What to do when you're unable to pay with PayPal

Running into a PayPal error when supporting a creator? Don't worry! Remember, creators connect their own PayPal and/or Stripe accounts to receive payments, so the problem could be the creator’s end or on your side. But don't fret, we're here to make sure your support reaches them!


Steps to tackle PayPal payment issues

When something goes wrong with a PayPal payment, you might see an error message like the one below.

failed-payment 1 1.png

  • "Something went wrong. Please try again later."
  • "Unable to process payment, try again later."
  • "We could not process payment at this time. Please try again later."

Sometimes you won’t see an error at all, but the payment won’t proceed.

If you're having trouble paying with PayPal, here are some steps to help you sort things out:

  1. Switch your browser or try a private/incognito window. Give the payment another go using a different browser or a private window. You could also try using a different device.
  2. Check with your payment provider. Your transaction might be blocked for safety reasons, particularly if there's a change in your usual spending patterns or you're paying a new recipient.
  3. Try a different payment method. If one option isn't working, switch to another card, or use your PayPal account directly.
  4. Make sure your bank card or account is verified. If you're using PayPal, ensure your card is verified. Check out PayPal’s support guide here.
  5. Updates and version requirements. Keep your device and browsers updated. Some PayPal features need the latest versions to work smoothly.
  6. Check your PayPal account on a desktop. Log in at PayPal.com and see if there are any important notifications which could be stopping your payment going through.
  7. Reach out to PayPal support. They might have the answers you need. Go to their support page, or to use live chat support, scroll down to 'Recommended' and 'Message us'.

PayPal also offers a more detailed guide explaining why payments fail and how to resolve these issues. Check out their support guide here, and navigate to Payments > Payment Declined for more information.


Remember you are paying the creator directly. The issue could be with their payment account, it’s not necessarily an issue with your payment method. More notes below.

Still stuck? Send us the creator's Ko-fi link you were trying to support (like ko-fi.com/theirusername) and tell us what you've already tried. We'll do our best to sort it out.


Error when joining monthly memberships or recurring payments

For recurring support (like memberships), use a bank card that allows subscriptions. PayPal balance or prepaid cards can't be used for recurring payments.

You may need to check you have a verified bank account or credit card linked to your PayPal account.

We're here if you need us. Feel free to send any questions our way. 💌


Other reasons for payment failures

Let's break down some specific issues you might encounter:

🌍 Country restrictions

PayPal has its own set of rules for sending and receiving money for each country. It's a good idea to check if PayPal supports transactions in your country. For example:

  • Some countries may not receive payments on PayPal from supporters within their own country due to local restrictions.
  • Some countries might not allow commercial transactions due to international regulations.
  • Some PayPal accounts can send payments but cannot receive them.


💲Local payment processors

PayPal offers local payment options like iDeal, Giropay, Przelewy24 in some countries. Sometimes transactions look successful but fail to complete. If a payment fails, you'll usually get a refund in 5 working days.

Consider alternative methods like direct PayPal payments or direct card payments.

If you need more help, contact PayPal or the local processor directly.


💳  Prepaid cards

PayPal accepts certain prepaid cards or gift cards, but not all. If your payment fails:

  • Verify if your card is accepted by PayPal.
  • Contact your card provider to check if the transaction is being blocked.
  • Remember, prepaid cards can't be used for recurring payments like monthly memberships and subscriptions.

If you have more questions, reach out to our support team and let us know what you’ve tried.


What creators can check when supporters get an error

If your payment is failing, it might be to do with the creator’s PayPal account rather than your own. Here's a quick checklist for a creator to help get a payment through:

Email verification and currency settings: Whilst logged in to PayPal, ensure your email address associated with PayPal is verified. Also, check if your account is set up to accept the various currencies used by your supporters.

Account notices and restrictions: Log into your PayPal account on a desktop. Check for any notifications or restrictions that might be affecting your ability to receive payments.

Still not working? Take a look at this article here specific for Creators.

We're here if you need us. Feel free to send any questions our way. 💌



Can I use my PayPal balance to pay for membership?

You cannot use your PayPal balance to fund a membership. You will need to use a payment method with a continuous payment source like a bank card.

Can I pay using a prepaid card?
PayPal accepts some prepaid cards. We recommend checking with PayPal support or your card provider to confirm if your prepaid card is accepted. Remember, you cannot use prepaid cards for recurring payments.
Is PayPal allowed in my country?
To find out if PayPal services are available in your country, you can check in the PayPal’s list here. Alternatively, you can reach out to PayPal directly for clarification.
I’ve been charged but my payment failed. Do I get my money back?
If you've been charged but your payment failed, rest assured that any pending charge should be returned to you by PayPal or the payment processor within 3-5 working days. If it doesn't, please raise a support ticket for further assistance.
I am seeing the error code “requirements.disabled_reason’?
If you see the error code “requirements.disabled_reason,” it means an issue with the creator's account. Please raise a support ticket to let us know.