Send Payouts from the User Interface

This guide describes how to send payouts using the Payouts user interface. To send payouts programmatically, see the Payouts API Integration Guide.

1. Create a payment file

A payment file includes recipient and payment information for up to 5,000 payments in a single file. To create the file, you can use a basic text editor, a spreadsheet, or database application to create a .txt (text, tab-delimited) or .csv (comma separated value) payment file.

Payment file contents

Each line in the file represents one recipient and, at a minimum, must contain the:

  • Recipient's identification
  • Payment amount
  • Currency

You can include optional, custom information, as needed.

This table describes the required and optional payment file entries:

Item Description
Recipient (Required) Use one of these unique recipient identifiers:
  • Email address
  • PayPal PayerID
  • Mobile telephone number
If you use PayPal Checkout or the Account Authentication Service, such as Log in with PayPal (LIPP), these APIs return the PayPal PayerID in the transaction's response message.
Payment Amount (Required) Amount of the payment.

Use your country's currency format. For example, senders in Italy enter, 5,45 and senders in the US enters 5.45. If the format is not correct, PayPal gives you the correct format when you upload the file. If you use a decimal separator in CSV format, enclose amounts in double quotes. For example, "100,45".
Currency Type (Required) Three-letter currency code. Currency codes are not case sensitive. For example, usd and USD are both acceptable for US dollars.

A few countries have currency restrictions. If your Payouts request does not comply with a country's currency restrictions, that portion of your request will fail with an error message.
Note: If your payout includes multiple currencies, use a separate payment file for each currency.
Customer ID (Optional) Unique identifier with 30 character maximum. Cannot contain spaces.
Custom Note (Optional) Unique sender defined message. The custom message is sent only to the individual recipient. 400 character maximum.

Prepare the payment file

  1. Open a text editor, database, or spreadsheet application.

  2. Enter recipient information. For example, if you're using a spreadsheet:

    • Use one row per recipient.
    • From left to right, enter the required columns:
      • Recipient's identifier (email address, phone number or Payer ID)
      • Payment amount
      • 3-letter currency code
    • (Optional) Use the first row as a header row.
    • (Optional) Use the fourth and fifth columns for internal tracking purposes or a customized note to the recipient.

    Example spreadsheet:

    Example spreadsheet for Payouts

  3. Save the file as .txt (tab-delimited) or .csv (comma delimited).

    Example tab-delimited .txt file:   10.00   USD   ID001   Thanks for your business!   10.00   USD   ID002   Here is your payment.   10.00   USD   ID003   10.00   USD   ID004   10.00   USD   ID005

    Example CSV file

    For US,100.5,USD,ID001,Here is your payment.

    For DE

    Some countries use a comma as the decimal separator. In such cases, use quotes instead:,"100,50",EUR,ID001,Here is your payment.

You can now upload your payment file. Before you upload the file, verify these requirements are met:

  • The payments file is a .TXT or .CSV file.
  • The payments file contains only one currency type.
  • Your PayPal account balance contains enough funds to cover the total cost of the Payouts request.
  • Your PayPal balance is the same currency as your Payouts request.

2. Upload the payment file

To upload a payment file:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account at
  2. Click Money at the top of the Summary page and then Send Money on the left.
  3. Click Make a Mass Payment.
  4. From the Choose Payouts Recipients page, click Browse, select your payment file, and then click Open.
  5. (Optional) Enter text in the Email subject and Custom message for recipient.
  6. Click Continue. PayPal scans your payment file for errors. If the file is valid, the Review Your Payments Details page displays.
  7. Click Send Payout to process your payments file. The page displays Your payment has been sent. You can then choose to Send another Payout or View Activity Details.

3. Review transaction details

After submitting the payment file, click view Activity Details on the final Payouts page to view transaction details. You can also view details from the Recent activity section of the Summary page or the Activity page of your PayPal account.

If the transaction status is Submitted, wait for the status to change to Processed or Completed to see the number of unclaimed payments.

PayPal places a temporary hold on the total monetary value of the mass payment, plus associated fees, until the transaction status is Processed. After releasing the temporary hold, if one or more transactions is declined, your PayPal account balance may exceed the available account balance shown during the period of the hold.

For more information, see View Reports and Individual record status

Additional information


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