Payouts Overview

Payouts enables you to send and manage payments to a large number of recipients simultaneously. All you need to know is:

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

You can use Payouts to send payments to consumers, affiliates, or other businesses that provide services to your company. For the types of businesses that typically use Payouts, see use cases.

Payouts flow

Payouts flow

Tip: For approved US partners, you can enable merchants to quickly acquire a customer's email address and payer ID by integrating Assisted Account Creation. If you are a US partner interested in AAC, contact your PayPal account manager to request it.

  1. The Payouts flow begins when you initiate a payout request using one of these integration methods:
  2. The Payouts API validates your request and processes the payout.
  3. Payouts sends you a status report.
  4. Payouts notifies the recipient that a payment is available. The recipient logs in to PayPal or creates a PayPal account to collect payment.

Payout models

You can send payouts using the recipient's email address, domestic mobile number, or payer ID.

Sending payouts using an email or mobile number

Tip: Provides the simplest integration.

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

Send a payout using an email address

Sending payouts using a payer ID

Tip: Provides guaranteed payments, reconciliation, and settlement.

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 Connect with PayPal.

Note: When a recipient creates a PayPal account, PayPal sends you their payer ID.

Barring compliance or fraud issues, this method guarantees payouts, so you don't have to deal with returned payments.

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.

These types of businesses typically send payouts:

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


Choose a Payouts integration method.