Payouts Overview

Payouts enables you to instantly send money to multiple recipients. All you need to know is:

  • Each recipient's email address, mobile number, or Payer ID (an encrypted PayPal account number)
  • Payment amount
  • Currency code

To send the payout, you can use the Payouts user interface to manually upload a file that lists this information or use the Payouts API.

Payouts flow

Payouts flow

Payout models

Sending payouts by email or mobile number

Tip: Provides the simplest integration.

In this model, you use each recipient’s email address or mobile number to send the payout. If recipients have a PayPal account, the money is sent to their wallet. If not, recipients can open an account and claim the money from their PayPal wallet within minutes. Any unclaimed funds are returned to you after 30 days.

Send a payout using an email address

Sending payouts by Payer ID

Tip: Provides guaranteed payments and ease of reconciliation and settlement.

In this model, you use each recipient's Payer ID (an encrypted PayPal account number) to send the payout. Depending on your relationship with the recipient, you may already have their Payer ID. If not, you can send the recipient through a quick PayPal flow to verify their account and gather the Payer ID using Log In With PayPal.

Note: If a recipient doesn't have a PayPal account, they can open one, and PayPal promptly provides you the Payer ID.

Barring compliance or fraud issues, this method guarantees payouts, so you don't have to deal with returned payments. If you're using other PayPal checkout APIs, this is the recommended integration method.

Send a payout using the Payer ID

Recipient notifications

If a recipient has a PayPal account, an email notification prompts them to log in to their account to get details on the payment.

Email with PayPal account

If a recipient doesn't have a PayPal account, an email or mobile notification prompts them to open a PayPal account to claim their money.

Email without PayPal account

Use cases

Payouts is optimal for sending and managing small-to-medium sized payments to a large number of recipients simultaneously. Use it to send payments to consumers, affiliates, or to other businesses that provide services to your company.

These types of businesses typically send mass payments:

  • Marketplaces, Retail
  • Financial Services/Insurance
  • Loyalty Rewards, Rebates, Coupons, Incentives
  • Advertising/Marketing
  • Online Travel
  • Freelance
  • Digital Gaming


Review the Payouts prerequisites.


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