PayPal Instant Transfer Zapper

By paka Last update Aug 21, 2009 — Installed 7,037 times.

Script Summary: Don't fall into the trap of PayPal's "instant transfer" default which forces your bank account to be the source of funds for payments. (Read why you NEVER want that to happen.) Win the battle by using this warning script. ENGLISH ONLY!

08/21/09 SCRIPT UPDATED (v1.1): The script and FF extension now both support all known types of payments:
  • regular Send Money links
  • eBay checkout
  • PayPal money requests
  • PayPal invoices
  • PayPal shopping carts
Other changes: There is no longer an automation for the Funding Options screen. This is to allow for eCheck or multiple cards. Please report any anomalies by commenting in this forum. Thanks!

09/21/08 NEWS: This script has been released as a Firefox add-on extension. Download here
If you use this humble script, please help others by placing a positive review both here and especially on the Firefox Add-ons site. This will help get it out of the sandbox and into the mainstream. Review here: Thanks for helping to ZAP PayPal Instant Transfer!
Note: Both Greasemonkey and FF extension versions of this script will continue to be supported and updated until PayPal decides to offer similar functionality. To keep up with the current version of PayPal Instant Transfer Zapper (PITZ), the FF extension is the suggested way to go, since Firefox extension manager can then notify you when PITZ updates become available.

How many times have you unwittingly been burned by PayPal's non-configurable payment default to "instant transfer"? If it hasn't happened to you yet, it's only a matter of time! All it takes is being in a hurry to complete a transaction. Your guard is down and you simply forget to change their self-serving default. They have designed their site in a way which inhibits transactions using credit cards and ensnares people into making unintentional bank transfers. A bright orange button labeled "Send Money" is placed prominently near the top of the payment page, while a small ordinary link buried below must be clicked to fund payments with your credit card. Click the orange button first and it's too late... Gotcha! Not even a warning. If you find this infuriating like I do, use this script to prevent PayPal's greedy digital hands from getting into your bank account instead of your Credit Card - where they actually have to earn their money! A confirmation dialog will pop up to prevent you from accidentally clicking "send money" without selectively choosing your payment source. Don't worry, this does not submit the payment - you can still back out after return to the main payment screen. If you regularly use eCheck instead of a credit card, simply UN-comment out the other line in the Funding Options section of the source code.

Test it for yourself:

It's safe and easy to test this simple script by initiating a payment to a dummy recipient. The script automatically pops up a dialog when you get to the payment review page, asking whether you want to change your payment method. If you do not see the dialog, then PayPal is not set to use "Instant Transfer" to fund your payment. Please note: The script does NOT submit your payment, nor is it necessary for you to press the orange "Send Money" button to test the script. Note: Firefox browser and Greasemonkey extension are required to use this script as configured OR Download the FF extension here

For Non ENGLISH paypal accounts: Because it relies on English text in the HTML, this script will not execute for any foreign language versions of PayPal without modification.

The Dangers of PayPal's "Instant Transfer"

If you fall prey to the above mentioned trap whereby PayPal's poor site design tricks you into an unwanted bank transfer, there are several undesirable consequences:
  1. Paypal has effectively deprived you of credit card benefits like float time, bonus awards, and charge back protection.
  2. PayPal does not (and cannot) check your bank account balance nor do they warn you to check it. If you don't have the funds in the account, your bank will most likely issue an overdraft notice (usually $25 -35$)
  3. AND PayPal will then attempt to use your backup source to cover the transaction.
  4. The only ways to back out of the transaction are to reverse it yourself (not recommended, since PayPal could penalize you for this) OR to have the seller refuse payment, but then your funds are "frozen" until PayPal releases them. The Terms of Service Agreement gives them up to 30 days to use your money!
  5. Unless the transaction is covered by the "buyer protection" program, there is no protection against seller fraud as there is with virtually all credit cards.

Reasons to ALWAYS Use a Credit Card - NOT "Instant Transfer"

  1. Get additional float time for paying for your purchase
  2. Earn your rewards like cash back or air miles
  3. Get charge back protection from your card issuer. Important because Instant Transfers done through PayPal are subject to their Terms of Service agreement instead of your credit card terms of service - which at least for this author are far more favorable.
  4. Your card (backup funding source) will be authorized anyway for an Instant Transfer, making the funds unavailable for use on the card until the authorization drops off after up to 7 days!
  5. With instant bank transfers, PayPal earns increased revenues by charging the seller the same high rate as for a card purchase, yet without the overhead of paying the credit card companies. Is it any wonder they do not allow you to globally set your default payment source? And that they don't place the "Funding Options" page in sequence before the "Review Payment Details" page where it logically belongs? Due to this unfavorable design, it's easy for you to miss or forget - and your loss is always their gain!
Version History:
v1.02 8/22/08
updated script for changes to PayPal pages
v1.03 09/30/08 added support for money requests/invoices; automated "confirmation" page
v1.04 10/04/08 added support for shopping carts
v1.041 10/20/08 PP finally removed its payment confirmation screen, so deleted some obsolete code. Functionally equivalent to v1.04
v1.042 05/13/09 removed loose variables by executing entire script within an anonymous function
v1.043 06/13/09 Maintenance update to keep up with changes on eBay checkout
v1.1 08/21/09 Changed version # to match latest Firefox add-on version