PayPal provides many different options for sending or receiving money.
If you are using a Personal or Premier account, most of these options will show your name to the person on the other side of the transaction. Business account holders can usually choose a trading name or alias. Read more details in our article on changing your name on PayPal.
This article breaks down whether and how your name may be shown when using PayPal.
Does PayPal Show My Name When I Buy A Physical Product?
PayPal shows your name to the seller when you send money to purchase a physical product.
The seller sees your details in their account activity. The seller also receives an email notification of your purchase that contains your name.
If you have a Personal or Premier PayPal account, then your account name is shown. However, you can choose to show a different name if you upgrade to a Business account. Read more details in our article on changing your name on PayPal.
You should also be aware that your email address and shipping address are shown to the seller.
The shipping address isn’t shown in some other circumstances. But in the case of physical products, the seller must know where to send the product!
Does PayPal Show My Name When I Buy A Service?
PayPal shows your name to the seller when you send money to purchase a service or digital product.
PayPal users sometimes think that there’s a big difference in details shown to sellers if the purchase is a service. After all, the merchant doesn’t need to deliver something to your door.
However, the seller still needs to send you an invoice. For this reason, they see your name and at least your email address.
Does PayPal Show My Name When I Send A Gift Or Personal Payment?
PayPal does not show your name when you choose the option of “gift” or “personal payment” when sending money.
However, the recipient of your money sees your email address in their account activity. They also receive an email notification of this gift that shows your email address.
Is My Name Revealed When I Click On A PayPal.me Link?
PayPal shows your name to the owner of the PayPal.me link when you click on it.
The link owner sees your details in their account activity. They also receive an email notification of the transaction that shows your name.
Is My Name Shown When I Click On A PayPal Donation Button?
PayPal shows your name to the recipient of your donation when you click on a PayPal donation button.
Your name and email address are on the donor receipt.
Does PayPal Show My Name When I Sell To A Buyer?
Your name is shown to people who send you money via PayPal.
They see your details in their account activity. This includes your name and email address.
The sender also receives an email notification with your name.
If you use a Personal or Premier account, this is your standard user name. If you have a Business account, you have the option of using a trading name. Read more details in our article on changing your name on PayPal.
Does PayPal Show My Name When I Set Up PayPal.me?
PayPal rolled out the PayPal.me feature in 2015 as a way to make it easier for users to receive money from their friends and contacts.
It’s important to understand that one of the features of PayPal.me is that people who send you money should be able to know that they are paying the correct person!
In other words, PayPal makes it easy for people to see your name when you have a PayPal.me page.
Name on your PayPal.me web page
Remember that the feature creates a web page specific to you. This is the URL that you can send to your contacts.
Most people don’t put much thought into their page setup. Therefore, their name is displayed clearly on their PayPal.me page to people who just click on the link or browse to the page.
Here’s an example of a PayPal.me page that we browsed to without sending or requesting money (we’ve obscured the name):
Want to hide your name on the PayPal.me page?
It’s possible to set up a more obscure name on the PayPal.me page.
Here’s an example of someone who may be called Marvin…but we’re not sure. Note how his PayPal.me page is displaying some sort of nickname.
However, when someone requests or sends money with this page, the full name of the link owner is shown.
Are you wondering how this user managed to get a nickname? We think he is using a Business account. That allows him to have a “trading” name separate from his business account name. Read more details in our article on changing your name on PayPal.
He’s also quite shy in his profile picture. If it’s a he!
Why Does Paypal Insist On Showing Your Name To Other People?
Many people aren’t happy about how PayPal shows their name when they enter into financial transactions with other users.
However, there’s a good reason for the transparency.
If people are sending you money, they want to know that you are who they think you are. They also want some recourse if they don’t receive the goods or services that they paid for.
Similarly, people who receive money from your account usually need a way to verify where they are getting money from for legal or tax reasons.
More About PayPal And Your Privacy
We mentioned address details a few time but this article focuses on your name.
If you’re interested in what PayPal reveals about your location, check out our separate article on when and how PayPal shows your address when you send or receive money.
If you need to back out one of your banks, check out our article on how to remove a bank account from PayPal.