PayPal: Using the Web's Best Billfold

Of the masses of eBay sellers and budding online entrepreneurs, there is one factor that many of them have in common. They all accept PayPal.

Owned by eBay since 2002, PayPal is an electronic payment method that serves as an “online wallet” for members, making Internet transactions easier and more convenient while creating a safe trading environment. The service allows customers to pay for online purchases however they prefer, including credit cards, bank accounts, buyer credit, or account balances, all without sharing financial information.

According to eBay, 75 percent of its buyers pay for their purchases with PayPal. Businesses that add PayPal to their payment options also see an average sales increase of 14 percent. With one of the lowest fraud rates in the online retail industry—less than 0.5 percent—PayPal is one of the most secure methods of online payment. PayPal payments are also made immediately, so they are quicker than check or money orders.

According to the PayPal website, Kurt Denke and his wife Pam of Seattle, Washington, enjoy the security that PayPal provides for customers of their online business, BlueJeansCable.com. All of their customers’ financial information is stored on PayPal’s secure server, so the Denkes don’t have to be concerned about the risk associated with handling customer credit card numbers. The couple continuously makes it a point to reassure their customers that they are completing a secure transaction with PayPal.

Signing up for a PayPal Premier or Business account takes about five minutes. To begin, simply enter www.paypal.com in your browser and click on the “Sign Up Now” button. You will then need to choose the type of account that you want. Sellers intending to use PayPal for their business should select either a Business or Premier account. A Premier account is good for both buying and selling. Account holders can make secure payments on eBay and merchant websites and accept credit card, debit card, and bank account payments for low fees. A Business account is a good choice for an online business. This type of account also accepts credit card, debit card, and bank account payments for low fees, but one major difference is that a Business account allows for multi-user access.

PayPal allows members to have one Personal account and one Premier or Business account; however, each PayPal account must contain unique e-mail addresses and financial information. After entering your information, you will need to verify your information by confirming your e-mail address and adding and confirming your bank account.

The last step involves choosing your preferred payment choices, including credit cards, bank transfers, debit cards, and more. You may upgrade your account at any time.

If you offer PayPal as a payment option on eBay, you must accept all forms of PayPal payment including bank account transfers and credit cards. Although there is a small fee for each payment completed through PayPal, there are no setup fees, no monthly fees, and no minimum charge requirements.

The Denkes, like many small business owners, have seen the benefits of adding PayPal to their payment options. Today, 95 percent of their site’s revenue is processed through PayPal.

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