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What is PayPal?

Introduction

PayPal is simply a tool used to for sending and receiving money. It was originally developed as a tool for accepting payments on your website, but it is quickly making its way into the retail market allowing merchants to process transactions at the point of sale.

How Does PayPal Work?

When you create a PayPal account, you will enter your bank account and credit card information into the PayPal platform. This process allows PayPal to verify its users which reduces the possibility of fraud when sending or receiving money.

PayPal also acts sort of like another bank account for you, although, they’re not technically a bank. Money you receive will fall into your PayPal account, and you can also transfer money to PayPal from your standard bank account. You carry a PayPal balance just like a checking account and you can pay for things with this balance just like cash in a bank account. You can even get a PayPal debit card and make purchases with cash-back rewards.

If you’re on the receiving end of a PayPal transaction, the money will drop into your PayPal account and sit there, as cash, until you either spend it or transfer the funds to your actual bank account.

There is a fee for receiving business transactions with PayPal (personal payments are free) but there is no fee to transfer funds to your bank account. The fees PayPal charges for business transactions are very competitive when compared to traditional merchant accounts.

How Does PayPal Protect Buyers?

When you pay for things with PayPal, the actual merchant you’re purchasing goods or services from will never see anything more than your email address and a shipping address, if applicable. The billing information like your credit card number, billing address, etc. is never seen or stored by the merchant. As such, the odds of your financial information falling into the hands of a fraudster are very slim.

Also, when paying with items using PayPal, the experience is generally very quick when compared to handling cash, typing credit card information, or even swiping a credit card. You would receive a payment request, and all you have to do is enter your PayPal email and password to confirm the payment to complete it.

How Does PayPal Help Merchants Receive Money?

PayPal provides a number of ways for merchants to receive money through their platform. While the standard use of PayPal is the most popular, where buyers sign in and pay through the PayPal platform, merchants can also sign up with Virtual Terminal and Website Payments Pro. This allows them to receive credit card payments directly just like a standard merchant account. This way, you can offer your buyers multiple methods of paying and increase conversion rates.

How Do I Get PayPal?

You can simply register for an account and you will receive all the information you need via email to get up-and-running quickly and easily. PayPal also provides plenty of support options should you have any questions or concerns along the way.

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4 Responses

  1. Bert berry says:

    When I put my information in I still cannot access PayPal what do you need that I am not giving you. This is so frustrating

    • Hi Bert,

      I’m sorry you’re having issues. I’m not 100% sure I understand where you’re running into trouble, though. Did you complete the account registration process at PayPal? If so you should receive an email with all the information you need to get going. Once the account is created you can sign in at http://www.paypal.com with your email and password you created during signup.

      If you continue to have trouble let me know.

  2. How do I use paypal for a vacation rental transaction that will not occur until July or August 2012?

    • There are a number of ways you could handle that including Preapproved Payments, Authorization and Capture, or Reference Transactions. If you need more information about these options feel free to contact me directly.

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