In Bolivia, PayPal will work very differently depending on where it has been created. If for example it’s your normal PayPal account, the one you use in your source country, it will work as usual, without any kind of change. But if you create a PayPal account in Bolivia, attached to a Bolivian bank account, then you will suffer important restrictions.
PayPal accounts created in other countries fully work in Bolivia, being able to send, transfer, receive and withdraw money. But PayPal accounts created in Bolivia, attached to Bolivian Banks or cards, are only allowed to send money. The PayPal account from your country will work as normal in Bolivia.
Here we will be talking about whether PayPal works or doesn’t work in Bolivia, to what extent and which limitations currently exist when using it. Also, you will know about some important alternatives to PayPal and their limitations that exist in our country.
PayPal works in Bolivia with restrictions
Currently, PayPal has a presence in more than 200 countries around the world. In most of them it offers its full range of services, but this is not the case for Bolivia. If you create a Bolivian PayPal account, attached to a Bolivian or to a Bolivian credit or debit card, you will have very important restrictions.
If you create PayPal account, attached to a Bolivian credit or debit card, or a Bolivian bank, you only will be able to:
- Buy stuff online
- Send money
And nothing else.
No restrictions for your foreign PayPal account
But instead, if your PayPal account has been created in a country that supports the full range of services that this company normally offers, for example, in any country or region of the first world, like US, Europe, many countries of asia, etcetera, then no matter if you are in Bolivia, your PayPal account from overseas will still be able to enjoy the full services this company offers.
With a foreign PayPal account, maybe from your source country, attached to a foreign bank or credit or debit card, you will be able to:
- Buy stuff online
- Send money
- Receive money
- Hold money in your Paypal account
- Withdraw your money to your foreign card or bank
- Use your PayPal debit or credit card in any ATM of Bolivia
This is why we encourage you to use your foreign PayPal account if you want to either visit or do business in Bolivia. Natives have this important restriction with Bolivian PayPal accounts when selling online, receiving money, using the virtual account, etcetera, and they just use PayPal in a normal way.
So, you always must prefer your alien PayPal account instead of a Bolivian one.
Alternatives to PayPal in Bolivia
Now we will see the different alternatives to PayPal for digital wallets with banking and payment processing capabilities available in Bolivia.
- If you are just a tourist
- A temporary or permanent resident
- Or either a Bolivian or a foreign business operating in the country
These options can vary a lot.
1) When you are only a tourist
If you are only a tourist, this means that you don’t have your foreigners’ ID card (you need at least temporary residence to get it), so you don’t have the rights to fully use banking services, and almost any other service available in Bolivia, including education, working, etcetera.
So, in this situation, being only a tourist, you have the following options:
- Your normal credit or debit card
- Western Union
Your normal credit or debit card
You can use your foreign Mastercard or Visa credit or debit card in any ATM located in Bolivia. Unfortunately, American Express is currently not well supported by Bolivian ATMs. So, when visiting our country, always bring with you your cards in order to receive and withdraw money from Bolivian ATMs.
Well, you can’t make payments for the things you purchase with Western Union, but you can receive money and wire transfers with this company in Bolivia without any kind of limitation. You just need to present your passport and your full personal details, for either receiving or sending money from overseas, or from other parts of Bolivia.
We have a complete guide about how to use Western Union in Bolivia, with all the requirements, fees they charge in the country, where their agencies are located among other details, in the following link: Western Union in Bolivia all you need to know. Link
Payoneer currently offers a prepaid card that can be used also in any ATM of Bolivia, if you use this payment processor and you have its card, you can use it without limitation in any ATM located within the country.
2) When you are at least a temporary resident
If you get the status of at least a “temporary resident” of Bolivia, which by the way is not easy to get, then, you will get the rights to fully use banking services in Bolivia with your foreigners’ ID document, issued by the Bolivian government.
We have a complete guide about how to get the Bolivian residence, with every step, cost, precaution among other details, in the following direction: How to get the Bolivian residence? All you need to know. Link
Once you get this ID document, you are considered in the same status as any other Bolivian, and you can work, invest, do business, and also, use banking services, including getting loans and opening bank accounts, without any restriction.
Then, if you get this residence, you have the following alternatives to PayPal in Bolivia:
- Your bank account in a Bolivian bank
- Soli from BCP Bank
- Tigo Money
- Western Union, MoneyGram, etcetera
In order to use any of the services and companies mentioned in the list above, you need at least temporary residence in Bolivia, as we said, and your foreigners’ ID card.
We have a complete guide about all the payment options and methods that exist for people from overseas in Bolivia, with all the details, requirements and restrictions for each of them, in the following direction: Payment options and methods available in Bolivia, a complete overview. Link
3) When you are a business operating in Bolivia
If you are either a native or foreign business operating in Bolivia, maybe an e-commerce store or something like that, then, you have the following options to receive payments from your Bolivian clients:
- Stripe and Stripe Altas
- Your Bolivian business bank account
- Soli from BCP Bank
- Tigo Money Bolivia
Some of these payment processors can be used without the need to get the Bolivian residence. For example, if you have a Stripe account in your source country, you will be able to fully use it to get payments from Bolivian customers.
But, if for any reason you can’t get a Stripe account in a country other than Bolivia, you will have to use solutions like Stripe Atlas, or get the Bolivian residence in order to use PagosNet, Tigo Money Bolivia, and similar services.
We have a complete overview, about all the payment processors available for Bolivia, including Stripe, Stripe Atlas, PagosNet etcetera, with all the steps, details and restrictions to use them, in the following direction: Payment processors available for Bolivia, a complete guide. Link
In this article about whether PayPal works or not in Bolivia, you have realized that it does work in the country, without any trouble or limitation, but only if it’s your current account, created in your source country or in a country that this company fully supports.
But on the other hand, you have seen that if you create a PayPal account in Bolivia and you attach it to a Bolivian bank account or to a Bolivian credit or debit card, it will work, but with many restrictions, and you will only be able to send money and buy stuff online.
Also, you have known that there are actually some alternatives to PayPal that currently work in Bolivia, but they depend a lot on whether you are a tourist or a resident. If you’re only a tourist, you have the options of your normal credit or debit card and Payoneer. But if you are a resident of Bolivia, you have additional options, like your Bolivian account bank, Soli from BCP, among others.
Finally, you have seen that if you’re a business operating in Bolivia, you have other options like a Stripe, Stripe Atlas, 2checkout, PagosNet and similar ones, without the need of a Bolivian residence for some of them.
We hope this information has helped you, and if you want to know everything about all the payment processors and methods that exist and work in Bolivia, with also the steps to start using them, visit our dedicated guide in the following direction: Payment options and methods available in Bolivia, a full overview. Link
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