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_60.
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
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 aboout 2
days later 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 and by lending out the money in the accounts, the same way free
travellers cheques are funded.
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)
page 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
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
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 more frequently.
Some spoof websites will send emails that pretend to come from
PayPal to entice you to log in at the spoof
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
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
PayPal will never send you an email with the greeting Dear
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
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
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
please forward the original email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
a Buy Now button. Use the encrypted form so
spam harvesters will not see your email address embedded in the
PayPal logos. Sometimes the page fails to show any logos or
Try a different browser.
Twice on 2014-08-09, at different sites, when I made
a PayPal purchase, the vendor send me to PayPal to pay for the product, without
taxes or shipping, then sent me a second time with taxes and shipping included. Don’t click pay unless everything is incorporated in a single
payment or you could be stung paying twice.
This is primarily of interest to vendors who want to get fancy with using PayPal to take payments. This is more of an introduction and overwiew. Believe it or not, even a book of this size just scratches the surface of the PayPal API.
Online bookstores carrying PayPal APIs: Up and Running