How to Make the Best Use of PayPal

Business and Personal PayPal Accounts

PayPalPayPal is a long established online payment service that allows individuals and businesses alike to transfer funds electronically. You can use it to pay for online auctions from eBay and other places, purchase goods and services, and it can even be used to send cash to someone.

Happily a basic PayPal account is completely free to use. You can send funds to anyone who has a valid e-mail address, whether or not they have a PayPal account. If they don't have a PayPal account they'll get an email message from PayPal about the funds via email, and then they just have to sign up for their own PayPal account. It's that easy!

Funds transferred via PayPal reside in a PayPal account until the holder of the funds retrieves them or spends them.

Any PayPal account can receive money as soon as it has been set up, but to use it to send money or to buy products online, you need to set up a means of getting funds into the account. Normally you would link your PayPal account to an existing bank account, or to a credit or debit card. This is called verification by PayPal and makes your account more flexible in use.

PayPalButtonThe Business Account

With a PayPal business account you can collect money from individuals visiting a website and wishing to pay for a product. You can also use a business name for selling your various wares.

So a business adding a "Buy Now" button to their web page allows the customer to pay for an item by clicking on that button. For example, QBS PC Help use a PayPal Business account to sell a collection of eBooks - the most popular being the Easy PC Repair Guide.

Using PayPal means you can add online tools that let you accept credit cards, as well as PayPal payments.

There are no set-up fees for a PayPal business account, unlike most merchant accounts.

If you have an idea about the amount of money you'll be handling on PayPal, use the PayPal Fee Calculator to see what fees you'll have to pay.

Visit PayPal's merchant services page to learn more about the buttons and tools PayPal offers small business users.

The Business account is definitely the most flexible version for any business that wants to sell multiple products or services online.

The Personal Account

The other main account is the Personal account which is free to use. Unlike the Business account you can only receive a limited number of credit card payments and there is limited customer support. The ideal Personal account user is an online shopper who does not spend large sums of money online and makes only occasional payments and receives only a few receipts.

If you're not sure what account to choose, start with a Personal account. It's free to upgrade to a business account later if you feel you made the wrong choice.

Some PayPal users find it useful to have two PayPal accounts: a personal one for accepting payments, without paying fees and a separate business account. However, you will need a separate email address for each PayPal account.

Create Your PayPal Account

Once you've chosen the right account for your needs, click on the appropriate account button at the top of the PayPal page.

Fill in the requested information and choose a password that others won't easily guess! Want some help, try the QBS PC Help random password generator.

Read the user agreement, then click to create your account.

You'll receive a confirmation email from PayPal. Click on the link in the email. Sign into your account with the password you just set up. Now you're ready to go!

How to Verify your PayPal Account

You can verify your PayPal account by applying for a PayPal credit card or entering a bank account number. Verification confirms your identity on PayPal and makes it easier to use PayPal online. You must be verified to continue using PayPal once you've reached your sending limit.

Link a Bank Account to Your PayPal Account

If you have a choice, do not link your PayPal account to your primary bank account. If something goes wrong, you do not want to lose any of your money.

Gather your bank information, including your account and sort code numbers.

Go to PayPal and sign into your account. Click on the "Add Bank Account" link and fill in the requested information.

PayPal will make two small deposits to your bank account, approximately three days after you enter the information.
Check your bank statements for the deposits.

Return to your account page and click on the "Confirm Bank Account" link. Enter the amount of the deposits to confirm the account.

Once you've linked an account to PayPal, you can click on the "Add Funds" tab whenever you'd like to add money to your PayPal account.

Link a Credit Card to Your PayPal Account

Using a credit card may provide extra purchase protection, as your money should be protected by your credit card company as well as PayPal.

Go to PayPal and sign into your account. Click on the "Add Credit Card" link and fill in the requested information.

Click "Add Card" at the bottom of the page.

Buy Online with PayPal

PayPal Shopping

Many online businesses accept PayPal payments. To use PayPal on these sites, choose PayPal as your payment option when you go to check out. As with eBay purchases, you will be directed to the PayPal website to log into your account.
After deciding how you will fund the purchase, click the Pay button.

PayPal also offers customers a one time credit card number that allows you to make purchases on sites that do not accept PayPal.

PayPal on Your Mobile Phone

Mobile PaymentsYou can access PayPal via your smartphone as long as your carrier supports it.

To use PayPal on your smartphone, you need to log in to your PayPal account and input your mobile phone number. Now enter a PIN number.

PayPal will call your smartphone to verify the PIN.

Now you're set up for PayPal Mobile! You can either text funds, or send money via a mobile login.

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