Look Up Another Term

Definition: PayPal


A Web payment processing service from PayPal, San Jose, CA (www.paypal.com). Founded in 1998 and acquired by eBay in late 2002, PayPal was spun off as an independent company in 2015. Customers with PayPal accounts can pay for merchandise by bank account or credit card on any website that accepts PayPal, and their financial data are not revealed to the merchant.

E-Commerce for Small Sites
PayPal's Web Payments Standard service hosts the processing on PayPal servers. Merchants add buttons on their order forms that link the customer to PayPal, although the merchant's logo is on the page. PayPal performs the credit card processing and returns the customer to the merchant's site with an approval or denial.

Gateways to Merchant Services
For retail sites that prefer order forms with their own site's custom look, PayPal's Web Payments Pro offers gateways to PayPal credit card services or to a merchant's existing credit card service provider.

Send Money Free
Individuals with PayPal accounts can send money to anyone with a bank account and email address. If recipients do not have a PayPal account, they are asked to open one when they receive notification that funds have been sent and are pending.

A Huge Success
In 2002, the company went international, allowing its customers to accept payments in euros and pounds. It operates throughout the world with more than 240 million account holders.