PayPal has announced that account holders could be charged up to £12 for profiles that have been left “inactive” for a year or more. The new fee will come into effect from December 16, with PayPal set to charge all users if they haven’t used their account for 12 consecutive months. So, if you set-up a PayPal account to buy something on ebay a few years ago and then forgot about your profile… it could be about to cost you.
If you’re wondering whether you are eligible for the charge, PayPal defines an inactive account as one where the user hasn’t “sent, received or withdrawn money, or logged into their account” for 12 months. If your profile matches any of these criteria, you will be charged the lesser of £12 or their entire balance. Ouch.
So, for instance, if your PayPal account has a remaining balance of £5 the account, you’ll be charged that. But if you have £30 left in the account, then £12 will be taken. Thankfully, PayPal has confirmed that if you don’t have any money in your account, or if the balance is negative, you won’t be charged a fee for your account being inactive.
There is, however, a very simple way you can avoid paying this fee if you’re eligible for it. As MoneySavingExpert explained in a post online, all you need to do is login to your PayPal account on – or before – December 15 to make sure you don’t get charged.
READ MORE: PayPal scam warning: Millions at risk as vulnerabilities discovered
If you rarely use your PayPal account and don’t want to incur this fee, then you can simply close your account. To close your account login to PayPal and then head to the ‘settings’ screen. Then choose ‘close your account’ at the bottom of the ‘account’ tab.
PayPal has said that they will warn inactive customers that they could be eligible for a fee by sending notifications 60 days, 30 days and then seven days before payment is due.
In other PayPal news, the money transfer service has this week announced they’re launching a new tool which allows shoppers to pay for products in interest-free instalments. The new ‘Pay in 3’ tool will be available from the end of next month for purchases between £45 and £2,000.
The PayPal scheme is being launched at a time when incomes are being squeezed by the coronavirus pandemic in addition to an uncertain economic lookout.
Speaking about the new tool, PayPal’s UK director of enterprise accounts Rob Harper said: “During the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen the number of people in the UK shopping online increase dramatically. At the same time, many more consumers are looking to spread the cost of those purchases.”
Retailers such as French Connection and Robert Dyas are among those supporting PayPal’s new ‘Pay in 3’ tool.