PayPal is the world’s most popular online payment solution. It is used by millions of people around the globe to buy and sell goods and services online, as well as to transfer money instantly to friends and family.
While the company is not without its critics, there is no doubting its convenience and increasing ubiquity, as most e-commerce sites now accept PayPal and, for some, it’s actually the only payment option offered.
How PayPal works
The main reason for the popularity of PayPal is that it acts as a secure airlock between you and your money on the one hand, and the website you’re buying from on the other. When you open a PayPal account, you link it to a bank account, debit card or credit card, authorising PayPal to withdraw money from that source when you make a payment. This means that you never have to pass on your bank or card details to any third party when you buy from them: only PayPal has your financial information, while the sites you buy from only deal with PayPal, not your bank.
A secure option
As a huge multinational company with a reputation that rests on its trustworthiness, PayPal takes security very seriously. They use a sophisticated encryption process and never disclose your financial details, while constantly monitoring all transactions and taking a pro-active approach to fraud prevention.
If you discover that you’ve been charged for a purchase you didn’t make, or someone seems to have withdrawn money from your account without your permission, so long as you report this to PayPal, you should get the money back. PayPal also makes it easy to claim a refund if you’ve been wrongly charged or received goods that are not as described.
Not just shopping
PayPal is the easiest option for online shopping, as you can pay for almost anything with just a few clicks and don’t need your card details to hand. But it can also be used in a wide range of other contexts, from regular subscriptions to entertainment websites. If you enjoy playing casino games online, it’s easy to find an online casino with PayPal deposit, and you can withdraw any winnings to your PayPal account as well.
Many people also find PayPal to be the most convenient method of sending money instantly to friends and family around the world. Any amount can be transferred from one PayPal account to another instantly, with no fees or complicated forms to complete. Keeping some money in your PayPal account, separate from your regular bank account, is also a great way to have some “fun money” or emergency cash flow.
Why it’s worth having an account
Even if you’re not planning on using it anytime soon, it’s worth setting up a PayPal account in advance. You never know when it might come in handy, and while PayPal is quick and convenient to use once you have it, setting it up does take some time. That is because PayPal needs to verify your identity and bank details in order to provide the level of security its users expect. It’s better to have a PayPal account set up before you need it rather than to wait until you do.
Ideal for small businesses
Small businesses that trade online have found that PayPal is the easiest way to receive payment for their products or services. Freelancers have also found that many agencies prefer to pay into a PayPal account. Whether you’re doing work for hire or selling through a website, or an e-commerce platform like Big Cartel or Etsy, having PayPal makes things a whole lot easier.
Free and easy
Setting up a PayPal account is free and there are no fees to pay on the majority of transactions. PayPal takes a small cut from the seller rather than the buyer in commercial exchanges and doesn’t charge for withdrawals. You can either log on using your browser or download the app meaning you can use PayPal on your phone wherever you are. Indeed, some might say that, if anything, PayPal is too easy to use, especially for those impulse eBay purchases, where you can pay via PayPal with a single click.
With an increasing number of activities either happening online or being booked that way, having PayPal just makes modern life a whole lot easier to navigate. You can buy, sell, pay bills, help out friends and relatives, get paid and donate to charity using the platform. Many retailers also offer exclusive PayPal discounts. Keeping all this in mind, it does seem like it’s worth signing up today.