PayPal Account Reserve puts a hold on a specific amount of money in your PayPal account in case you incur financial risks, such as chargebacks, disputes, and claims.
There are three types of PayPal account reserves:
- Rolling Reserves: A rolling reserve is a PayPal account reserve where they hold a percentage of each transaction you receive each day and then release it later on a scheduled basis. That is the most common type of reserve. For example, they could set your reserve at 10% and hold it for a 90-day rolling period. That means, PayPal will reserve 10% of the money you receive on day 1 and then release it on day 91, and 10% of the money you receive on day 2 is reserved until day 92, etc.
- Minimum Reserves: A minimum reserve is a PayPal account reserve that keeps a definite minimum amount of money in your reserve balance. In this case, they either take the minimum reserve as a percentage of funds held until it reaches a certain amount or a one-time amount. For instance, PayPal could hold 5% of your daily transaction volume until they reach a balance of $5,000, or a one-time amount of $5,000 taken from the available balance and deposited in the reserve balance.
- Jumpstart Reserves: This type of PayPal account reserve is when PayPal holds funds from your available balance immediately. Example: PayPal could decide to keep a $10,000 jumpstart reserve and $20,000 in the PayPal account balance, and move $10,000 to "reserves" immediately.
There could also be a combination of different PayPal account reserves on your account depending on the perceived risk level your transaction presents.
Why you could get PayPal Account Reserve and how to reverse it
PayPal determines accounts they place a reserve on using several metrics. Some of these metrics are as follows:
- Your processing history with PayPal and other payment providers: PayPal could place an account reserve on new vendors until they prove their credibility by establishing a successful transaction record.
- Whether your industry has a higher likelihood of chargebacks or refunds: If your industry is prone to chargebacks or refunds, PayPal account reserve will help protect your customers from such risks.
- Whether your account has a high number of customer claims and disputes: If customers have flagged your account for different reasons, PayPal may delay the availability of your funds with the PayPal account reserve until they ascertain you are trustworthy.
- Your business and personal credit history: According to PayPal, if you or your company does not have reliable credit standing, an account reserve serves to cover incidental liabilities to be incurred by your prospects.
- Your delivery time frames and whether you are selling products or services in advance (pre-selling orders): PayPal account reserve also serves to protect your customers from default in this case.
As a matter of due diligence, you should keep an eye on whether or not you've received any form of PayPal account reserve to ensure they don't take you unawares. And you can see details of reserves on your account when you log into your PayPal Business account and view the balance ‘on hold.’ That tab shows you the amount of money in reserve and when they plan to release your funds, as the case may be.
If you have a rolling account reserve, PayPal will only release your money at a pre-determined date. For instance, if you have a 90-day rolling reserve, funds from “Day 1” sales will be available on “Day 91.” Meaning that they release funds at the time of the original payment. If PayPal reserved a specific amount at 9 am on Day 1, they would release it at 9 am on Day 91.
Minimum PayPal account reserves are reviewed every 180 days. PayPal proactively examines account reserves. And based on improvements to your business performance, they may adjust or remove the reserves. As account reserve places some level of limitation on your access to your transaction funds, the best bet is to ensure you limit their occurrence. And when they happen, you must know how to expedite accessing your funds.
How to reverse the PayPal account reserve
As I stated earlier, PayPal could reduce or altogether remove the reserves with positive changes to critical areas such as performance, industry, claims reduction, among other indices.
You can reverse specific PayPal account reserve incidents and reduce the likelihood of having a reserve placed on your account by following these seller best practices:
- Early shipment and proof of delivery: Ship your orders promptly and give your customers valid tracking information through PayPal, so they can keep tabs on their purchases and know when to expect delivery. As a “PayPal account reserve” reversal mechanism, if you print your shipping label outside of the PayPal platform, do well to upload your tracking information so that PayPal can verify that the package was shipped and delivered.
- Ask your buyer to confirm order reception: Communicate early and often with your buyers. And let them know about any changes, delays, or other important information. Also, ask them to confirm when they’ve received an order. PayPal will release your money as soon as the customer confirms order reception.
- Be proactive and responsive: Keep an eye on your buyer complaint rates regularly. And try to minimize complaint rates by keeping them below 1% of your sales volume. Avoid long refund times as they can lead to complaints from dissatisfied customers.
- Automate your PayPal dispute and chargeback management: PayPal’s policy framework states that reserves are necessary throughout your relationship with the company. In that wise, preventing PayPal account reserves isn’t always possible. Depending on your industry and your credit history, you might never be able to remove a PayPal account reserve entirely. To ensure you don’t run the risk of having excessive disputes and chargebacks trapping your company in the PayPal account reserve cycle, you can integrate Chargeflow’s dispute mediation service to keep you below the 1% dispute-to-sales volume rate.
You can pre-empt PayPal Account Reserve with Chargeflow
A customer who receives prompt service, accurate order fulfillment, and speedy billing isn't likely to file complaints or make returns in the future. He or she will rather come back to buy from you again. That's speaking of customers with good intentions and not the ones with an agenda to cause you troubles. No matter how diligent you are in your business practices, you can NEVER prevent those vicious online shoplifters from taking a swing.
The question is, how do you know the good ones from the others?
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