Understanding the PayPal Process
At Bloom, we use PayPal to process payments, which means that you must have a PayPal account in order to make a promise to a project. We know that some people aren't sure about PayPal, so we've written this blog to explain why we use it and how the process works.
First off, why do we only use PayPal?
Well it's a great method as it's easy to use and very secure! It's also being used on most websites now for processing payments, so for the majority of Bloom backers, it's easier to continue using PayPal. However, some people don't have a PayPal account, and would prefer to pay by credit or debit card. We would love to be able to offer our backers this service, but unfortunately the banks won't allow us to. Don't worry though, PayPal really is very simple.
Avoiding common problems
When you sign up to PayPal, you will register an email address to your account, which will be set by you. This could be a business or personal email address, whichever you prefer. For example, see the screenshot below which shows how your details will look on your Bloom profile.
When you enter your details in your Bloom account, make sure there are no extra spaces, numbers, letters or punctuation that is not part of your email address. In the same way as when you send an email, if you don't type the exact email address in, it won't be recognised.
Also, please make sure that you have your credit or debit card linked to your PayPal account. To check this, log in to PayPal and click on 'My account' and then on the 'My money' tab (see the screenshot below).
Remember, if you are making a promise, you must have funds available or the promise will fail and you will not receive your reward. Before you make a promise, it's also a good idea to check that the card(s) that are linked are up to date (i.e. it's not details of an expired card or a card you don't use anymore).
When you make a promise to a Bloom project, you're doing exactly that - promising you will give £X if and when the project closes. You can break your promise before the project closes (although we hope you don't!) but until the project closes succesfully, the money will remain in your bank account. This process is called pre-authorisation and clever PayPal will never take the money at all if the project fails.
As you might notice when you make a promise, this pre-authorisation process is authorising two payments (see the screenshot below).
Don't freak out! This does not mean PayPal will take the money twice. All it means is that 5% of your promise will come straight to us, as our commission, and the rest will go straight to the project owner. The best thing about this? You know that we only ever receive our commission, and your promise will go directly to the project that you have backed.
Also, as the screenshot above shows, you are authorising Bloom to take 'future payments' - this just means the two payments for your promise. It does not mean we can take money at any point, it just refers to the fact that the money will not come out of your account until the project closes (which is at some point in the future).
Welll hopefully we have cleared up a few things, and that you are all happy with using PayPal. If you still aren't convinced, but want to make a promise to a project, you can always donate offline, and ask the project owner to make the promise on your behalf.
Contact us if you have any questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org