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How to Stop Payment on a PayPal Purchase

Updated July 20, 2017

PayPal has been around since 1998 and is one of the most popular online payment solutions available today. More than 153 million PayPal accounts have been created in 190 different markets and 24 different currencies. According to the PayPal Help Center, it may not be possible to place a stop payment on a PayPal purchase. Only unclaimed payments that meet certain criteria can be cancelled. Once the payment has been claimed, a refund must be requested directly from the recipient.

Access the PayPal website. Sign in by entering your e-mail address and password on the left side of the screen.

Determine whether your payment has been claimed by the recipient. Access the My Account screen. Look at the transaction line for the purchase in question. If the payment status is pending, the payment has not been claimed. If the payment status is completed, then the recipient has claimed the money and the purchase can not be cancelled. Contact the recipient and ask for a refund. The recipient's e-mail address can be located by going to the "History" tab, clicking on the transaction in question, and then clicking on "Details."

Decide whether the unclaimed payment can be cancelled. According to the PayPal website, customers have the option to stop payment on a PayPal purchase if the money was sent to an e-mail address that is not linked to a PayPal account. If not cancelled, once the email address is added to the PayPal account, the transaction will be processed automatically. PayPal's website also indicates that a payment sent to an unconfirmed e-mail address can be cancelled, but due to security reasons, PayPal is only able to credit payments to confirmed e-mail addresses.

Cancel the unclaimed payment. Click on the "My Account" tab at the top of the website. Click on the "History" sub-tab, which is the second row of menu choices. Next, find the transaction in question and click on "Cancel" in the Order status/Actions column. Finally, click on "Cancel Payment."

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About the Author

Janis Bennett began writing in the corporate world in 1996 and has been a freelance writer since 2009. She uses her expertise in Web content writing to provide readers with top-quality articles on a variety of topics. Bennett has an Associate of Applied Arts in computer information systems.