Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
Asma is a fintech writer at AskWallet

PayPal — pioneer of online payments. Does it stand out in a crowded field?

PayPal is an online financial service operating worldwide and has a total of 346 million active accounts. After getting acquired by eBay in 2002, it gained more visibility and benefited from the rapid growth of e-commerce, but is it still useful in 2020. If you want to know more about this e-Wallet, I have put together all the key information in this article.

7 min read 18.01.2021

What is PayPal?

PayPal is one of the very first online payment wallets and the biggest merchant payment service. It introduced a new way of making online purchases and saved users from the hassle of communicating the bank details repeatedly. 

 

Its international influence has been gaining momentum day by day, and it recently entered the cryptocurrency market. It plans to introduce buying options in the US in a few weeks, followed by a full rollout in early 2021. Consumers could store Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, and other virtual currencies in their PayPal wallets. They could use these coins for online payments, and PayPal will convert these into relevant fiat currency. So, the payee will only get Dollars, British Pounds, or Euros.

 

However, it is losing customers due to the lack of seriousness and professionalism of its customer support. Many customers, including those using it for many years, have shown distrust in buyer protection. There are tons of complaints regarding customer support, which was unreachable despite trying many times. Consumers have regarded this service as a joke- The messaging service advises to call, and upon calling, they are advised to write a message. Often, the line is so bad that the employees made you repeat several times until you get discouraged.

 

Being a third party in financial transactions is difficult, and PayPal may be injuring both merchants and buyers when it comes to settling disputes. Some buyer reviews highlighted that they opened a dispute with the seller, and PayPal asked them to send the item back. But they were given the wrong shipping address, and the seller never received the item. Therefore, the refunds were never approved, and the cases were closed without further justification. Besides, the consumer paid even more to return the package than they paid as purchase price, and PayPal does not even reimburse those costs. 

 

It appears that PayPal is siding with the merchants (as they pay the sellers’ fee - 2.9% of the sales price along with $0.30 per transaction). Buyers are not trusting PayPal for settling their open disputes and have lost money too. 

 

Is PayPal Safe?

To remain competitive, PayPal operates in full transparency and legality. Having the required authorizations and operating within a legal framework means no worries regarding the security of transactions performed through this platform. I will elaborate it a bit here with an example; PayPal's subsidiary in Europe is registered under Luxembourg's license and regulated by the country's Financial Sector Supervisory Commission. So, when you use PayPal to pay or get paid, you are transacting in a 100% secure environment.

 

PayPal Services

Individuals and merchants can use PayPal. As it is a private service, individuals don't need to be customers of a particular banking institution. They can create an account on PayPal site, select your desired account type to start using the e-Wallet. 

 

With this virtual wallet, you can:

 

  1. Pay online without entering your bank details. Only your username and password is needed to use PayPal as a payment method.
  2. Send money by simply entering the recipient’s email id.
  3. Receive money by offering your services/products (for Merchants, freelancers, or anyone receiving his salary against the job performed) or from family and friends.

 

Funding a PayPal account

Before I explain how to fund your PayPal e-Wallet, I wanted to highlight that your funds in this account are called electronic money. If you wish to use PayPal to pay online, money must be available in this account. Otherwise, the funds will be obtained from your funding sources (your debit or credit card linked to your e-Wallet). Learn how to link your card here. 

 

If you are adding money via bank transfer, follow these steps:

 

  1. Use the “Transfer money” option in your balance section on the main page. 
  2. Then select “Add money to your balance” under the money in option.
  3. Add the desired amount to transfer.
  4. Review and finalize the transfer.

 

Read this resource for the most common questions asked about adding money. 

 

Reward points

The service’s users can only use PayPal Cashback Mastercard and the PayPal Extras Mastercard. PayPal members can use these for in-store, online, and PayPal purchases. Where MasterCard is accepted. 

 

With the Cashback card, you can win cash rewards on eligible purchases and redeem directly to your PayPal balance. But you should have a Cash or Cash Plus account to do that. Otherwise, the rewards can only be transferred to the debit card linked to your e-Wallet or bank account. PayPal has recently updated its terms for these two accounts, where you can check the updated user agreement, available features, fee information, and other conditions. The link also explains the policy regarding the opening/closing of these accounts and receiving and holding funds. 

 

The Extras Mastercard lets you win reward points on eligible purchases. You can redeem these as Air travel/Vacation/Hotel vouchers, merchandise, gift cards, or as cashback to your Cash or Cash Plus balance. Unfortunately, these cards can only be used by the US account holders currently.

 

I highly suggest checking this link to learn more about the terms used here. The conditions of the reward program for both cards can be viewed separately here and here.

 

You should not confuse these cards with PayPal Cash Mastercard and PayPal Prepaid Card. These two cards are not credit cards and offer different benefits. You can use these anywhere MasterCard is accepted.

Pros & Cons

  • Paypal is a reliable and secure payment service
  • Bank details are never communicated
  • The service offers an online support channel via Twitter
  • The transactions are conducted almost instantly
  • All services are free for buyers
  • For sellers, the fees are very competitive
  • Payments via the app or a tablet or desktop computer
  • Free account opening and closing
  • Customer service is not attentive and responsive
  • Currency exchange is not beneficial
  • Risk of scams. Here the malfunction comes from the fraudsters who use this service
  • User accounts may be suddenly closed

Conclusion

In this review, you have read my analysis on PayPal. Undoubtedly, it is very popular and 100% secure for online shopping. I found it very functional because it meets all our needs. You can shop online with peace as a large majority of sites accept it.

 

The key problem with this e-Wallet is its support service. Thousands of users have shared their horror stories of sudden account closure, unsettled disputes, and funds getting stuck on a random basis. As you can see that I have included many links in this article to guide you, it seems that PayPal also wants its users to figure out issues independently. This reduces the support team's load as much of our time is spent researching the knowledge base or asking others on the community forum. If you find it inconvenient, I suggest that you call or email them directly. 

 

Apart from this, PayPal is just as convenient for users as it is for merchants. In terms of quality of services, speed of transactions, prices, reliability, and security, it is still the online payments’ leader.

 

PayPal FAQ

How to add money to PayPal?

To add money from the website:

 

  1. Tap on “Transfer money” after logging in.
  2. Select the option -“Add money to balance.” 
  3. The process concludes with choosing your bank and entering the amount.
  4. Finally tap the “Add” button.

 

If you are using PayPal app:

 

Simply click on the “PayPal balance” and use the “Add money” button. 

We would recommend contacting PayPal customer service if you are unable to add funds or need more information. 

 
How to create a PayPal account?

To create your PayPal account:

 

  1. Click on the “Sign Up” button on PayPal’s website.
  2. Select the user type.
  3. Fill out the fields, then move on to the next step by clicking “Continue.”
  4. Enter additional information.
  5. Fill out the form.
  6. Tap “Continue.”

 

There are still several steps remaining. Click on the “Get started” icon to complete the next steps such as adding card info and authenticating your details.

How to send money through PayPal?

Here’s how to do it:

 

  1. Click the “Send and Request” icon.
  2. Select any of the available options such as payment for services etc.
  3. Enter the receiver’s details and amount
  4. Click “Continue.”
  5. Complete the process by tapping on “Send money now.”
 
How to delete a PayPal account?

To delete your PayPal account, first ensure that your account is unrestricted and has zero balance with no PayPal disputes. After logging in:

 

  1. Select the “Settings” option located just next to the “Logout” button.
  2. Navigate to the “Account options”, and click on “close your account” option.
  3. You may be requested to enter your bank account number. 
  4. Finally, tap on the “close your account” option.

 

You may contact PayPal customer care if you need further help.

How to withdraw money from PayPal?

Website:

 

  1. Click on “Transfer to your bank account.”
  2. Complete the next steps.

 

PayPal app:

 

  1. Click on “Withdraw funds.” 
  2. Complete the next steps.


You can also use the PayPal hotline to know about the PayPal fees involved.

How to add money to PayPal?

To add money from the website:

 

  1. Tap on “Transfer money” after logging in.
  2. Select the option -“Add money to balance.” 
  3. The process concludes with choosing your bank and entering the amount.
  4. Finally tap the “Add” button.

 

If you are using PayPal app:

 

Simply click on the “PayPal balance” and use the “Add money” button. 

We would recommend contacting PayPal customer service if you are unable to add funds or need more information. 

 
How to delete a PayPal account?

To delete your PayPal account, first ensure that your account is unrestricted and has zero balance with no PayPal disputes. After logging in:

 

  1. Select the “Settings” option located just next to the “Logout” button.
  2. Navigate to the “Account options”, and click on “close your account” option.
  3. You may be requested to enter your bank account number. 
  4. Finally, tap on the “close your account” option.

 

You may contact PayPal customer care if you need further help.

How to create a PayPal account?

To create your PayPal account:

 

  1. Click on the “Sign Up” button on PayPal’s website.
  2. Select the user type.
  3. Fill out the fields, then move on to the next step by clicking “Continue.”
  4. Enter additional information.
  5. Fill out the form.
  6. Tap “Continue.”

 

There are still several steps remaining. Click on the “Get started” icon to complete the next steps such as adding card info and authenticating your details.

How to withdraw money from PayPal?

Website:

 

  1. Click on “Transfer to your bank account.”
  2. Complete the next steps.

 

PayPal app:

 

  1. Click on “Withdraw funds.” 
  2. Complete the next steps.


You can also use the PayPal hotline to know about the PayPal fees involved.

How to send money through PayPal?

Here’s how to do it:

 

  1. Click the “Send and Request” icon.
  2. Select any of the available options such as payment for services etc.
  3. Enter the receiver’s details and amount
  4. Click “Continue.”
  5. Complete the process by tapping on “Send money now.”
 
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Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
As a fintech researcher and writer, she enriches AskWallet website with new posts and articles. Asma is an MBA graduate from IoBM, Karachi and has been working in the financial services industry since 2013. She loves traveling, listening to music, and watching Netflix.