Entrepreneur
Article
By Paul Maplesden

8 PayPal Alternatives for Your Online Business

By Paul Maplesden

Payments

This article was updated on the 18th of January, 2017, to ensure it reflects the best and most current PayPal alternatives.

When it comes to getting paid for your goods and services, one name dominates the field — PayPal. But PayPal isn’t the only game in town — there are lots of payment providers in the online space. We’ll explore how they can give you more choice, enhance your cashflow, and put money in your pocket.

But PayPal is Great, Why Do I Need an Alternative?

PayPal is dominant for a reason — it has been around the longest, it’s spent millions enhancing its brand, and it provides all the standard functions you’d expect. However, that doesn’t always make it the best choice. Here’s why:

  • Not all clients can make PayPal payments. Some of your clients simply can’t, or won’t, use PayPal. They might not be in an area that PayPal accepts payments from, or their accounting systems don’t support PayPal. Perhaps they’ve had a bad experience with the platform, or want an easier way to pay.
  • You don’t want all your (online payment) eggs in one basket. PayPal is notorious for blocking accounts. That means you can’t receive payments or access your funds until they decide to unblock you. The lack of cashflow could leave you vulnerable, so alternative payment options are essential.
  • PayPal is best for smaller amounts. The fees you pay for PayPal can really add up, especially on larger transactions. Other payment providers may charge lower fees, so you keep costs down (and that means greater profits).
  • PayPal’s international fees are really (really) high. If you dig into PayPal’s fees, you’ll see they charge a big premium for accepting international payments. Combine this with less than ideal exchange rates, and you’ll pay a hefty overhead for any international business.

Ultimately it comes down to protecting your cash flow, reducing your costs, and not leaving money on the table. So, what are the best alternatives to PayPal? Glad you asked.

Stripe

Stripe

One of PayPal’s biggest competitors, Stripe offers a simple, easy user interface, full payment integration, and fast transfers into your bank account.

Advantages of Stripe

  • Ease of use. Simple and easy to use and setup.
  • Bank account transfer. Very fast transfer into your bank account (within two days of getting payment).
  • Complete integrations. Full payment integration with most third-party services, works with over 300 other apps.
  • Multiple payment options for customers. Accepts payment via multiple debit and credit cards, Bitcoin, Apple Pay and Android Pay.
  • International customers. No additional international payment fees.
  • Customization. Full support for custom development and integration.

Stripe Fees

In the US, Stripe charges a flat fee of 2.9% of every transaction, plus an additional 30c per transaction. There are no other fees for processing transactions.

Transferwise

Transferwise

Transferwise is a little different to the other services listed here, as their focus is entirely on international payments. They’re a great choice if you have lots of international customers and want to keep fees down.

Advantages of Transferwise

  • Lets you accept payments from clients, anywhere in the world.
  • Receive payment into your bank account within 2 – 3 days of being paid.
  • Simple, fast, and easy to use.
  • All transfers are based on real-time exchange rates.

Transferwise Fees

  • Transferwise fees are very low, and are typically less than half of what you would pay to transfer money via your bank.
  • Transferwise provides much better exchange rates than most other international payment providers, especially PayPal.

Google Wallet

Google Wallet

As the biggest tech player in the online space, Google naturally has its own payment solution. Google Wallet is a simple, elegant, and free way to accept payments.

Advantages of Google Wallet

  • Receive money from anyone. They don’t need to have the Wallet app installed, just an email address or phone number.
  • Automatic transfer to your bank account. Google Wallet automatically transfers your received payments into your bank.
  • Payment through the web or a mobile app. Customers can pay through Google wallet’s website, or through a mobile app on their smartphone.

Google Wallet Fees

Google Wallet does not charge any fees.

Note that you can’t use Google Wallet if you’re a registered company (e.g. a Limited or LLC entity) but you can use it if you’re a sole proprietor.

Shopify Payments

Shopify Payments

If you’re an online retailer or run an eCommerce site, Shopify’s integrated payment system can be a great way to get payments from customers. Shopify Payments comes as part of the overall Shopify eCommerce service.

Advantages of Shopify Payments

  • Built into Shopify. Works with the overall Shopify eCommerce platform for a seamless customer experience. The Shopify platform has dozens of other features.
  • Integrates with other apps and systems. Integration with third party payment processors and other apps, including Facebook Shop, Twitter, and Pinterest.
  • International payments. Accept payments from international customers in the UK, US, Canada, and Australia at no additional charge.
  • Accounting. Works with many online accounting apps to make reconciliation and reporting easier.

Shopify Fees

Shopify charges a monthly fee for its overall eCommerce platform, available in a variety of plans. The amount you pay for Shopify payments depends on which plan you use. In the U.S. the fees are:

  • Shopify Basic: 2.9% + 30c per transaction.
  • Shopify Pro: 2.6% + 30c per transaction.
  • Shopify Unlimited: 2.4% + 30c per transaction.

Amazon Payments

Amazon Payments

Unlike Shopify Payments, the Amazon Payments system isn’t just limited to selling on Amazon. You can integrate the Amazon Payments system in many different ways and let people pay for goods and services with their stored Amazon account details.

Advantages of Amazon Payments

  • Branding. Strong Amazon branding creates trust with your users.
  • Payment details already available. Due to the huge number of Amazon customers, their payment details are already stored making payment quick and easy.
  • One click payments. Customers can order and pay for goods with one click.

Amazon Payment Fees

Amazon charges slightly different amounts for domestic and international payments. In the U.S. the fees are as follows:

  • Domestic payments: A flat fee of 2.9% of every transaction, plus an additional 30c per transaction.
  • International payments: A flat fee of 3.9% of every transaction, plus an additional 30c per transaction.

Payoneer

Payoneer

Payoneer is a complete, integrated, fully-featured payment platform. It has a strong focus on international transactions and payments, making it easy to get paid by clients and customers around the world.

Advantages of Payoneer

  • Fast payments. Receive funds within minutes of getting paid.
  • Send payment requests. Multiple options for invoicing, billing, and getting paid.
  • Easy to make payments. If you need to send money to others, Payoneer makes it easy to send bulk payments to multiple recipients.
  • Global payment services. Setup a “virtual bank account” so you can receive payments in multiple currencies. You can withdraw funds to your local bank account at any time.

Payoneer Fees

  • Receiving funds from another Payoneer customer is free.
  • Receiving payments from your international, virtual bank accounts is free for many currencies and attracts a 1% fee for US dollars.
  • Receiving payments via a credit or debit card attracts a 3% fee.

Authorize.net

Authorize.net

Authorize.net is one of the most established payment providers there is, with more than 20 years of experience in providing payment services.

Advantages of Authorize.net

  • Payment types. Accepts payments from all major debit and credit cards, Android Pay, Apple Pay, eCheck, and Visa Checkout.
  • International payments. Accept money from clients and customers around the world.
  • Development APIs. Allows integration with other apps to understand and process transaction details.
  • Customer information. Securely store customer information to make future purchases easier.

Authorize.net Fees

  • $49 setup fee and a $25 monthly fee.
  • Domestic payments: A flat fee of 2.9% of every transaction, plus an additional 30c per transaction.
  • International payments: An additional fee of 1.5% of every transaction.

Payline Data

Payline Data

Payline Data takes an innovative approach to collecting money. In addition to a standard checkout system, API, and mobile payments, clients can also schedule appointments and pay at the same time. Their fees are also extremely low.

Advantages of Payline Data

  • Payline Gateway. Allows clients to pay securely online, through integration with many other apps and services.
  • Point of sale. Provides a point of sale service and hardware to support face-to-face transactions.
  • Integration. A fully featured API allows for seamless connection and integration to other apps and providers.
  • Mobile. Allows for mobile payments.

Payline Data Fees

  • $15 monthly fee.
  • A flat fee of 0.35%, plus an additional 10c per transaction.

Other Services

There are hundreds of other online and face-to-face payment services available. When you’re comparing, here’s some useful advice:

  • Always look at all the fees. Some payment processors charge hidden fees. Always review the entire fee schedule so you can do a like-for-like comparison.
  • Explore other supported features. If you want recurring billing, subscription services, point of sale support, or other options, make sure you understand all of the features.
  • Custom integrations. Explore options for customizing the API and integrations with other apps to help all your various SaaS apps work together better.

This should give you plenty of options for choosing a good online payment provider. If you’ve had success with others, please do let us know in the comments below.

  • Steve

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

    • 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.

  • 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

    • Mark Bailey

      Swipe do NOT support Mongolia……
      Indeed, I cannot find a single gateway provider that does. Even Paypal only allows Mongolian to purchase using Paypal but not sell.

  • 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.

    • Lexxs

      Paypal froze my account because of “higher than usual sales”. I will never use them again. They could have destroyed my business. I now have to change all of my paypal buttons on my web sites too. I had been a very active and good customer for FIVE years.

  • 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.

      • Don O Connor

        Have you found an alternative card processing system for selling your CBD oil?

        • Christin Phoenix Madden

          No! :(

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • gohomeurdrunk

    Eastern Europe is kind of a tough market to handle payments – either you are sending or receiving. So, basically, I’ve been using until now: skrill, payoneer, paypal and wire transfer but heard that intuit can also be good. We have also written an article about that on https://jobrack.eu/blog/3-easy-ways-pay-eastern-european-employees/ based on the questions and feedback we got working closely with Eastern European jobseekers.

  • I.M. Pistoff

    Skrill?! HA! I’m lucky to even log in once in ten attempts; an equal percentage of successful log-ins result in a successful payment. A goddamn joke.

  • Oliver Tectus

    The matter of wrongfully blocked accounts is true. I had a forum several years back that accumulated thousands of registered members. I opened a donation button through PayPal on the site. I received over 200 dollars in donations and PayPal froze my funds, held them for over a month, finally gave them back and blocked my account. To this day I have no clue why and they did not seem to want to explain it to me either. All I ever got back were automated responses.

    • Oliver Tectus

      About ‘suspicious activities’ and ‘proving they received the product paid for’ but there was no product, they were donations. I tried to explain this to the automated system but as you can imagine it was difficult.

  • Cy83r Dra90n

    They Forgot To Say One More Reason For The Alternative. Paypal’s CEO Supports Donald Trump!

    • Lexxs

      That seals my descison to never use them again.

  • Payment does take 1-3 days with Transferwise, but it takes way too long to initially set up. At the company I work for it took 3 weeks to verify with all the necessary documents. Passports, company info, etc. It was a nightmare.

  • MoeSyszlak

    I agree with the first point about not everyone being able to use PayPal. eWallets are the way forward, and I’d be looking to go with a payment provider who could provide this and options for all international customers. There are a few established ones like Adyen or Worldpay but I like what the new guys are coming up with, e.g. G2A Pay. They have good rates and an eWallet system.

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