Buying and selling products or services online just got a whole lot easier. Using only a person's e-mail address, you can pay for purchases and receive money owed to you without ever touching an actual green dollar bill. Of course, not touching it might take some of fun out of getting paid, but it's still your money just same. It's virtual money.
So, you're saying to yourself right about now, "How is this magical feat performed?" A variety of online payment services have sprung up to make virtual payment a reality (no pun intended).
If you need to pay someone or someone needs to pay you all you need to know is their e-mail address and which service they are using. If someone sends you money through a service you're not currently a member of, no problem. You simply register (which is most always free) and collect your hard earned cash.
Payments are made either by tapping into your offline bank account or using your credit card. Of course, once enough people start using this option, your electronic service account balance will enable you to pay your debts without tapping into your credit card or bank account. Converting your virtual money to real thing is as simple as requesting a check for an amount not exceeding what's in your account, and a "real" check will show up at your "real" house in less than a week.
Let's take a look at some of more popular services and how they work.
PayPal, a part of online bank X.com, has got to be largest online payment service today. They claim over 3 million customers to date. Free to register, but business accounts are charged 1.9% to receive funds.
Payments can be made using Mastercard, Visa or your offline bank account. They also pay a 5.00 referral bonus for every friend you get to sign up with them. At this time PayPal does not take International payments but does have plans to expand into that arena shortly.
Free to register and use. eCount payments can be made with Discover, Mastercard or Visa. Transactions are limited to $1,000.00 a day at this time.