If you are doing business online, and you are looking for some good alternatives to Paypal to process your online payments, you are not alone. Paypal definitely sits on the list of companies that people love to hate.
NOTE: Every few months I update this post to help ensure that any of the Paypal alternatives mentioned here are actually worth looking into. The most recent update was in June 2021.
While the complaints against the online payment network are typically predictable (the fees are unreasonable and unclear, their customer service is severely lacking, and they have a penchant for closing and limiting user accounts– often without warning), the fact is that currently no one payment processor comes even close Paypal’s reach, fame, and range of services. For better or for worse, nothing is to stop Paypal from dominating online payments and money transfers for years to come.
So where does this leave you if you need to accept online payments, but don’t have a Paypal account because you can’t get one? Or, perhaps you don’t want a Paypal account in the first place because you have already been burnt by them, or maybe you are struggling with other aspects of the online payment network?
The truth is, unless you are using a third party service or platform that only plays nice with Paypal, in many cases there are adequate alternatives to Paypal that you could rely on. Plus, some of these options may give you features that Paypal doesn’t offer, such as seller protection for digital goods, lower fees for chargebacks, and an active customer success team.
Best Alternatives to Paypal for Different Needs and Situations
Since every individual and organization will be dealing with their own unique circumstances, instead of just listing alternative payment platforms, I’m going to break them down into categories based on a series of frequently asked questions:
How Can I Accept Paypal Payments When I Don’t Have a Paypal Account?
If you are looking for a way to accept Paypal payments from your customers without a Paypal account, here is a rundown of your best options. Just make sure you do a bit of research before choosing a payment processor keeping in mind the specific features, costs, etc. that are most important to your business:
2CheckOut– 2CheckOut is an online payment processor that accepts Paypal payments as well as major credit cards. They target a global customer-base and also offer a dynamic shopping cart that will convert your prices into local currencies- a feature that can definitely come in handy if you have an international customer-base. The biggest downside to the service is its order form which is much longer and more complicated than most other Paypal alternatives.
Click2Sell– If you are selling a digital product, such as an ebook, software, or even memberships, then you may want to look at Click2Sell. It’s dubbed as an “online affiliate marketing network portal.” What it does well is combine ecommerce with a strong affiliate network in one platform. Another notable feature is its built-in autoresponder. How can this help you? It means you would be able to send out broadcast emails to your customers to let them know about a new product release or a promotion without having to fork over money for an auto-responder.
Clickbank– Like Click2Sell mentioned above, Clickbank specializes in payment processing for digital products combined with a strong affiliate network. It’s a solid, one-two punch of services combined with a number of useful features, such as repeat billing (good for subscription products), the ability to brand your order form, and create upsell pages.
Fastspring– If you are selling digital goods and services- especially subscriptions- on the global market, and you are looking for an integrated, feature-rich ecommerce solution, then you may want to consider Fastspring. It’s a bit costly, though. With fees of 8.9% per transaction or 5.9% +$0.95. So, it’s not an ideal solution for smaller sellers.
Avangate– Like Fastspring mentioned above, Avangate is a robust global ecommerce solution specifically for digital goods. This platform offers some flexibility in terms of pricing. The cheapest plan is currently 3.99% + $0.84 per transaction if your sales do not exceed $15,000 per month.
How Can I Make Online Money Transfers Without a Paypal Account?
What if you are just looking to transfer money between friends, family, or peers? What if you don’t mind leaving Paypal behind completely in your payment processing? In this case you have several money transfer platforms to choose from:
Dwolla– Now that Dwolla let’s you pay for via its platform without signing up, it’s a very good option for those doing business online. All transactions cost a mere 25 cents, and if you are transferring less than $10 then it’s free. This goes for both P2P transactions as well as those conducted with a merchant.
Transferwise– TransferWise is directed at cost-conscious customers who need to conduct a large volume of international transfers. They offer attractive exchange rates as well as a TransferWise debit card. For businesses, it can also run payroll or batch payments, and freelance customers can receive payments. It’s free to open an account, and the fee structure is straight forward.
Popmoney– Popmoney is a free personal payments service that works with the banking security systems already in place in many top financial institutions across the country. Popmoney allows you to transfer money electronically from your savings or checking account to anyone in the country who has a bank account and an email address or a mobile phone number.
Google Wallet– Formerly known as Google Checkout, Google Wallet is another good online payment system to consider especially if your Gmail account sits at the center of your work flow. With Google Wallet, you can send and receive money for free from anyone in the U.S. with a Gmail address. If you want to send money through your credit card, then there is a fee of 2.9%.
Venmo– Easily send money to your friends or family instantly by mobile phone, email, or Facebook. Using Venmo is completely free as long as you are relying on either a bank account, accepted debit card, or your Venmo balance to fund your payments.
What are the Best Alternatives to Paypal for Online Money Transfer and Payment Networks?
Quickbooks Payments-Intuit’s Quickbooks Payments is actually a combination of its QuickBooks Merchant Service, GoPayment, and Intuit PaymentNetwork solutions. This new universal platform has all the payments, invoicing and money-transfer features you need and more. You can accept credit cards, debit cards, and ACH bank transfers, and can accept payments in variety of situations, such as online, by phone, or out in the field with a mobile reader. There are also several notable features: the money posts in 1 to 2 business days; you have the option of adding a payment button on your website an you can send payment requests to a customer’s email.
WePay– WePay allows you to send bills to customers and get payments by credit card or e-check. The service charges a flat 3.5% fee per transaction, with a 50-cent minimum fee. Like Intuit above, it takes only 1 to 2 business days for money to be sent to a confirmed bank account. You could also opt for a paper check to be sent to you by mail.
Propay– With ProPay, small businesses and sellers to accept credit card and debit card payments from all over the world. There is a simple fee structure, low annual fee, no gateway charges, no contracts, and no minimum monthly purchases. The funds are withdrawn with a ProPay Prepaid MasterCard or can be transferred directly to a US checking account.
Payline– With Payline you have a few different options for payment processing, such as mobile payments as well as online and in-store purchases. You can find out about their pricing structure over here.
Braintree– Though Braintree is actually a part of Paypal, it offers merchants in particular much more features and flexibility as well as better customer support. You can accept payments from PayPal, Venmo, credit and debit cards, and popular digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay in one system. Braintree also offers collection of recurring billing and the ability to store credit cards.
What Are the Best Paypal Alternatives for International Money Transfers and Online Payments?
Skrill– Skrill has more than 37 million users in over 200 countries involving more than 40 currencies. The fees are competitive and bank transfers are done in real time- two big pluses. Once you receive payment, you can apply for a MasterCard debit card and withdraw the cash from an ATM, receive the funds via check, or deposit them directly to your bank account.
Payoneer– Payoneer offers prepaid MasterCard debit cards for payroll and travel. Web based companies can apply to become a Payoneer partner which will allow them to pay their employees or organizational members with a MasterCard accepted all over the world.
Paysera– Quickly send and receive money from all over the world, exchange currency, and collect payments online and by SMS. Fees will vary with this platform depending on the type of transactions you need to process, but most of the charges are competitive for the online payments space.
Other Credit/Debit Card Processing Platforms to Use As a Paypal Alternative
Amazon Pay – Amazon Pay can be used as a payment processing option for any of your online customers who have an Amazon Payments account. The service can be a bit pricey, however, if your sales volume is less than $1,000 per month on average. Otherwise, each transaction will cost between 1.90%- 2.50% + $0.30. You can also use your account to make personal transfers of funds between other account holders.
Square – With Square, anyone with an iPhone, iPad or Android device can accept credit card payments using the free app and free card reader. The service levies a 2.75 % fee for swiped transactions and a 3.5 percent fee and $0.15 surcharge for any transactions that are entered manually. The funds are deposited directly into your linked bank account, and you can send your customer a receipt by email or print it out if you’re using an iPad hooked to a wireless printer.
Stripe– This platform was built with developers in mind. So if you’re not a developer, it may be a bit hard to figure out. Stripe doesn’t have its own shopping cart, but it integrates with third party platforms, such as Shopify. With Stripe, the payment forms are self-hosted, which means that the checkout process takes place on your own site, and that’s definitely a plus.
Selz– If you are looking for a simple online payments solution, then one of the easiest alternatives to Paypal is Selz. There is a flat transaction fee of 5% +$0.25, and users can sell from their blogs and even their social media pages.
WorldPay– WorldPay is a global payment processor serving various business types and forms, including mail order and online retailers. World Pay accepts a variety of online payment options, such as Apple Pay, mobile wallets, credit, debit, and gift cards, or direct debit. Fees start as low as 0.99% + $0.20.
Some Additional Payment Processors and Payment Gateways to Consider:
Authorize.Net– Authorize.net is a popular payment gateway that allows you to accept credit cards and electronic checks from websites and online auction sites.
PayLane– Based in Poland. PayLane Provides credit card processing and other popular payment methods.
Nochex– Based in the U.K. Nochecx is an online payment processor world. With a personal account, you can pay for online purchases as well as send and receive money from family, peers, or businesses.
Wirecard– Based in Germany. The platform offers online, off-line, and mobile payment processing.
If none of these options work for you, you could always ask someone with a Paypal account to accept payments for you, and maybe offer this person a small “processing fee.” Whatever you choose, just know that there are alternatives to Paypal out there. They may not be ideal, but they may save you a lot of aggravation and money.