PayPal is a digital payments processing service that is available worldwide. For retailers, it helps them accept payments from customers for online sales. For others, it’s a convenient way to pay for online purchases or simply to transfer money quickly anywhere around the globe.
What I like most about PayPal is the fact that it is convenient and simple-to-use. However, it isn’t a service without flaws. Most importantly, there are other options should you not wish to use PayPal.
The payments processing industry is one that has been evolving fairly rapidly. With traditional banks and financial institutions under tight regulation, payments processors offer consumers more flexibility.
Also read – Hosting companies that you can pay with PayPal.
Why Look for PayPal Options
As of the first quarter of 2020 PayPal had 325 million active accounts worldwide. The platform helps process payments for more than 17 million businesses and offers a reasonably transparent fee structure.
Yet despite this apparent popularity, it isn’t necessarily the best option for everyone. For example, what if you need or want something that they might not offer, such as seller security for digital goods, lower fees for chargebacks, or faster turnaround?
Fortunately, we have some of the top PayPal alternatives listed below, with their respective pros and cons. Hopefully, you’ll find an option that works for you, your business, and your customers.
Six PayPal Alternatives That Work
OFX started up in 1998 and has seen various operational models since then. It first worked under localized brand names but in 2015 began to operate universally as OFX. The company is an alternative cross-border money transfer services provider headquartered in Sydney, Australia.
Aside from regular consumers, OFX also provides money transfer services to several notable companies like MoneyGram and Xero. The main selling point is that they can help anyone move money more quickly and for less.
This capability makes OFX especially appealing to freelancers or small business owners who work with an international client base. It allows them to move small amounts of money with less impact on how much they receive.
With a local presence in many locations, OFX can provide high support or assistance to their customers. That’s important, considering you can use them to transfer an unlimited amount of funds (from what we see, even up to a few billion isn’t an issue).
OFX is also on the list of Amazon Approved Payment Service Providers – which is a must-have criteria for Amazon sellers.
Money Tip: Check and compare Foreign Exchange Rates before you initiate your money transfer. You could save a lot by timing your international payments right.
How OFX Saves You Money
Aside from not charging fees for transfers, OFX also lets you lock current-day exchange rates. This feature reduces the risk of currency volatility when making fund transfers. Businesses are even able to choose current rates for future transfers.
More details in our OFX review.
- No transfer fees and low exchange rates
- Fast transfers (within 1 to 2 days)
- Low-risk rate locks once transfers are confirmed
- Supports over 55 currencies
- Minimum transfer of $1,000 may put off some potential customers
- Some lack of transparency on transfer fee charge waivers
Wise, previously TransferWise, is a digital payments processor that is relatively well known. It is a great alternative to PayPal if you’re making transfers internationally. Since the launch of the company, they’ve worked with over eight million customers who transfer more than five billion dollars each month.
One of the first things that you’ll see on their website is a statement reading: “Send money with the real exchange rate”. This statement stresses that customers are given the cost-effective option to transfer money without inflating it with invisible fees. It works more or less like PayPal and everything is purely digital.
Wise also combines the currency rates posted on sites like XE.com, Google, and Yahoo – which is seen on their website for your reference. This makes it convenient for customers to check and compare currency rates directly.
When the money has been exchanged, Wise then makes a local transfer to the person you wired the funds to on the other side.
- Comparably lower fees compared to many digital payments processors.
- Only additional fees are for debit and credit cards.
- Super fast speed of transfers.
- Send to AliPay in Chinese Yuen now.
- Stands by UK FCA regulations.
- Higher fees than some bigger providers.
- Mastercard use is still not available for North American companies.
- No option for either a cash or check pickup.
- Not part of Amazon's Disbursement Solutions (meaning Amazon Sellers can't use Wise)
Launched in 2005, Payoneer is a financial services company that offers a platform for online money transfers, digital payments, and providing customers with working funds. Businesses that use Payoneer include Airbnb, Google, and Fiverr. Payoneer is also popular among affiliate marketers as it is used by major affiliate networks including Commission Junction and ShareASale.
The key differences between Payoneer and PayPal are the transfer speeds, fees, and network relationships. Payoneer transfers claim to be faster and less expensive than PayPal payments.
Whether you’re growing a small business or starting a remote team, making payments internationally can be a harrowing process. How you pay individuals can be impacted by timing, fees, and ease of use.
- Easy to use.
- Global payment services.
- Supported by popular companies.
- Direct bank withdrawal.
- International Prepaid Card.
- Hefty card renewal fees.
- No 24/7 customer support.
4. Google Pay
Google Pay is intended to enable its users to pay using their Android devices. It is a successful combination of Google Wallet and Android Pay. All consumers need to do is set up a payment method and they’re ready to shop online.
For merchants, they need to make use of Google API codes on their sites or applications. This allows them to support digital payments seamlessly by anyone using the ecosystem. Google Pay adds an additional layer of security to the traditional use of credit cards for digital payments.
Business is conducted with a virtual account number that stores account details so they can’t be hijacked and copied. The number used is randomly created within Google’s servers, making it tough to crack.
All payments also automatically generate confirmation information that contains where the payment occurred, the name of the business, and phone number so that you can trace anything suspicious.
- Swift and easy NFC-based payment system.
- Replaces actual card numbers with virtual ones for security.
- Gift card and loyalty-program control.
- Online and in-app payment capability.
- Functions divided between separate apps.
- Uneven in-store functionality in testing.
- Restricted use cases and online-payment partners.
5. Shopify Payments
If you have ever used Shopify, then you should be familiar with Shopify Payments – which is a Shopify-native payments processing system. There is no need for a third-party payments processor, making it very convenient for Shopify customers.
After going through the usual procedure of signing up, adding payment info, etc, you can easily manage your transaction processing system right from Shopify’s main dashboard. The result is a seamless transaction processing system.
If you use PayPal on Shopify you’ll be slapped with 0.5-2% in transaction fees on top of card processing charges, Shopify Payments qualifies you for zero transaction rates. In reality, you only pay the card processing fees, whose charges are based on your particular Shopify plan.
- Integrated with Shopify online store seamlessly.
- Can be used with other payment platforms and solutions.
- Works well with numerous accounting applications.
- Supports Shopify POS hardware system.
- Eliminates transaction fees on Shopify.
- Only available in a few countries.
- Your account could be frozen and investigated without warning.
- Subtracts $15 for every chargeback.
While it in fact supports the typical eCommerce checkout system, Payline is especially fitting for in-store payments. It’s cheaper and flexible when it comes to aiding retail businesses.
Payline doesn’t use the usual static pricing schedule. Alternatively, it offers solutions through an interchange-plus pricing method. Fees are more consistent and based on the types of cards you end up processing.
The interchange method is, undeniably, the most transparent in the payment processing space. The only challenge you might face, however, is determining your future expenses.
Although PayPal essentially charges a reasonable fixed rate of 2.7% for offline transactions, you’re bound to get a lower rate with Payline.
- Flexible yet clear pricing structure.
- In-store credit card processing packages available.
- Offline transaction fees cheaper than PayPal.
- Fully-featured API.
- Supports mobile payments.
- Only available in the U.S.
- Difficult to forecast fees you stand to incur.
- eCommerce features can’t match up to PayPal.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Payment Processor
Our compiled list of payment processors only mention six. However, there are many more options available in the market. Given the diversity of payment preferences, many are designed for specific niches.
Still, too many can be a headache for businesses.
Here are a few things you can consider if you’re looking for your next payments processor:
1. Payment Protection
It is vitally essential that you pick a payment provider that grants secure data processing. You should choose a processor that can safeguard your customers’ payments using the most advanced and latest in data security.
This means using technologies like tokenization, point-to-point encryption, and other fraud management tools.
2. Payment Processing Fees
You want to keep all processing charges as low as possible. The more you have to pay, the lower your profits become. It’s good to look around for providers that offer the most attractive rates — but be careful, many providers try to obfuscate and hide some fees.
3. Normal Transaction Amounts and Frequency
Most payment providers offer tiered pricing based on transaction frequencies and amounts. You should choose a package that fits your current needs in the here and now. If you miss or exceed these transaction limits, you’ll end up paying more than needed.
4. Setup and Maintenance Ease
Setting up and getting started should be quite simple. This includes enrollment applications, hardware and software upgrades, and training. These steps, if difficult, become “unknown” expenses and that should affect your decision-making.
The same is true of maintenance. If you have to regularly troubleshoot your payments processing system, you may be better off simply choosing another provider.
5. Customer Support
Even with the best processors in the world, difficulties will unavoidably pop up. Of course, you’d want a provider that is easily reachable 24/7. Email is fine for most issues, but being able to contact a live person via phone or chat is even better and faster.
It makes sense that some of those used to PayPal may be hesitant to move away. However, given the sheer number of established providers today, choice isn’t really an excuse anymore.
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 alternatives to PayPal are. Who knows, you may end up saving a significant amount of money and be happier with the company you choose.
Ultimately, the choice is yours and you should experiment to find the best alternatives to PayPal that best suits you!