PayPal Support Club. That is support for users of PayPal not support for PayPal.

Review and helpful links, coding examples, warnings, other shopping cart links, etc.

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PayPal Reviews and helpful links, coding examples, warnings, other shopping cart links, etc.

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A review of PayPal Shopping Cart Technology.

PayPal is basically like an on-line banking system that users may integrate into the own web sites.

Your HOME may be at risk if you do not keep up repayments on any loans or credit.

Websites owners may add basic on-line shopping cart technology to their website for making a small payment and paying a percentage on every sale.

Charges are low, compared with some other payment methods.

Integration of links for a website owner are relatively easy if the website owner has HTML skills.

When orders are made by a customer they are passed to the PayPal Secure Server where they may enter their credit card details.

Payments are made into the website owners PayPal account.  These payment may be transferred to the website owners bank account or used to purchase from other websites using the PayPal system.

PayPal notify the customer and the website owner of any transactions via email.

PayPal automatically encrypts any confidential information such as credit card detail using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol with an encryption key length of 128 bits (the highest level commercially available). Your customers will not need to share their private financial information (e.g. credit card or bank account numbers) during the transaction with the website owner.  The customer can complete the payment for their purchase while retaining security.

If you have not registered with PayPal before you will be asked to register your Credit Card details.  The website owner are not able to access these detail as they are encrypted and sent to PayPal using their secure system.

Also if you have not registered with PayPal before you will be asked to make a small payment to PayPal in addition to any charges for the services provided by website owner.  This payment is used as and extra security check when you validate your account with PayPal.  Your bank statement will show this PayPal deduction with a validation number.  This validation number may be used with PayPal to fully register with the PayPal service.  Once your account is validated the initial PayPal charge will be paid in to your PayPal account and may be used for payment of other PayPal services.

Every account insured against unauthorized transactions.

There are no monthly fees.  The website owner pay only a small transaction fee when a purchase occurs.  PayPal provides increased protection for online merchants via its built-in fraud prevention system.  PayPal standard services include instant availability of funds, customer service with PayPal is via email.


Secure Servers via PayPal

Normally, any text (such as your credit card number) sent from your browser to the web server is sent as plain text.  Although unlikely a hacker could intercept information sent from your browser.  With a secure server such as that used by PayPal the information is encrypted before it is sent from your browser. It would be practically impossible for anyone to decrypt it.


Banks.

Please note there may be an additional small charge for any transfer of funds made by your bank.


Exchange Rates

These may fluctuate from day to day and  time to time and may be different from international exchange rates.  The impact of this difference should not be significant.

PayPal deal in United States Dollars although they do except some other currency's, converted by PayPal, such as United Kingdom Pounds.


Instant Payment Notification. IPN.

Above I mention that basic shopping cart technology may be added to your website.

PayPal also has a system they call Instant Payment Notification, (IPN).  This is able to send information that would be required to carry out any back-end database actions e.g. updating a database of stock, etc.

To use Instant Payment Notification a website would need code, either purchased or written by the website owner,  that would sends details of any orders to PayPal, e.g. a HTML form.  This is also required for the basic PayPal shopping cart system.

PayPal would then send code back to a URL, website address specified by the website owner.  This code would normally be a dynamic piece of code, for example Perl script or PHP that would be required to send the information back to PayPal.

PayPal  would then return whether or not the payment had been validated or not to the website owners specified URL.  The website owners code would be expected to act upon this information.  That is to check stock, take required action depending on whether or not the payment had been validated or not, and update stock in your database, etc.

Although PayPal give examples of the Perl, PHP and other languages for the basic level of code required they do not give any other support to users trying to set up this system except for some limited online development pages which appear to have mainly been used by other users.

Using such code would require a detailed knowledge of the language to be used for the code, client/server interaction and of any security issue involved.  Although credit card details of the user are only normally passed to the PayPal Secure server storing customer details on-line may present a risks of breaking any confidentiality.  For example a hacker may gain access to customer order details, such as their name and address.  

A secure sever and encryption would be recommended for a website using this system.  This adds complications and expense that may prevent a smaller website owners with less sales from using the Instant Payment Notification system.

    Own in house credit card shopping cart website requires 

    a) coding and setting up for the shopping cart.

    b) 128-bit digital SSL server certificate from either Thawte or Verisign registered to your the domain name.

    c) a Merchant Account with a company that allows check or credit card transactions on the Web. How much it is depends on who you pick.

    If the server you host on has its own SSL server, you can make use of that instead of paying for your own, although it's may appear be less professional.

Their are some third party solutions available on the PayPal site, for a price.  I am not able to comment on these systems as I have not personally tried them.


Summery

PayPal provide a simple system that uses a secure server for a website owner to integrate basic shopping cart technology into their site.

Website owners are required to have HTML skills e.g. the ability to add a button and code, supplied by PayPal, to their website.

It can take a number of seconds to link to the PayPal server and for customers to enter their information if they have not registered with PayPal before this may put some potential customers off.  Once registered it is easier for customers to purchase items this could make repeat sales more likely.

More complicated shopping cart technology requiring database interaction would require more coding and expense.  This possibly would make code written for the job in hand more suitable.

For a smaller site with less to medium sales PayPal may be used but for a larger sites with more sales other methods may be better suited.

PayPal is more a gateway than an actual merchant account.

A merchant account is a special account that is set up for a business to accept and process credit card orders. After processing a customers credit card, the transaction goes through a series of stages. The money is then transferred from the merchant account into the business's chequering account within 48 to 72 hours.

Most banks will not set up new businesses, especially smaller ones like home based, mail order, phone order, business. 

Chargers may include, but not be limited to; Application Fees and Gateway License Fees, commission paid by you on each order plus a percentage of the amount received, bank transfer, bank charges, currency conversion, Coding, debugging, etc..

You may need to be able to accept major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express).

Check Charge Back, Statement Credit Card validation rates.


Why This Site?

PayPal Main Site.

Contact PayPal, PayPal help! Ask Your Question to Customer Service

PayPal warnings and complaints Also other issues such as News about PayPal.

PayPal helpful links

PayPal Related links

PayPal programming code Testing and IPN, Instant Payment Notification, code.

Online Payment, Shopping Carts, etc and useful links.

Scams and hoaxes. Fraud warnings. Virus Attacks

PayPal News

Other reviews of PayPal.  Support PayPal users by supplying links to code or links to you site with details of PayPal support.  Add your own review of PayPal or other Shopping Carts and sites, including this one. Go on don't be shy!!!

United Kingdom Customer Service Centre

PayPalDev.org - An Independent Forum for PayPal Developers

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