PayPal : Java Glossary

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paypal logoPayPal
PayPal is a scheme for transferring money over the Internet.
Overview Validating PayPal Websites
Fees Passwords
Advantages PayPal On Your Own Website
Disadvantages Who Takes PayPal?
Phishing Links

Overview

PayPal is cross between a bank, a credit card company, an affiliate program, a shopping cart service, a smart card, digital cash and the Western Union. You have an account which you can fill from your credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover or Amex) or bank account or debit card. You can transfer money from that account to your bank account. Other people with PayPal accounts can give you money and you can give them money. The transaction fees are relatively low under 4.9% and $.55 per transaction. However, that means on a $1 donation, they take over a third. You can set up a shopping cart on your website in an afternoon. It is the simplest and most flexible shopping cart scheme I have seen.

Buyers can transfer money to vendors in US dollars, Euros or pounds sterling. Buyers and vendors can also transfer money to and from their bank accounts in other currencies. You can keep separate accounts in Canadian and US dollars. People are using PayPal to speculate in currency exchange fluctuations, or to transfer money out of the sinking dollar into other more stable currencies.

An authorisation is permission for a delayed payment. So for example, when you order something not in stock, you may give the vendor an authorisation to take money out of your PayPal account in future, when he actually ships the product. He may put a hold on your account for the amount to ensure you have that much money when the time comes.

Fees

PayPal now publishes its fees. It has a separate fee structure for Canada. It amounts to 4.9% + $0.55 CAD paid by the seller, (i.e. the recipient of the money.). You can set up a premier business account, which is more of a hassle to set up, but has lower fees 1.9% to 2.9% + $0.55 CAD paid by the seller, (i.e. the recipient of the money.). The British competitor moneybookers, has considerably lower fees, but is not accepted as widely. You might consider using it for person-to-person transfers.

Advantages

Credit cards are hopelessly inept and insecure for Internet purchases. It is only a matter of time before their use is totally discontinued. PayPal offers a secure though costly alternative.

Disadvantages

Phishing: Making Sure Emails Are Sent From PayPal

PayPal is subject to phishing, phony emails attempting to get your PayPal password or bank account numbers. Here are some ways to avoid being taken.
  1. If you receive an email and are unsure whether it is from PayPal, open a new web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer or Netscape) and type in the following: https://www.paypal.com/. Don’t click on any link in an email which seems suspicious to you.
  2. Changing your password is quite a production. The form to change it is hidden under My Accountbankpassword. They ask you to key your full bank account. They don’t mean that. They mean your partial bank account without the institution and transit fields. You have to type your new password twice. You can’t just paste it in from your password generator. You have literally key it, and to make matters worse, you must type it both times blind. It took me a couple of dozen tries to mollify PayPal. Paypal is probably your most important password. I wrote PayPal with a number of ideas to make it easier in order to encourage people to change their passwords more frequently.
  3. Some spoof websites will send emails that pretend to come from PayPal to entice you to log in at the spoof URL. Be extremely cautious of emails that direct you to a website that asks for sensitive information.
  4. Stay safe; don’t respond to emails asking for any of the following:
    • Your password and email address combination
    • Credit card numbers
    • Bank account numbers
    • Social security numbers
    • Drivers license number
    • First and Last Names
  5. If you have surrendered financial or password information to a suspicious email or website, promptly report this to the issuing institution as well as change your password and secret answers on your PayPal account. This can be completed in the Profile section of your account.
  6. PayPal will never send you an email with the greeting Dear PayPal User or "Dear PayPal Member". Emails initiated by PayPal will address you by your first and last name, or the business name associated with your PayPal account.
  7. For your security, PayPal will never ask you to re-enter your full bank account, credit, or debit card number without providing you at least the last two digits of the number. These digits let you know that PayPal already knows the full number and are asking you for the rest of it. Beware of any website or email asking for these numbers for verification that does not prove that it knows the number by providing at least the last two digits

Making Sure That Websites are Hosted by PayPal

  1. When using the PayPal service, always ensure that the URL address listed at the top of the browser is https://www.paypal.com/. The s in https ensures that the website is secure. Even if the URL contains the word PayPal, it may not be a PayPal webpage.
  2. Look for the 'lock' symbol paypal lock  that appears in the lower right hand corner of the Internet Explorer browser. This symbol indicates that it is a secure site.
  3. Do not download attachments, software updates, or any application to your computer via a link you received in an email. PayPal will not ask you to download anything for your account to work.

Passwords

  1. Use a unique password for the PayPal account and change it every 30- 60 days.
  2. The password should be one that is not used on any other site, service, or login.
  3. The password should be unguessable. Use my password generator to create you a suitable one:

If you think you have received a fraudulent email including the header information or the site’s URL, please forward the original email to spoof@paypal.com and then delete the email from your mailbox. Never click any links or attachments in a suspicious email.

PayPal is not secure over public WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) such as in a cafe. Crooks can see your password.

Setting Up PayPal On Your Own Website

Sign up with a business account. Finding your way around the PayPal Website can be daunting. Here are some key locations that work once you have logged in.

Who Takes PayPal?

Who Does Not Take PayPal?

Use WeUsePayPal.com to purchase an Amazon eGift Card with PayPal. It will cost extra, of course.


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