Founded in 1998, PayPal was among the original enablers of online payment services following the dot-com boom. As a result, the company has grown to become one of the biggest online payment processors in the world.
The online payments giant processes billions of transactions annually and tens of millions of transactions each day. In addition to this, there are millions of websites around the world using PayPal as one of its core payment processing systems.
PayPal’s success in online payment services is partly down to continued innovation, investing heavily in research and development. The company also has multiple payment processing mechanisms, ranging from mobile apps, the PayPal One Touch feature, and PayPal payment links.
8 Best PayPal Alternatives
With such success, therefore, it is no surprise that numerous online payment processing companies emerged to compete with PayPal. Some of these companies were founded by former PayPal employees with clear industry domain expertise in online payments services.
So, which are the best PayPal alternatives in processing online payments?
- Google Pay
Skrill is a leading global online payments processor best suited for expatriates, online merchant stores, gambling websites, as well as peer to peer payment transfers. The company supports a global customer base from more than 120 countries, while its digital wallet supports about 40 different currencies around the world.
Most of Skrill’s merchants are e-commerce websites and other digital vendors. The company processes payment transactions for some of the most popular digital brands across various industries. These include web hosting giant GoDaddy, stock image retailer Shutterstock, Royal Panda, Wix, Kinguin, Fotolia, and Ashley Madison among others.
Skrill is reputed for fast transaction processing and ease of use among the biggest online payments providers. It also boasts the industry-best lowest transaction fees, charging lower than PayPal, Neteller, and other cross-platform payment providers.
However, only Skrill customers in the European Economic Area can receive Skrill credit cards, even though others can apply for the Skrill virtual cards.
- Very simple to process payments
- Highly secured, transparent payment transaction
- Easily accessible around the world
- Suitable for online stores
- Slow support team in most cases
- Deposits on gambling sites are often problematic
- High payout fees to Visa cards
- Prepaid cards only available in Europe (EEA)
Payoneer is a global payment services provider with operations in more than 200 countries. It also supports more than 150 leading national currencies around the world and processes cross-border transfers, debit cards, as well as online payments.
A key Payoneer competitive advantage is its mass payments feature that allows business organizations to pay multiple people with a single click regardless of where each recipient is located around the world. The company boasts secure payment processing in a fast, practical, and efficient manner and is used by the biggest online merchants around.
Some of Payoneer’s biggest corporate customers include Airbnb, Amazon, Google, and Upwork among others. Unconventionally, Payooner also supports payment transfers to rival platforms, unlike its competitors in online payments processing. For example, while direct Payoneer to PayPal linkage is no longer supported, PayPal users can still connect their accounts to Payoneer Mastercards.
Payoneer enables its customers to send single or mass payments, receive payments, withdraw their funds, or even join the Payoneer partner network. For merchant solutions, users can integrate Payoneer payments in their checkout, accept escrow payments, and offer multi-currency checkout on their online stores.
- Simple and easy to use layout
- Very secure payments
- Easy to link to local bank accounts or 3rd party program APIs
- Totally free and accessible to anyone
- Easy to receive payments in different locations.
- Poor customer support services
- Prone to delayed payment processing.
Stripe is a world-leading digital payments processing company headquartered in San Francisco, US, employing over 4,000 people around the world.
The company supports payment processing for some of the biggest B2B and B2C companies around, such as Amazon, Slack, Glossier, Shopify, Airbnb, and Lyft, among others.
The majority of Stripe's business comes from structured collaborations with leading tech companies. For instance, the quiet Stripe-Amazon partnership allowed Stripe to process a large but undisclosed portion of Amazon's global transactions, while Stripe is believed to be the easiest way to support Apple Pay transactions.
Stripe payment services are accepted directly in at least 46 countries around the world. However, online merchants in unsupported countries can still access Stripe payment services using third-party payment processors such as Wise.com.
- Easy and quick to set up with customizable checkout flow
- Transparent pricing with fixed rates
- No setup, cancellation, or monthly renewal fees
- Supports several payment methods and currencies
- 24/7 customer support via phone, email, and live chat
- Open API and tools are difficult to use for non-tech customers
- Reduced functionality for in-person retail businesses and restaurants.
- Unexplained merchant account termination without recourse.
Authorize.Net is one of the leading online merchant account and card payment gateway services providers around the world. As such, the company enables its customers to process seamless payments for transactions of varying amounts.
Unlike PayPal, which provides wallets as well as processing transactions, Authorize.net only provides the software, applications, and APIs that online merchants need. These additional digital solutions route credit cards and other payments from the point of sale to the actual credit card processor.
These gateway solutions are especially useful for those online merchants that use virtual payment terminals, a website shopping cart, or even mobile payment processing. Authorize.Net allows merchants more payment options, however, including e-checks and phone-based payments. It also supports recurring subscription payments such as monthly billing.
Authorize.Net partners with numerous major online merchants, including Amy's, Acutrack, Bluedoor, and JotForm, among others. In total, the company has more than 430 thousand merchant accounts processing more than 1 billion transactions per year. However, Authorize.Net is not available in as many countries as PayPal is.
- Fast and secure payment processing
- Does not limit transaction sizes
- Supports multi-currency transactions
- Compatible with most online payment processors
- Too expensive for small businesses or startups
- Demands frequent password changes
- Difficult to process refunds.
Previously called TransferWise, Wise has grown into one of the best providers of online payment solutions around the world.
Wise is a better fit for merchant customers who transfer small amounts of money, with its lower fees and rates good for small businesses and individual account holders. The company has also reduced both the time lag and logistical costs of cross-border international money transfers.
Indeed, Wise customers also create a free account that incurs no monthly fees or minimum account balances. The account is then funded using any of the major debit cards, while customers can spend their Wise funds in the local currency.
With Wise, customers are not charged to receive money, while it is the cheapest online payment solution for sending international transfers. Sending money in foreign currencies other than US dollars is especially cheaper than PayPal. Wise also has lower currency conversion rates than both PayPal and traditional banks because the company uses its own accounts in the recipient's country.
- Borderless customer accounts
- Intuitive system design
- Sending money is easy
- Can process up to 1,000 payment batches at once
- Affordable fees with reasonable rates.
- Transaction size is capped with a maximum transfer amount
- Prone to sudden account deactivations
- Occasionally suffers low transfer speeds
6. Google Pay
Google Pay refers to the collection of different digital payment features offered by Google and arose from the 2018 merger between Google Wallet and Android Pay. It is available for all Android devices running the latest operating systems such as Android 5.0 and above, or the iOS 12.0 or a later version.
While different from PayPal and its contemporaries in origin and structure, Google Pay provides similar functionality at a high level. Indeed, the payment service allows customers to send and receive money transfers, while it can hold wallet balances just like PayPal.
Like other mobile payments and money transfer services, Google Pay is already very popular. Google Pay serves millions of customers from over 22 countries of the world. It has also partnered with more than 43 major national and international banks and can integrate with other third-party payment processors through the Google Pay API.
With Google Pay, users can store their credit card information for easy payment processing during in-store, in-app, online, or even in-person checkouts. The service also supports peer-to-peer money transfers.
Google Pay Pros
- Easy to set up and use
- High level of security
- Attractive promotion and reward programs
- Includes simple budgeting tools
Google Pay Cons
- Not accepted by most merchants
- Not supported on certain phones
- Lingering data privacy concerns
- No cross-platform support.
Founded by a PayPal alumnus, Square payments boasts of an impressive set of features that enable both online money transfers and easy check-out processing. The company was a pioneer in swipe-based contactless payments and now offers an all-in-one payment solution for both online and in-person payments.
Square payments are powered through a mobile app as well as the Square Point of Sale (POS) system for business check out. This attracted a varied customer base and has accumulated more than 25 million users with support for over 130 international currencies.
Square offers an integrated mobile payments solution that can process recurring payments, remit payroll, and offer virtual payment terminals, among others. The Square platform is feature-rich with numerous advanced eCommerce technologies. These include affordable chip card readers, POS systems, analytics, and reporting dashboards, invoice processing, inventory management, and customer support, among others.
This enhanced acceptance has made Square as big a force in digital payments as PayPal is, with its suitability to low transaction volume customers and support for in-store payments a particular attraction.
- Predictable flat-rate pricing
- Great support for low-volume merchants
- No monthly fees
- Free tools for selling online
- Not suitable high-volume companies
- Rampant account stability issues
- Not ideal for high-risk industries
- High fees for large businesses
Like Google Pay, Venmo is a different alternative to PayPal. It does, however, provide secure payment services to customers around the world.
Venmo's customer base continues to grow incredibly fast. Unfortunately, Venmo presently serves US customers only as it is not compatible with international bank accounts yet.
The company offers a predominantly peer-to-peer online payment service through a smartphone app. It is therefore especially popular among members of close-knit groups such as friends and family. However, this suitability to process small amounts has made Venmo the go-to mobile check-out solution for both online and in-store small businesses.
The Venmo app is compatible with iOS and Android devices and facilitates easy, fast, and effortless exchange of money. The mobile-based payment processing service is often accepted on such online merchant stores that accept PayPal.
The company is also suitable for users without a normal checking account who don't want to carry around loads of cash, while Venmo users can also buy select crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
One of the biggest Venmo attractions is its cashback program. Through the program, qualifying Venmo users are entitled to receive cashback rewards of up to 3% when they use their Venmo debit or credit cards.
- No monthly or annual fees
- Supports online or in-store payments
- Ability to maintain a cash balance in the account
- Social media-style features are appealing
- Charges fees for some services
- Weak user-level privacy
- Requires fee to avail money instantly
- No interest on money held in the account
Did I miss out on any other PayPal alternatives? Let me know in the comments section.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Rahul Pandey