The Best PayPal Alternatives: 2Checkout vs Stripe vs Skrill vs Authorize.Net vs Braintree (March 2017)

PayPal was once one of the most revolutionary pieces of technology in the world and there was not that much interest for PayPal alternatives. It not only allowed for you to quickly send and accept money from friends and family, but it ensured that the money was far safer than many of the other options you could choose from. This came in huge once eBay emerged, considering both sellers and buyers were concerned about fraudulent activity.

In addition, PayPal has some solid invoicing, eCommerce, payment processing and reporting tools, letting you accept payments for services and products without any problems. It's no secret that the PayPal interface is still pretty solid, but one thing to remember is that the main reason PayPal is still so popular is because people are so used to it. Quite a few other PayPal alternatives are available with lower rates, better customer service and even better interfaces.

Therefore, keep reading to learn more about the best PayPal alternatives on the market.

PayPal alternatives: 2Checkout

paypal alternatives: 2checkout

2Checkout is one of our favorite PayPal alternatives, mainly because it's all about accepting payments globally. As we said a bit about PayPal in the introduction, you're still limited to the countries you can accept payments from through PayPal. 2Checkout looks to change that. The fees in the US are exactly the same as PayPal, but we've found that other countries enjoy better rates when accepting payments from customers.

Pros

  • You don't have to pay any monthly or setup fees.
  • Accept major payment methods including credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal.
  • Choose from 87 currencies and 15 languages.
  • The advanced fraud protection goes through over 300 security rules for each transaction.
  • Three customizable checkout options are available.
  • Setup recurring billing for your customers.
  • Mobile optimization is available.
  • Lets you connect a merchant account with a payment gateway.

Cons

  • A 1% fee applies to payments you accept from customers outside of the United States.
  • $20 is charged on your account for all chargebacks.
  • The average fee for currency conversion is 2-5% above the daily bank exchange rate.

2checkout is one of the top PayPal alternatives, and we mainly like it because of the international payments. It doesn't matter where you're located, so you shouldn't have any problems.

PayPal alternatives: Stripe

paypal alternatives: Stripe

Stripe is probably the most popular of all the PayPal alternatives, and you'll notice that some ecommerce platforms state Stripe as their preferred payment processor. For example, Squarespace has been working with them for a long time. The whole point of Stripe is that it eliminates the need for a merchant account and gateway. Everything is handled by Stripe, from collecting payments to sending those payments to the bank. It's one of the more streamlined alternatives out there and it's no wonder so many platforms partner with them. Keep in mind that the basic transaction fees are pretty much the same as PayPal.

Pros

  • Stripe automatically puts your transaction money in a bank account.
  • Mobile payments are available.
  • Accept payments from people and companies all over the world.
  • Real time fee reporting is available.
  • Only pay for what you use.

Cons

  • You generally have to wait about a week after a transaction to gain access to the money.
  • Although you can accept payments from all over the world, merchant accounts are only available to the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and many European countries.
  • The interface may require some programming knowledge.

PayPal alternatives: Payoneer

paypal alternatives: Payoneer

Payoneer looks somewhat similar to Skrill, since you get a debit card and an online account. Shopping online is a breeze, and sending and receiving money only takes one step. The main benefit is with the debit card. Going to the ATM is possible, and you can also walk into a brick and mortar store to utilize your Payoneer account.

Pros

  • It has some handy tools and integrations for freelancers who would like to accept money from clients.
  • You can use Payoneer anywhere in the world.
  • The transaction process doesn't require any programming knowledge. You can implement the system on your website and get your money in a quick period of time.
  • It also doesn't take long to setup an account.

Cons

  • The jury is still out on the customer service. Many people online say it's not that great.
  • When transferring to a bank account you generally have to pay a fee. This is a huge downside, since most other systems like PayPal have this for free.
  • If you go to the ATM you should expect to pay a large fee.

PayPal alternatives: Skrill

Skrill

With similar rates and fees as PayPal, the Skrill platform may seem the same at first. However, the prepaid debit card and the simple interface is enough to consider it. International payments are far easier with Skrill since the money can be sent and transferred immediately to a debit card that the company sends you. Then the debit card can be used wherever you want, including ATMs.

Pros

  • The account setup is one of the easiest in the business.
  • The security is solid.
  • Uploading and receiving funds, while also spending money at Skrill merchants is almost always free.
  • The Skrill account can be used anywhere throughout the globe.

Cons

  • Sending money to an email address or another Skrill wallet costs 1% of the amount sent, with the charge capped at $10.
  • The company has rather strict fraud prevention tools, so you may end up finding that your account is frozen. However, this has been known to happen at PayPal too.
  • Reports have shown that the customer service isn't the best at Skrill.

PayPal alternatives: Google Wallet

Google Wallet

Google Wallet is by far the best choice if you'd like a place to store and use your debit and credit cards. It's a little unclear as to how Google plans to combat theft with this new technology, but it's pretty cool nonetheless. Spending money is easy online, and you can also put all of your cards on your phone for spending at physical locations.

Try-Shopify

Pros

  • It only takes a moment to send out or receive payments.
  • Sending out payments from your smartphone is the primary feature, and it can be done online or in person.
  • The security is solid right now. (However, it's a new technology, so we'll see.)

Cons

  • People outside of the United States don't have access to Google Wallet.
  • It's still limited to only iPhones and some Android phones.
  • The security still scares us a bit.
  • A 2.9% fee is charged if you send money and go over your credit card balance.

PayPal alternatives: Authorize.Net

AuthorizeNet

The Authorize.Net system is rather popular with online stores, as the platform provides reasonable rates, quality customer service and an interface that pretty much anyone can use. Although you don't have the ability to send and receive payments from friends and family, it's a quality PayPal alternative for those who would like to accept payments and get in on the most widely used gateway on the planet.

Pros

  • Over 400,000 merchants use Authorize.Net, so they've got to be doing something right.
  • The reliability and security is far above the competition.
  • A free mobile app and swiper comes along with your account.
  • The free 24/7 support is the best in the business.
  • You have the ability to sync with QuickBooks.

Cons

  • You don't get the personal finance and sending tools you would get in PayPal.
  • You must pay a $49 setup fee.
  • There's a monthly gateway fee of $25.
  • If you sell globally, add a 1.5% assessment for international transactions.
  • Chargebacks are $25.

PayPal alternatives: Intuit

Intuit

Intuit could potentially provide you a whole suite of tools depending on what you need for your business. It's popular, and you can accept and send payments with the GoPayment tool. It's also one of the best solutions if you plan on integrating with QuickBooks, considering it's from the company that made the software.

Pros

  • Integrate with QuickBooks.
  • Gain access to TurboTax.
  • Send invoices just like PayPal.
  • Get paid anywhere with mobile payments.
  • Accept ACH bank transfers.

Cons

  • The rates are competitive enough if you're not working with QuickBooks.
  • This isn't what you would want to go with if you're only looking for something for your personal sending and accepting.

PayPal alternatives: Dwolla

Dwolla

Dwolla may not initially come up on your radar, but it's worth a look because it works so similar to PayPal. Although you do have the ability to send and receive payments from companies and individuals, the best part is that the company specializes in ACH bank transfers. It's by far your best option if you plan on accepting or sending lots of bank transfers.

Pros

  • The branding tools are powerful and easy to use.
  • Making bank transfer is super easy.
  • Next day transfers are offered for a flat fee.
  • The transaction fee is only $0.25.
  • Lets the sender pay the transaction fee if needed.
  • An instant cash transfer is offered.

Cons

  • You can't make payments if both the sender and receiver aren't using Dwolla.
  • You can't make an account with Dwolla if you're located outside of the United States.

PayPal alternatives: Braintree

Braintree

Along with a payment gateway and recurring billing, the Braintree system provides a way for you to store your credit cards, similar to Google Pay. Although some more personal finance features are packaged into Braintree, we like it best for merchants. Although Braintree is owned by PayPal, it still runs as a fairly independent company that competes just fine with PayPal.

Pros

  • The pricing is simple and straightforward.
  • Collect recurring billing and store credit cards.
  • You get a far more advanced list of features than you do with PayPal.
  • The customer support has been known to be rather solid.
  • Both online and mobile payments are allowed.

Cons

  • If you're planing on implementing Braintreeon your website it may require you to have some sort of programming knowledge.
  • A separate merchant account is required for the system to work.

PayPal alternatives: Amazon Payments

Amazon Payments

In terms of letting people checkout of your online store, Amazon Payments is at the top of the list. It expedites the whole process, similar to something like PayPal. We like to compare it to a Facebook login, where all of the user information is already stored. Therefore, the login, or checkout (with Amazon Payments,) is going to be much faster than that of a regular shopping cart and checkout.

Pros

  • You don't incur any fees for sending or receiving (until you hit the monthly $1000 limit).
  • The security is very advanced compared to other competitors.
  • If you start with an Amazon account, the interface and signup process is easy.

Cons

  • Only people in the United States can use Amazon Payments. They are very strict about this, asking for a US social security number.
  • Integrating with your online store may take a little programming knowledge.

Bonus: TransferWise

TransferWise

TransferWise is only a PayPal alternative is you use PayPal for money transfers. Accepting payments online is not going to be possible through TransferWise, so you might as well forget about it if you're interested in a way to collect payments for your services or products.

Pros

  • One of the top tools for accepting money transfers.
  • The fees and exchange rates are far more accurate than with other platforms.
  • The interface is smooth and simple.

Cons

  • You have no way of sending or receiving money if it's not a bank transfer.
  • You don't get all the nifty extra features like recurring billing and mobile payments.

Which PayPal Alternative Should You Choose?

It makes sense that some folks used to be hesitant to move away from PayPal, because compatibility issues were always arising. However, that's not really the case anymore, and you can actually find more reliable solutions for doing business in different parts of the world.

So, the rates aren't nearly as competitive as some options out there, and PayPal has seen its fair share of lawsuits. We're not saying the you should completely write off PayPal altogether, but it's not a bad idea to get a taste of what the best PayPal alternatives are. Who knows? You may end up saving a significant amount of money and be happier with the company you choose.

Some of the options talked about above are better for personal sending and receiving, while others are best for ecommerce payments. On the other hand, you may just be looking to collect and send ACH bank transfers. If you're looking for almost a PayPal duplicate, go with Dwolla or Skrill. If you want to complete transactions in any country, consider 2Checkout. Google Checkout is nice for storing cards, while Authorize.net and Stripe are favorites for ecommerce transactions.

If you have any questions about the best PayPal alternatives above, feel free to drop a line in the comments below.

Catalin Zorzini

I’m a web design blogger and started this project after spending a few weeks struggling to find out which is the best ecommerce platform for myself. Check out my current top 10 ecommerce site builders.

10 Responses

  1. For Payoneer you mentioned :
    “The transaction process doesn’t require any programming knowledge. You can implement the system on your website and get your money in a quick period of time.”

    I have not seen a single Woocommerce extension \ add on to would allow you to implement Payoneer as a payment processor.
    As far as i know you need to send people to Payoneer site and give them your email to send you the money.

    If you know of any woocommerce extension for Payoneer then i am eager to hear about it.

    1. According to their website it is “5.5% + 45¢ per successful transaction”.


      Bogdan – Editor at Ecommerce-Platforms.com

  2. Thanks for the information. Stripe is a logical solution for us because it is integrated with Squarespace, our website builder. But Stripe does not provide monthly recurrent billing/donations. Do you know if any of the other options do?

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