How to: Connect your Korean bank account to Paypal

The card you want to have eventually.

The card you want to have eventually.

So, you’ve arrived in Korea and have a bank account. Using the guide to make an international bank card, you’ve changed your account from the most basic of cards to one with a Visa or Mastercard sticker on it. Perhaps you’ve even used your card on a website to order yourself something from home! But you’re still being hammered by double wire fees when sending your savings back home to where ever you live. Well, lets change that.

The first thing you’re going to do is go to the Korean Paypal website. Scroll to the bottom and change the settings to English, unless you like a good challenge with Korean. You’re then going to create an account. You’ll probably want to go with the “Buy With Paypal” option.

Once you’ve created your account, you’re going to go to “Link Your Card” and click “Add A Bank Account”. There, you’re going to put your card type (either Visa or Mastercard), the card number, the expiry date, CSC and your address on the bank account.

This is where things get a little vague, because I no longer have a Korean bank account and am going from my own memories.

Paypal usually do a test deposit to make sure the person making the Paypal account also has control over the bank account. They will usually deposit two really small amounts into your account, and you’ll need to input the two amounts. When I was in Korea, these two amounts didn’t show up in my bank book. I needed to call the English line for my bank and have them help me identify the two deposits.

Once the bank account is verified, you should be good to go! You then need to click “Pay or Send Payment” and then “Make A Payment In A Few Seconds”. You’ll then send the money to your Paypal account back home, with your home bank account. The transfer is quick and easy!

Now, a few disclaimers:

  • This option is not always the cheapest method. Some banks have really good wire transfer plans, while some banks will completely destroy you in fees. If you’re transferring small amounts frequently, Paypal is probably the cheaper option. However, if you’re sending a large amount, the wire fees might be cheaper than Paypal’s percent based deductions.
  • Your Korean bank account might have different ways of showing the deposits. If you do have to verify deposits, and they’re not showing up after a week, contact your bank and ask them to help pinpoint the deposits.
  • I have been away from Korea for two years now. The paypal instructions are correct, but I have no way of knowing what the actual fees are from Paypal. It’s worth giving it a test, but make sure to compare your options.