Now look here everyone! Things are SO much easier than they were in my day. In years gone by, it was cash or nothing. Now there are so many different ways to pay it’s amazing. One of the easiest of the new-fangled methods is to use PayPal. This is an American company (just like before, those damn Americans have come to the rescue). It’s basically a worldwide online electronic money transfer service: a very practical alternative to all those old fashioned traditional paper methods like cash and cheques. PayPal is now one of, if not the biggest internet payment companies. It’s usually free for the buyer to use the service, as the company makes its money from charging fees to sellers and commercial users. The only major exception is if there is a currency conversion involved (such as if you are buying something from abroad). The buyer usually pays PayPal via an instant automatic link to a credit or debit card account.
The original company was established in 1998, but early in the new century it became a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay and changed its name to PayPal. It was previously known as “Confinity”. Probably not the best idea to start the name of a company which has anything to do with money with the prefix “Con”, so the name change was a smart move. PayPal went from strength to strength under eBay’s wing – many people began to use PayPal’s services this way, as it was a very convenient way to guarantee personal payment between strangers, facilitating a free and fair trade between effectively anonymous buyers and sellers. This can even be done across international boundaries, since you can use just about any of the major currencies. The currency the buyer is using is instantly converted to the seller’s (for a fee of course!)
By 2013, PayPal moved $180 billion in 26 currencies across 193 nations, generating total revenues of $6.6 billion. This represented 41% of eBay’s total profits. In 2014, it had 152 million registered active users. The company is currently being spun off from eBay and should be a fully independent operation by the end of 2015.
Of course, things have moved on since those early electronic transfer days, and you can now use PayPal in even more convenient ways. You can use it in shops, as a “contactless” means of payment, via an app on your smartphone. Payment to PayPal is via either registered e-mail address and password, or by mobile number and PIN. You can even use Pay Pal as a virtual credit card. The interest (APR) is variable, but it is comparable with a conventional standard credit card.
As far as Bingo sites are concerned, not all will accept PayPal, but many do. It’s generally available on Dragonfish / Cassava powered sites and many others too. So, all in all, payment online is nothing like the palaver we old timers had to put up with. Thanks to those Yanks, you can play bingo to your heart’s content without even having to put your hand in your pocket or purse. Mind you, us wise old birds always remember, you do have to pay for it with real money in the end, so only play what you can afford! Otherwise you’ll end up back on rations, just like the old days…