PayPal Holdings, Inc. is a US company operating a worldwide online payments system. PayPal is one of the world’s largest Internet payment companies. The company operates as an acquirer, performing payment processing for online vendors, auction sites and other commercial users, for which it charges fees.
Online money transfers serve as electronic alternatives to traditional paper methods like cheques and money orders.
In 2014, PayPal moved $228 billion in 26 currencies across more than 190 nations, generating a total revenue of $7.9 billion (44% of eBay’s total profits). The same year, eBay announced plans to spin-off PayPal into an independent company by mid-2015 which was completed on July 18, 2015.
As of 2016, PayPal operates in 203 markets and has 179 million active, registered accounts. PayPal allows customers to send, receive and hold funds in 26 currencies worldwide. PayPal’s specialty service is online financial transactions by transferring funds electronically, not specifically designed as a currency exchange platform; PayPal clients are actually making currency exchanges with almost every international transaction.
Services are winnowed into three categories Buy, Sell and Send:
Buy: Global purchasing with PayPal is easy, although when purchasing items in a foreign currency through PayPal, the company imposes a 2.5% fee (in addition to any credit card charges).
Sell: Merchants have access to PayPal’s business products.
Paypal has been used by over 7 million businesses worldwide. As it innovated with eBay and continued with brand recognition it has focused on ease of use as it has expanded. Benefits include:
PayPal’s APIs allow websites to accept payments from PayPal, ApplePay, Android Pay and Venmo APIs and checkout buttons are designed to expedite customer’s shopping time.
Send-Money transfers are made very easily:
|Monthly Sales||Fee Per Transaction||Examples|
|$0.00 USD to $3,000.00 USD||2.9% + $0.30 USD||$3.20 USD fee on a $100.00 USD sale|
|$3,000.01 USD to $10,000.00 USD||2.5% + $0.30 USD*||$2.80 USD fee on a $100.00 USD sale|
|$10,000.01 USD to $100,000.00 USD||2.2% + $0.30 USD*||$2.50 USD fee on a $100.00 USD sale|
Cross Border Commercial Payments and other Fees:
PalPal’s Retail Exchange Rate:
When any transaction requires a currency conversion, PayPal uses a retail exchange rate which is the company’s wholesale cost of foreign currency (determined by the bank’s high rate) plus a currency conversion fee which differs depending on the currency used. Additionally a cross-border fee is applied.
Engaging and dynamic, PayPal’s feel-good videos blend beautifully with their slogan “We’ve got you covered”, encouraging global commerce whilst reassuring clients of their reimbursement policy. Obviously geared to initiate business clients, they energetically re-state their promise to help clients get their money back should something they’ve ordered on PayPal not arrive as specified. The familiar branding generates a high level of trust and the fast paced website creates an incentive to open an account.
PayPal promotes business accounts, global shopping and online transfers, noting that conversion fees may apply.
There’s loads of legal content for those who relish fine print – the special fees can be ferreted out of copious data for days. PayPal excels in hiding information behind legal jargon making it nearly impossible for any small business owner to fully comprehend what they have agreed to when using this global giant payment tool.
PalPal is incredibly badly rated by clients on TRUSTPILOT with 1.3 stars from 2,568 users. The rating would be far lower than this, except that the review site platform doesn’t permit zero star reviews, the rating many said they would have preferred to give. The first page of reviews features an overwhelming 18 very negative review experiences countered by only two positive ones. Expletives are hinted at and exclamation points used often by those who attempt to use the services for both business and personal purposes. The most recent review states “They place profit high over customer satisfaction”. The refund policy hasn’t worked for many who felt a level of security purchasing goods from companies due to them offering PayPal payments (they would not have ordered otherwise) and they report lots of hassle with customer service that neither yields a full refund of purchase price or postage fees.
A recent review of merchant account providers by CPO gave PayPal 3.4 out of 5 stars and found he was soon inundated with comments detailing their ordeals with the company. 194 comments have been made and only 2 positive. Furious former business clients often describe having their accounts suddenly frozen – both small and large amounts were unavailable to be used to pay employees, send or receive orders – with no explanations offered. PayPal has told some clients their funds would be unavailable for two years as a security measure when photos requested for verification were “too blurry”. Customer service was described as ‘really atrocious’ including customer service persons who speak little English putting callers on hold for hours without resolving issues.
PayPal is one of the very worst ways to transfer money, as simply no transparency exists. When they begin with an inflated retail rate and then tack on their 2%-3% conversion rate, plus credit card fees, PayPal has indeed got clients “covered” – in exorbitant fees!
Small cottage industry businesses are frantic when PayPal routinely freezes their accounts. Grown large on the strength of eBay, PayPal is new to the foreign exchange marketplace and seems to think clients have as few options as they once did with eBay payment methods. Corporate clients now have credible, dependable companies they can turn to for invoicing and payment solutions that don’t come with the poor customer service and automated fees that PayPal has profited from for far too long.
2.5 out of 5
PayPal is determined to get the whole world to checkout as fast as possible. Using the company to purchase goods is very straightforward for domestic purchases.
For eCommerce, the fees applied are nipping away at profit margins. For transfers PayPal’s wholesale rate isn’t competitive, nor is it upfront. Fees added to an already low rate make this company the lazy, expensive way to send money.