How to Create a PayPal Account

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How to Create a PayPal Account

PayPal is an online payment gateway and virtual wallet that serves millions of customers every day who are located in more than 190 countries and regions around the globe. Some common uses for PayPal include sending money to friends, family, and loved ones; receiving payments for work that has been completed; and buying and selling on eBay. PayPal allows account owners to link a bank account, credit card, or debit card to the account so that he or she can buy and sell goods and services from many merchants and private sellers from around the world without exposing private financial information.

PayPal was founded in 1998, and since then, has been the preferred method of payment for all eBay auctions and fixed priced listings. Users should know how quick and simple it is to create a PayPal account as well as the many uses and benefits that come along with being a PayPal user.



Where to Open a PayPal Account

The first step one should take to open a PayPal account is to navigate to the PayPal website. The first thing users see when looking at the PayPal homepage is the three main services the company provides: pay online, send money, and get paid. Each of those headings demonstrates to applicants how PayPal allows account holders to pay for eBay purchases and monthly subscriptions for items, such as video game play and membership websites, send and receive money from friends, and get paid for freelance and independent contract work from employers. On the screen, there is an option for interested applicants to begin the process of opening a PayPal account. The link is located under the form where established users log in and it is labeled as "sign up."

Once the applicant clicks the link to the application, he or she is prompted to select his or her country of residence and choose which type of PayPal account to open. There are three PayPal account options from which to select: Individual, Premier, and Business. The following chart illustrates the differences in the three types so that the right type of PayPal account is chosen according to the intended use of the owner.


Type of PayPal Account


Common Fees


For those who shop online occasionally and who do not expect to receive payments.

Paying someone is always free.
No additional fees.


For those who buy and sell online and receive payments from others.

A small percentage plus minimal fee when funding payment with debit/credit card.
Receiving money is free when the transfer comes from a person/company’s PayPal Balance or bank transfer.


For those who operate an online business and operate under a company name.

A small percentage plus minimal fee to receive payments. Merchant account rates are a set percentage of the total transaction and slightly higher percentage internationally.

It is always best to analyze one’s current situation before signing up with a top-tier level PayPal account. If the need for a PayPal Premier or Business account arises in the future, it is quick, simple, and free to upgrade one’s PayPal account by logging in and choosing the upgrade option from the profile settings of the account.

After the account type is selected, it is time to complete the remainder of the PayPal application. It asks for the applicant’s email address (which is used as the login username), a password, the person’s legal name, date of birth, address, and phone number. The PayPal applicant should also read and agree to the user agreement, privacy policy, acceptable use policy, and the electronic communications delivery policy. The account is then set up and the information is then verified by PayPal.


Items Needed to Open the PayPal Account

When one applies for a PayPal account, it is necessary to become verified so that there is no limit on the amount of money that can be sent or received through the account and so that the account owner’s identity can be confirmed. For this reason, it is important to provide some basic identifying information so that PayPal knows the applicant is who he or she claims to be. The following table explains the purpose of PayPal’s need for these items.


Item Needed

Purpose of PayPal’s Item Request

Full Legal Name

It is important to provide PayPal with one’s full and correct legal name so that identity can be matched with the name on the applicant’s bank account and credit or debit card.

Social Security Number

A social security number is requested from all applicants for tax purposes.
All income is reported on a 1099 form at the end of the year.

Driver’s License Number

A person’s driver’s license number is requested as part of ID verification. It verifies the applicant’s legal name and address.

Bank Account

It is wise to link a bank account to the PayPal account so that money can be transferred back and forth. This is another layer of the identity verification process.
Adding a bank account also enables the account owner to pay using the eCheck payment option.

Credit/Debit Card

Adding a credit or debit card allows the PayPal account owner to make instant payments when the amount of payment or purchase is not covered by the funds that are in the person’s PayPal account. This is yet another layer of verification as the name on the card account must match that on the PayPal account.

If PayPal requires additional information, such as a copy of a utility bill or driver’s license, the company sends the account holder an email with the request. It is simple to upload them to a computer using a scanner and then attaching them to the form, and one can even take a picture of the documents with a smartphone or tablet and upload them in order to send them to PayPal as an attachment. PayPal wants to make sure everyone is verified so that there is no loss or fraud to either party. To further reduce risk, one may consider setting up PayPal security settings, such as a mobile password authenticator or customer service passcode.

Setting Up PayPal Security Settings

After the PayPal account is verified with all of the necessary financial and address information, it is also important to set up a few security settings so that the account is as secure as it can possibly be. From the profile section of one’s PayPal account, there is the option to set up a passcode to be used when contacting the customer service department. This passcode is required to be 6 digits long and must not include a string of the same number, such as 000000 or 999999. In addition to the account holder’s name and telephone number, PayPal customer service agents ask for this passcode to determine that the person on the other end of the line is actually the PayPal account holder. Even if someone with sinister intentions gets hold of the PayPal account owner’s name and phone number, no changes can be made and no information is given out without the special PayPal passcode.

Another security setting to consider is the PayPal mobile phone security key. This security function sends a text message to the mobile phone of the PayPal account holder with a special five-digit password that is entered at the time of login. On the login screen, a user inputs his or her email address, which is the username, and password and then clicks the button that says "send PayPal security key." A text message is dispatched within five seconds and that mobile security key is good for 60 seconds after it is sent. Without this key, the PayPal account cannot be accessed, and this keeps one’s account safe even if someone other than the PayPal account holder is able to obtain the username and password. This feature can be enabled or discontinued any time from the profile settings page within one’s PayPal account.

For an added layer of security, one may choose to link their PayPal and eBay accounts. Taking this step allows the eBay account holder to take advantage of such options as being able to open a store, and to list high-profile name brand products. Activating this feature just takes one minute: simply click "My eBay" from most pages within the eBay website, click the Account tab, choose the “PayPal Account” link on the left side of the page, choose the "Link My PayPal Account" button, then follow the prompt to log in, which finishes the process.


Perks of Owning a PayPal Account

In addition to top-of-the-line security and identity verification, there are other perks that come along with owning a PayPal account. Owners can send money to pay anyone around the world, sell goods and services globally, and accept payments in currency other than their home currency, and can shop without exposing their payment information, which is what makes PayPal's service stand apart from any competition. There are benefits above and beyond those, and two of the little known perks are the use of the PayPal debit card and PayPal buyer protection.

The PayPal Debit Card

PayPal offers a debit card to established PayPal users who have met certain criteria and levels of account responsibility. In order to be considered for this card, one has to be completely identification verified, have an account in good standing with a verified checking or savings account as a backup payment method, and the account has to have been open for a minimum of 60 days.

If all of these requirements are met, PayPal issues a debit card to the account holder free of charge and there are no monthly fees. The account holder is able to spend the money in his or her PayPal account immediately and the card is accepted by any merchant, online or off, who accepts Mastercard as a payment option. There is even the option of receiving 1 percent cashback for all signature-based purchases if the PayPal account is linked to an eBay account that is in good standing. This is one of the PayPal perks that is little known but offers big value and rewards for the account owner.


PayPal Buyer Protection

Yet another perk of being a PayPal account holder is PayPal’s buyer protection guarantee. This guarantee covers all purchases of physical products that are purchased on eBay, online, or with the PayPal debit card. If the product is not what it was described to be or if it never arrives, the account holder can make a claim to PayPal customer service right from his or her online account so that PayPal can open an investigation into the matter. If PayPal finds that the seller is in the wrong or was negligent, PayPal issues a credit for the full purchase amount to the account holder. PayPal account perks such as this make it risk-free to use one’s PayPal account for all purchases both online and off.



It is quick, simple, secure, and rewarding to be a PayPal account holder. From being able to buy and sell items from merchants all across the Internet without exposing sensitive financial details to being rewarded for using the money in one’s account, shopping with PayPal is a choice made by hundreds of thousands of people every day. PayPal has been protecting account owners' payment information since 1998 and continues to provide convenient payment options well into the foreseeable future to benefit both buyers and sellers around the globe.

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