PayPal isn’t the only option for online payments. Here are eight PayPal alternatives.
PayPal is the electronic alternative to banking. It is the most popular global online payment facility. Every day, thousands (maybe even millions) of individuals and businesses from different parts of the world use it for a variety of transactions. With PayPal, you can take care of your online transactions while also managing your money. As an eBay subsidiary, it is the payment method preferred by majority of online vendors and auction sites.
Over the years, however, PayPal has been besieged by complaints. The most common complaint is its practice of freezing accounts without prior notice and without clear reason. One case that caused quite a media frenzy involved the blog site Regretsy.com, which was doing a Secret Santa campaign for poor kids. The site owner was asked to manually refund every contribution the campaign received while PayPal kept the fees for the transaction. The initial reason given was that the wrong button (Donate) was pressed, but this was later proven wrong. PayPal froze the account when the site owner complained and the 200 families who were supposed to receive the Santa money were left with nothing.
With all the media attention, PayPal eventually reactivated the account and even made a donation to the cause. A month after, however, another ugly incident was picked up by the media when a buyer disputed the label of a violin he bought and was instructed by PayPal to destroy the item and take a photo for evidence so he could get his money back.
Despite all the complaints and negative feedback, PayPal remains in the top spot. Many continue to perform business with them because they do not know of any other option. There are, however, many alternatives to Paypal. These substitutes offer basically the same services as PayPal. Here are eight that you might want to consider:
1. Payza (formerly AlertPay)
Many say that this is the best alternative to PayPal as it allows individuals and businesses to send and receive online payments efficiently. Pyza also uses the same process as PayPal, but with definitely lower transaction rates. Additionally, it also supports more countries compared to PayPal.
All that you need to do is provide a working email address, and this automatically becomes your account number. You can choose from three kinds of accounts: Personal starter (if you do not run an online store or website), Personal PRO (if you accept credit card payments and prefer no limits for the money you receive) and Business Account (if you need an unlimited number of email addresses for your account).
Pyza’s process has been proven fast and secure by loyal users who have been using it since its founding in 2004.
WePay describes itself as being “anti-PayPal” and claims to offer better services and features. It benefits non-profit groups and “individual merchants” who often run into complicated problems with PayPal. In addition, its customer-friendly system is preferred by a lot of online sellers and small businesses. In fact, after the Regretsy incident, those who left PayPal turned to WePay.
Although each transaction carries a flat rate of 3.5%, WePay is still a good alternative because it is relatively easy to use and manage. You can bill your customers and receive payments using an e-check or credit card. Best of all, the waiting period is only one to two days.
3. 2Checkout.com or 2CO
Checkout’s main function is to serve as the middleman between a seller and his or her customer. 2CO does not ask anything from the seller’s customer in order to sign up. No solicitation is necessary. It offers a 30-day money back guarantee–something that not a lot of online payment facilities offer. Additionally, a customer can cancel his or her account without paying any fees.
Although some may find 2CO’s processing fee slightly higher than the usual, its features will more than pay for this. Individuals with complex business transactions and high volume sales will greatly benefit from using this online payment system.
Skrill’s rates are way cheaper than PayPal’s, and it offers real time bank transfers. Funds can be received in three different ways: ATM withdrawal, bank account deposit, and through checks.
With its 10 million plus users in 200 plus countries, and accepting more than 40 currencies, UK-based Skrill is definitely the best option for those who regularly deal with international transactions.
Payoneer is the perfect solution for people who travel a lot and for those who regularly shop online. After signing up, customers are given a Payoneer prepaid credit card for use in online shopping. MasterCard ATM points can likewise be easily withdrawn.
Employers also prefer to use this online payment system because it allows them to pay workers’ salaries without hassle. Online employers are free to place the billing system into their websites. This is only possible, however, if you become a Payoneer partner.
If you want a well-organized online money transfer alternative, Google Checkout is the best option for you. Convenience is the number one rule here as all transactions are properly arranged on one page. The majority of users are online sellers who appreciate features like the Buy Now button, fast checkout process and the frequent payouts.
Users can make payments through their Maestro, MasterCard, Visa or Visa Electron cards. Google Checkout’s free registration, stringent anti-fraud measures and automatic connection to Google Analytics are the other high points that make it an excellent alternative to PayPal.
Escrow’s payment process is one of the safest, especially in terms of fraud prevention. When a transaction is done, Escrow does not automatically release the money to the seller or merchant. Instead, it holds the money until the ordered items are safely delivered to the recipient or buyer. The recipient then issues a statement to Escrow informing them that the delivery was successful. Only then will the money be released to the merchant. This system is also one of the reasons why Escrow is high on the list of merchants who sell expensive items like boats and cars.
This fraud-free, efficient and fast process online payment service is also popular for its excellent customer service, something that many PayPal users often complain about.
Last on the list is Xoom, an online money transfer service that allows you to track the status of your money via a unique tracking number. You can send funds through money transfer or by using your bank account or credit card. In case you need to pick up money, there are three options available to you: bank deposit, cash pick up, or home delivery.
Xoom can be used in more than 30 countries and allows transactions to be completed via MasterCard and Visa, among others. You can send or receive as much as $3,000 per transaction through this fraud-free online payment system.
These are just eight of the many PayPal alternatives that you can choose from. From time-to-time, new ones pop up. What’s important is that you try to do as much research as you can before deciding to stick with one. Some individuals and businesses, though, prefer to use more than one online payment facility as it offers them a lot of flexibility. You can choose to do this, too; what’s important is for you to find one that suits your needs.
Published or updated February 15, 2013.