Why You Don’t Have To Use PayPal For Online Transactions: 5 PayPal Alternatives

PayPal Alternatives Logo   Why You Don’t Have To Use PayPal For Online Transactions: 5 PayPal AlternativesOnline shopping and online purchases have grown into something so important in many of our lives that it’s strange, at least for me, to think of a world where it doesn’t exist. PayPal is one service that really pioneered that world, especially in terms of purchasing without needing a credit card, debit card, or gift card. But are there any viable alternatives if you don’t like PayPal?

There are many reasons why you might not like PayPal. For one thing, it’s such a big service that it’s prime meat for hack attempts and scam attempts. Similarly, ever since PayPal grew into an enormous international service, people have been experiencing a decline in service quality. And who can forget the PayPal account freezing horror stories? PayPal is not the be-all end-all of online transaction services.

But even so, PayPal is convenient, widely accepted, and established. There are many PayPal alternatives out there, but none of them have the same ubiquity or prominence. By switching away from PayPal, you may be gaining in some respects but you’ll also be losing out in other ways. If that’s okay with you, then keep reading!

WePay

Overview: The first time I heard about WePay was when I stumbled across GoFundMe, one of many services that help with online fundraising. They trusted WePay enough to make it their default money handler over PayPal for US users. As it turns out, WePay is used by over 250,000 merchants and they’ve processed over 1.5 million transactions. WePay accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and more.

What’s Good: WePay has an extremely fast setup process that’ll have you ready to go in less than a minute. There are no contracts or tricky fees: 2.9% + $0.30 for credit card payments and 1.0% + $0.30 for bank payments. In terms of security, they’re sharp: first-class security credentials that they test every day for vulnerabilities. And, most importantly, WePay has excellent customer service (rated 9 out of 10 by its users).

But on top of the usual transaction features, WePay has a few more things to offer. You can embed an HTML WePay button right onto your website which you can use to collect payments. WePay also has a page builder which you can use to create a fully functional online store without any technical expertise.

Check out Angela’s WePay review if you haven’t already.

Overall: B+

Skrill

Overview: Formerly known as MoneyBookers, Skrill is a money service that stretches internationally when it comes to reach. With more than 10 million users in over 200 countries with support for more than 40 currencies, you can be sure that Skrill is a force to be reckoned with. In terms of sheer size, Skrill may be the closest to PayPal.

What’s Good: The international support is definitely a thumbs up. Skrill allows you to deposit and withdraw money instantly all while keeping your information secure. For personal users, Skrill’s fees sit at 1% for sending money (caps at $0.50) and no fees for receiving money. For merchants, there are a few processing fees per transaction but they are competitive with other similar services (standard rate is 2.90% + $0.29).

For US users, deposites and withdrawals are free. For international users, deposits and withdrawals are mostly free but may incur processing fees depending on the method. When you want to take your funds out, you can opt for a physical check, a direct deposit into your bank account, or a MasterCard debit card that you can use in tandem with an ATM.

Overall: B+

Dwolla

Overview: Dwolla is similar to PayPal in that it’s an online peer-to-peer transaction service, but unlike PayPal, Dwolla requires both sender and receiver to have a Dwolla account; if you receive money and don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one to access it. It’s a small inconvenience, but otherwise pretty similar to PayPal’s system.

What’s Good: The first thing that sticks out to me about Dwolla is the transaction fee. Most services will charge a percentage-based fee, but Dwolla has one simple rule: a $0.25 fee per transaction unless the transaction is less than $10, then the fee is waived. Transactions take a few days to process, though you can subscribe to an Instant Transaction feature for $3 a month.

Dwolla is available as a mobile app for iPhones and Androids, too, which makes it extremely easy to check your account and transfer money no matter where you are.

Overall: B+

Google Wallet

Overview: A few years ago, Google combined their Checkout service with their Wallet service. Both services were meant to track your payment information and to facilitate e-commerce transactions. If you’re a customer, Google Wallet may be exactly what you need; if you’re a seller, there’s a Business version for accepting payments.

What’s Good: On any site that accepts Google Wallet, you can use your Wallet account to make payments. The Wallet account tracks all of your credit cards, debit cards, and gift cards in one convenient location, so purchasing items online becomes easy. All of your data is secure, obviously. If you’re a seller, Google does not charge any transaction fees for accepting Wallet payments.

For in-store purchases, Google Wallet can transform your phone into your wallet. If you have a device with the Wallet app and NFC capabilities, you can simply tap your device on the store’s NFC reader and pay instantly without hassle.

Overall: B

Payza

Overview: Formerly known as AlertPay, Payza has grown into something of a force over the past decade. It’s a great PayPal alternative for both personal users (transfer money, purchase items) and business users (process payments, send invoices). And if you need an international solution, Payza is global with offices all around the world.

What’s Good: Payza is supported in over 190 countries and over 20 different currencies. Money transfers can be performed through wire transfers, bank transfers, money orders, or credit cards. Payza money can be withdrawn through wire transfers, bank transfers, physical checks, or prepaid Payza cards. Payza has a simple fee structure that you should be aware of before committing to the service.

Overall: B-

Conclusion

So for quick reference, here are the most viable PayPal alternatives that I’ve found in order of rating:

  • WePay
  • Skrill
  • Dwolla
  • Google Wallet
  • Payza

All of these services are great and they’re all used by many people, which means that none of these are horrible choices when it comes to finding an alternative to PayPal. However, it ought to be reiterated that there really isn’t a perfect PayPal alternative; no matter which one you choose, you’ll always be missing out on something.

Have you switched away from PayPal? If so, what are you using now? Are there any other services that could work as a PayPal alternative? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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37 Comments -

0 votes

Yourmother

So you compare those shitty services to google wallet which free
How much u getting paid for advertising

5 votes

André K

The problem is using any of these alternatives for fund-raising will certainly make you lose donations as most people use PayPal. And if you want to buy something on eBay for example you’ll find very few sellers using them. I don’t really like PayPal but they lead the market so it’s easier to use it no matter how bad their policies are.

0 votes

Joel Lee

You make good points. Unfortunately, some people hate Paypal so much that they’re willing to make that trade-off.

0 votes

André K

The thing I hate the most about PayPal is the fact that they don’t support all countries. I can only buy/send money but I can’t receive anything, which makes it hard to run a fund raising campaign. I do have a Skrill account, but I must say that even though they have an EXCELLENT customer service, they are very few online merchants that use it. They also offer great services like creating a fake address if you don’t live in the US so you can buy things even when the seller doesn’t ship to your country (Skrill takes care of the shipping). They also offer a Skrill MasterCard BUT all these services are only available to EU citizens. That sucks !

0 votes

John R. Sellers

You said:

“The thing I hate the most about PayPal is the fact that they don’t support all countries.”

The thing *I* hate about PayPal right now is that I can’t add my one and only bank account to my current PayPal account becuz it’s attached to one of my previous accounts.

1 votes

André K

And about Google Wallet, Google already has access my emails (with Gmail), my files (with Google Drive), my planning (with Calendar), my browsing routines, my phone (with Android) and maybe more… I don’t want them access to my wallet too :-)

0 votes

John Mack

Oh! you know you do.

0 votes

Scott M

I have to agree with you about granting Google access to any more of my information than they have of mine already.

0 votes

Joel Lee

I’ve written an article about “quitting Google” so I completely understand the hesitancy to give Google even more of your info. :)

0 votes

null

Good article. But, why would I not love paypal?

5 votes

Al

Null: If you use it long enough you will get burned. If you use it with eBay will get burned faster. As a seller you have no protection if the other party says that something is wrong with what you shipped Paypal will deduct the whole amount, freeze your account. When you get back that you shipped and its perfect and you try to fight to reverse you will not win. You just got robbed for shipping and eBay fees. I was a buyer/seller for over 10y after a few episodes I closed both accounts. I now use Google wallet and most of my stuff sells via website or craigslist.

5 votes

Scott M

I don’t use Paypal on Ebay so I’m really not familiar with the problems that you mention.For any other transactions I’ve used it fir I haven’t had a problem.I would like to have another alternative as backup but Google wallet is still fairly restrictive for me at the moment.Wallet would be great if it was accepted in more spots and I was able to have the option of using it.

0 votes

Henry Page

I used Paypal with a buyer on eBay. The buyer for some reason didn’t like the kid’s shoes I had sold her. I offered her a token £2.50 (on a £6.99 sale) she refused and said the would complain to Paypal and then when they had resolved the dispute she would return the shoes. Paypal asked me what I wanted to do and I told them I would offer her a full refund. The next thing I knew that had taken the £6.99 and gave it to her … of course she didn’t return the shoes. I went ballistic because eBay and Paypal make a fortune while I am selling stuff to pay for a holiday for my kids. Paypal, to be fair, did refund me, but I would be very wary of that situation again because they warned me that their offer to reimburse me was one-time only!

6 votes

dohRG

The problem is merchants accepting them. It’s not so much alternatives because even big player Google Wallet is not always available.

0 votes

Joel Lee

Change always has to start somewhere, right? Maybe if people stopped using Paypal and started emailing/petitioning services to start accepting alternatives, they would!

0 votes
6 votes

Arthur McKenzie

I use Skrill but I found them impractical for low-value transactions and deposits. For example, when I received a one-time small payment of just $5 for my freelance work, to my horror, they ended up classifying me as a “merchant” and deducted $25 as “gateway usage fee”.

Another problem is that they only have wire transfer as a withdrawal method (at least in Asian countries) which is again expensive for small value transactions and withdrawals as my bank ends up charging anywhere from $25-40 to receive the transfer (correspondent banking fee).

In contrast, Paypal supports local bank withdrawals which works really great and is also cheaper than Skrill in this regard. I just wish Skrill supported local bank withdrawal (and not just international wire transfer)… That, for me, would make me use that service more.

0 votes

Joel Lee

Sorry to hear that you got burned by Skrill like that. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. That makes me less likely to use Skrill in the future (or at least more hesitant).

0 votes

Scott M

When I don’t use a credit card I think I am forced to use Paypal for the vast majority of my transactions.Unfortunately there isn’t an option for any of these to even try them out..

5 votes

Denis

What about Stripe: http://stripe.com, Braintree – https://www.braintreepayments.com and Paymill – http://paymill.com ?

6 votes

KyleTaylored

Whoa, lot of negativity going on here. If you use eBay, you’re kind of stuck with PayPal. But for almost anything else, you have options. I recently started using WePay and it is incredibly easy, versatile, and their support is phenomenal. If you work for yourself, want to set up an online shop or an event to sell tickets, or just take donations – WePay is super easy and awesome. I would recommended anyone who hasn’t used it to give it a try.

0 votes

Scott M

I’ll check it out but I haven’t seen it as a payment option anywhere as of yet.

0 votes

Henry Page

You cannot be ‘kind of stuck’ with Paypal as in the EU that would be illegal.

1 votes

Chris Marcoe

Hey Joel; In your estimate, where would PayPal rank in your list?

I use PayPal all the time and I’ve never had a problem. And i feel secure having some (But not much) money in a PayPal account. Also, how pervasive are these others? Specifically, are there enough businesses accepting these others to make them worth while? Or, would you have to have all of them to get the same coverage as PayPal?

Thanks for a great read.

0 votes

Nat

I ran my first online course using PayPal and as soon as the money from my registrations hit, PayPal put a lock on my account and demanded I prove to them I am not a money launderer. It took weeks to get my money released. Insane. I’m desperate for a viable alternative to PayPal, they are too powerful anyway.

0 votes

Keith S

Competition! It is the American Way!

0 votes

Henry Page

Sadly that’s not true. American companies are often despised abroad for rank profiteering. Take Levi’s as an example how much do you pay in the US for a pair? Here in the UK £75 – £100 ($120 -$150) and they say the price difference between here and the US is economy of scale. The same goes with simple stuff like newly released DVDs at $40 a go, iPad 64gb at $1100. Amazon is destroying our local shops by supplying at prices that are some way below the shop prices because they base themselves in the cheapest tax states et etc. To be honest, most Brits are sick of it. Unfair competition, not competition. If we didn’t have the EU Apple and Google would have got away with so many things where the EU said NO!

0 votes

Abhijith R

good one

0 votes

John

If you can’t compete too bad! The consumers are the winners, why make them pay more so to “level” out the competition. Typical Brit socialism BS!

0 votes

null

You don’t mention how 75% of ebay sellers ONLY take PayPal. Nothing else.

0 votes

Henry Page

You could always ask to be paid directly into your bank (Bank Giro Credit)

0 votes

Dom

I had to pay via Moneybookers for something and gave them a “one-shot” email address. Some time later I started getting gambling-related spam to that address. Moneybookers have their roots in online gambling.

Do no trust Moneybookers.

0 votes

Geoff

Another alternative for selling from a website or blog you could check out is http://www.selz.com their fairly new but growing. It’s really simple to use for the seller and buyer. Especially good if selling digital downloads.

0 votes

fwhite

In skimming this article, it seems the “5-paypal-alternatives” are for business owners and not for business customers. Is that correct?

If so, are there any paypal-alternatives for shoppers at businesses who offer only a paypal payment option?

0 votes

Alton

Another great alternative fo Paypal or even other giants such as WU or MG is Ria Money Transfer Online (www.riamoneytransfer.com) because apart from direct to bank account, sender can also have the money picked up in cash (this is advantageous if the receiver doesn’t have a bank account) and the sender can send via bank account or credit/debit cards.

0 votes

James P

The newest alternative payment method that could work for you if you live in the United States is FuturePay. Check it out at http://www.futurepay.com

0 votes

Jim Welch

Does anyone have any thoughts on great payment sources for non profits?

I am looking for:
Recurring payment option

Multiple buttons for different donation amounts plus a option to enter their own variable amount.

The ability to gather info like name, address, and email.