PayPal was once one of the most revolutionary pieces of technology in the world. At that time there was not that much interest in PayPal alternatives. It not only allowed 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 that people are so used to it. Quite a few other PayPal alternatives are available with lower rates, better customer service, and even better interfaces.
Paypal alternatives reviewed in this post:
- Shopify Payments
- Google Pay
- QuickBooks Payments
- Amazon Pay
Btw, here's a video version of the tutorial for you created by my colleague Joe. 🙂
PayPal Alternatives: Square
Square is one of those prominent alternatives that often come up whenever you’re comparing PayPal with other solutions. And there’s a good reason why.
You see, Square is not just a regular payment processor. It offers an online store plus domain for free, and then combines that with shopping cart integrations, as well as invoicing, card info storage vault, plus virtual terminal features. And for card processing, you get POS and mPOS integrations for free.
Well, admittedly, Square isn’t exactly as popular as PayPal. It’s not even close since only merchants based in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and Japan can accept credit card payments.
Don’t get me wrong though. Square has managed to attract quite a large number of users, owing to the extensive feature set it offers small businesses. Apart from the free supplementary provisions we’ve mentioned, you can extend the whole platform even further through add-on solutions like appointment booking, payroll, and employee management.
As far as transaction fees are concerned, Square maintains the standard rates we’ve seen with most of the other processors. In-store card processing, for instance, is charged 2.75%, while online and invoiced payments go for 2.9% plus $0.30.
All in all, Square provides incredibly great value as a payment processing solution.
- It comes with a free domain and online store.
- Square is a comprehensive all-in-one payment solution.
- There are extra add-on services for growing businesses.
- Square does not charge any monthly fees.
- The features are particularly favorable to low-volume merchants.
- As a payment gateway, Square is only available in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and Japan.
- Considering it’s a third-party payment aggregator, Square accounts can be unstable.
- It’s not ideal for high-risk merchants.
Read our full Square Reviews here.
PayPal Alternatives: Shopify Payments
If you’ve tried using Shopify before, then you’re probably familiar with Shopify Payments. It’s an inbuilt payment processing system that comes by default as part of the whole Shopify platform.
Consequently, therefore, you don’t have to worry about embedding an external payment gateway. You can simply manage your transaction processing system right from Shopify’s main dashboard. The end result is a seamless cohesion between your online store and your payment system.
Now, if Shopify Payments’ features don’t entice you, the accompanying privileges possibly will. You see, while using PayPal on Shopify will force you to pay 0.5-2% transaction fees above the card processing charges, Shopify Payments qualifies you for zero transaction rates.
In essence, you only pay the card processing fees, whose rates are based on your specific Shopify plan. The highest they can go is 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction, while the lowest rate is 2.4% plus $0.30.
When it’s done, the subsequent payouts are scheduled for every 3 business days. PayPal, on the other hand, takes about 5-7 business days.
- It’s built into Shopify to offer a seamless payment management experience.
- Shopify Payments can be embedded with a wide array of platforms and solutions, including third-party payment processors.
- It works well with numerous accounting applications to facilitate accounting and reporting.
- It eliminates transaction fees on Shopify.
- Shopify Payments is only available in a few countries.
- Your account could be frozen and investigated without warning.
- Shopify Payments deducts $15 for every single chargeback.
Read our Shopify Payments review.
Paypal Alternatives: Payline
Payline is a payment processor that offers a diverse range of solutions, including mobile, online and in-store payments.
While it supports the typical ecommerce checkout system, Payline is particularly ideal for in-store payments. It’s cheaper and way more flexible than PayPal when it comes to facilitating retail businesses.
Speaking of which, Payline does not use the standard static pricing schedule. Instead, it offers solutions through an interchange plus pricing system. Therefore, the fees vary consistently based on the types of cards you end up processing.
That said, the interchange model is, undeniably, the most transparent in the payment processing space. The only challenge you might face, however, is forecasting your future expenses.
But, get this. Although PayPal essentially charges a reasonable fixed rate of 2.7% for offline transactions, you’re bound to incur less with Payline.
Now, the features you get for card processing depend on the package you settle for. If a mobile card reader is your kind of thing, then Payline’s Spark and Surge packages are certainly worth considering. They are cheap and well-tailored for small business owners.
Enterprises, on the other hand, can go for the Payline Shop package. Although this is the costliest option, you get tabletop card readers, plus a host of other robust card processing resources and functionalities.
Well, compare that with PayPal’s inflexible in-store card processing, which happens to provide only two card readers. And to make matters worse, only one of them comes with EMV support.
When it comes to commerce transactions, however, PayPal considerably outperforms Payline.
- The interchange plus pricing structure is not only flexible, but also significantly transparent.
- Payline offers a range of in-store credit card processing packages, complete with robust supporting hardware.
- Payline’s offline transaction fees are cheaper than PayPal’s.
- It offers a fully-featured API to facilitate integrations with third-party solutions and platforms.
- Payline supports mobile payments.
- So far, Payline is only available in the U.S.
- It’s difficult to forecast the fees you stand to incur through the interchange plus pricing model.
- Payline’s ecommerce payment processing features can’t match up to PayPal’s.
Read our Payline Data review.
PayPal Alternatives: TransferWise
TransferWise is a much cheaper alternative to PayPal for international transfers (see their comparison tool vs PayPal). Their new shiny multi-currency borderless account helps consumers, freelancers, and online businesses to send, receive and spend money across borders with minimum fees.
TransferWise works like this: It cuts out sneaky hidden charges and sticks to one upfront transfer fee. It's also interesting how the money gets moved around. For instance, let's say you're in the US and want to send money to a friend in France. You make the payment and the money goes into TransferWise's American bank account. It then pays your friend from the TransferWise France bank account using the real exchange rate. Therefore, the money never actually crosses borders–keeping rates even lower and making the transfers rather fast.
- One of the most accepted and cheapest tools for making international money transfers, with 4 million customers globally.
- Very transparent pricing.
- Their new borderless account allows you to hold and transfer between +40 currencies.
- With TransferWise for business you can invoice your customers in the currency that works for them.
- The money never actually crosses borders so you can keep down costs and ensure fast transfers.
- You can’t send or receive money if it's not a bank transfer
- You can only receive money in EUR, USD, AUD, and GBP with the borderless account
- You don't get all the nifty extra features like recurring billing yet
Read our full Transferwise Review here.
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 somewhat 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.
You can calculate the payment pricing to see if 2Checkout is more affordable than PayPal in your country.
- You don't have to pay any monthly or setup fees.
- Accept major payment methods including credit cards, debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro), and PayPal.
- Choose from 87 currencies, eight payment types, and 15 languages.
- The advanced fraud protection goes through over 300 security rules for each transaction.
- Several customizable checkout options are available. The checkouts are also mobile-friendly, branded, and localized.
- Setup recurring billing for your customers.
- Lets you connect a merchant account with a payment gateway.
- Integrations include over 100 online carts, an API, and sandbox.
- 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 best alternatives to PayPal, and we mainly like it because of international payments. It doesn't matter where you're located, so you shouldn't have any problems.
Read our 2Ckeckout review for more info.
PayPal Alternatives: Payoneer
Payoneer looks somewhat similar to Skrill (listed below) 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.
Finally, Payoneer has expanded into the global payments market, offering tools for getting paid and sending payments to and from clients and marketplaces.
- It has some handy tools and integrations for freelancers who would like to accept money from clients. This is particularly true for international payments.
- 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 set up an account.
- Getting access to your funds is easy through your own bank account or through an ATM.
- The pricing is simple (monthly billing) and great for payments between Payoneer accounts (it's free).
- 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.
- You won't find any payment gateway with Payoneer.
- Accepting credit cards will result in a high fee.
- If you go to the ATM you should expect to pay a large fee.
PayPal Alternatives: 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.
- 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 around the globe.
- All you need to make or accept a payment is an email address.
- Skrill has a full system set up for gambling and playing games with money, so it's a good solution for those options.
- 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.
Read our comprehensive Skrill review.
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 and now Shopify provides its Shopify Payments system through Stripe. 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 (including ACH payments and Bitcoin transactions). 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.
- 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.
- The pricing is fairly transparent, with no setup, hidden, or monthly fees.
- Apple and Android Pay are supported.
- You generally have to wait a few days 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.
- International cards require an additonal 1% transaction fee.
Read our full Stripe review here.
PayPal alternatives: Google Pay
Google Wallet is by far the best choice if you'd like a place to store and use your debit and credit cards. Spending money is easy online, and you can also put all of your cards on your phone for spending at physical locations.
- Google Business allows you to accept Google Pay from your customers, whether it be on your website or a physical store.
- 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.
- There aren't any fees, and your customers don't get charged anything extra.
- It's still limited to only iPhones and some Android phones.
- The security still scares us a bit.
PayPal Alternatives: Authorize.Net
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.
- Over 400,000 merchants use Authorize.Net, so they've got to be doing something right.
- The reliability and security are far above the competition.
- A free mobile app and swiper come along with your account.
- The free 24/7 support is the best in the business.
- You have the ability to sync with QuickBooks.
- There aren't any setup fees for a payment gateway or merchant account.
- You don't get the personal finance and sending tools you would get in PayPal.
- There's a monthly gateway fee of about $25.
- If you sell globally, add a 1.5% assessment for international transactions.
- Chargebacks are $25.
Learn more on our Authorize.Net full review here.
PayPal Alternatives: QuickBooks Payments
Intuit could potentially provide you with a whole suite of tools depending on what you need for your business. It's popular, and you can get paid with the QuickBooks tool. It's also one of the best solutions if you plan on integrating with QuickBooks for the accounting functionality as well.
- Integrate with QuickBooks.
- Gain access to TurboTax.
- Send invoices just like PayPal.
- Get paid anywhere with mobile payments.
- You can include a Pay Now button on your website.
- Accept ACH bank transfers.
- Connect your payments with timesheets and payroll.
- 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.
Learn more on our QuickBooks Payments review.
PayPal Alternatives: 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.
Unlike PayPal, Dwolla is not a card processing solution. Instead, it facilitates fund transfer by linking directly with your bank account.
Now, the good thing about eliminating cards is this- the cost of transactions is kept low. As a matter of fact, Dwolla’s principal objective is helping everyone with a web-enabled device to send money at the lowest price possible.
And to achieve that, Dwolla does not charge even a cent to process funds under $10. Above that, every single transaction will cost you a fixed rate of $0.25. It really is that simple.
Overall, it makes PayPal’s 2.9% plus $0.30 seem outrageously high, especially when you’re handling a large volume of transactions. A merchant who happens to process 10 transactions worth $100 each, for instance, would only incur $2.50 with Dwolla. In contrast, PayPal would deduct a whopping $32.
- 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.
- You can automate mass payouts, like if you're running a marketplace.
- 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.
- Dwolla Business has monthly fees and they aren't cheap.
Read our comprehensive Dwolla review.
PayPal Alternatives: 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.
- The pricing is simple and straightforward.
- Collect recurring billing and store credit cards.
- Braintree accepts all sorts of payment methods, including PayPal, cards, and Venmo.
- 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.
- There's a special marketplace payments system.
- If you're planning on implementing Braintree on your website it may require you to have some sort of programming knowledge.
- A separate merchant account is required for the system to work.
- Although the main fee is for transactions, there is a large list of other fees that you have to think about.
Read our comprehensive Braintree review.
PayPal Alternatives: Worldpay
Previously known as RBS Worldpay, this is a payment processing platform that supports a host of payment options, including credit cards and debit cards. Its network extends globally, consequently making it a major PayPal competitor.
Well, the main similarity between the two is that they primarily support both online and offline card transactions. So, you can leverage Worldpay in your ecommerce business as well as in-store, just like PayPal.
When it comes to offline payments, however, it turns out Worldpay is built to support a wide array of channels. You can take advantage of its POS systems plus ATM processing, as well as its mobile payment function to accept credit card payments and cash.
Worldpay then extends the same level of diversity to its pricing schedule, which has been structured to offer both tiered and interchange plus packages. The corresponding amount you end up paying per month depends on not only your average monthly processing volume, but also your transaction history.
That said, offline card processing might cost you the standard 2.9% plus $0.30 for each transaction.
- Just like PayPal, Worldpay has an extensive global payment network.
- It supports a host of offline processing options.
- The pricing schedule is flexible.
- You can take advantage of interchange-plus pricing for increased transparency.
- Worldpay offers 24/7 customer support.
- Terminating the service early will cost you a fee of $295.
- You have to commit to a contract for three years.
- Its free terminal offer is misleading.
Learn more on our WorldPay full review.
PayPal Alternatives: Amazon Pay
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 (but not ACH payments or bitcoin transactions). 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.
- The transaction fees are just like PayPal.
- The security is very advanced compared to other competitors.
- If you start with an Amazon account, the interface and signup process is easy.
- Everyone is familiar with Amazon, so your customers will have it easy when paying.
- There are some random fees like domestic processing fees and cross-border processing fees.
- Integrating with your online store may take a little programming knowledge.
PayPal Alternatives: Klarna
This is made possible by Klarna’s AI system, which quickly analyzes an individual’s potential risk based on their details, as well as the time of purchase, and transaction history. It subsequently approves or denies the purchase within a couple of seconds, and then order fulfillment follows. Ultimately, the customer is given 14 days to clear the payment.
Well, this means that while customers are able to shop conveniently, most of the risk is incurred by Klarna. In other words, this payment processor is deeply involved in your ecommerce order fulfillment process.
Interestingly, you don’t even have to sign up with the service to connect directly with banking. You can simply proceed with your standard online banking details plus authentication, and voila! Payment is immediately transferred to the merchant account.
Compare that with the inconvenience of registering on PayPal and then loading your account, before you’re finally able to conduct transactions.
- Customers can purchase products and complete the payment after delivery.
- The checkout process is conveniently easy.
- Shoppers are allowed to pay for their orders in installments.
- Customers don’t have to pay for anything in the event products are returned.
- Merchants are paid by Klarna upon checkout.
- Purchases can be declined without any concrete reason.
- Klarna’s customer support is not adequately responsive.
- Customer refunds might take some time.
Read our comprehensive Klarna review.
Paypal Alternatives: WePay
Launched to compete directly with PayPal, WePay is a card processing solution that happens to principally support online payments. However, it’s yet to develop a solid in-store processing framework to supplement that.
But then again, the lack of brick and mortar support doesn’t necessarily limit WePay’s online functionalities. You should be able to set it up quickly and capitalize on its secure features to facilitate standard ecommerce transactions.
All things considered, WePay essentially outshines PayPal when it comes to online crowdfunding. It just so happens that its features and API are ideally optimized for this specific type of transaction.
As a matter of fact, WePay works well with numerous third-party payment services. However, and rather interestingly, it turns out it cannot accept payments from PayPal.
That said, expect to incur a fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 for each card transaction, and 1% plus $0.30 for ACH payment processing. And that’s it. WePay won’t charge you for anything else.
- The WePay provides a flexible API.
- You can get your account up and running pretty quickly.
- It’s well-tailored for crowdfunding.
- WePay supports a diverse range of online payment options.
- ACH payment processing is cheap.
- There are no monthly charges to use WePay.
- WePay does not offer in-store card processing.
- It can’t accept funds from PayPal.
- The WePay ecommerce features are not as robust as PayPal’s
Read our comprehensive WePay review.
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 you should completely write off PayPal altogether, but it's not a bad idea to get a taste of what the best alternative to PayPal is. 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.
However, TransferWise is by far the best for international payments.
If you have any questions about the best PayPal alternatives above, feel free to drop a line in the comments below.
Feature image courtesy of Tatiana Van Campenhout