Top PayPal Alternatives for the Home or Small Business [October 2019]
PayPal is the largest online payment service around thanks to being owned by eBay. It is good at what it does, but is a perfect example of a service built around the needs of the company instead of the needs of its users. Customer service is woeful, charges are quite high, especially for currency conversion, and the arbitrary banning of accounts is no good for small businesses.
While PayPal has enjoyed market dominance for a number of years, the throne is changing becoming less certain. A range of upstarts and new ventures, as well as some big names in tech and finance, are joining the online payment industry. With the Internet of Things fast approaching and mobile payments really taking off, the time is ripe for some healthy competition.
Here are ten PayPal alternatives for the home user or small business that we think are worth checking out.
1. Google Pay
It’s inevitable that Google would want to get in on the action, and they have with Google Pay. It used to be known as Google Checkout and Google Wallet but has undergone multiple rebrandings in recent years. Google Pay is now a viable alternative to PayPal, but only if you’re a merchant. It works in conjunction with other Google services, links to your bank account, and works in a similar way to PayPal. It also has the advantage of working as a complete digital wallet, so you can enable NFC payments on your mobile device using the same service.
WePay is another alternative that makes paying online simple. This is another one for business and it uses a web API to include a digital payment terminal on your website. This allows customers to buy products and services there and then, making it a simple way to get into eCommerce with very little programming knowledge. The system is straightforward and works well, but doesn’t have the person to person payment capability of PayPal.
Skrill is a payment site that works for individuals. You can send payments to other users, pay with a debit or credit card, and send money across borders. Skrill is more a person to person payment platform rather than an all-encompassing one, which makes it better suited for freelancers and one-man online shops. Though it does support businesses, there are very few popular enterprises that accept Skrill right now.
2Checkout is a more rounded PayPal alternative for both home users and small businesses. It allows people to send money to each other and to pay for things online. You can transfer money and accept other currencies in over 85 countries. There are also invoice options, mobile payments, decent fraud protection, and the customer service is supposed to be pretty good too.
Authorize.Net is a serious-sounding name for a company that has been in the payments game for over ten years. It is more for eCommerce and business than sending money to friends, but works well and has a website that’s easy to use. The process is simple, the site is backed by over 430,000 merchants, and the security is supposed to be excellent.
If you run a small business, you likely have already heard of Intuit, as they own the accounting software QuickBooks. This is another business-oriented payment gateway but is one that works well, integrates with TurboTax, and offers many of the same invoice and eCommerce services as PayPal. You can’t pay person to person unless you meet certain requirements, so for individual sellers and freelancers, it will serve you better as an invoicing system. As a merchant, you can accept mobile payments and bank transfers.
Stripe works for both individuals and merchants and is a very popular choice. It automatically transfers payments to your bank account, allows mobile payments, accepts payments from both companies and individuals, and works well. What isn’t so great is the delay of a few working days before you get your money. While not a dealbreaker, it is slightly disappointing in the age of instant payments.
Payoneer is another popular PayPal alternative. It allows payments from people and companies, is available in many countries, allows mobile payments, and gives you a debit card that you can use in-person or at an ATM. Payoneer has a large global presence and is accepted in most places. The downsides are some hefty fees to withdraw money and use the card, though, so be aware of that before you join.
Dwolla is a universal payment gateway for app developers that want to integrate money transfers into their app. It’s a backend technology, so you can incorporate the technology all throughout your app without ever creating a gap in your user interface. This makes it a flexible option for developers who want payment options within their app that aren’t the typical, restrictive PayPal APIs. Dwolla allows you to send money to your users, your users to send money to you, your users to send money to one another, and your users to move money between their own financial accounts.
10. Amazon Payments
Amazon Payments is primarily for online merchants but has personal payment options too. It uses your Amazon account for everything, so it’s easy to log in and manage your finances. There are no fees for transactions under $1000, it has very good security, and is backed by decent customer service. The downsides are that you can only send money to U.S. citizens or businesses and integrating the eCommerce side of payments takes a little work. But if you’re an online shop, who better to partner with than the reigning king of online shopping themselves?
Founded in 2009, the-little-startup-that-could has exploded over the last decade. It’s safe to say that just about everyone reading this article has interacted with a Square payment system at some point in their life. Square started out offering small card readers that could plug into your phone, allowing small merchants to easily accept credit card payments with nothing more than their smartphone.
Today, they offer invoicing options, website APIs that give online shops a payment system, peer-to-peer payment methods, and more. For just about any kind of small business, whether you’re an online shop, a merchant at a farmers market, or artist selling through Instagram, Square has something that will work for you.
Venmo is yet another payment provider that has grown exponentially in recent years, offering a convenient payment system for individuals and small businesses. Though we should say that Venmo is really geared towards the smaller side of things, so more established shops and businesses will likely find Venmo to be a little lacking in terms of features and capabilities. The set up for Venmo is simple, and payments between users don’t accrue fees. You can even order a Venmo card (in different colors!) for free as well for those times when you don’t feel like waiting for your Venmo cash to hit your bank account.
I have tried to include a real mix of those geared up for businesses and those that work for individuals too. A couple do both credibly well and will work as a viable alternative to PayPal. Some are more popular than others and some deserve to be more popular than they are.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with PayPal, it has enjoyed market dominance for far too long. It is geared towards pleasing itself rather than its customers and you are often left at its mercy. However, it is by far the most accepted and well-known payment gateway out there for now so if compatibility is your concern you might want to select one of the bigger names on here.
Do you use a payment gateway I haven’t mentioned on this list? Know of one worth our time? Tell us about it below!