Guide for those new to PayPal

for payments in UK pounds, Euro & US dollars


What is PayPal?

PayPal provides a way to send money to anyone in the world who has an email address.

But, first you have to register your details (including Credit Card details) with PayPal. As part of this process you decide on a password so that you are the only one who can access your PayPal account.

All this information which is sent to PayPal is sent securely (ie all the data is encrypted) so that even if intercepted by anyone while passing across the Internet, the information cannot be extracted. Only PayPal can decipher the data.

(PayPal uses "SSL security" which is the industry standard way to send sensitive information in a highly encrypted form across the Internet. Virtually all on-line stores and banks use this same system.)

The advantage for the seller (me in this case) is that I donít have to set up a "Credit Card Payment Gateway" with a bank to be able to accept Credit Card payments. Such a set-up with a bank is not economical for such a moderate volume of transactions.

The advantages for the buyer (you) are:

  • ease of payment via Credit Card
  • ability to pay in your local currency without paying any bank fees (bank charges for International bank drafts, or currency conversion fees)
  • you pay no fees to PayPal
  • no postage costs or postal delivery delays when sending your order and payment to me
  • you have a record of your payment
Are there any risks that my details or password will be revealed to 3rd parties?

Because of the encryption used, the main security risks are not to the information while in transit across the Internet, but at either end of the transaction.

At the PayPal end it is possible that a criminal insider could obtain access to your information. Their internal security system is designed to greatly minimise this risk. The risk is much less than if you were to physically use your Credit Card in an actual store to buy goods. An employee could record your Credit Card details.

At your end, the 2 main risks are:

  • Firstly: that you reveal your password to someone (eg by writing it down and keeping it in a place that is insecure such as on your work desk, or in your wallet, or on a note attached to your computer).
  • Secondly, that you reveal your password to a fake PayPal site. This scam is known as phishing. The way it works is that you receive an email pretending to be from PayPal asking you to log-in to your PayPal account to update your details, or to check possible suspicious activity on your account, or because of a software upgrade, or some similar statement. The email provides a link for you to go directly to a website pretending to be the PayPal site. This site is set up to be identical in appearance to the 'real' PayPal site. If you enter your password on this fake site then the criminals behind it can access your account (as you have just given them your password!) and send money to accounts they control. For more details on phishing see here. This type of scam is now so common that many people have now received them. Forward any PayPal one to spoof@paypal.com

Remember: NEVER EVER click on a link in an email to go to PayPal or to a bank website - it is very easy to place a fake 'from' address in an email, and it is easy to redirect you to a fake site, even if the name of the link in the email looks correct

I have never used PayPal before, how do I register with PayPal?

Follow the following steps:

Step 1. Go to the PayPal home page at: http://www.paypal.com and click on the "Sign Up Now" link.

Step 2.You will be taken to the initial sign up page. Note that you are now on a page that has been sent to you securely (ie encrypted) . The 2 signs of this are, firstly the "padlock icon" which appears in the bottom right hand side of your browser window:

and secondly, that the website address has changed to use the https protocol (note the extra Ďsí) instead of the usual http protocol. The Ďsí is highlighted in yellow in this diagram:

[TECHNICAL NOTE: The above 2 signs really only indicate that the sign-up page has been sent to you securely, not that your submitted information will be sent back securely. To send your information securely, the form on the page needs to send the information to a page which uses the https protocol. This is indeed what PayPal does as indicated in the source code for the page in the "action attribute". Note the use of https in the code snippet below (indicated by red arrow).]

Step 3: Now, you will only need a personal account, so make sure the "Personal Account" option is selected (see figure) then click on the Continue button:

Step 4: You are now on the page with the form which you complete and submit (see diagram below). From this point on just follow the prompts on the PayPal page. After signing up you will only have "unconfirmed status" which will limit the maximum amount of money that you can send. The price of the "Physiology Viva" book is less than the limit so this will not cause a delay or problem for you at all.

NOTE: There are no additional charges to you from PayPal as you are paying in your local currency (eg UK pounds) so there are no currency conversion fees for you, and there are no transaction fees payable by you. There may be the Ďusualí Credit Card fees which your credit card provider may charge (eg credit card interest if you donít pay on time), but there are no fees that PayPal charges you.

Now, Iíve signed up with PayPal, how do I send an order and payment to you for the book?

Step 1: On the PayPal home page, just fill-in your email address & password in the memberís log-in section, and click the Log-in Button:

[TECHNICAL NOTE: You will notice that this home page has a http:// address indicating it was sent to you without encryption. However, if you view the source code, and find the action attribute, you will notice that your email address & password will be sent to PayPal using https:// - so it will be sent encrypted.]

Step 2: On this secure page, fill in the relevant details: my email address, the amount of money, select the correct currency (Pounds Sterling for UK, or Euro for Republic of Ireland, US Dollars for USA).

  • Double-check that the email address is correct
  • Add explanatory comments or further address information etc in the comments section
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      Click the Continue button and just follow PayPal instructions.

      After your payment is received by me, I usually respond to you to confirm receipt of your order and payment. Many people also send me a separate email to indicate they have sent a PayPal order.