The PayPal Press Center describes PayPal as an eBay Inc. company that provides a fast and safe way to pay and get paid. It offers an online payment service that allows people to send money without sharing financial information and pay using their account balances, credit cards, bank accounts or promotional financing.
PayPal was founded in 1988, and the PayPal Press Center claims that it has more than 148 million active accounts across 193 markets as of May 2014. The firm processes more than 9 million payments daily.
Ed Grabianowski and Stephanie Crawford explain on HowStuffWorks that PayPal uses encryption software to enable people to perform financial transfers between computers. This means that individuals and businesses can transfer funds online. The most common uses for PayPal include sending and receiving payments for online auctions through eBay and other websites, buying and selling goods and services, making and receiving donations, and exchanging cash with another person.
PayPal makes it possible to send funds to anybody using only an email address, as explained by Grabianowski and Crawford. The recipient must have a PayPal account associated with the email address to receive the funds. PayPal offers free basic accounts and financial transactions, including purchases from merchants that accept PayPal payments. A PayPal user has different options to add and withdraw funds, such as adding credit cards or a bank account.