If you are in need of making or receiving online payments from friends or family, online auctions or rewards programs, PayPal.com is the site for you. The leader in E-commerce transactions has provided, for several years running, an absolutely free service for private users along with inexpensive rates for business transactions.
Users from many different countries and regions can indeed send and receive money through PayPal.com’s tried and tested secure servers. Yes, your transactions are as safe and secure as any online activity can possibly be at this point in time and space: In fact, in my experience it’s proven to be more secure than using my debit or credit cards to purchase goods via the Internet.
When you point your browser to the URL, you will be greeted with a basic, user-friendly layout: Subdued colors with clearly marked buttons and links for ease of surfing. You can create an account at no cost by clicking the “Sign Up” button located in the top left corner of your screen, or click the “Log In” button directly above it if you have already created an account and wish to access your information.
The main screen also features several navigational tabs at the top so that you can access your account, request or send a payment, go back to the main screen, et cetera. You will also find blurbs from USA Today and other news sources, singing their praises for this fast, efficient, and cost-free site. After the obligatory back-patting is over and done with, the focus shifts back to you, the customer.
Account creation is simple: Just enter a few details such as e-mail address; full name; home address; phone number, and a few miscellaneous details. Choose a password (please, choose one that is different from the rest of your passwords – let’s not be foolhardy, ladies and gentlemen) and then confirm that you do, in fact, want the account at the e-mail address you specified. The e-mail is your username, and you can have up to seven addresses stored. They will all access the same account, which proves to be of utmost convenience: If you have a special e-mail address reserved for online auctions, you can link it to the exact same PayPal account that you use for online shopping. Yes indeed, PayPal has gone out of its way to make things convenient for us.
You do not need a credit card, debit card, or banking account to sign up with PayPal. However, it is a good idea to give them a credit card number or some other financial information in order to “verify” your account. If you don’t, then you will have an unverified account, and some PayPal-accepting merchants might not wish to do business with you.
See, PayPal’s transactions are all insured for verified users: If something goes dreadfully wrong, odds are that all parties will be satisfied and incidences of fraudulent transactions or broken promises are investigated to the fullest extent possible. It is not foolproof, of course, as criminals and honest citizens who make mistakes run rampant throughout the planet. However, you can rest assured that, if you have verified your PayPal account, you will have protection whether you send, receive, bill, or shop.
You will also find that your transaction history is recorded for easy access and record keeping. You will find a summary of payments sent and received, as well as any deposits you have made to your account with a credit or debit card. This makes fraudulent claims investigations that much more simple, and it helps you to recall whether or not you did in fact pay for that body piercing jewelry you ordered from bodymodern.com last week (as was the case with me a few months ago).
Transactions are oh so very simple: You simply log in to your account and indicate that you wish to send money. The recipient must have an e-mail address that is registered with PayPal in order to collect their money, of course. The registratin process is fast, easy, and costs nothing, so there's really no excuse not to give it a thought, right?
”Okay, that’s great and all, but how do I get my money out of the account?”
You can request that a check be cut – and pay a small fee for it.
You can click on the “Shop” button near the top of the page and spend your money at any of the shops who have registered with PayPal.
You can use the funds to pay off a business or individual that you owe money to – without paying anything for the transaction, of course.
Or, there is another option that allows the money to sit there and accrue an interest gain of a little over two percent (invested in the MoneyMarket - thus no guarantees, and if you lose your money they have alreadly clearly stated that it's not their problem). This is not much, but it is something at least!
“Great. Why should I use PayPal when I’ve got a perfectly good credit or debit card?”
PayPal does not give financial institution information to the people or businesses it sends transactions to. For example, when purchasing from an online auction, if the individual will accept PayPal transactions they will only need your e-mail address in order to send money to you. Conversely, all YOU need to send money their way is the e-mail address associated with their PayPal account.