Paypal funny money

I'm a huge fan of Paypal when it comes to online shopping. From a merchant's point of view it's free to setup, isn't difficult to configure, and the ongoing fees are fairly reasonable.

From a shopper's point of view it's also great. My personal favourite feature is that I can shop at dodgy websites and not have to worry about giving my credit card number to a website that is going to store it permanently in a POP account with a 4 letter password.

This isn't a paid review for Paypal. Rather, someone opened my eyes recently to another cool Paypal concept.

Paypal money isn't real money

Paypal dollars, while being for all intents and purposes the same as US dollars, ane handled and percieved differently. If my Paypal account is anything to go by, I'm quite willing to buy any old crap online, but only if they take Paypal. I'll happily fork out Paypal dollars for a bit of software or a paid directory or anything else for that matter. If it's a credit card payment, I'll think much more carefully about this.

I wonder why this is? I can think of a few reasons...
  • Paypal dollars are prepaid. It's not like a credit card where I have to pay it back later. Any money in my Paypal account is mine, so I'm much happier about spending it.
  • Paypal is less clicks.

    Entering a Paypal password and clicking "pay" is much less trouble than digging the credit card out of the wallet and entering it into a webpage. Keeping in mind that some credit card forms are easy and others aren't, I'd rather the Paypal form I'm familiar with. The transaction is over within seconds, before I have had time to change my mind or become frustrated by a crappy user interface.
  • Exchange rate issues.

    This won't effect everyone, but currently the New Zealand dollar is stronger than it's ever been against the US dollar. What this means is that withdrawing real money from your Paypal account into a New Zealand bank account isn't especially profitable. It's an incentive to leave any money I earn in the Paypal account and spend it on websites that take Paypal.
  • And last but not least...

    My wife doesn't know my Paypal password. In a world of joint bank accounts and monthly statements, it's the last remaining bastion of financial independence I have remaining. I can quietly waste my money on software, games, ebooks or whatever I like without feeling guilty that I'm not putting food on the table for the family.

Long live Paypal!
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