Cannot transfer funds from PayPal to Cayman account

| 30/01/2019
Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

I have funds in my PayPal account that I would like to transfer to my bank account in Cayman. PayPal is really useful for receiving money from countries around the world and I tend to use it a lot. I have previously transferred money from PayPal to a bank account in the US but getting it here seems to be a problem. What’s the deal? Is this an issue with PayPal or Cayman?

Auntie’s answer: Sorry, but I don’t think you are not going to be able to move your PayPal funds into your Cayman bank account any time soon. This seems to be the same as across the Caribbean, though in some countries in the region you can withdraw to a Visa card issued in that country, such as Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Turks and Caicos. Not here, though.

On this page, PayPal Offerings Worldwide, you can check the policy for a specific country. Under the Cayman Islands, PayPal not very helpfully says you can withdraw money to a US bank account.

Looking for reasons why, one bank official here cited Cayman’s anti-money laundering regulations that are in place to ensure no funds from ill-gotten gains make their way into local banks, explaining, “Determining the source of funds from PayPal can be difficult.”

A representative from a different bank said the issue is specific to PayPal “as they do not allow or support relationships to accept direct bank account transactions within the Cayman Islands”. So there you are.

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority did not shed any additional light on this issue because, as a CIMA official explained, “such activities are solely administered by the retail banks”.

But all is not lost. There are a growing number of gateway companies (a bridge between the payer, payee, credit card companies and banks) that are designed specifically to work with banks here or the region generally, which means that you can at least accept funds via a credit or debit card and it will go into your Cayman bank account — if your bank is among those here that works with the gateway companies. Not all of them do.

I suggest you check with your bank to see if they do and if so, which gateway companies.

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Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    In Cayman Banks, the law abiding customers answers to the banks. You are assumed to be a criminal and treated accordingly, until you prove otherwise through their idiotic and obstructing means.

    Meanwhile, the real launderers and criminals are laughing themselves hysterically.

  2. No state citizen says:

    We were criticised for years of having a laid back banking system and portrayed as some third world country that you could arrive with suitcases full of money to deposit with no questions asked.

    Now we have one of the strictest banking requirements in the region and we are now called “pretend banks”.

    Although I have to agree that individual banks here are greedy with their fees.
    $25 in some cases to cash a check, $10 to process an out of state check and a lot of other ridiculous fees.
    You deposit a large sum of money.
    The bank use that money for their purposes, give you 0.0000825% interest but charge you $20 per month to ” maintain the account”!

  3. Nigerian Prince says:

    Send them to me. I will be sure they reach you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’ve used PayPal in conjunction with a business outside the Cayman Islands and they always appeared to be, in blunt terms, scared s***less about being caught out money laundering if you’re based here. My account was subject regular checks even though it was linked a verified UK bank account.

    What’s so strange about this is PayPal handles millions of transactions for eBay businesses based in China who are quite openly evading tax regulations in the UK, Europe and possibly the USA without doing anything about it. Money talks? Probably considering one of the founders of PayPal is Elon Musk who is apparently in the process of relocating to China.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Oh. Sorry. Did you think the banks here were real banks? No, no, only pretend banks here. Where you can’t even deposit your birthday check from your mom from overseas. If you can, you will be charged a $10 min fee…. REALLY!??!???

    They don’t even send you a cc statement anymore. You must set up a notifier for the date it will be available and then hope that you are in a place to go online or remember to do that another time..
    Is this everywhere or only at the pretend banks in Cayman?
    Asking for a friend. (serious question)
    I feel better getting that off my chest where it will go nowhere..

    • Anonymous says:

      They suck here in the US too.

    • Anonymous says:

      So you expect the local bank to eat the cost of sending your birthday cheque to the “real” bank in US/UK/CN/etc. and to pay the fee they charge? Why not try sending your mother a local bank cheque and see what her bank says.
      Are you incapable of using an online banking system where your statement can be seen? I think you will find most of the “real” banks do the same nowadays. Plus you have 20+ days to remember to pay your bills. Or you could setup an auto-payment since you are such a frequent world traveler.
      I am not saying that the local banks are the greatest, but most are simply “learning” from the “real” banks.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Get a Revolut or Transferwise app. You will never think of banking in the same way. Power to the people!!

    • Gr81 says:

      These services Revolut and Transferwise aren’t supported in Cayman. That’s basically the error I receive when trying to sign up for either. Give me something that works. How does this work for you if you can’t be based in Cayman to use it ?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Paypal is slow and the fees are extortionate. Crypto is king!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, but which Cayman banks can accept funds from crypto

    • Anonymous says:

      Good luck spending it in Cayman.

    • StopTheCrime says:

      Bitcoin will save the world… and no, I’m not some conspiratorial freak who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It’s truly revolutionary in multiple ways. With ever-increasing adoption, things will never be the same.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Just another reason Cryptocurrency is the future! The current systems suck and only benefit the greedy banks!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I guess that you will have to transfer the funds to your US bank account where they appear not to be as concern about the source of funds, and then transfer them to your Cayman account. Too bad the powers that be (US, UK, EU) say the Cayman banking system is lax!

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. This statement alone is hugely concerning:

      “PayPal is really useful for receiving money from countries around the world and I tend to use it a lot.”