Many PayPal users will have received an email from the online payment provider this week and sent it straight to the bin. After all, what’s the most obvious choice when the second line of the email goes, “there is no action needed from you today”?
But for once, it’s announcing big changes rather than just a small rate adjustment.
From 16 December 2020, the service will be charging inactive users £12 a year – although it says it won’t charge you if you have no money in your PayPal account. An inactive user is anyone who hasn’t logged in for a year or more, and presumably hasn’t made any transactions either.
Fortunately, you don’t actually have to spend any money – PayPal just requires you to log in once a year. Alternatively, you can just clear the balance on your account.
Separately, PayPal is also launching PayPal Pay in 3, a Klarna-style buy-now-pay-later service where you split the cost of your purchase in three, interest-free instalments.
It’s available at selected merchants for items costing between £45 and £2,000 and you have to pay it off within three months. You pay a third the day you make the purchase, and then a third a month for the next two months.
If you’re good with money, it’s potentially a good way to split costs across a few pay days – but of course if you’re not then you could find yourself being encouraged to spend more than you can afford. And if you’re late making the repayment, there’s a £12 late payment fee.
It’s worth bearing in mind, too, that this is considered a form of credit, and it could impact your credit score even if you make all your payments on time.