it is best to use a Shopify app such as Proveway.

These apps can automatically sync tracking info on their own without making any mistakes. Proveway automatically provides data points to PayPal’s Server AI.

As a result, Seller Protection is easily unlocked for each order and pending transactions are avoided.

6. You have a suspicious selling pattern

At times PayPal’s AI will be alerted if you make an unusually high amount of sales in a very short period of time.

Such suspicious selling patterns may result in money received pending on PayPal.

Additionally, it may be suspicious if there is a disntic change in the type of item you are selling.

7. You’re selling riskier items

If you would like to sell high-risk items such as travel packages, gift cards, tickets, or consumer electronics, then it is best to get PayPal’s permission before doing so.

Here is PayPal’s list of high-risk items that can be the cause of having your money pending in PayPal.


Having your money pending on PayPal is not as uncommon as you might think.

That’s why it is best to build trust with PayPal by satisfying customers, fulfilling orders, and complying with all of the tips provided in this list.

So have you ever had a pending transaction on PayPal?

If so, let us know in the comment section down below.

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