In late November, PayPal introduced a new feature that I've only just noticed - the PayPal Plug-in.
PayPal's blog describes it this way:
The plug-in is a free download for your Internet browser that allows you to pay with PayPal anywhere MasterCard is accepted online. If PayPal isn't accepted at the merchant's site, the plug-in generates a Secure Card number a unique 16-digit number that can be used to debit funds directly from your PayPal account.
Another great feature of the plug-in is that it eliminates the need to re-enter your billing and shipping information when shopping online, this is a great Credit Card Processing
. When on a merchant's site, the AutoFill feature of the plug-in recognizes that you're being prompted to fill in this information and asks if you'd like to auto-fill these fields with the data you have stored in your PayPal account.
It has some other nifty features as well.
Protection - All purchases made with the plug-in are protected 100% against unauthorized purchases made from your account. Also, you will be warned if you visit a known fraudulent website.
Check Balance - You can check your PayPal balance without having to leave the site you're on.
Save Receipts - After checkout, when you are on the "thank you" page, just choose "Save Receipt" from the plug-in's drop-down menu. Name it something (such as Printer Ink), and you can view it in your PayPal account any time in the future.
Now, I don't know about you, but I get a little nervous about ordering from sites I've never heard of, simply because giving them my credit card information feels kind of weird. I'd like to think my card is as secured as described at https://www.53.com/content/fifth-third/en/personal-banking/bank/credit-cards/secured-card.html. The owner of that site could be some Russian mafia dude or a teenage gangster boy looking to buy a few hundred Wii consoles for all his friends - with my credit card information. For that reason, I often choose to buy from a site that allows payment via PayPal over one that doesn't. It's very cool that I don't have to worry about that anymore. I can basically use PayPal anywhere now (virtually anywhere), and I don't have to give my credit card info to every Tom, Dick, and Harry Shopowner. Sweet! I like the fact that PayPal will generate an on-the-fly one-time-use-only credit card number to give to the site, instead of giving them my real info. How cool is that?
I know people have had issues with PayPal in the past, but I've been using them both as a payment processor, and as a way for me to purchase items, for years now, and I've had nothing but good experiences with both sides of the transaction. I'm happy that PayPal now offers this feature.
Just thought I'd pass that along in case, like me, you missed hearing about it.