The Computer Revolution/E commerce/Paypal
PayPal is a third party e-commerce company. They are capable of debiting and crediting credit cards and bank accounts for those with an account. Although credit card or banking information is not required for all services PayPal provides, they are required for many of them. PayPal is one of the world's primary methods of online payment with more than 100 million accounts worldwide.
PayPal allows for online payments for individuals and businesses to transfer funds electronically and securely. There is powerful encryption software that is used to allow people to make these financial transactions. The funds that are transferred by PayPal are held in a PayPal account until the person with control of the account specifies what are to be done with the balance. They can be credited to the credit cards or bank accounts set up with the PayPal account, or can be used for other purchases and transactions through the PayPal system.
PayPal is especially good for use on online auctions, purchases of goods and services, or to make donations. It is a secure third party operator which limits the amount of personal information that must be passed around for normal internet transactions. The only information that is given is a PayPal account number and all financial transactions are accomplished by PayPal. It can even sent cash.
There is now some competition to PayPal such as "C2it" and "Certa Pay" (A Canadian company).