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Q: Paypal for non-profit ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Paypal for non-profit
Category: Business and Money > eCommerce
Asked by: rbnn-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 06 Apr 2004 23:27 PDT
Expires: 06 May 2004 23:27 PDT
Question ID: 326448
I need a Paypal expert here. 

I volunteer at a non-profit that wants to accept membership
applications via Paypal. I want to set things up so that the whole
organization can get a paper trail of any transactions on our account.
That is, what concerns me, suppose I set up a paypal account linked to
some email and password. How would I prevent a rogue employee from
just funneling all the contributions to himself?

I've looked at the Paypal donations button. I've also asked Paypal a
few times but keep getting form-letter answers to questions different
from what I asked.
Subject: Re: Paypal for non-profit
Answered By: hibiscus-ga on 07 Apr 2004 00:06 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi rbnn, 

PayPal's a good, simple, easy way to accept donations, and it should
be secure unless you plan on giving the account password out to
everyone.  Even then there wouldn't be any way to hide the fact that
the funds were taken.

Basically, when you set up your PayPal account you create a username
(linked to an email address) with a password, as I'm sure you know. 
Once logged in you set up the bank accounts to which your account is
linked.  The only way to withdraw the funds is directly to your bank
account.  So, assuming some employee with access to the account (which
should be a limited group of people anyway) wanted to steal the funds
s/he would first have to add his/her account into the PayPal system,
then wait for PayPal to make two verification deposits to the account
(which takes several days), then log in again, confirm the account,
and withdraw the funds to that account.  Technically possible, yes,
but it would leave an easily observable trail.  It would also take
several days, during which time the new account information would be
viewable to anyone with access to the PayPal account.

If you're really worried about such a possibily you would just need to
check that the bank account linked to your PayPal account was correct
on a regular basis. This is as simple as going to your account profile
and clicking on the 'bank accounts' link.

Further, PayPal keeps records of every transaction, including fund
withdrawals.  It's very easy to list all fund withdrawls made on the
account and then to see what account the money was deposited into.  If
ever funds went missing from your account there would be no way to
hide their destination.

As you can see, while it's possible for an employee with access to the
account to withdraw the funds, it's not possible for that employee to
hide his or her tracks.

I hope this reassures you and answers your question.


Request for Answer Clarification by rbnn-ga on 07 Apr 2004 01:15 PDT
Can they set it up so that multiple employees can easily check the
status of the paypal account?

Can they set it up so the bank account cannot be changed (if you know
the answer to this last)?

Clarification of Answer by hibiscus-ga on 07 Apr 2004 01:46 PDT
Hi again, 

Yes, it's easy enough for multiple employees to check the account, but
in order to do so you will need to give each employee access to that
account.  You can in fact provide multiple email addresses for the
same account, thereby giving each employee their own access, but there
is no way to limit the access of the various logins.  This means that
you can't create a master login which has control over the accounts,
while the others can only view the transactions.

There is also no way to prevent new bank accounts from being added,
but upon addition of a new account a confirmation email is sent to the
primary address for the PayPal account, so there is notification that
a change has been made.  Also, as I mentioned, the account must be
confirmed, a process that takes several days.

While there isn't any way that I am aware of to allow the balance of
the account to be accessed without also granting access to all the
other features, you can have monthly statements mailed out to an email
address.  This means that all the transactions on the account would be
listed for the recipient without that person having to log in to check
on them.  This might be useful if, for example, you were in charge of
the account but were going away, or you wanted to show the transaction
to your accountant without granting the accountant access to the
PayPal account.

But, from what I seem to understand of your intentions, there is no
way to set PayPal up quite the way you want.  If you need a system
that's accessible to many but changeable by only a few you will
probably need to look at setting up a merchant account that allows you
to take credit card payments directly.  Unfortunately I'm not very
familiar with the options here so I won't be much help.

I hope this answers your question.

rbnn-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Good answer, timely too.

Subject: Re: Paypal for non-profit
From: jgrabinski-ga on 07 Apr 2004 07:10 PDT
There is a way to limit the access of the various logins:

Multi-User Access 
PayPal's Multi-User Access feature allows you to give multiple users
various levels of access to a single PayPal Business account. With
Multi-User Access, you can add multiple logins and access levels for
your employees, so they can complete necessary tasks without having
access to extraneous features. By controlling the access your users
have to your account, you can run your business smoothly and not have
to worry about allowing total access to your account.
Subject: Re: Paypal for non-profit
From: rbnn-ga on 07 Apr 2004 08:14 PDT
Wow, thanks for that info.

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