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8 Online Payment Options That Aren’t PayPal

By Ada Ivanoff

When most people think of online payments, one name comes to mind: PayPal.

00 - PayPal

But for all PayPal’s strengths, it’s a bad idea to rely on it as the single system to accept payments on your site. Monopolies are never healthy, and you need to diversify your payment channels.

Why You Need PayPal Alternatives

There are plenty of reasons why you should support multiple payment options, but here are several of the most important ones:

  • Your partners or customers can’t always make or accept PayPal payments. This is the major reason to offer payment alternatives. There are always people who can’t (or won’t) pay or receive money via PayPal. In this case, if you are not open to alternatives, you simply lose these customers or partners. On the other hand, you need to make some estimates if the gain is worth the extra effort. It might turn out that offering more options doesn’t increase your income but does increase your costs and hassle.
  • Your PayPal account could be blocked. We have all heard horror stories about PayPal blocking accounts for various reasons, or for no reason at all (so the victims claim). Even if these stories are not 100% true, it would still be a nightmare if it happened to you. You shouldn’t put all your payment eggs in one basket–the risk is too high.
  • You need a safer way to receive payments, especially for larger sums. PayPal is very convenient for small amounts but if you regularly send or receive thousands of dollars, then you are better of with other forms of payments, such as checks or wire transfer.
  • You want to reduce costs. PayPal fees are certainly not the lowest in the industry, so you might end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month in commissions. There are lower cost alternatives but unfortunately they have other limitations. In fact, if reducing costs is your main reason to look for PayPal alternatives, your options are limited.

If any of these reasons apply to you, then you should definitely consider using other online payment systems to supplement or even replace PayPal.

Best PayPal Alternatives

There is no single PayPal alternative that is best in all cases–the right option depends on your needs.

Since PayPal is global, a real alternative needs to be global, too. The best services that can be used for international transfers are: Skrill, Google Wallet, Payoneer and Payza.

In addition to these, there are dozens of local and regional ones payment processors. These services could be good for you, though if you have international clients or partners they’re not much use.

1. Skrill

01 - Skrill

Skrill, formerly known as Moneybookers, is one of the few true alternatives to PayPal. Though it is global in nature, it’s targeted mainly at U.K. and the other European countries because the merchant fees for these regions are more favorable than for the rest of the world.

Skrill is one of the more popular PayPal alternatives, so if you want to send money to somebody, he or she might have already heard about Skrill, or even have an account. Skrill is also widely accepted by many top websites and service providers, including Skype, eBay and oDesk.

Skrill is easy to use and it allows to transfer your account balance onto a prepaid debit card almost right away.

The fees for personal transfers are very low, though they very from country to country. With a 1% sending fee (capped at a maximum of €10) and no receiving fees, it’s one of the best offers on the market.

With merchants, the fees are much higher, though still acceptable. You can check the fees here. Currently their rates range from 1.4% + £0.20 for U.K. merchants with more than €50,000 monthly sales volume, to 3.9% + €0.35 for non European merchants with monthly sales volume of up to €2,500.

2. Google Wallet

02 - Google Wallet

Google Wallet, formerly known as Google Checkout, is another good online payment system with global reach. It might not have all the features of PayPal but for personal and business payments it does a good job.

Google Wallet’s fees are reasonable–it’s free to send money directly from your bank account or from your Google Wallet balance. If you want to send money via credit card, then the fee is 2.9%. Unlike PayPal, it’s also free to you receive money or transfer it to your bank account.

There are some per transaction and other limits ($10,000 USD per single transaction and no more than $50,000 USD per 5 day period) but they are something to worry about only if you have a huge turnover (in which case you will most likely be using wire transfer anyway). One of the limits I personally find peculiar is the $500 limit per 30 days for uploading money to your Wallet Balance with a credit or debit card, but this is hardly a deal breaker.

3. Payoneer

03 - Payoneer

Payoneer is very similar to the other international services on this list. Probably what makes it truly different is that with it you can get a virtual U.S. bank account. This is of great importance to everybody who is not in the US but who needs to get money in a U.S. bank. (If this might pose legal issues in your country, check with a local lawyer.)

As for fees, Payoneer is not cheap. First, it has an annual fee of $29.95. Second, withdrawal from an ATM costs about $3. Third, there are transaction fees (they differ based on volume and location).

Despite its high fees, Payoneer has managed to become popular. Many sites now accept it, and some of the best affiliate marketing networks have embraced it as well.

4. Payza

04 - Payza

Payza (formerly known as AlertPay) is very similar to the preceeding payment options. It is available in more than 190 countries. It offers generally low fees (though this varies on your location and the type of the transaction) and some of the services are even free. It seems to be the least popular of the PayPal alternatives but still many sites accept it.

Bonus: Local Payment Systems

The availability of local payment services is astonishing, especially for the U.S. Some of the best options include: Stripe, Paymate, Amazon Payments, and Dwolla.

Of all the non-global payment alternatives Stripe is the most promising. Currently they cover the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Ireland but they are also available in beta in another 10 or so countries. At 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, their fees are similar to PayPal’s. Stripe also has great customization capabilities that might be of interest to developers.

Paymate is a good option for sellers in New Zealand and Australia, though cards from 60-plus countries are also accepted. They have relatively high monthly fees and transaction fees. However, one of the advantages of Paymate is that you can use it to collect payments on eBay.com.au.

Amazon Payments is a good option if you are looking for a credit and debit card processing and an eCommerce platform. It’s an option for U.S. sellers only and it’s fairly pricey for low sales volumes. You can use Amazon Payments on Amazon.com, of course, and some other sites also accept it as a form of payment.

If you are looking for a PayPal alternative mainly for personal payments and you are in the U.S., then Dwolla is probably your best option. With a cost of just $0.25 per transaction and no fees for transactions under $10, it beats all the other systems in terms of fees.

In addition to these systems, there are dozens of payment processors that target particular countries, so do your homework if you only need to sell in-country.

There’s No Perfect PayPal Replacement

While there are plenty of online payment systems, none can really replace PayPal completely.

Your best bet is using alternatives to reduce your reliance on PayPal while still offering PayPal as an option.

If you try to eliminate it completely, chances are good that most of your clients or partners won’t follow you.

  • Steve

    Be very sure to check out each vender’s customer service.

  • http://www.cliftwalker.co.uk/ Jonathan Clift

    I’d definitely recommend stripe, it has a superb interface to go with its secure functionality and offers a reasonable fee structure for its usage. It’s a little more involved than something like Paypal but if you’re a developer looking to integrate a payment system into your application, this would definitely be my first port of call. Also,

    On another note, if your focus is on selling digital products, I’d highly recommend people take a look at Gumroad

    • Mark Williams

      I’ll second Stripe, it’s interface is superb and offers great flexibility. The ability to stored card info in the way of tokens is very useful.

  • http://dada.theblogbowl.in/ Shaumik Daityari

    Payoneer is a really good option. Low or negligent fees and quick transfer to the bank accounts.

  • a8521298

    “8 Online Payment Options”, but only 4 listed?

    • OphelieLechat

      There are 4 additional options in the “Local Payment Systems” section.

      • Rafael Groenewold

        the locals are locals for what country? thanks

  • http://www.matthewdaly.co.uk/ Matthew Daly

    I really like GoCardless. Their payment model doesn’t suit every situation, but for recurring payments they are very good, and the documentation and client libraries are excellent.

  • http://developer.paypal.com Steven Cooper

    As the Developer Evangelist for PayPal/Braintree (disclosure!) this is a well written article but its missing Braintree which is really cool.

    Plus Braintree’s new and shiny V.Zero has PayPal and Braintree all wrapped up into one little tiny SDK which means i can do a Braintree integration in under 2 minutes then accept credit cards and PayPal (double win!)

    • Junque Attic

      Braintree “a Paypal Company” – guilt by association

  • adaivanoff

    Right, no matter what functionality they offer, terrible support is killer. Unfortunately, this information is the hardest to get because you never know if the source of it is honest or not.

  • http://jakartawebdeveloper.tumblr.com/ Jakarta Web Developer

    Thanks great article

  • Gerrit-Jan Gommer

    Payza and Skrill had the same web designer? They look very much the same on the screen shots in the article.

  • CTN

    payfast.co.za for South Africa

    • http://drawtip.com/ DrawTip.com

      Thanks! We’ve been getting complaints from SA users whom can’t try via our PayPal trial subscription, due to a must have account condition. Adding this option should solve that problem.

  • http://www.ascentura.com Alex Brown

    Swipe is a more complete Payment System with everything required for online and mobile payment processing. and available in NZ and many other countries . check it out. https://www.swipehq.lk

    it is available in NEW ZEALAND , CANADA, THAILAND, SRI LANKA , VIETNAMEN, BRAZIL, MONGOLIA, PHILIPPINES & AUSTRALIA

  • Tomas SWP

    Talking about local payments, I think it is very important to understand in what market you are in and what are your main target groups. While extending my online shop business from UK to Eastern Europe I’ve noticed tremendous customer preferences between those regions. While in some countries “bigger” means “more reliable”, some countries prefer smaller independent online payment systems. From my experience alternatives to PayPal like Paysera, Payza or similar help to a tract more customers and are especially useful when entering new markets.

  • John

    Is better than paypal https://selz.com/

  • Ivan

    What about Stripe? You can use to that with a hosted payment form at Payzo.io

  • Steve

    It’s certainly wise to find a Paypal alternative. The pseudo monopoly they’ve had in the online payment space led to them overreaching extensively and screwing customers, and it’s coming back to bite them now that competitors are forming. One of my businesses relied on Paypal to process credit cards, and was the victim of an account freeze. Paypal said we were “making too much money.” So they froze the account. That was their one and only reason. We couldn’t take payments, we couldn’t send money, and we couldn’t withdraw it. Our business was frozen. And frozen without any cause or legitimate justification, mind you. It could have easily put us out of business, but luckily were survived by finding another (ethical) credit card processor quickly.

  • Jon

    Just signed up with Payza and closed my account within 10 minutes, didn’t look very good to me.

  • Bryan Ríos

    What options are there for crowdfunding sites? I want to go with Indiegogo but they only work with Paypal as far as I know. None of these sites work with Payoneer, I want to receive the funds through something like Paypal and then withdraw funds to my Payoneer account.

  • Penance

    As both Ebay and Paypal are now basically banning all transaction for vapers, there are going to be a lot of people looking for an alternative. I have signed up with Skrill and we’ll see how that goes.

    • Christin Phoenix Madden

      Please keep in contact with me if you find one that works. My email address is christin_madden@yahoo.com

      I have a CBD Oil Business and I’m so sick of being shut down by eBay and PayPal. My website is currently useless because my customers have no way to process payments at this time.

  • Deidre

    Very useful article, thank you.

  • wilson

    freakxshop.com

    Welcome to our Online Store
    We hand make the most awesomest products in the world

  • Brian Johnson

    i have been using payolee as a paypal alternative http://www.payolee.com/paypal-alternative

  • Brian Johnson

    i have been using payolee as a paypal alternative http://www.payolee.com/paypal-alternative

  • Sara Lecheminant

    For any of you who use PayPal: there is a new company that is just starting to surface called “nTrust” based out of Vancouver that is the same idea. They have a marketing promotion going on right now to get the word out & it involves free money! When you sign up, if you use a referral code, both you & the person’s referral code you use get $10. When you sign up, you do not need to give banking information, just an email- but you are able to transfer the money from the nTrustaccount into your bank account (if that’s what you choose to do instead of using it for online shopping, then you would have to put in banking info). I’ve looked into it myself to make sure it was secure, but if you look it up you can find your own info! Thought I would share, cause who doesn’t like free money? If you decide to try it- you can use my referral code sar182 and we will both receive $10 into our own accounts. Once you’ve created an account, you will get your own referral code & can pass it on to friends & family.

    • Patricia

      Not in the US it seems.

    • Aldo Terraca

      Does it work sending money to a Bank account in Europe? Thanks!

  • MrParL

    Hey guys, do you have any recommendations for online payments for an entrepreneur looking to start an online business in Latin america? specifically Lima, Peru? I found in Paypal’s help that I need to have an US bank account so I can withdraw payments there and then do an electronic transfer to a national bank account here in Peru.

    Any help will be appreciated, thanks!

  • Cherry Lam

    If you would like a Hong Kong Paypal business account, you may contact nkcheung@paypal.com / (852)2529 3921, Paypal can help you to receive payment all over the world with the Visa, Master, American Express credits…etc from your customers.

    • Zoli G Nagy

      Yeah, but as market leader, it is very expensive…

  • arnold marquez

    bitcoin a brand new way of payment online…

  • Cherry Lam

    If you would like a Hong Kong Paypal business account, you may contact nkcheung@paypal.com / (852)2529 3921, Paypal can help you to receive payment all over the world with the Visa, Master, American Express credits…etc from your customers.

  • CJ

    what is best for Indian users

  • mikejson

    2checkout works best for me (together with DuckSell), Paypal has the worst documentation ever!

  • Elizabeth Kinley

    I have an online store and currently only have Paypal. They claim that you don’t have to have an account to make a payment but there process requires going through the motions of setting up an account with the option later to save the info or not. This leads the customer to thinking that they have to setup an account in order to buy. No one wants this hassle even if it was clear and in my opinion it is not, they cancel their order. I would like to add another form of payment that makes it easier for people without a Paypal account to make payments. What would you recommend?

  • http://matthewdaly.co.uk/ Matthew Daly

    It uses Direct Debit, which in the UK works very well for recurring payments as it’s already common for use cases like magazine subscriptions. It may work less well for users outside the UK.

    The client libraries and docs are very good.

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