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What is PayPal?

PayPal, an eBay company, is a service that acts as a payment middleman, allowing people to send money to each other over the Internet. Both parties entrust their credit card and bank information to PayPal, which then facilitates the transactions. Many online retailers are accepting PayPal payments.

The best thing about it is that the seller never sees your payment information. PayPay has over 100 million accounts, of which more than 40 million are in Europe. It is offered in 190 countries and in 17 currencies. PayPal countries include Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Spain and many more.

Other alternative payment options include BillMeLater and Google Checkout. There are also regional and specialized third party payers including Paysafecard, based in Vienna, Austria, Neteller and Moneybookers, specialists in online gambling, and Clickbank serving Web marketers that sell digital products.

Another option is specialized Visa and MasterCard issuers, such as Entropay, a company that issues prepaid Virtual Visa card that you can use with any online Visa merchant.

A very popular alternative is online banking-based Internet payments, the fastest growing Internet payment category in Europe. Buyers initiate transactions at a merchant's Web site and are redirected to their own online bank for the payment authorization.

These payment systems come in two varieties: ‘multi-bank' and ‘mono-bank' solutions. Today, there are multi-bank payment methods in the following countries: Austria (eps since 2001), Canada (Interac), Denmark (eDankort since 2003), Netherlands (iDEAL Since 2005), Belgium (Bancontact/Mister Cash since 2006), Germany (giropay since 2006), Norway (BankAxess), Czech Republic (NetBanka) and the United States (Secure Vault Payments).

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