How to Accept Money Online with PayPal

Blogged about in:

I feel like this used to be really complicated. I am mostly familiar with online payment in the context of business transactions, which I've worked with a number of times in the course of my work. I have also used apps for transfering money person-to-person, but that was more of an active transaction for both parties: one party requests payment, the other party completes the transaction. Setting up a sort of digital tip jar, where people can just drop by and leave money, was more complicated the last time I looked into it. I wanted to revisit the topic because it is important to me that people are not only able to express themselves online, but also that they can be rewarded or compensated for their work. I was pleasantly surprised to find that his has become quite easy.

Open all sections

Create a PayPal account


If you already have a PayPal account, move on to step #2

Go to PayPal and choose to sign up. Enter personal information, such as name and email address, and choose a secure password.


I went with PayPal here because in reviewing the options, it seemed to provide the easiest setup and PayPal is a widely recognized and used brand, making it more likely that people will use the service if they want to give you money.

Since this account is going to deal with money, choosing a secure password is especially important. Long passwords randomly generated and managed by a password manager are best. If you aren't using a password manager, use a long phrase that is easy for you to remember. Do not share this password with other people, or use it on other websites.

Create a URL

  1. Go to
  2. Click "Create Your link" and sign in with your PayPal account.
  3. Choose a URL, and optionally provide location information, a message, or a photo.

This is the "easy mode" service that didn't exist the last time I looked. It is a simple to set up, personal URL that will let people put money into your PayPal account.

Link to your URL from your website

<a href="">leave a tip with PayPal</a>

I think it's really great that the necessary services are coming into existance so that anyone with access to an internet-connected computer can express themselves online and receive gratuity, without requiring extensive specialized knowledge or investment. These are remarkably democratizing times.