How PayPal works

Millions of people trust PayPal to buy, sell, and send money—without sharing their financial information.

how paypal works

PayPal simplifies your life

We believe it should be simple to get, spend, and send your money. That’s why our services are designed to fit into your everyday life. Whether you’re shopping, splitting expenses, or getting paid for sales, we’re here to help make it as easy as possible.

There's a world of ways to use PayPal

Shop and buy online or in person

Choose PayPal at checkout and you can skip entering your card info each time you make a purchase. PayPal Purchase Protection1 helps you shop with confidence. You can also use PayPal to pay in person with QR codes.

See how to shop with PayPal
Hands on tabletop writing a list.
Hands on tabletop writing a list.

Send money securely

Across the table or around the globe, we make it simple to transfer money to anyone who uses PayPal.2 Our advanced search makes it easy to find and know who you’re sending money to. If they don’t have an account with PayPal, it’s easy to open one.

See how to send money

Receive and collect money

It’s easy to receive money from friends and family, and anyone who’s using PayPal. The funds can go quickly into your account. Share your unique PayPal.Me link or QR code to make it even easier.2

See how to receive money
Hands on tabletop writing a list.
Hands on tabletop writing a list.

Get paid by customers

Whether you’re selling on a marketplace, offering a service online, or setting up a store, we can help you get paid online and in person.

See how to sell with PayPal

Join over 300 million PayPal users

Users and merchants in our growing network count on us to help them securely spend, send, and get their money. Our focus on fraud protection, 24/7 monitoring, and secure encryption technology is one reason why we’ve been a trusted brand for over 20 years.

create account

Create an account in seconds

It’s free to open an account and buy something using PayPal.3 Sign up quickly with your name and email address, then add your bank account, debit, or credit card—and you’re ready to start using PayPal online, in our PayPal app, or in person.

Sign up

payment methods

Add payment methods to your wallet

Your PayPal wallet securely stores your credit card, debit card, and bank account info in one place, so choosing your payment option at checkout is a breeze.

Easily and securely spend, send, and manage your money with just one account.

Sign Up for Free

1 Terms and limitations apply to PayPal Purchase Protection.

2 An account with PayPal is required to send and receive money online, using the PayPal app or

3 If your purchase involves currency conversion, a fee will apply.