This PayPal (paypal.com) review is intended primarily for small business owners who accept credit card payments on a regular basis and for any new businesses that will need to accept credit cards. Due to this focus, the content of this review will cover the factors that are most important to merchants who are interested in using PayPal for the purpose of accepting credit card payments from their customers.
PayPal began as a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay, where it was heavily used for payments between buyers and sellers of eBay auctions. In mid-2015, PayPal split off from eBay to become its own independent company. The service is one of the most accessible electronic payment methods in the industry because it allows anyone with an email address to sign up to send and receive payments from other individuals. Additionally, PayPal has a “merchant services” division that allows businesses of all sizes to accept credit card payments, much like a normal merchant account.
PayPal is unlike traditional credit card processors because merchants cannot use PayPal with typical credit card processing equipment. Instead, PayPal offers several other services including shopping cart integration, “buy now” buttons, and donation buttons that are primarily targeted towards merchants with an online presence. The company also offers a virtual terminal with an optional credit card reader that plugs into the USB port of most computers. The virtual terminal allows merchants to enter credit card data themselves to use PayPal much like a traditional merchant account. Additionally, PayPal has introduced a mobile payment app and card reader dubbed “PayPal Here” that allow anyone with a compatible smartphone to accept credit card payments.
One important difference between PayPal and a merchant account supplied by a credit card processor is that merchants must request the transfer of funds from their PayPal accounts to their bank accounts. Typically, most merchant account providers transfer the money to their merchants’ bank accounts as “batches” automatically within 48 hours of the close of a business day. PayPal also offers payments by check and a debit card that can be used for purchases or withdrawing money from an ATM.
PayPal recently settled a class-action lawsuit by the name of Zepeda v. PayPal. As a condition of the settlement, PayPal has agreed to make payments to the plaintiff class. Here is some information from the Zepeda v. PayPal settlement claim website:
The Settlement resolves a lawsuit in which Plaintiffs allege that PayPal improperly handled disputed transactions on PayPal accounts and improperly placed holds and reserves on accounts or closed or suspended accounts. Plaintiffs also allege that PayPal failed to provide annual error-resolution notices and monthly account statements under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act.
You are part of the Settlement if you had an active PayPal account between April 19, 2006 and November 5, 2015.
You are part of the Settlement and also may be eligible to submit a Claim for a cash payment if you had a hold or reserve placed on your account and/or your account was closed or suspended by PayPal between April 19, 2006 and November 5, 2015.
Affected merchants should visit the settlement website for full instructions on how to file a claim.
- Sales & Marketing: PayPal does not hire independent sales agents and has not received any complaints about its sales practices.
- Costs & Contract: PayPal offers a month-to-month contract with no early termination fee.
- Complaints & Service: PayPal has received thousands of public complaints.
- BBB Rating: PayPal has an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 6,591 complaints in the past three years.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With PayPal