Earlier, we discovered that PayPal has three account types: personal, premier and business. All account types can send and receive money, but where PayPal appeals to individuals who want to make personal payments with security and flexibility, the company reaches out to professionals with a suite of other products, including online shopping carts, shipping assistance, and invoicing. PayPal also offers business loans to help fledgling companies get started [source: PayPal].
Besides these functions, the three accounts also share certain features and limitations. For example, if you have a verified account, you can send up to $10,000 in a single transaction, and there are generally no transaction fees for sending and receiving money between PayPal accounts. However, you'll pay a fee for something that requires a currency exchange. Unverified accounts, including those without an associated bank account or credit card, have more restrictive sending and withdraw limits.
The three PayPal account types differ in some important ways. First, personal accounts give you access to the core features, but that's all. PayPal handles customer support for personal accounts primarily by e-mail or through a virtual customer support agent at the PayPal website.
Premier and business accounts are similar, but business accounts must be registered with a business or group name, while a Premier account can be registered with a business, group or individual. Also, you can set up multiple users to access a business account.
In addition to PayPal's core functions, business and premier accounts provide these options:
- Accepting debit and credit card payments
- Allowing senders to set up recurring payments (subscriptions)
- Unlimited use of a PayPal ATM/debit card
These extra features come at the cost of transaction fees, which we'll take a closer look at later.
If you're starting your own PayPal account for a business, compare the fees and services from PayPal against other credit card transaction services to determine which works best for your needs. Consider that with PayPal, most of the code you'll need to add to a website is automated for you, too. Shopping cart functions or "pay now" buttons may not be as easy to implement through other services.
Once you have your account, you're ready to send and receive money. Next, let's look at how to use PayPal for sending money.