PayPal has quickly become the gold standard for online transactions and is now a company in its own right. Originally a part of eBay, the company now offers its services across thousands of merchants for personal and business use. But if you have never used the site before, here’s a comprehensive guide to setting up and using a PayPal account.
Setting up an account
You can use PayPal to make payments without having an account, but it means entering your bank or card details every time. However, if you set up an account, you can take advantage of the site to pay money straight from your account or card. This is because PayPal securely stores the card and account information that you add so you don’t have to input them after setting up the account.
To set up, you will need either a bank account or debit or credit card number to get started. You create an account with a username which is your chosen email address and a password – you can always use software like LastPass to remember this password and to generate a secure, random one.
You will be asked to add a few basic details to set up the account and then you need to verify your account or card. This is done by taking a payment of £1 from the account or putting a payment in – this transaction will have a special code on it that you collect from your bank statement. You put this into the applicable place on PayPal while you are setting up the account and this verifies your account. If you have any trouble with this process, you can contact PayPal customer service number to get help.
Adding extra payment options
Once you have set up your bank account, you can add extra payment options such as credit or debit cards. You can also use other bank accounts and follow the same verification process if you have more than one account that you use.
Once you have put these different payment methods into the account you can then choose which you use. You can set up a default which PayPal will use automatically but you can also change it to something different every time you make a payment – so if you want to use a credit card for one shop but your bank account for the rest.
If you receive money into PayPal such as from selling things on eBay or from money transferred from someone else, you can elect to use this PayPal balance first before anything is taken from your card or account.
One of the main reasons so many people trust PayPal with their online transactions is the high level of security that it offers. Every transaction is sent with advanced encryption technology to protect your details from hackers and cybercriminals. This means there is a much lower chance of your information or bank details being stolen than using a less secure payment method.
PayPal also has a fraud protection system that means they monitor every transaction, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Their aim is to prevent fraud and identity theft as well as help with things like phishing emails and other scams. If you think you have fallen victim to one you can ring the PayPal freephone number to report the problem. There is also a dedicated email address for potentially fraudulent emails claiming to be from PayPal – [email protected]
PayPal’s buyer protection comes from their original partnership with eBay and is aimed to give people shopping online extra reassurance. It helps you in a range of ways including:
- You bought a book, but the seller sent a DVD
- You bought an item listed as new, but it was used
- You bought three of an item but only receive two
- The item was damaged in the post
- The item was missing parts that weren’t specified as missing in the description
- You receive a copy item rather than a genuine one
The protection is there to help if you have been misled or something is wrong with the item based on the description given by the seller. It doesn’t cover some things such as motorised vehicles, real estate or custom-made items. And the protection doesn’t exist if you send money to friends or family.
Sending and receiving money
Another benefit of PayPal is the ability to send and receive money from friends and family. Say your son is away at university and finds himself a little short for the week – you can just send him some money via PayPal. Or your friend picked up the bar tab last night because you forget your wallet – you can send him your share via the site.
The PayPal app is the easiest way to do this and allows you to connect your address book then select a friend from it to send the money. It takes an average of 20 seconds to send the money and you can send it around the world. There are 25 currencies available and all you need is an email address or mobile number to send the cash.
You can even send money as a gift with a range of personalised message cards available when you have someone’s email address. And you can receive money with the creation of a unique link that you can then share.
Special offers and deals
Because PayPal is involved with so many companies around the world and is the preferred payment transaction option, they often get deals and special offers from these partners. Check out their special page for deals to see what offers you can get when using your PayPal account including money off at clothes retailers, discount on your weekly shop and special offers from companies around the world.
PayPal has quickly become the benchmark for online payment companies. With their high level of security, 24/7 help and customer service phone numbers and ease of use, the company are the top way to send and receive money over the internet for millions of people.