Getting access to PayPal money in Colombia - in cash

Hey, Guys, get ready, this is complicated.

I'm a kiwi from NZ, living in Colombia. I've recently started earning dollars abroad and getting paid into my Paypal account.
I'm finding it impossible to access this money as cash, however, and I'm reduced to buying stuff online to release this money. I hastily opened a Davivienda account which has an agreement with Paypal, but then found out this agreement is only for Davivienda Company accounts, which I believe are not easy to set up.

I've also opened a Payoneer account and have an associated Credit card with US Bank Account, but can't yet transfer from Paypal to Payoneer because I need to verify the card with PayPal, and the Payoneer account needs money in it, which it hasn't yet. I've been trying to get my customers to pay into Payoneer, without success yet.

So, does anyone have experience dealing with PayPal and/or Payoneer here in Colombia?
Any ideas/suggestions?
Has anyone had a similar problem?
I'm sure there's a solution, but as yet it has eluded me.


Perhaps el "profesor" needs a new way to get paid.

If he posts again, perhaps he would share whether his income is single-sourced or multiple-sourced .. and if single-sourced, whether he has discussed obtaining his 'salary' in a manner not involving PayPal.


Multiple-sourced, multiple countries, not yet able to be paid other than PayPal

Using a credit card to pay yourself through Paypal violates Paypal's terms of service.  (Some view it as basically a form of money laundering.)  The way around it is to pay a "friend."  Let me know if you're interested and I'll provide you information to transfer funds to my Paypal account.  :cool:

I use Western union and can send money from my debit or credit card to western union for a fee. I dont know if paypal is on the  online account page or not but check it out if you want.

I logged into the colombia expat community now for the first time in 9 months and was reading the threads on this paypal issue, as I also have paypal (but do not have the problems that the writer of the issue has due to me being able to send my paypal earnings in dollars to my south african bank account which is linked to a mastercard and then I can simply draw the cash in colombia or buy stuff with it).
However, it immediately struck me that this acidic american person, who doesn't even live in Colombia, is still making sarcastic comments ("el professor", etc etc) to the most well meant posts on here. I have had previous comments made about my postings by this person as well and thus started not to use this website any more.

So far from being a cry baby, I would seriously suggest that the Colombia community has a look at the posts of this person and as a community decide to ban this person.  It is just that I feel we don't need to acidic sarcasm that this person has been exposing on here for years, and even if that is not your view, perhaps force this person to stick to Equador as the person does not live in Colombia by own admission and should thus not be allowed to be on the colombia board.

Thank you

Hanno Liebenberg

well put, I agree - acidic is the word. I was going to respond to it, in an aggressive way, but chose to hold my pen, so as not to further encourage it.

Thanks for the support mate. I love Kiwi's (except I obviously cannot support the All Blacks lol). I believe that this website is to help each other out, if possible. In this case I told you how I manage to do it, but it is only because I have an account with First National Bank in South Africa and that is obviously not going to be of any help to you.  The only other option is to kinda do what you are already doing, like to buy stuff using paypal, but most of this would be like buying airline tickets on the internet, amazon purchases that can be shipped to Colombia.  O and Uber Colombia used to take paypal too, not sure if this is still the case.  But besides for that, I also looked into this some time ago and I also only saw the Davievienda option and now, as you say, its only for business account holders, which I did not know.

I have the same issue. Have you found a way around?

Have you looked into using Xoom?  I believe you can link your Paypal account to Xoom and setup a local cash pickup at Davivienda.

On the Xoom site there is no Paypal payment method visible.  However, I believe it can be added once you login and link your Paypal account.

Also, for sending from Paypal to Payoneer, I think you might need a US Paypal account.  I haven't tried myself, but a lot of online posts say that non-US Paypal accounts will no longer work.

Use instead.  It ties directly to a bank account, no matter where.

However, you bank needs to have online banking...

Client needs to install it also.  They pay you over the app.  You see they deposited in the app.  You then deposit it directly into your account.

It's a paypal app, so they may be able to transfer funds from paypal....

PayPal allows you to send money directly to a bank account using the associated card as long as the card is link to your PayPal account.

Hi there! I'm sorry to tell you that any Colombian bank allows to transfer from pay pal to your bank account, only three of them have the PayPal option but only to put cash in your PayPal account from your Colombian bank so you can use it to buy online. Why this? Because about every Colombian bank gives you a debit card without the verification code(the 3 our 4 digits in the back) so you can't make any online purchase. And the few banks that allows you to buy directly online like Banco de Bogota they have ridiculous restrictions about the online purchases  :unsure . Anyway as somebody else suggest you, the best way for now is transfer to somebody who has already linked another account and can withdraw directly in the ATM.
I know somebody who says that you can use XOOOM to send to Colombia and it works great.

Thanks. I have done this before and was wonderin why nobody ever brought it up. Just link debit card to Paypal and any atm will work as long as you tell bank you are out of country.

Hi there, its not that easy your problem, don't you have any debit or credit card to associate to paypal first? and verify everything, maybe the debit card from Davivienda?, then after that you can send a Paypal payment to Payoneer account.

I receive payments on PayPal, transfer it to Wellsfargo, then transfer it using into my Bancolombia account.

Aren't you loosing a lot of money in that way? Because xoom charges you and then Bancolombia charges you

well, yes. What doesn't charge you?  Are you looking for a free way? if you find it, let me know what it is....

If you withdraw from Paypal to Payoneer you lose 1%, then withdraw in a Colombian ATM, Payoneer charges you 3,5% for currency exchange + 3,5 USD for withdraw from ATM.

Isn't that cheaper that all those transfers + all the time waiting for transfers?

I own a business in Colombia and I also need to turn yank dollars deposited in my PayPal account to Colombian Pesos. As it turns out, the answer to our enquiry will not be found in the commercial banking sector which has become geared more towards thwarting money laundering activities as opposed to assisting honest business people with what should be a simple money transfer. I would start another business to address this clear and present need but then the yanks and colombians would probably team up to shut that down too.  My suggestion would be to put out some feelers for somebody in a similar predicament and ask them to change either yank dollars to pesos or vice versa.  I arranged a private transaction between like minded non-Colombian business people here and it went super smoothly.  We now work together on occasion when required.  The rate of exchange is a flat five percent.  If you're interested, let me know.  Take care.

I am an online swahili tutor and I receive money in USD from various platforms. Sadly the only way they can pay me is vía PayPal and I have not been able to withdraw from paypal in Colombia. Any ideas on the way forward?

Fine someone that has a PayPal account transfer to them and they can transfer to Colombia bank .
For instance I use WorldRemit and transfer money to Colombia to Bancolombia from my USA bank which is tired to both PayPal and Bancolombia.

Everything is done instant. I'll help you once we vent each other. Make sure everyone is legit.

Thank you! I will look out for someone who can help me do this.

Hi everyone,

Please note that some posts have been removed from this thread.


Priscilla team  :cheers:

Maybe you folks that use Paypal and are searching for a way to get the funds in Colombia haven't thought of this but Paypal has a debit card/Mastercard offered by Bancorp Bank as well as a Matercard credit card offered by Synchrony Bank. Both have no annual fee. The debit card has a 1% cash back feature and the credit card 2%. Both do charge a foreign transaction fee, 2.5% on the debit and 3% on the credit card. But with 2% cash back on the credit card that effectively drops that to 1% foreign transaction fee.
These cards link to your Paypal account so you'd just use the card in Colombia and pay for anything you need where cards are accepted.
The debit card can be used to get cash at ATM's, fee's apply of course.
This might not be the perfect answer but could be worth checking out for some.
Also, you'd likely have to get the card sent to your US address of record with Paypal and then figure out getting it to you in Colombia.


Hi Steve.  We thought about it but the option of a debit card is only available to peeps with a Social Security Number and proof they are resident of the good ol' US of A.

Everybody else in the world will just have to go and f*** themselves as far as PayPal is concerned.

Thanks anyways.


Ricky,  we have business interests in Colombia.  We opened a Davivienda business account to explore the option of using PayPal to process credit cards. 

The drone at Davivienda gave us a list of docs to provide to them to open the account. 
We provided all the docs required and opened up the Davivienda business account.

They asked for the transaction history of the PayPal transactions together with the Identity Documents of the participants of the transactions.  We provided all of these items to the bank.

The bank then advised us to withdraw our funds from Paypal to the Davivienda account. 
Which we then did.

At the end of the process, the bank advised us they no longer have this functionality and refused to put our PayPal funds totaling 30,000,000 Pesos into our account.

It has now been two weeks and Davivienda still haven't returned our money.

This is just another example of Colombians over-promising and under-delivering.

Never....ever.....ever do business with a Colombian in Colombia. 



I would checkout Payoneer, they can provide you with a prepaid credit card which you can use for purchases or withdraw from atm machines.
Im starting a website soon where i'll be making payments to people in Colombia, and this is definitely the best method for what i'll be doing.

Payoneer is pretty cool but you have to have a business account.
I have applied for a business account a few weeks ago  and I'm waiting to hear back from them.
I might have to look at accepting bitcoins and then converting the to fiat as soon as the transactions are processed to limit my exposure to any volatility. 
Take care wooohoooo

You can have a personal account on payoneer and just get paid

Hi Icamacho.  That's only true if the funds are coming from the USA. 
If you attempt to make a payment request to any other country from Colombia, you encounter the following error:
"""Currently the service does not support the selected payment route."""

I am hoping that with a business account, I might be able to overcome this problem. 


So, are you trying to make a payment request in Payoneer to a regular person? if that's the case, you have to wait until you receive 5000 USD in payments from companies before you can make a payment request, that's a new rule from Payoneer now days.

If you try to move your money from Paypal you can just pay to your personal account in Payoneer using the global payment service.

Hi Icamacho,

Thank you for your help.

It appears Payoneer is always one step ahead of me <Sigh>

Their "Global Payment Service" will only receive money from US Banks. 

The following is contained on their page for "Global Payment Services".

""""Please Note!
Only ACH (US local bank) transfers in USD can be accepted
Transfers must be made from a company account
Transfers from individuals will be automatically rejected
Wire transfers are not supported
Transfers made from a company account owned by you cannot be accepted"""""

The easiest way to do it is through AirTM but cashiers at AirTM will charge you a fee, typically 10-15%. It is safe and quick but pricey, can't you link your PayPal account to your bank in NZ?

I transfer my PP funds to my BoA account, then I XOOM to my Colombia BC account and its done.

Thanks for your comment, you can actually transfer funds from PayPal directly to Bancolombia (cash pickup only) and Davivienda (Cash pickup and bank transfer) with Remitly.
In order to use PayPal with Remitly you need your to order a PayPal debit card and use it to pay for the transactions. Remitly offers better exchange rates than Xoom and the transfer fee is only $3,99.
If you use this link you'll get an special rate as a welcome bonus:
If you want to continue using Xoom you don't need to transfer your PayPal funds to your bank account first, Xoom is owned by PayPal and it has integration with Xoom, you just have to login into Xoom with your PayPal credentials.

Remitly, Xoom, Paypal etc are great when i was sending money overseas for the business. However i have started to use [link moderated] to wire money to my employees overseas & have found them to be incredibly smooth, would definitely recommend to anyone looking around for a business remittance service

I have three credit cards (from the US) that don't charge exchange rate fees from dollars to pesos. So I transfer from PayPal to the credit card which I can use in Colombia. No charge.

OR I transfer funds to my Citibank account and withdraw the cash here at Citibank ATMs (now Scotiabank)... they give you the official exchange rate BUT they charge 3%

Expats receiving government benefits can have cash coming in regularly with no overseas-bank withdrawal fees .. by setting up direct-deposit to their bank in Colombia.  A cédula ID card associated with an approved immigration visa may be required to obtain the bank account, which is typically a savings account.

A USA Embassy with a Benefits Unit can set this up for USA Expats, as it did for me.

Monthly income into your savings account means fewer times needing to obtain funds through a USA-based bank's card, PayPal or another entity not based in Colombia.

I am charged a wire fee of 15 dollars a month to have the money sent my Banco account on the first of the month, and I am charged only 35 cents per withdrawal at a Banco branch. 


Hi Kiwi! I'm not sure if you sorted out this already (probably you have since its been a while) but Bancolombia now allows Paypal money to be wired in using Nequi, their cash payments' app. It seems to be simple to use and it does the "declaracion cambiaria" online at the APP. You just need to register.

Hope it helps!