In the screenshot below you can see a number of payments that have come into the Pool's PayPal account. Under the Payment Status column most of the transactions say "Completed". However, there's one that says "Pending until March 27, 2012" and there's a red flag in the icon column.
When you hover your mouse over the red flag, you get the message that's highlighted below - "Your eCheck payment is in progress. We recommend you wait to ship until you've received the funds".
Well what the heck does that mean?!? I'll tell you below!
When they use Option #2, a credit / debit card, the transaction occurs instantaneously, and the funds are immediately available in the recipients PayPal account.
However, when they use Option #1, there's an additional variable that determines whether the money is instantly available in the recipients PayPal account -- the amount of money in the sender's PayPal account at the time they send the money.
PayPal accounts can be directly linked to Checking accounts, and many PayPal users utilize this linking. For those that have, their Checking account acts as something of an "overdraft protector".
Consider this scenario. A PayPal purchaser with a linked Checking account has $0 in their PayPal account, and are purchasing a Family Pool Membership for $120. PayPal automatically sees that they are $120 short on covering the cost of the membership, and enacts an "Electronic Check" from the linked Checking account. This "eCheck" acts just like a normal check, and requires clearance from the bank before the recipient can deposit the funds. Hence, the message that the payment is Pending and the funds are unavailable for a few business days.
Here's another scenario. Same purchaser, but this time they start with $20 in their PayPal account. They can use that $20 toward the purchase of their $120 Family Membership, but are still $100 short. In this case, a $100 eCheck is enacted. The $20 from PayPal is immediately available in the recipient's PayPal account, but the $100 from the eCheck will require the same clearance from the bank and will be "pending" for a few business days.
Now you're in the know!
RRA Website Admin