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I've recently created a PayPal account after receiving funds from a family member abroad who uses the service. However, signing up and attempting to withdraw funds from PayPal has been one of the most frustrating user experiences I can remember.
The mysterious double deposit
In an attempt to link my PayPal account to my personal bank account, PayPal, supposedly, make two small deposits ($0.50 maximum credit each - the value, despite how small it may seem, is important here).
After those deposits are made, the PayPal user interface prompts you to return to it the values of the deposits made. Neat system - so you'd think.
Hours later, and the deposits are yet to arrive... At first, you spend time constantly refreshing your bank account hoping to breeze through this well thought out process and gain access to your currency in a format that is in any way meaningful.
After the first hours go by, you progress through several stages of frustration, questioning "how could this process be more prohibitive to me being able to withdrawing my funds?"
Refresh, refresh, refresh is how the story goes, but, the wait continues...
In an attempt to stem the building frustration from the dreaded double deposit, I've gone on to set up the balance of features to my account, namely linking a chequing card.
Interestingly, a similar authentication process is followed, whereby PayPal makes a small transaction with the relevant account linked to the chequing card to prove its authenticity, in this case, a $2.00 debit (you may already be able to see where this is going...).
In the linked bank account of the card, the description of the debit includes a code which once retrieved and entered back into the PayPal user interface, the chequing card is authenticated and funds may flow from it to PayPal. Which is great news... for PayPal...
As you'd have guessed, this process occurs instantaneously.
After requesting and confirming the authentication code for my chequing card, I am now $2.00 poorer, and freely able to deposit more funds to my PayPal account with this card (and as they would sell it to me, now be able to transact with hundreds of thousands of merchants online...).
Alas, even as I write this sob story, in the age that has passed since this process began, I'm still without my (less that $1.00 total) authentication deposits from PayPal that I so desperately would love to see appear in my bank account.
In conclusion, all I can take away from this process is that PayPal are:
1. eager to receive your funds,
2. make it as easy as possible to receive more of your funds,
3. take more than they give back to you when authenticating your details (a minimum of $1 per user, assuming you authenticate both your bank account and a single chequing card)
4. make the process as tedious and time consuming as possible in order for you to withdraw your funds.
Dreaming of the day that I see those two beautiful <50c deposits arrive, I remain a frustrated "customer" who in all likelihood won't utilise my freshly minted linked chequing account in future.
I hope that my $2.00 debit, with compound interest over time, affords the company the resources to attribute someone who can read this post or any one similar and come up with a better, more efficient bank account authentication process.