What is PayPal?

Published by Thomas Herold in Banking

'PayPal' is explained in detail and with examples in the Banking edition of the Herold Financial Dictionary, which you can get from Amazon in Ebook or Paperback edition.

PayPal is a U.S. based company that runs a global payment system for online transfers and payments. Their online money transfer service has become invaluable as an alternative to more traditional paper payment means such as money orders and checks. In the years since they arose in 1998, the company has grown to become among the biggest companies for Internet payments in the world. They function as a payment processing operation for auction sites, online vendors, and other commercial users. They charge commercial entities a fee for these services.

PayPal maintains its corporate headquarters in San Jose, California. They also have an operations center found in Omaha, Nebraska that they have run since 1999. The company operates in the European Union under the license of a Luxembourg located bank since July of 2007. Their European operations and headquarters are still based in Luxembourg, while their international headquarters are located in Singapore in Southeast Asia.

PayPal Holdings launched its Initial Public Offering in 2002. By the end of that year, they had been bought out by eBay and became a wholly owned subsidiary. The company regained its independence when eBay spun it off as a stand alone company on July 18, 2015. Two days later, they launched their second IPO which placed a hefty value of $46.6 billion on the payment processing company. This did not come as a huge surprise to analysts, as the company had created $7.9 billion in revenues in 2014 by moving $228 billion through over 190 countries via 26 different currencies.

PayPal employs rigorous methods of protecting their customers’ information online as befits a company that does most of its business over the Internet. They combine anti-fraud technology with sophisticated data encryption to safeguard the information of users. This helps to alleviate the chances of online fraud or theft.

PayPal also serves its customers as a gateway for paying with their debit or credit cards via secure online transactions. Once customers register their cards within their online account with the service, it is easy to complete the transactions. When people check out online, they are able to select the PayPal payment option logo. They are then directed to login to their account to confirm and complete the payment. They will process the funds out of whichever card or bank account the user prefers, or directly from the account itself if its customers desire. The company offers its own proprietary online credit with promotions including six months same as cash.

PayPal.Me is a newer peer to peer payment mobile setup the company launched in September of 2015. This convenient service permits its customers to dispatch customized links to others in order to request money using email, text, or alternative messaging platforms. This service debuted in 18 different nations. These included the U.S., Britain, Australia, Germany, Russia, France, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Canada.

As of September 2015, PayPal counted 170 million users across the globe. The goal in setting up PayPal.Me lay in establishing an experience geared first to mobile users. It offered quicker means of sharing payments than the traditional platform on the website.

The company continued to grow on its earlier successes, making the Fortune 500 list of companies for its first time in June of 2016. The company’s payment methods are now accepted by millions of vendors and merchants throughout the world.

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The term 'PayPal' is included in the Banking edition of the Herold Financial Dictionary, which you can get from Amazon in Ebook or Paperback edition.