How to Create a PayPal Account

Okay, so we've told you what PayPal is and how it works, given you some safety tips for using PayPal, outlined the costs of using PayPal, and reviewed PayPal's pros and cons.  Now, it's time to start using PayPal for real!  The first thing that you'll need to do before you start using PayPal is create a user account.  This lesson will walk you through everything that you need to do to make that happen.

To sign up for PayPal:

  1. Go to www.paypal.com and click Sign Up.
  2. Select Sign Up for a Personal Account.
  3. Enter your country, email address, and password.
  4. Enter your other personal details.
  5. Link your credit card to PayPal (optional).
  6. Link your bank account to PayPal (optional).
  7. Verify your email address with PayPal.

That's quite a long process, right?  Well, PayPal is all about handling people's money, so they have to make sure that everyone who uses their service is legitimate.  Don't worry; we'll walk you through the motions step-by-step below.

Detailed instructions for how to create a PayPal account

1. Request to sign up for PayPal.

Go to www.paypal.com in your web browser, and click Sign Up in the top-right corner.

2. Choose to sign up for a personal PayPal account.

We assume that you'll be using PayPal as a way to pay for purchases (both online and off) and send money to other people, as opposed to accepting payments from people whom you sell stuff to.  In that case, click Sign Up for a Personal Account.

3. Provide your email address, a password (and copy), and your home country.

Next, you have to fill in your basic account details.

Click in each of the boxes highlighted here and select or type in, respectively:

  • the country in which you live
  • your email address
  • a password with which to protect your account
  • a copy of the password that you just entered

When you're all set, click Continue.

4. Provide your other personal information.

Next, you will have to fill in the personal details that PayPal will need to verifiably connect your account with your credit card, debit card, or bank.

Click in each of the boxes highlighted here and select or type in, respectively:

  • your first name
  • your middle name (optional)
  • your last name
  • your date of birth (numeric day/month/year format)
  • your field of occupation
  • your social insurance number (optional)
  • your street address
  • your unit address (optional)
  • your area mailing code
  • the city in which you live
  • the state, province, or territory in which you live
  • your phone number (click the menu beside it to select Mobile or Home number)

If you don't want extra emails from PayPal telling you about updates and promotions on PayPal's services, click the check box here to unmark it.

Once everything has been filled in correctly, click Agree and Create Account.

5. Add your credit card as a PayPal option.

The next step is to link your credit card or debit card to your PayPal account.  This allows you to shop in stores online and in the real world with PayPal, and have the purchase automatically charged to your credit card.

Click in each of the boxes highlighted here and type in:

  • your credit card number
  • your credit card's expiration date (numerical month/year [last two digits of year])
  • your credit card's security code

PayPal will assume that the billing address for your credit card is the same as the personal one that you provided in the previous step.  If it isn't, click Edit and provide the correct street address, unit address (optional), mailing code, city, and state/province/territory.

When you've filled in all of your information, click Link Card.

If you don't have a credit card, or don't want to add it as a payment option for PayPal, click I'd Rather Link My Bank Account First.  See our How to Use PayPal without a Credit Card tutorial for further instructions.

6. Add your bank account as a PayPal option.

Once you have linked your credit card to PayPal, you can also link your bank account(s) to your PayPal account, too.  Again, our How to Use PayPal without a Credit Card tutorial will show you how to do this; just follow it from step 3 onward.  Or, if you don't want to link your bank account(s) to PayPal (at least not right now), click I'll Link My Bank Account Later (click the button that appears after this to confirm).

7. Verify your email address.

There's one more thing that you need to do to complete the setup of your account, and that's verify your email address.  You can't use your PayPal account without doing so!  Go to your email client and log in.  Find the email from PayPal Service titled "Welcome to PayPal" and click on it to open it.  From there, just click the blue Yes, This is My Email Address button in the email.

To complete confirmation of your email address for your PayPal account, you will need to enter your account password.  Click in the box labelled "Password" and type in the password that you picked to protect your PayPal account.  Then click Confirm My Email Address.

 

That's it!  Your PayPal account is ready, and you're all set to start using it!  Our first lesson will be how to transfer money to the balance in your PayPal account.

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