Hack 2 Verify Your PayPal Account

figs/beginner.gif figs/hack2.gif

Provide PayPal with your necessary account information without waiting for your monthly bank statements.

Federal banking regulations require financial institutions to obtain proof of your identity before allowing you to open a bank account, and PayPal uses this fact to add security to their system. If you have a bank account, it proves you are a real person, at least in the eyes of PayPal. To unlock all the features of a new PayPal account, you'll have to attach a bank account and confirm it.

Once you do this, your account will be verified and the following will happen:

  • You'll become eligible for Seller Protection [Hack #25] .

  • You'll be able to send as much money as you like. Unverified accounts are otherwise limited in the total amount of money that can be sent ($2,000 for U.S. accounts, for instance).

  • You'll be able to pay instantly from your checking account, rather than having to wait for eChecks to clear [Hack #11] .

  • You'll be able to withdraw money to your bank account [Hack #20] .

1.3.1 Add a Bank Account

Here's how to become verified:

  1. Log into your PayPal account, click the My Account tab and then click Profile.

  2. Click the Bank Accounts link under the Financial Information heading.

  3. Type the name of the bank that holds your checking account, and choose either Checking or Savings to indicate the type of account you're adding.

  4. Grab one of the checks from your checkbook and type your bank's routing number and your account number, as illustrated in Figure 1-1.

    Figure 1-1. Adding a bank account

  5. Retype the account number in the next field to ensure there are no typos.

  6. Click Add Bank Account when you're finished here.

The next page that appears will inform you that your bank account was successfully added, but you're not done yet; you still need to confirm your bank account.

1.3.2 Confirm an Account and Get Free Cash

PayPal makes two small deposits into your bank account, each in an amount between $.01 and $.99. Because you alone have access to your bank statement, only you and PayPal have access to the exact amounts deposited. When you receive your bank statement, return to PayPal and confirm your account by typing the respective amounts of the two deposits made to your account.

These two random deposits are yours to keep, so you can earn between two cents and $1.98 just by confirming your bank account.

Now, if you're the patient type, waiting up to a month for your paper bank statement to arrive in the mail should be no problem. However, in most cases, you won't have to. If your bank provides online access to your account (most do), all you need to do is log in and retrieve the two deposit amounts.

PayPal initiates these two small deposits into your bank account right away, but the banking system typically requires three to four business days to process them. So, even if you have online banking, you won't be able to confirm a bank account the same day you add it to PayPal. Instead, give it a few days and log into your bank's web site on the third or fourth day.

Once you have the amounts of the two deposits, log into your PayPal account. Click the My Account tab, click Profile, and then click Bank Accounts (under the Financial Information heading). Your newly added bank account should be listed here; select the account (if there's more than one), and then click Confirm. Enter the amounts of the deposits into the Confirm Bank Account page (as shown in Figure 1-2), and click Submit when you're done.

Figure 1-2. Entering the random deposit amounts

Your account is now verified, and you're ready to start sending as much money as you like.