Many individuals become aware of PayPal when offered the possibility to use the service in order to pay for various items bought on eBay or other such sites. In time, most people also start using it as a means to receive money.
PayPal essentially enables individuals to receive money from anywhere in the world; it is extremely easy to transfer or to withdraw money. While it is often used by freelancers, most individuals who sell items or services and are not part of a company get paid through PayPal.
The company has recently introduced another service called PayPal.Me. This new system is linked to the main features offered by PayPal, in addition to offering users the ability to set up profile pages that are extremely similar to those found on social networks. The service enables individuals to simply send their clients a link to their PayPal.Me profile page, rather than sending them an invoice. This also eliminates the client’s need to know the user’s email address.
Visually, the profile page is extremely similar to one that you would find on social media networks. It’s simple, intuitive, and easy to set up. Also, the page can be customized by changing the background color, adding a short profile description, or uploading a profile page.
This all makes the new system extremely useful when having to ask someone for money, and can also be used for online businesses. There are many ways in which an individual could use it. A donation destination is always useful for bloggers or website owners.
This having been said, the service does have its flaws. And some of them can be deal breakers for many potential users. One of the biggest disadvantages is that you cannot change your name. PayPal.Me will use the name that the user has officially linked to his or her PayPal account. This can affect those who would like to use the system for multiple businesses.
Another big problem is the fact that you don’t get the details that you would normally receive when using the invoice system. You practically have no way of knowing who paid you and why. You will simply see that your PayPal balance has increased.
Furthermore, you cannot set up a “Thank you” page of any kind. The service only enables fast transfers. It does not allow you to redirect people to any other page after the payment has been sent. This will make it impossible to use the system as part of a campaign because there is no way to ask those paying you to join your mailing list or to offer them the chance to receive a “Thank You” offer.
If you also add the fact that you cannot change the default currency, it is clear that PayPal.Me still has a long way to go. For example, if the user lives in the US and the currency defaults to USD, there is no way for the user to charge his clients who might live in Europe in EUR. The service allows you to set the amount, but not the currency, so someone who wishes to pay you would get the “Amount” field pre-populated with the value that you set and unfortunately, the currency will be set to your regional one.
It is also worth mentioning the fact that you cannot set up subscriptions. The service can only be used for one-time payments. This means that those who want to or are required to send you money every month must go through the whole procedure, manually, every time. All subscriptions are still handled through the main site.
Lastly, PayPal.Me doesn’t give you the option of changing your username. The name that you choose when you first set up your profile page is final. There is no option to change it, so you will not be able to modify it in order to better suit a campaign, or when your business goes through a change in direction. This is unfortunate, considering that most social media channels allow you to change the username.
The new service is just that, “new”. It needs to be improved in order to be a valuable tool for bloggers, freelancers, and business owners. However, it is useful, even in its current state. Just keep in mind that it’s a good idea to use regular invoicing for your clients, and only PayPal.Me as a donation destination.
Also, get your PayPal.Me name as fast as possible. While you cannot change it, at least you will have a name that suits your business. This will also help you prevent someone from posing as you and collecting money in your name!