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:
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 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, 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 top PayPal alternatives, and we mainly like it because of international payments. It doesn't matter where you're located, so you shouldn't have any problems.
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.
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. 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.
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: Intuit
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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. 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.
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 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.
However, TransferWise is by far the best for international payments.
Btw, here's a video review of Shopify created by my colleague Joe. 🙂
If you have any questions about the best PayPal alternatives above, feel free to drop a line in the comments below.
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