The Complete Guide to How PayPal Works | Tipalti

PayPal is a chopine that has opened countless doors for 360 million users in over 200 countries. Since 1998, the trade name has given companies and consumers an alternative way to facilitate business in an international economy. This makes PayPal a necessity engineering for the future of department of commerce .

What is PayPal?

PayPal is an on-line payment organization that enables individuals and businesses to send and receive money securely. When linked with your bank report, debit, or citation menu, PayPal can besides be used to make e-commerce purchases. It ’ s accessed via the web, mobile app, or in-person, and serves as the contact to keep your bank data guarantee .
playfulness Facts :

  • Headquartered in San Jose, CA
  • Supports receipt of 100+ currencies, withdrawals in 50+ currencies, and balance holdings in 25+ currencies
  • Owns other finance brands, like Braintree, Venmo, and Xoom
  • Provides millions in financial support to nonprofits and charities annually
  • Has a dedicated typeface called PayPal Sans

Who Uses PayPal?

Everyone. PayPal has over 100 million users globally, with 7 million of those as businesses. It ’ south been established for decades and formally gain popularity as the top digital payment option for eBay .
now, after decades of servicing, PayPal is used by about every type of corporation and consumer. It has a low barrier of submission, unlike a bank account, so anyone can immediately sign up and start using the service .

How Does PayPal Work?

PayPal works as an mediator between you and a deposit. A exploiter adds a bank score or credit/debit batting order to the PayPal system and whenever they ’ re making an on-line payment, they can select which account to debit. All transactions are processed through PayPal, alternatively of your bank .
Any monies received will sit in your PayPal history and can be used for e-commerce, point of sale ( with a PayPal menu ), or transferred to your bank score. Transfers can take a few days or minutes ( for an extra fee ). Your PayPal report remainder can besides be topped off with a bank history or assigned card .
For individuals, PayPal offers childlike money transfers, debit/credit cards, check cash, and e-check services. For merchants, PayPal has a diverseness of services at competitive rates, without long-run contracts. This includes features like PayPal Shipping, Invoicing, Working Capital, and even PayPal Loans .
Setting up a PayPal account is free but there are versatile charges for using the service. It ’ s a slightly different business model if you ’ re an person transport money to friends vs. a business facilitating payments. in full expect PayPal to send 1099 tax forms if you ’ rhenium invoice and accepting payments for services/goods rendered .
PayPal can be used via web site, mobile app, programmatic interfaces, or integrations. It provides tools and services to support POS ( point of sale ), e-commerce, and subscription-based transactions. It safeguards users by offering seller security, leverage settlement, and the best digital security in the industry .
To sum it up, PayPal :

  • Enables online and in-person payments for goods and services
  • Provides a way to send and receive money internationally
  • Ensures various levels of digital security and payment protection
  • Charges a variable and/or fixed fee for services rendered

PayPal can besides be set as a default option payment method to be used on-line in station of a credit or debit card. This is what made it such a democratic mannequin of payment on eBay .
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4 Simple Steps to Set Up PayPal

Signing up for PayPal and getting started is not a huge feat. It ’ s actually quite simple, you barely need to have the right information prepared. here are the quickest steps to getting up and running in the digital payment outer space .

Step #1) Create a Free Account

Go to and click the “ Sign Up ” button in the upper-righthand corner. Choose whether you want a personal or occupation account. At this point, it ’ south besides wise to download the PayPal app to your fluid devices. This enables people can manage money from anywhere, at any time .

Step #2) Provide Details

When signing up for a PayPal explanation, make sure you have all your data in order. Be prepared with the keep up :
Date of birth
Phone number
National ID or Passport Number
Email Address
Bank history number
Bank routing number
Debit and/or credit card data
additionally, you will be asked to create a password. It should be memorable and incorporate letters, numbers, and characters to ensure your report is protected from hacking or phishing .
If you open a personal account and need to do commercial enterprise, it can be upgraded at a by and by date .
After you input all data, be indisputable to check to box to accept PayPal ’ s “ Terms and Conditions. ”

Step #3) Link Your Bank Account

To link a bank bill, search for the wallet picture on the top bar. This brings you to an overview of your current PayPal balance, arsenic well as any linked recognition or debit cards. Click on “ Link a Bank Account ” to start the process .
A user can then add their bank account details via bank verification or wire transfer. The following are details you may need :
Bank name
Bank code
Branch location
Branch code
Bank account issue
Always check to see there ’ s a “ fasten lock ” icon at the top-right edge of the page to ensure you ’ re in the right space .
once deposit data is entered, a verification code will be sent to the associated telephone phone number. There is never any deposit required, since opening an report is release .

Step #4) Verify all Data

Certain mechanisms are in topographic point to make indisputable you are a legitimate user. subsequently, you will need to verify the e-mail address that ’ second in the new account .
Check your inbox for the PayPal verification e-mail. Click on “ Confirm Email Address ” to verify the information on your network. That ’ s all that ’ second needed to have your PayPal set up and ready to go .
If you connect a mobile number, PayPal may besides request you verify that information with a erstwhile passcode via text. enter that to verify your cell data and make sure you have the notifications set to “ on ” to manage transactions in real-time .

How to Make Payments with PayPal

It ’ s simple to make payments through PayPal if the recipient has a PayPal account. All you have to do is click on “ commit ” and enter the seller ’ s electronic mail address. then enter the amount and click “ air. ”
All transactions can be tracked on your account natural process page. Everything you send is protected by advanced encoding with 24/7 fraud monitor .

How to Receive Payments with PayPal

Receiving payments through PayPal is extremely easy. You can either give out the e-mail address your score is associated with, or log into your PayPal report and click the “ request ” button on the right-hand side .
Enter the sender ’ south e-mail and click “ next. ” Enter the sum, currentness type, and a note ( optional ). then, chatter “ request now. ” That ’ s it !
You can besides request money with PayPal Invoicing. It ’ s a rid serve that enables a drug user to cursorily create and send custom-make invoices via electronic mail or a shared link. You can even break up the invoice into overtone payments or request a point for services rendered. From the dashboard, view the charge history to track payments and send reminders on past-due invoices .

Withdrawing Payments to Your Bank Account

To withdraw funds from your PayPal poise to your bank account, log into your PayPal score then follow these steps :

  1. On the summary page, click the “Transfer Money” button right below your PayPal balance. Users can also access this option via the “Wallet” menu in the top toolbar.
  2. Click “Transfer to your Bank”
  3. If you have multiple cards or bank accounts attached to your PayPal account, you will then be prompted to choose which one.
  4. Click “Next” and enter the amount you want to transfer. “Click “Next” again.
  5. On the final page, review the transfer amount and click “Transfer Now” to finalize the transaction. 

PayPal eChecks  

PayPal eChecks are used when a buyer doesn ’ thyroxine have a credit card or alternate source of funding attached to their PayPal account. When the buyer sends payment, the funds are transferred from their bank score to the seller ’ randomness PayPal report. The electronic requital is basically funded by the buyer ’ s savings bank .
An e-check must clear the bank before it is credited to the recipient role ’ randomness PayPal report. This can take anywhere from 3 to 6 business days. It all simply depends on the bank involved .
PayPal e-checks are like writing a physical check from your savings bank, but sending it through digital means. Of course, most people scoff at writing any classify of check these days, but an e-check is a good requital method for those who don ’ t have a credit poster or prefer to pay immediately from a bank bill to avoid fees .
Before taking any action, the sender should make certain there are enough funds in the trust account to cover the amount they are sending. If you are abruptly, the bank will decline the request and PayPal may follow up with a moment request. This can result in more than one overdraft fee for a one charge, and end up a complete mess .

PayPal Instant Payment

An clamant transfer differs alone slightly from an e-check. It ’ s a way to facilitate payment from your bank account, through PayPal. In this case, the seller is credited immediately while the request is processed. All that ’ second needed for this type of transaction is a confirmed, U.S. bank history, with enough funds to cover the whole payment .
In the font of blink of an eye requital, it ’ s besides wise to have an unexpired backup fund generator, like a credit or debit circuit board. This is just in case your payment request is declined through the bank. All of this data can be changed immediately before requesting an moment transfer .

PayPal for Business

PayPal is a slightly unlike animal when it comes to business transactions. It placid functions the like, as it would for a sole individual, but there are extra perks if you are a merchant ( and a paying one at that ). The following are some of the most popular merchant tools on the marketplace for PayPal right immediately :

Payment Options

PayPal offers an array of payment options for companies, which includes :

  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards
  • Venmo
  • PayPal platform
  • PayPal Credit

Business Debit Card

The Paypal Business Debit Card can be used anywhere that Mastercard is accepted. The standard cashback rate is 1 % on eligible purchases, and the batting order can besides be used in the ATM ( for extra fees ) .

PayPal Shipping

PayPal offers a free transportation servicing that even gives discounts on UPS and USPS transport labels. Purchase and mark labels ( single or in batches ) and cut packages straight through your PayPal report. The service automatically saves your track numeral for PayPal Seller Protection.

PayPal Invoicing

just like the ship program, PayPal Invoicing is loose to use. Anyone can cursorily create and send custom-made invoices via electronic mail or shared link. The serve will besides allow you to accept fond payments or tips, with transctions tracked, every footfall of the way. A clientele can besides view billing history, monitor payments, and send past-due reminders mechanically .

PayPal Business Loan

PayPal offers two types of accounts for growing your small business. The commercial enterprise loan is best for a company that ’ s been operating for at least nine months and makes a minimum of $ 42,000 in annual gross. Check your eligibility in minutes, on-line, or over the call. This will require a peek at your credit rating score, so be prepared .
here are a few things to know about the PayPal Business Loan :

  • There are never any late fees, early repayment fees, or processing fees
  • Average terms range from 13 to 52 weeks based on the amount
  • Amounts can range from $5,000 to $500,000
  • Payments are fixed and automatically deducted on a weekly basis

PayPal Working Capital

The early type of occupation lend offered by PayPal is called Working Capital. The rules, however, express that you must have a PayPal Business account for at least 90 days and have processed $ 15,000+ within the past year .
In this case, lend amounts are based on PayPal sales and can be funded in just minutes, once approved .
here are a few things to know about PayPal Working capital :

  • There are never any late fees, periodic interest charges, prepayment fees, or penalty fees
  • Amounts can range from $1,000 to $125,000
  • The maximum amount can be up to 35% of your annual sales, and no more than $125,000 for your first loan
  • Loan terms vary based on PayPal sales
  • Payments are pulled automatically (based on a % of your sales that you choose when you apply)

Since this type of loanword is sales-based, higher sales equal faster repayments and vice versa. It should be noted, you must repay a minimum of 5-10 % every 90 days to keep in good resist. A business can besides make manual payments to get ahead .

How Does PayPal Credit Work?

PayPal has partnered with Mastercard to offer a dependable digital trace of credit. claim terms for each type of credit rating bill may change over clock time, but here are the basics below :

Credit Cards and Digital Credit

  • PayPal Cashback Mastercard – This is a 2% cash back card with no annual fee or purchase exceptions
  • PayPal Extras Mastercard – This is a variable, point-earning card that allows redemption on travel vouchers, gift cards, and cash back to your PayPal balance. There is no annual fee for new accounts. 
  • PayPal Credit – This digital, reusable credit line allows U.S. PayPal account holders to shop anywhere online that the platform is accepted. There is no card issued and no annual fee.

Debit and Prepaid Cards

  • PayPal Cash Mastercard – This card gives you access to your PayPal Cash Plus account, whether it is swiped at a POS, keyed in online, or used at an ATM.
  • PayPal Prepaid Mastercard – This reloadable debit card acts like the cash card, only it’s prepaid. Funds can be loaded onto the card via the no-cost direct deposit service, via transfers from your PayPal account, or through a Netspend Reload Network location. 

Benefits of PayPal Credit

If you ’ re thinking about using the credit service attached to PayPal, hera are a few ways it can benefit your business :

  • A business can buy now and pay later. PayPal Credit is a revolving credit line that gives you immediate purchasing power.
  • You can avoid interest. Promotional financing with no interest as long as any purchase over $99 is paid within 6 months.
  • A business can easily send money. Send it through PayPal Credit with a standard fee of 2.9% + $0.30/transaction to 3.49% + $0.49.
  • There’s no annual fee and no cost for maintaining access to your credit line (unlike many credit cards)

Does PayPal Have Fees?

Although PayPal is generally free to use, there are fees associated with transactions, depending on what you want to do .
typical rates include :

  • 2.7% per swipe for mobile/in-store payments (within the United States)
  • 3.5% + $0.15 for keyed sales on mobile or in-store
  • 3.49% + $0.49 per transaction for online payments/invoicing (within the United States)

It should be noted, as of August 2, 2021, merchant fees increased from 2.9 % + $ 0.30 per transaction to a repair fee of 3.49 % + $ 0.49
There are never any fees for making an on-line purchase with retailers that accept PayPal, adenine farseeing as there is no currency conversion involved .

International Transaction Fees 

Since PayPal is a mark available in over 200 countries, companies have the choice of making cross-border payments and external transfers. This summons will differ depending on the method acting used, area, currency, and whether or not both parties have a PayPal explanation. however, expect to pay some sort of international transaction fee when using the platform .
PayPal offers two unlike payment methods for external money transfers, each with it ’ second own fee structure. When sending funds directly to another PayPal exploiter, PayPal charges 5 % of the transaction, with a minimum fee of $ 0.99 and a maximal fee of $ 4.99 .
If the external transfer is funded through a credit card, debit poster, or PayPal Credit, the tip will be different. It will include a fund tip of 2.9 % plus a situate fee ( based on the currentness used ) applied .

Currency Conversion Fee

If you ’ re sending an external requital and want to convert the currency, there will be a fee for that besides. It ’ sulfur called the currency conversion tip and starts at 3.5 % of the transaction ( US to Canada lone ). Every other currency conversion is 4 % and up .
Paypal besides charges a fee for the conversion overhaul itself. This starts at 4.5 %, and should constantly be factored into the cost of the sum transaction .
If you ’ re transferring immediately to an international recipient ’ s bank report, PayPal offers the Xoom consolidation to help you along. Unlike the fasten percentage fee when transferring from one PayPal user to another, Xoom will add a mark up to the current market rate, so equitable keep those extra costs in thinker .

PayPal Apps

The bigger the PayPal brand grows, the more the platform accommodates the unlike ways people do commercial enterprise. The company offers a variety of applications for every type of hardware, from smartphones to desktops .

Mobile Apps

PayPal App

There is a PayPal app for io and Android, which can be found on the App Store or through Google Play. Through the independent app, users can promptly send and receive money, adenine well as check the balance on the report .
The PayPal app enables users to :

  • Track and monitor every transaction
  • Send money to friends and family using a phone number or email
  • Collect money for a group of people through the Money Pools page
  • Link PayPal to a micro-investment service like Acorn
  • Donate directly to thousands of approved charities

PayPal Business App

much like the standard app, the PayPal Business app is available on both io and Android. The independent aim is to manage all business transactions from the convenience of a mobile device .
The PayPal Business app enables users to :

  • Generate reports on trends, such as monthly, quarterly, or yearly
  • Transfer funds between linked accounts, check your balance, issue refunds, and view transaction details
  • Create and send invoices, track unpaid invoices, and send periodic reminders for payment
  • Access your PayPal customer data, view their transaction history, and contact them

PayPal Here App

Like the others, the PayPal here App is available on io and Android. It ’ s a mobile point of sale ( POS ) app that enables a company to accept debit and credit cards from anywhere on the planet. It must be paired with the PayPal Credit Card Reader to in full affair .
The PayPal here app enables users to :

  • Accept payments from major brands like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover
  • Set up employees with special permissions to accept payments on your account
  • Create a product/service list that includes photos and descriptions for easier checkout
  • View sales reports based on variables like time, services, product, or employees
  • Accept contactless payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay  

PayPal Web Apps  

PayPal Checkout

As shopping cart abandonment rates average approximately 70 %, PayPal Checkout cuts down on the phone number of actions a customer must take before completing a buy. One visible means it does this is with the “ Smart Payment Button. ” This release triggers a dependable pop fly window, giving the choice to pay with a PayPal report, Venmo, or PayPal Credit. This is much more fluid than a customer having to navigate away from your site for payment .
The PayPal Checkout app is perfect for business owners and retailers since they ’ re always looking for a way to reduce clash in the check process. evening eliminating one step can greatly improve conversion rates, which leads to higher profits .
The app is complemented with a act of third-party solutions like Jotform and WooCommerce. You may want to hire a developer to ensure the app is by rights integrated into your site .

PayPal Subscriptions

If your business involves a recurring monthly fee, like a subscription, PayPal offers a great web app to facilitate the procedure. PayPal Subscriptions helps your consumer base automatically purchase and pay for items on a schedule timeframe ( normally monthly ) .
The PayPal Subscriptions app enables users to :

  • Offer customers free or discounted trials to generate more signups
  • Create subscription plans to charge customers a fixed amount on a set schedule or item quantity
  • Modify the price of your plans as needed
  • Automate payment recovery feature for any failed payments (may need to update card)
  • Enable customers to upgrade/downgrade their plans or adjust the item quantity

Benefits of PayPal

When it comes to using the PayPal organization, there ’ s a reason why it ’ randomness one of the most democratic requital services in the world. here are fair a few of the benefits you can expect from using this product :

Time Management

PayPal helps a business score more buys with speedier checkouts. It besides speeds up the buying process for buyers online. There are fewer steps to get to checkout .

Safety and Security

PayPal has focused on purchase protection since its origin. The system keeps fiscal information plug and encrypted, no count what web site you use. Having an account is like a digital wallet. All fiscal details are stored and unshared on an code network. The system besides offers optional two-factor account logins and e-mail confirmations for transactions, as an supernumerary layer of security .

Rewards and Discounts

PayPal lets a drug user link all of their credit cards to a individual account. You will still earn rewards points for purchases on your separate cards .
With PayPal, you can besides take advantage of shipping discounts. The system offers a absolve embark servicing with extra discounts on USPS and UPS ship labels .

Buyer Protection

PayPal protects all buyers from being scammed with the Buyer Protection program for payments. Users can besides ask for refunds on return transportation for eligible goods .

International Business

A PayPal account opens the doors for ball-shaped commerce, whether you ’ re a individual consumer or an enterprise business. Accepted in more than 200 countries and regions, it constantly allows people to pay in their prefer currency .


PayPal is now the one-fifth most accept payment choice after all the major credit cards. offer customers multiple requital march methods that include Venmo, PayPal Credit, debit card, and credit card—both on-line and in-person .
Buying on-line has never been easier a well. Rather than typing in a serial of numbers, exhalation date, and three/four-digit code, all you have to do is click the PayPal push button .
If you have a merchant account, the PayPal Business Debit Mastercard is accepted anywhere the Mastercard logo is. That means you can use your PayPal balance everywhere. All you need is your PayPal login information. PayPal can even be used to withdraw clamant cash from an ATM ( extra fees apply ) .

Business Credit and Loans

PayPal allows a business to promptly gain access to loans and capital. PayPal Business account holders have the opportunity to apply for one of PayPal ’ s two types of occupation loans. This can give your ship’s company the cash menstruate it needs to grow.


PayPal offers a huge list of integrations to suit every type of exploiter need from accounting to invoice, point of sale systems, e-commerce, report, etc. Expect to see partnerships with top brands like :

  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Wix
  • Xoom
  • Venmo
  • And more…

Always Free

It is always 100 % barren to open a PayPal personal account and takes only a topic of minutes to get up and running. You can always upgrade to business account late, as needed .

In Conclusion

This steer barely skims the surface of answering the question “ how does PayPal work ? ” It ’ s a multifaceted and moral force program that continues to expand and grow along with its customers. There is a good rationality why it remains one of the best requital services in the world. It ’ s a highly trust trade name, with market average fees, and a floor of convenience that ’ s alone to any early system in the global .

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