Which payment option should I use?


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Which payment option should I use?

A small pile of credit cards

What's coming up?

When you buy something or try to pay a bill online, you'll often be given options about how you want to pay. Which one is the best for you?

In this activity, we're going to look at trust and how that affects which payment method you choose.

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Understanding trust

The way you pay should depend on how much you trust the website. If it's a company you've had a long relationship with, like your bank, telephone or electricity company, then any payment method should be OK.

If it's your first time with the website, then you need to take precautions, which we'll explore later in this activity.

A woman looks concerned as she looks at her tablet while sitting in a cafe
A purchase is being made using a tablet and a credit card

Buying from a trusted company

If you're buying from a company that you're sure about, then you can choose whatever payment method is most convenient for you.

Credit card, PayPal, pay services and direct deposit are all OK, because you know that, if there's a problem, you can contact the company and sort it out.

Buying from a website you're not 100% sure about

If you are buying from a website you’ve never dealt with before, it’s best to use a credit card, or even better, a service like PayPal.

Credit cards and PayPal have a special kind of buyer protection, where you may receive a refund if things go wrong. Even if the website refuses to give you a refund, your credit card company or PayPal may still reverse the charges. That way, there's less risk for you.

Shows a website being viewed on a laptop while a mobile phone is being used to look at PayPal
An icon of a padlock

eSafety tip

Only enter your credit card, debit card or banking details into a trusted website that has a padlock and https:// in the address bar. These show that the website connection is encrypted, so that your data is protected when communicating with the website.

We also recommend you keep a record of your online purchases somewhere handy, and check your credit card and bank statements to make sure there are no additional charges or unexpected amounts being debited.

Setting up a PayPal account

As we have discussed in the previous activity, PayPal is a good option for purchasing goods online as it means you are not needing to share your credit card or banking details with multiple websites. In some circumstances, it also provides additional buyer protection, which can be important if something goes wrong with the purchase. But before you can use PayPal, you need to set up an account. Let’s look at how to do that next.

On the next slide is a short animation showing the step-by-step guide for setting up your own PayPal account. Select the Continue button below and then play the video.

Making a payment

Next, let's watch PayPal in action. We join Marion as she orders a new cookbook from her favourite online bookstore and uses PayPal to pay for the book and the delivery charge. All done safely and without revealing her credit card number or bank account details to the book store!

To watch, click or tap the Continue button below to move to the next panel, and then press play on the video.

Two ladies take a photo of themselves with their tablet while they are out for a walk


You've completed the Which payment option should I use? activity.

You've learnt which payment options to use at familiar and trusted websites, as well as those sites you don't know very well. You have also seen PayPal in action and learned how to set up your own PayPal account, should you ever want to use it as a payment method.

Just like any kind of shopping, however, online shopping may sometimes go wrong. The next activity, What happens if the goods don't arrive?, looks at what to do when this happens.