What Do You Need to Get PayPal?

by Laura Gittins

PayPal is an e-commerce service that works like a regular bank account and allows you to send, receive and transfer money through the Internet. You may sign up for a PayPal account online, but only if you meet a set of eligibility requirements. PayPal does not require too much information from you, and it has several security and privacy features in place to protect your information.

Login Information

When you create a PayPal account, you use your email address as your login name and you create a password that is at least eight characters long. When you agree to PayPal's user agreement and privacy policy, PayPal will send you an automatic email message to confirm you entered it correctly. In that email, you must click an "Activate My Account" button and enter your password once again to confirm your identity.

Eligibility

As part of the sign-up process, you must also fill out your first and last name, address, city, state, country, zip code and phone number. PayPal networks in more than 190 countries and regions worldwide, including the United States. You must be a legal resident of one of these countries and at least 18 years old, according to PayPal's user agreement. PayPal only uses your phone number to contact you if there's a problem with your account or a purchase you make.

Funding Source

You may link your debit or credit card, or your bank information to your PayPal account by entering the appropriate information on your PayPal profile page. PayPal uses these as funding sources to transfer money to and from your PayPal account. If you add a bank account, PayPal sends two small deposits to your bank account which you use to verify your account by entering those in your bank account verification screen. You may add more than one of each type and set which of them you want to use as your primary account or card.

Account Type

PayPal offers three account types when you sign up: Personal, Premier and Business. You need to select one. A Personal account works best if you strictly make purchases with your PayPal balance. A Premier account is for you if you are a buyer and seller with PayPal. A Business account works for you if you use PayPal as part of your business operations. Depending on your account type and whether you verify your account, PayPal may impose sending, spending or transfer limits on your accounts, on top of any fees you agree to pay to use the service.

About the Author

Laura Gittins has been writing since 2008 and is an expert in document design. She has a Bachelor of Science in English, Professional and Technical Writing. She has written education and document design articles for eHow.