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    PayPal Holdings, Inc. is an American company operating a worldwide online payments system that supports online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods like checks and money orders. The company operates as a payment processor for online vendors, auction sites, and many other commercial users, for which it charges a fee in exchange for benefits such as one-click transactions and password memory. PayPal's payment system, also called PayPal, is considered a type of payment rail.

    PayPal was established in December 1998 as Confinity, a company that developed security software for handheld devices founded by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek, and Ken Howery. PayPal was developed and launched as a money transfer service at Confinity in 1999, funded by John Malloy from BlueRun Ventures.

    PayPal acquired the VeriSign payment solution in 2005 to expand its e-commerce business and provide added security support. In 2007, PayPal announced a partnership with MasterCard that led to the development and launch of the PayPal Secure Card service, a software that allows customers to make payments on websites that do not accept PayPal directly by generating a unique, single-use MasterCard number for each checkout. By the end of 2007, the company generated $1.8 billion in revenue.

    The company continued to build its Merchant Services division, providing e-payments for retailers on eBay. In 2011, PayPal announced that it would begin moving its business offline so that customers can make payments via PayPal in stores. In August 2012, the company announced its partnership with Discover Card to allow PayPal payments to be made at any of the 7 million stores in Discover Card's network. By the end of 2012, PayPal's total payment volume processed was US$145,000,000,000. and accounted for 40% of eBay's revenue, amounting to US$1,370,000,000 in the 3rd quarter of 2012.

    It was announced on September 30, 2014, that eBay would spin off PayPal into a separate publicly traded company, a move demanded in 2013 by activist hedge fund magnate Carl Icahn. The spin-off was completed on July 18, 2015. Dan Schulman is the current President and CEO, with former eBay CEO John Donahoe serving as chairman. On Jan 31, 2018 eBay announced that, "After the existing eBay-PayPal agreement ends in 2020, PayPal will remain a payment option for shoppers on eBay, but it won’t be prominently featured ahead of debit and credit card options as it is today. PayPal will cease to process card payments for eBay at that time.

    PayPal's corporate headquarters are located in the North San Jose Innovation District of San Jose, California, at North First Street campus. The company's operations center is located in Omaha, Nebraska, which was opened in 1999. Since July 2007, PayPal has operated across the European Union as a Luxembourg-based bank. The PayPal European headquarters are located in Luxembourg and the international headquarters are in Singapore. PayPal opened a technology center in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2006, and a software development center in Chennai, India in 2007. In October 2007, PayPal opened a data service office on the north side of Austin, Texas, and also opened a second operations center in La Vista, Nebraska that same year. In 2011, joining similar customer support operations located in Berlin, Germany; Chandler, Arizona; Dublin, Ireland; Omaha, Nebraska; and Shanghai, China; PayPal opened a second customer support center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and began the hiring process. In 2014, PayPal opened a new global center of operations in Kuala Lumpur.

    In 2007, PayPal acquired the online credit product Bill Me Later, Inc., which has since been rebranded as PayPal Credit, and provided services for Comenity Capital Bank, the lender of PayPal Credit accounts. Founded in 2000, Bill Me Later is headquartered in Timonium, Maryland, with additional offices in Hunt Valley, Maryland; Chandler, Arizona; and San Francisco, California. PayPal Credit offers shoppers access to an instant online revolving line of credit at thousands of vendors that accept PayPal, subject to credit approval. PayPal Credit allows consumers to shop online in much the same way as they would with a traditional credit card. The rebranding of Bill Me Later as PayPal Credit also means that consumers can use PayPal Credit to fund transactions virtually anywhere PayPal is accepted. In 2015 PayPal agreed that PayPal Credit would pay a $25 million fine to settle a complaint filed in Federal Court by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    The PayPal Buyer Protection Policy states that the customer may file a buyer complaint if he or she did not receive an item or if the item he or she purchased was significantly not as described. The customer can open a dispute within 180 days (for registered UK residents 180 days, changed 14 June 2014) from the date of payment and escalate it to a claim within 20 days from opening the dispute. If the buyer used a credit card, he or she might get a refund via chargeback from his or her credit-card company. However, in the UK, where such a purchaser is entitled to specific statutory protections (that the credit card company is a second party to the purchase and is therefore equally liable in law if the other party defaults or goes into liquidation) under Section 75 Consumer Credit Act 1979, the purchaser loses this legal protection if the card payment is processed via PayPal.