Last Updated: October 28, 2015 93

Getting to Know the Wonders of PayPal

Found In: Sell things online

Become the Bank with PayPal

When it comes to the most dreaded places people routinely have to visit, the bank certainly makes the list. For a lot of people, it’s probably somewhere below the post office and your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Okay, it’s well below those places, but going to the bank is still no picnic. For the most part, it’s a time-consuming and inconvenient chore we’d rather avoid, but can’t.

Fortunately, these days we have PayPal. PayPal can’t replace everything your bank does, but it can handle a lot of the tasks you’d normally rely on your bank for. The best part? All you need to use it is an ordinary bank account and a computer.

It doesn’t cost you any money to start using PayPal. And once your account is set up, you can send or receive money to and from your bank account directly to friends and family in just a few clicks of your mouse.

Getting started with PayPal

To get started, just type or copy and paste the following website address into your website browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla FireFox all will work): You can also simply type “PayPal” into any search engine such as or, then click search.

Once you’re on the PayPal homepage, you’ll see at least one button where you can “Sign Up for PayPal” on the top right-hand corner of your screen or directly in the middle. Click one, and let’s begin!

On this next page, you’ll see two options on the right-hand side of your screen where you can choose either a personal account or a business account. Since we’re just getting familiar with PayPal, we’ll go with Personal Account.

Once you’ve selected “Personal Account”, click continue. You’ll now be asked to provide a valid e-mail address, as well as create and confirm a new password for your account. Any e-mail address will do, but if you have multiple, choose one that you regularly check so that you’ll always be updated on the status of your account when something changes. Don’t worry, PayPal won’t share your e-mail address with anyone. This is just to make sure you’re notified when money is sent or received by your PayPal account.

PayPal values your security, so they won’t accept just any old password. Make sure yours is at least 8 characters long and includes a symbol or number, then type it in a second time to confirm.

We use passwords for just about everything these days, so it’s sometimes hard to remember which passwords are for what accounts. Save yourself the trouble of forgetting your PayPal password and write it down in a safe place just in case you forget it. It’s okay, even if you completely forget your password and have no idea where you wrote it down, PayPal will be able to help you reset your password after confirming your identity through a phone call or e-mail.

Once you’ve got a password with two green check marks, click continue. On this next page, you’ll need to fill in your name, address, and phone number in the boxes provided. If you have a mobile phone, we recommend using that, just in case you happen to be away from home when PayPal needs to get in touch with you.

After you’ve filled in all those boxes with your contact information, click to check the box below to indicate you accept PayPal’s legal terms. If you’d like, you can click on the User Agreement, Privacy Policy, or Electronic Communications Policy to read any of them, but take it from us that it’s mostly just a bunch of legal boilerplate and other gobbledygook that’s designed to protect you and PayPal. You aren’t agreeing to purchase anything and you’re always free to cancel your account at any time and for any reason.

Boxes all filled in and check marked? Click “Agree and Create Account” to begin to finalize the details of your new PayPal account! We’re almost finished, I promise.

On this page, PayPal gives us a few options. One option we can choose is to add a debit or credit card by entering our card details and billing address. This will allow us to make purchases via PayPal at online merchants. But for now, we’re more interested in all those great banking features to cut down on trips to the actual bank. We can always add a card later, and we can still make purchases with our PayPal account so long as it’s connected to a working bank account.

Below the boxes asking you to fill in information about your debit or credit card, click the button that says “I’d rather link my bank first.” All you need to do on the next page is fill in your routing number and account number, and then select whether you’re using a checking or savings account. For your checking account, it’s as simple as grabbing a regular paper check and typing in the two codes at the bottom. There’s even a visual guide showing you exactly where those numbers are located on your check. Easy enough?

Once you’ve typed in your bank account information, you’ll see a notification stating that PayPal will be sending two small deposits in the next 1-2 business days to confirm your bank account. Once that’s been done, they’ll send you an e-mail asking you to confirm the deposits. At that point, you will officially be a certified PayPal user capable of all kinds of banking magic. Yes, it actually is that simple.

Now that you’ve got your very own PayPal account, you can feel free to explore all the other great features PayPal has to offer.

Using PayPal with eBay

One of the very best features that come with having a PayPal account is the ability to buy and sell just about anything right from your computer on the massive online marketplace known as Ebay. You can think of eBay as the world’s largest garage sale where you can buy and sell things and have them delivered to and from your own house.

Ebay isn’t just for used products either, you can also find plenty of new and unused items—many of them at a better price than you’d find at other stores.

When you use your PayPal account with Ebay, there are built-in protections to make sure you get exactly what you ordered, or your money back. It’s one of the safest and most fun places online to shop and boasts an incredible 175 million users all looking to buy and sell anything from a toaster to a new car.

Whatever you use PayPal for, you’ll be glad to have it in a day and age when it seems just about everyone has an account.