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How to Create a PayPal eCheck

It’s possible to use PayPal to send money via your bank account. This is called the PayPal ‘eCheck’. This article will outline exactly how to create and send an eCheck using Paypal. The PayPal echeck, while utilizing eCheck technology to withdraw money from your account does NOT transfer the money to another party via the eCheck method. Rather, PayPal uses itself as the middleman. They basically ‘cash’ an eCheck from your account then credit that balance into your account or into the account of another party you send the money to.

What is a Traditional Echeck?

An traditional eCheck is a very convenient method that’s the digital equivalent of a paper check. You send an amount vita a digital check to someone else — all taking place online. eChecks are backed by the same guarantees as regular checks and are now, in 2016, an established money transfer / payment processing service along with credit cards and so on.

There are a LOT of different ways to create and send an eCheck — from your own bank’s online interface to specialized payment processing companies. While there may be different companies / banks that allow you to create and send an eCheck, the underlying process is pretty much the same and go through the same channels that paper checks go through.

All e-Checks involve linking your bank account to the company offering eCheck service with you specifying the amount to send via eCheck. The money is then sent electronically (using the electronic check technology that’s been in place for nearly two decades), arriving at the receiving institution. eChecks are not usually instant and require a few days to clear — which makes them a very safe means of sending money, with that money insured by banking institutions SINCE the money comes from your bank account and is covered and insured by banking regulations and laws.

The PayPal ECheck

One version of the eCheck is the so called ‘PayPal echeck’ which is basically just linking PayPal to your bank account, then withdrawing an amount and sending that amount via PayPal to an individual or company.

Keep in mind this is not a regular echeck, but a modified version of it (and because PayPal acts as the middle man, them oney is NOT covered by banking regulations or protections once PayPal has the money).

The difference here with a regular echeck and the paypal echeck is that banks, other than transferring the amoutn to PayPal are not involved in the actual transfer to the recipient.

PayPal ECheck Payments vs Regular Paypal Payments

PayPal eCheck is funded from your bank account (the money is withdrawn from your bank account via PayPal) rather than your credit card or paypal balance and sent as a paypal payment. However, unlike other payment types on PayPal, the process takes several days to clear — PayPal will not release the amount to the receiver until the bank clears the echeck.

A PayPal eCheck is always used when the user does not have a credit card, or any other sort of payment types linked to their PayPal account. Basically a PayPal eCheck is just a payment you make directly from your bank account on PayPal. Usually the eCheck will take approximately 3-5 business days to clear from your bank account.

How to Send & Receive a Paypal ECheck

1. Link a Checking Account to Your Paypal

First, you need to have your checking account linked to your PayPal account.

If you already have your banking account linked to your PayPal account you can skip down to the Sending the eCheck heading.

To link your bank account to your PayPal account you will need to provide your checking account information. You will need your routing number as well as your bank account number.

Your routing number is the first 9 digits that you will see on the bottom of your check. Your bank account number is usually 8-10 digits long, and is located right after the routing number on the bottom of your check. You will only have to input this information once and then banking information will be saved.

Below is an illustration showing where you can find the routing and account numbers.

2. Sending the eCheck

  • Begin by logging onto your PayPal account and click on the pay or send money Once you click the tab you will have the choice of either: sending money to friends or family, or pay for goods or services. Click the option that applies to you.
  • Next, enter the recipients name or email address and click Enter the amount of money you will be sending and click next.
  • Next you will see a tab that says ‘You’re sending with’. Below this tab you should see the name of your bank,followed by the words ‘checking account.” If you see this, it means you are sending the recipient funds using an eCheck. If you have more then one payment method linked to your PayPal account such as a credit card, you will see all your payment options on this screen. Be sure to select the option that says checking account.
  • Finish by clicking the send money now

3. Checking eCheck status

When sending an eCheck, you can check that status to see if it has cleared yet. To do so, all you have to do is click on the Activity Tab on the top of the screen. Next, click the box that says all activity and choose the payments sent option. If that status of the payment says uncleared then the eCheck has not yet been cleared from your bank account. If it says cleared, it means that eCheck has been deducted from your bank account and has been credited to the recipients bank account.

4. Receiving a PayPal eCheck

Receiving an eCheck is very straightforward as you will receive an email notification like you would from any sort of PayPal payment. However the email will not say the money is here, it will say the money is on its way. This is because you have to wait for the eCheck to clear. It is important to know that PayPal eChecks can bounce like any other checks and it could take 3-5 days for it to clear. When the eCheck clears, you should get another PayPal notification that the money has cleared.

NOTE: If you are SELLING something via PayPal, it’s very important that youy WAIT FOR THE PAYPAL ECHECK TO CLEAR before you ship out the item. If you do not, you could find the payment does not clear after you have shipped out the item!

About The Author

Ben Todd

Ben was a seriously broke graduate student with bad credit who after finding himself rejected for any sort of credit card or loan for most of his adult life, finally decided to get his financial life in order. ' He spent several years reading as many financial advice books and blogs as he could. And suprisingly, Ben found he actually LIKED the topic of personal finance; after fixing his own finances, starting his own successful work at home website business, and using his earnings to get out of debt, created to help others do likewise!


  1. Jack

    Someone managed to access my checking and bank accounts. They then used PayPal eChecks to pay for goods/services. The transactions were noticed and stopped and the bank accounts closed. The article would be even more useful if it told us how to get PayPal to reveal the name of the originator so that I could pursue legal proceedings. The police and the bank deem the amount stolen to be small potatoes, too expensive to pursue.

  2. Ron Bonnell

    You need to elaborate more on step 4. Receiving an echeck. What do you actually eventually receive? Do you receive an electronic version of a check? Do you need a paypal account to receive money into? You basically say nothing other than you need to wait until the money has cleared.


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