I'm working on a FAQ text for users of the website. I'm stuck with a text about the PayPal payment option.

The question is:

Do I need to be a PayPal customer to pay with credit card?


No - PayPal also accepts credit card payments from non-customers just enter your credit card details when ordering. If you are already a customer of PayPal, simply log in and confirm the payment.

What I'm not sure of is the phrase/word PayPal customer - should I rather use member or user?


“Paypal customer” is not really correct. A customer pays for a service. When someone buys something via Paypal, they are not exactly a customer of Paypal: Paypal acts more or less as a bank. In this sense, the seller is a customer of Paypal, but not the buyer.

“Paypal member” would not be idiomatic — “member” refers to an organization. The closest thing to being a “member” would be to be an employee of Paypal.

“Paypal user” is technically correct, but ambiguous. It could refer to anyone who uses Paypal's services in any way.

The usual term would be “have an account”.

Do I need to have a PayPal account to pay by credit card?

You can see this expression on Paypal's own site as well as on many websites that offer services similar to yours, e.g. (random Google hits) 1 2 3 4.

  • Thanks a lot for your answer “have an account” was the one I didn't think about :) – Stefan Weiss Feb 20 '14 at 20:35
  • 2
    The other word would be "non-account holders", as in "PayPal accepts payments from non-account holders." – BobRodes Feb 20 '14 at 21:20

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