Paypal revolutionized online payments, money transfers and to an extent banking.
I’ve been using Paypal for years for my business. I still use it. Recently, Paypal did a huge upgrade to its interface to keep up with the times.
Overall I really like Paypal. However, as in all markets, there are other options that function similarly to Paypal, and in some cases, manage to perform some functions better. That’s what this article is about – to give you a quick snapshop of some proven Paypal alternatives.
Stripe is the most popular PayPal alternative. E-commerce platforms love it and implement it for good reason – it’s really great for speedy payment. I love paying via Stripe. A quick example, Squarespace has worked with Stripe for many years. Shopify is also providing a Shopify Payment System through the Stripe platform. Stripe eliminates the need of a merchant gateway and account. They handle everything, including sending and collection of payments.
- Stripe puts any transaction money straight to the user’s bank account automatically
- Offers mobile payment options
- Accept payments from companies and people from all parts of the world
- Offers real-time fee reporting
- You will only pay for what you use
- The pricing is transparent
- Supports Android and Apple Pay
- You will have to wait for several days to access your money after every transaction
- Merchant accounts are only available for users in Australia, Canada, US, UK, and some other European countries
- The interface requires some programming
2. Google Wallet
If you are looking for a better place to store or use your debit and credit cards, you can use Google Wallet. The Wallet facilitates makes it possible to buy things faster online. You can put your cards in a phone to spend in any physical location that accepts Google Wallet.
- You can accept payments from your customers through the website or physical store
- The sending and receiving of payments takes a few minutes
- You can send and receive payments in person or online
- No charges
- The form of payment is limited to iPhone and a few Android phones
- Most people are worried about the safety
Skrill offers a prepaid debit card in addition to a simple user interface. If you need easier international payments, it is a viable online payment platform. You can transfer your money directly to the debit card and use it for shopping in brick and mortar stores or use the local ATMs to withdraw cash. This online payment system is based in the UK.
- The account setup process is among the easiest
- The system offers adequate security for users
- Receiving, uploading, and spending of money on the Skrill merchant is free
- You can use the Skrill account in any country
- You just need an email account to send and receive money
- Offers a solid system for playing online games and gambling
- The company has strict fraud prevention tools. In other words, you likely to find your account frozen
- The customer service is not the best
TransferWise is a cheaper alternative to the Paypal. Their shiny, multi-currency borderless account assists freelancers, consumers, and businesses to spend or send money from one country to the other at a lower price.
The money transfer network has no hidden charges – they stick to a single upfront transfer fee. For example, if you want to send money from France to the United States, you will make your payment and the money will get into the TransferWise’s bank account in the United States.
The recipient in the United States will receive the money from the United States’ account. Therefore, the money does not cross borders in the real sense. The rates are therefore always lower and the transfers are fast.
- The pricing is transparent
- The borderless account allows you to transfer and hold around 40 currencies
- Allows invoicing of customers in the currencies that work for them
- The costs are low because the money never cross borders
- You can only receive money through bank transfers
- Does not provide features like recurring billing
Payoneer offers an online account and a debit card to all users. Their services facilitate easier online shopping and the process of sending and receiving money involves only a few simple steps. With the debit card, you can simply walk to the local ATM or a store to access your money. Payoneer also expanded its services to allow easier sending and receiving money from clients.
- It offers handy integrations and tools for freelancers. It is effective for international payments.
- You can use your Payoneer account in any part of the world.
- The transaction process does not need programming knowledge
- The account set up process takes a few minutes
- The pricing is simple
- Most people claim that their customer service is not the best
- You have to pay an additional fee when transferring your money to a bank account
- Does not offer payment getaway
- You will pay an additional fee when using credit cards
- If you choose to use the local ATM, expect larger fees
2Checkout is another popular PayPal alternative. The main reason why people are using it is that it involves accepting global payments. In fact, PayPal does not allow sending and receiving of money in some countries. Perhaps one goal of 2Checkout was to eliminate that problem. The amount PayPal charges in the United States is also higher compared to that you expect in some other countries. Therefore, you might need to calculate the pricing to see whether 2Checkout is a better choice.
- They do not charge any setup or monthly fees
- They accept the major payment methods such as PayPal, debit cards and credit cards
- They accept 87 currencies, 8 types of payments and 15 languages
- Their advanced fraud protection employs 300 security rules for every transaction
- Offers several customizable checkouts, which are branded, localized and mobile friendly
- You can contact merchant accounts with payment getaway
- Integrates with 100 online carts, sandbox, and API
- Charges 1 percent fee for every payment you receive from customers outside the United States
7. Amazon Pay
Amazon Pay is a good choice if you are currently running an online store. It starts by storing the user information and therefore, the login and checkout with Amazon Payments will be faster than that of the regular shopping carts and checkouts.
- Offers advanced security compared to the competitors
- If you already have an Amazon account, the sign-up process is easy
- Most people are familiar with Amazon and therefore your customers will not have difficulties paying for your products
- Integrating Amazon Pay with your store will take some programming knowledge
Intuit provides a variety of tools to facilitate the payments. One nice feature is it offers a QuickBooks payment tool. You can integrate it with your QuickBooks account for better accounting functionality.
- Integrates with QuickBooks
- Access to TurboTax
- Allows sending of invoices, just like PayPal
- Allows mobile payments
- You will have the option of including a “Pay Now” button on your business website
- Accepts bank transfers
- The rates are only competitive for people who do work with QuickBooks
- It is not suitable for sending or receiving money from friends and relatives
Along with recurring billing and a payment gateway, Braintree offers a sound way to store credit cards. Their system is similar to Google Pay. Even though it boasts numerous personal finance features, it is suitable for online merchants. The company, owned by PayPal, runs as in independent company.
- The pricing is straightforward and simple – Accepts many payment methods including cards PayPal and Venmo
- Offers more advanced features similar to those PayPal provides
- The customer support is solid
- Allows both mobile and online payments
- Offers special marketplace payments
- You will require some programming knowledge to integrate the Braintree system with your website – For the system to work, you will also need a separate merchant account
Authorize.Net offers reasonable rates, an easy-to-use interface and quality customer service. However, it does not allow sending and receiving of money from friends and relatives.
- It is reliable and secure – Offers a free mobile phone app in addition to a swiper
- Offers 24/7 customer support
- You can sync your account with QuickBooks
- No account setup fees
- Does not offer sending and personal finance tools like those you expect with PayPal
11. Apple Pay
I recently set up Apple Pay on my phone and Apple Watch. It was easy to set up and I like the idea that I have access to funds on my phone and watch in the event I forget my credit cards/wallet.
My biggest beef with Apple Pay, which is a necessary evil, is that I now have to use a fingerprint or enter a security code every time I access my iPhone. It’s a pain. It’s doubly bad for me because my kids often use my phone and now they’re locked out so they come running to me for access.
So while I like the ability to pay with my phone or Watch, the security measure is getting annoying. I haven’t removed it yet, but am considering it.
Another issue is that not all retailers accept Apple Pay yet. I suspect in due course retailer coverage will be very good. In the meantime, now you have to ask if they take it by which time I could have fished out my credit card and tapped the payment.
FYI, I’m not able to use the send cash to friends and family via text because that feature is not available in Canada.
The future of the payments industry
Paypal, as far as I can tell, is here to stay.
However, competition will heat up because as credit cards have proven, the payments sector is insanely lucrative. These services receive a percentage of most transactions, and while the percentages may seem small, it adds up to a tremendous amount of money that’s earned on autopilot.
With Google, Amazon and Apple entering the fray, it’s hard to imagine that they won’t dominate in some way given their incredible reach to their respective hundreds of millions of customers.
Whichever company dominates the various payments industry will rake in billions and probably trillions in profits.