For some reason, some would-be subscribers think that a PayPal account is required to subscribe to Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter. Not true!
Paypal admittedly does have a user interface that encourages you to sign up with them, but you can ignore this and simply pay by a VISA, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover credit card as normal. If you prefer to not use a credit card, you can even pay by an electronic funds transfer that you initiate from any U.S. bank’s checking account.
After clicking on SUBSCRIBE NOW, you will see the page that asks you to select either a 12-month or a 3-month subscription, your name, and a user name and password that you invent. If you do not have a Coupon Code, leave that blank. (Most people do not have Coupon Codes.)
Eventually, you will be taken to a page on PayPal that asks for payment information. If you do have a Paypal account, you might want to use that. However, if you do not have a Paypal account, fill in the section that is labeled, “Don’t have a PayPal account?” You will then be asked for all the information required by the credit card company: name, address, credit card number, and whatever else your credit card company requires.
NOTE: I am told that anyone in Canada sees a somewhat different screen. One subscriber in Canada told me that is because of some requirement in Canadian banking laws but I have no idea why there is a difference.
How safe is your personal information?
First, I don’t save much information. I do keep your name, your email address, the date your subscription began, and the date it ends. That’s it.
When you do subscribe, you do have to enter your credit card information on PayPal’s safe and secure web pages. The information is kept by PayPal; I never see your credit card information. Again, you do not need a PayPal account.
PayPal processes payments totaling more than $300 million every day, according to Statistic Brain at http://www.statisticbrain.com/paypal-statistics/. PayPal’s security has proven to be top-notch for years and the company is now respected as a highly secure payment processor.
PayPal is fully bonded and insured so there is no risk. If your card is ever used fraudulently (which is doubtful), you will receive a prompt and full refund. In addition, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover card also all insure all of your online transactions. You have double insurance!
The information is sent to the bank that issued your credit card by a high-security connection and then the web server waits up to ten seconds for a reply. The reply might be “approved” or it might be “declined.” A third possibility is no reply at all, perhaps because the bank’s computer is down or because of a network problem. A non-response is treated as a “decline.”
The appropriate response is immediately displayed to you on your screen and then your credit card information, your billing address and your telephone number is erased. I don’t want to store that information. The best security of all is when the information doesn’t exist!
Next year, when you renew, you will have to enter that information once again. I don’t renew your subscription automatically or store your credit card information. Although I probably would make more money if I did, I don’t like companies that do this to me so I won’t do it to you.
Thank you for subscribing!