6 Online Payment Alternatives If You Hate PayPal
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PayPal is the top dog when it comes to online payment services. It’s generally easy to use and a secure way to send money while buying products and services online, but it does have its downsides.

Fortunately, several other businesses have stepped up to provide their own payment services. They range from smaller startups to well-established players. Let’s go over a few of these online payment services and check out the differences and why you might use one over another.

Venmo

Venmo works like a social payment service Venmo vs. Google Wallet: Send Money to Friends Easily Venmo vs. Google Wallet: Send Money to Friends Easily Forget about trying to pay friends back in cash -- that's what you have a smartphone for! Read More . Its interface is a mix of digital wallet and a social media feed. You can add comments and notes that other friendly Venmo users can browse like a social media wall. Venmo takes online payments and makes it a more welcoming system to suit you and your friends.

venmo-payment-system

Venmo’s pricing structure supports this notion, too. When you send money using your Venmo balance, bank account, debit card, or a prepaid card, there are no transaction fees. Credit cards carry a standard 3% fee. However, receiving money and making purchases in other apps is always free.

Comparing Venmo and PayPal is tricky. They’re both online payment services Making Online Payments - 5 PayPal Alternatives to Consider Making Online Payments - 5 PayPal Alternatives to Consider Is PayPal the best and most secure method of making online payments? We look at 5 PayPal alternatives that you should consider. Read More , but they cater to different markets. PayPal has evolved into a massive, global payment institution, while Venmo retains its handy, quick-payment feel. For instance, you won’t pay your restaurant bill with Venmo. But you can instantly transfer your part of the bill to whoever pays. In that sense, it works alongside PayPal, rather than completely replacing it.

Amazon Payments

muo-finance-paypal-alternatives-amazon

Amazon released their payments service back in 2008. Since then, the service has taken several different guises, including the now defunct WebPay service. WebPay was a direct PayPal competitor that ceased operation in October 2014. Fortunately, this wasn’t the end of Amazon Payments. MakeUseOf’s Christian Cawley explains:

If you’re already using Amazon, there’s a very good chance that the online marketplace already holds your credit card details. With Amazon Payments, you can use your Amazon account credentials to login and make purchases on thousands of websites and apps with the Login and Pay system, without scrambling around for your credit card.

With Amazon’s usual protection also safeguarding the transaction, this is one of the stronger alternatives to PayPal. We’re just a little surprised it hasn’t been more widely adopted.

While Amazon Payments no longer offers a personal payment service, the security offered by its Login and Pay system makes it an excellent choice. Furthermore, it offers merchants a strong partner to help grow their business. Amazon Payment is a worthwhile service to check out.

Google Wallet

google-wallet-android-app-screenshot

The advent of Android Pay Is Android Pay Better Than Your Contactless Credit Card? Is Android Pay Better Than Your Contactless Credit Card? If you want to take advantage of wireless payments, your two best options are Android Pay or your contactless credit card, but which is better? Read More led many to believe that Google Wallet would be consigned to history. Alas, the many are wrong again. Google Wallet switched from being both a peer-to-peer payment service and tap-to-pay system to focusing on only the former.

Google Wallet focuses on making payments easier. “But Gavin, don’t all payment services do that?” Sure, they do, but Google Wallet allows you to send money to anyone with an email address or phone number — even if they’re not a Wallet user. The recipient can instantly cash out to a bank account or debit card, granting instant access to your money.

Unfortunately, the Google Wallet Card, a fully featured MasterCard, was withdrawn from service.

Skrill

skrill-account-balance-page

Skrill is one of the strongest PayPal competitors around. Formerly called Moneybookers, Skrill is a global service Is It Worth The Switch? What PayPal Users Ought to Know About Skrill Is It Worth The Switch? What PayPal Users Ought to Know About Skrill Skrill, known in another life as Moneybookers, advertises fees and commissions that are often much lower than PayPal's. Their services very often trump PayPal's but at what cost? Read More that is beginning to feature on a number of popular websites, including Skype, eBay, and numerous online betting sites (outside the US). Furthermore, funds can be easily transferred to a Skrill-branded prepaid MasterCard to make purchases almost anywhere.

The service offers competitive transaction fees. Sending money receives a 1.9% charge of the total amount. However, sending transactions are capped at a maximum of €20. Money can be sent to Skrill accounts or email addresses, and receiving funds is usually free (any transactions involving a fee will be clearly marked).

Unfortunately, Skrill has some clear downsides. For instance, you’ll incur a deposit fee of up to 7% depending on where you transfer money from. Bank, Maestro, and Swift transfers are free, whereas MasterCard and Visa incur a 1.9% fee. American Express users receive a 2.5% fee, while a paysafecard receives a massive 7% fee. Skrill also charge a dormant account fee. If you don’t use your account within 12 months, they will debit €1 per month (unfortunately, I am not sure if they continue until your account is dry).

5. 2Checkout

2checkout

2Checkout is a payment processor that acts as a middleman between you (as a seller of items or services) and the payer. You can accept credit cards, checks, and even PayPal itself as a form of payment but ads a management layer as well handling the whole checkout process.

This is definitely a service meant for merchants, and not people who want to send money to their friends. You can see this in the style of their pricing, which is 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction in the United States. If you plan on running an online business that needs to accept payments, you may want to look into 2Checkout.

If you’re just looking for a way to send money to your friends or pay for pizza, though, this is definitely not going to be an option.

6. Traditional Merchant Accounts

online payment services

Having a merchant account from a bank gives you the ability to accept credit cards directly. There is often a monthly fee, and you must be compliant with PCI Council security standards. However, if you do a lot of business and need to integrate a payment solution into your own shopping cart or system, this is the best way to go.

Ask your local bank about merchant accounts, or do some research to see if there’s an online solution that fits your needs. Make sure to find a reputable provider that doesn’t have a record of poor customer service, too. If you’re not going to be doing a significant volume of online business, though, or you’re content with using another service to process your payments, don’t worry about getting a merchant account.

Which One Is For Me?

The answer to this question depends on how you use the online payment service. If you simply transfer money between friends 6 Apps to Help You Transfer Money Between Friends 6 Apps to Help You Transfer Money Between Friends Sometimes you need to send money to friends quickly and securely. Here are six of the best options available. Read More , Venmo and Google Wallet are great choices. If you’re selling items to strangers, a big name like Google or Amazon may inspire trust. Finally, if you’re running a lot of transactions, 2Checkout or even a merchant account might be the best way to go.

Do you have any other recommendations for PayPal alternatives or experiences with the ones above? Let us know in the comments below!

Originally written by Dave Drager on December 13, 2010.

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  1. Olivia
    July 17, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Thanks for a very informative article! I was searching for a solution to accept payments via credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro) in my e-shop and it seems that 2Checkout is a good option for me. Still, I have also found other suitable payment processors such as Stripe, Braintree and Cardinity. Each of them offers a payment gateway. Braintree also provides a merchant account, and Cardinity offers a merchant account and functions as both a payment gateway and an acquiring bank. I am considering Cardinity because of their friendly price, but I would like to hear different opinions.

  2. will
    March 27, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I don't have any beef with PayPal, but I need to have more choice as some of my customers can't use it for whatever reason. Interesting that this article mentions having to pay a fee to use a merchant account as I've been shopping around and it seems that many of them don't, e.g. G2A PAY, so I might go with them.

    • Gavin Phillips
      March 27, 2017 at 10:28 am

      That's fair, however, I would advise caution with G2A Pay. There are enough reports of bad customer service that I personally wouldn't trust them. They're well known to deal in blackmarket game keys. I would advise proceeding with caution and completing lots of research. Find some other companies who use G2A Pay and ask them, and find some that have left G2A Pay and ask them why they left (if possible, I realise this is quite difficult).

      Good luck!

  3. Guillaume
    February 1, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Venmo is a (only now?) product of Paypal...

    • Gavin Phillips
      February 1, 2017 at 10:36 am

      It has been for...just under a year now. However, they're performing different tasks. That said, if someone *really* hates PayPal, they'd have to steer clear of Venmo, too.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. zeek
    January 13, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Just trying to solve mystery how and why paypal stole 15$ from my domestic bank account.Their support is ridiculous.I doubt that some of them speak/read english at all. As small seller I have to pay them more than 22% of fees.(paypal+ebay).I'm user for 9 years but this starts to look ridiculous.

    • Gavin
      January 17, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      eBayers are unfairly punished with fees. I don't think there is really a way around it, unfortunately, other than keeping listing add-ons to a minimum. The majority of people prefer using PayPal for the payment protection offered, so you might be lumped with it. However, you could try offering an alternative payment format - but people might be put off by this. Sorry I cannot be more help, Zeek!

  5. sofia
    August 11, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    My account was "frozen" for a questionable charge of $9? I looked on my account and saw nothing on it that was not authorized. They said it's because they stopped it? then they sent me 5 pages of charges dating back to 2011 to go through and confirm that they were indeed my authorized charges? Needless to say...I called and closed my account. Let me also add that I have always been on time with paying my balances since I opened the account.

  6. RKM
    May 1, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    When a company like PayPal provides services to barbarians in third world countries then turns around and polarizes or decides not to open an office in a US state, then I say "screw you PayPal hypocritical assholes

  7. GB
    April 18, 2016 at 1:27 am

    There's a sponsered google ad for paypal right in the middle of this article ?

  8. CHARLIE
    February 11, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    I WILL CLOSE PAYPAL ACCOUNT AND EBAY ALSO

  9. Anonymous
    October 8, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    They have held numerous amounts from many of our clients that we assist at Auction Essistance. PayPal limits accounts at the most random times it is bizzare.

  10. Anonymous
    September 26, 2015 at 2:34 am

    Payolee is a good paypal alternative. I use them for my freelance design business.
    http://www.payolee.com/paypal-alternative

  11. arslonga vitabrevis
    May 16, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Pay pal doesn't seem like much of a reliable business partner, good to see it doesn't hold a monopoly so much anymore, looks like they are more of a political institution as of late supporting Putin's disinformation by pulling out of an account created by activists to counter media control in Russia and get to the bottom of Boris Nemstov’s investigative reporting and aide in the distribution of a report Nemstov was working on before he was murdered. Pay pal is just another Putin troll to me anymore. Thank God for competition to keep us strong and free.

  12. Dennis
    March 23, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Thank you for info. paypal had let fraud happen on my account to the tune of over $5000 and denied the claim said i did the charging had the account for three years and only used it for a savings and withdrew moneys twice a year. some one charged things from apple inc. Itunes, starbucks and other things in just two months wiped out account and ran up $1000 more on the paypal account that had fraude on it after the fact. they denied my claim told me to take it up with my credit card company they did not even send me email on any of the withdrawals as they have done in the past. They even tried to send emails and none went through agent said it was definitely fraude I need help.

    • Nicole
      March 22, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      I absolutely HATE HATE Paypal and won't recommend nor promote the use of this site. I will never ever go back NO MATTER what they say even if they said it will get better or will never happen again...THEY LIE!! They did something similar to me awhile back (more than a year ago) in denying what a merchant did to me and supported the merchant over me the consumer (me). It wasn't until me writing and cutting and pasting many emails and personal data back and forth until finally one day the clouds opened up and a glimpse of sun peered in and I got my monies credited back - but it took pulling teeth to get what was mine all along. It was so anerving and I was treated less than a person and for this screw them. I will never go back - not ever!!

  13. Erica
    February 12, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    My Paypal account also was frozen. And it was very complicated process trying to find out what was the matter. So I switched to an alternative. I am happy that there are other payment options to choose from and I hope they will develop further on. In fact, after having a look around you can sometimes find better conditions than offered by Paypal.

  14. Allen J
    January 31, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    I hate paypal. They held onto $10K of my money for 21 days, and they fees are ridiculously high. What a rip.

  15. Anonymous
    March 10, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Have you tried the gateway provided by CheddarGetter? CheddarGetter's probably best known as a recurring billing management system, but it just released its own payment gateway (CheddarGateway) this winter. It has everything you'd expect in a gateway (PCI compliance, fraud protection, QuickBooks integration, real-time reports, etc) along with a documented integration API if you would like more customization. But even if you don't use the CheddarGateway, CheddarGetter provides recurring billing management services that can link to many of the major online gateways. I definitely recommend them!

  16. Liz Cornwell
    December 22, 2010 at 10:01 am

    You forgot to mention AlertPay (http://www.alertpay.com). I've been using it for quite a while and never encountered any problems.

  17. Liz Cornwell
    December 22, 2010 at 11:01 am

    You forgot to mention AlertPay (http://www.alertpay.com). I've been using it for quite a while and never encountered any problems.

  18. Justin Dupre
    December 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I've been looking for paypal alternative for sometimes now.. thanks!

    • Dave Drager
      December 16, 2010 at 4:38 pm

      No problem Justin!

  19. Jaykaran Sagar
    December 14, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Watch out for Paybox.me, the next biggest online payment service.
    http://www.paybox.me/r/illumin...

  20. blair
    December 14, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    what about Intuit ?? they have some cool stuff going on like their mobile phone payment setup GoPayments
    http://payments.intuit.com/

  21. blair
    December 14, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    what about Intuit ?? they have some cool stuff going on like their mobile phone payment setup GoPayments
    http://payments.intuit.com/

  22. Just Outsourcing
    December 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    I hate Paypal! (to the tune of 'I am Spartacus')

    But Payoneer's working alright for me.

    • Dave Drager
      December 16, 2010 at 4:39 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation!

  23. Shade
    December 14, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Mt Gox does personal and merchant accounts. They handle transaction in BitCoins and in the US, accept credit cards to make USD transfers and payments.

    Mt Gox pays out in USD.

    http://mtgox.com/

    (I have no connection with the Mt Gox enterprise except as a user)

  24. Documaker
    December 14, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    I hate Paypal! (to the tune of 'I am Spartacus')

    But Payoneer's working alright for me.

  25. Shade
    December 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Mt Gox does personal and merchant accounts. They handle transaction in BitCoins and in the US, accept credit cards to make USD transfers and payments.

    Mt Gox pays out in USD.

    http://mtgox.com/

    (I have no connection with the Mt Gox enterprise except as a user)

  26. Saikat Basu
    December 14, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Amazon and Google are the ones who can take on PayPal and its virtual monopoly. As an Indian blogger we know the tremors we felt when PayPal and the national bank authorities clashed. A much needed post Dave.

    • Dave Drager
      December 14, 2010 at 11:25 am

      Thanks for the comment Saikat. It is true, when one company has majority power it is hard to 'pay to play'.

  27. Anonymous
    December 13, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    En Click And Buy?

    • Dave Drager
      December 14, 2010 at 2:50 am

      Thanks for the info on their site!

  28. Labinjan77
    December 13, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    and Alertpay? I think it should be here on list too

    • Dave Drager
      December 14, 2010 at 2:50 am

      Thanks for the idea!

  29. Labinjan77
    December 13, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    and Alertpay? I think it should be here on list too

  30. Alek Davis
    December 13, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Amazon Payment was news to me. Can't believe it's free. Thanks. Btw, it would be nice if you noted which one of these have APIs or can be integrated in your own systems (similar to PayPal's Instant Payment Notification).

    • Dave Drager
      December 13, 2010 at 8:28 pm

      The more "Merchant" facing ones such as Google Payments, Moneybookers, and 2Checkout have APIs to integrate them with your shopping carts. The more "personal" based ones like Venmo and WebPay do not, as far as I know of.

    • Shade
      December 14, 2010 at 12:45 pm

      Personal users on the Amazon system can only use the money to purchase items from Amazon.

  31. Mike
    December 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    I want to add Click&Buy (http://clickandbuy.com/) to the list since it works for both iTunes and Steam* =)

    * in a support controversy it turned out that Steam has a 150EUR monthly limit on Click&Buy

  32. P. David Albee
    December 13, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Newest, most economical online/mobile payment alternative: Dwolla; http://www.dwolla.org

  33. Bakari
    December 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Cool. I didn’t realize Amazon had a web pay service. Thanks.

  34. ZaiN
    December 13, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Much needed!
    I only knew about Google checkout and moneybookers before reading this post.

    • Dave Drager
      December 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm

      No problem ZaiN!

  35. Mike
    December 13, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    I want to add Click&Buy (http://clickandbuy.com/) to the list since it works for both iTunes and Steam* =)

    * in a support controversy it turned out that Steam has a 150EUR monthly limit on Click&Buy

  36. P. David Albee
    December 13, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Newest, most economical online/mobile payment alternative: Dwolla; http://www.dwolla.org

  37. Bakari
    December 13, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Cool. I didn’t realize Amazon had a web pay service. Thanks.

  38. ZaiN
    December 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Much needed!
    I only knew about Google checkout and moneybookers before reading this post.