The CurrCon Java Applet displays prices on this
web page converted with today’s exchange rates into your local international currency,
e.g. Euros, US dollars, Canadian dollars, British Pounds, Indian Rupees…
CurrCon requires an up-to-date browser
and Java version 1.7 or later, preferably 1.8.0_05.
If you can’t see the prices in your local currency,
Troubleshoot. Use Chrome for best results.
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.
PayPal now publishes its fees. It has a separate fee structure for
Canada. It amounts to 4.9% +
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% +
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.
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.
The big advantage of PayPal is you divulge only your email address to the company your are paying. With a
credit card, you must give them your credit card and expiration date. They can use that to make further
unauthorised charges to your account, or sell the number on the black market. With PayPal the person you are
paying cannot take further money or change the amount.
With PayPal you can put money in escrow with an authorisation. This proves to the
e vendor you have the money, but does not let him withdraw it until he has delivered the goods.
With PayPal you have access to neutral arbitration over a disputed payment, e.g. when you paid but goods
never arrived. Similar services from credit card companies are highly biased toward the vendors.
A fraudster cannot steal more than the contents of your PayPal account. With a credit card, he can rack up
charges often past the spending limit. PayPal is much more secure than a credit card. With a credit card, all a
fraudster needs is your credit card number and the expiry date (something written on the card in plain text).
With PayPal a fraudster needs to know your email address and your PayPal password. You never reveal your PayPal
password to anyone, and ideally never write it down or store it in your computer unencrypted where a hacker
might find it.
You can monitor the state of your PayPal account online. Further, PayPal sends you emails any time the
balance changes. If a fraud ever happened, you would know about it right away.
When you load up your PayPal account from your bank account they take the money out of
the bank then sit on it for 14+ days before putting it in your PayPal account. They advertise 3- 4 days. It is bad enough they pay no interest on your account without sitting on your deposits for
two weeks without interest and without giving you access to it. Originally PayPal planned to be a free service,
funded completely by this float. They have almost no expenses for a transaction. They just subtract the amount
from one account and add it to another, no more work that a typical HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
fetch. The only expense they have is resolution of a disputed transaction, when the parties cannot come to an
understanding with only automated mediation.
Since it takes two weeks plus to load your PayPal account up from your bank account, it means you need to
maintain a fairly hefty balance in your PayPal account that earns no interest.
PayPal fees are pretty steep when you consider how cheap it is for them to process the transaction and that
they get to keep your balance in a bank somewhere earning interest for them, and none for you. Consider that
travellers’ cheques, which require even more processing, are free. PayPal could be free and still
generate hefty profits.
PayPal is a somewhat unethical company. For example, they ask you to participate in what appears to be
anonymous surveys, but encode your identify in the URL (Uniform Resource Locator).
PayPal must drive the homeland security people crazy. You can set up accounts without ID and send money all
over the world from people/business/organisation to people/business/organisation. The volume of transactions
must be astounding. You can effectively launder money by buying goods online and reselling them. The high fees
and presumed transaction limit might discourage illegal use.
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.
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.
Changing your password is quite a production. The form to change it is hidden under My
Account ⇒ bank ⇒ password. 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Look for the 'lock' symbol
that appears in the lower right hand corner of the Internet Explorer browser. This symbol indicates that
it is a secure site.
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.
Use a unique password for the PayPal account and change it every 30- 60 days.
The password should be one that is not used on any other site, service, or login.
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 email@example.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.
create a Buy
Now button. Use the encrypted form so spam harvesters will not see your email address embedded
in the generated HTML.