paypal_flag

Alternatives to Paypal, 2014

This post will take a look at some options for expanding your online-payment repertoire to include options to supplement Paypal. I say “supplement” because no one service even comes close to matching the combination of reach, ubiquity, and range of services offered by Paypal. For better or for worse, Paypal will likely continue its top-dog role in the world of online payments and money transfers for years to come.

Nevertheless, if you have been burned by Paypal or have been struggling with certain aspects of the online payment network, such as high fees, long processing times, and its ability to freeze accounts, then there may be some viable options for you. But, which option will be best for you really depends on your particular circumstances.

Therefore, instead of giving you a straight list like most Paypal alternatives articles floating around, I am dividing the payment services into the following categories: Peer-to-Peer Money Transfers (US only), Online Money Transfer and Payment Networks, International Money Transfers and Payments, Credit and Debit Card Processing, and finally, Paypal Alternatives that Work with eBay. Though some of the online payment services can potentially fit under a few categories simultaneously, I will put each one in its main category but will also mention a few of the service’s other features so you can get an idea about what it has to offer.

Peer-to-Peer Money Transfer Service (US Only)

dwolla-logo
1) Dwolla- Dwolla’s nice is offering free transactions of under $10. Those above that threshold are just 25 cents. It’s available as a mobile app, working with both iPhone and Android.

Pros

  • Can send $ via Twitter, LinkedIn, to phone numbers, and e-mail addresses
  • All features are free except for bringing in $ over $10.
  • Can use it for online purchases
  • Can send 2,500 payments at once

Cons

  • 2-3 business days, cash to bank
  • instant requires $3 monthly fee

popmoney logo
2) Popmoney- This one is all about the bank account, allowing you to transfer funds from a checking or savings account to someone else’s account.

Pros

  • Works with existing bank security
  • Payment recipient can access funds by logging into own bank account, not Poppmoney
  • Can set up automated future payments

Cons

  • Sending more than $500 requires bank account, not credit card, and slows the process beyond the standard 3 days
  • Has daily cutoff times—if you miss these, the delivery rolls over to the next day

3) Venmo- This is a trendy and hip wallet app popular among the younglings. Sending money incurs no charge.

Pros

  • Since it works expressly for mobile devices, Venmo gives the mobility one needs for convenient, fast payments
  • Free to send with approved debit cards, your Venmo balance, and bank transfers. Credit cards incur a 3% fee
  • Proximity-sensing app populates a list with nearby venom users

Cons

  • Don’t worry, we won’t mention the hated Lucas Uses Venmo ads.
  • One main drawback is that most users are limited to $3,000 in transfers per week
  • Applicable in U.S. only

Online Money Transfer and Payment Networks

internal image, IPN

4) Intuit Payment Network- IPN is quick and light on fees. Transfers from bank account to bank account go through in 1-2 business days, at a flat 50 cent fee.

Pros

  • Can link to QuickBooks so that customers pay from your QuickBooks invoice, with transactions automatically recorded
  • Included Intuit Merchant Services allowing sellers to accept credit card
  • Bundles shopping cart software for ecommerce

Cons

  • Relies heavily on Quickbooks
  • $19.95 per month for credit card payments

5) Propay- This merchant account provider offers POS card swiping and a small skimming device called the ProPay FLASH card reader.

Pros

  • No monthly servicing fees
  • No cancellation fees
  • No gateway fees
  • Approved for use on eBay

Cons

  • Many complaints about the service online

6) Paymate – This provider allows merchants to accept payments without a payment gateway.

Pros

  • An accepted eBay provider
  • Buyers from 60 countries can pay with credit card with no Paymate account

Cons

  • Available only in U.S., Australia, and New Zealand

7) RippleWhile the name makes it sound leisurely, Ripple, as any payment network should be, is super fast. Payments clear in seconds. It works on the principle of the wallet and gateway, allowing users to send money worldwide, in any currency.

Pros

  • Payments go to anyone, globally, even if they don’t have a bank account
  • also involves XRP, a native digital currency

Cons

  • Users who lose their password will lose any money in their account

International Money Transfers and Payments

internal image, skrill

8) Skrill (formerly Moneybookers)—Executes bank transfers in real time

Pros

  • Works in over 200 countries with more than 40 currencies
  • Those in receipt of a Skrill payment can apply for a MasterCard debit card and withdraw funds via ATM
  • Competitive fees

Cons

  • Doesn’t have the greatest web reputation—do your research

9) Payoneer- Offers prepaid MasterCard debit cards for payments and travel.

Pros

  • There are more than 2 M Payoneer account holders worldwide
  • Available in over 200 countries in more than 60 currencies

Cons

  • Receipt of card can take up to 3 weeks

10) Payza (formerly AlertPay) – Allows you to send money to people in 200 countries.

Pros

  • Fees just 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction
  • Free rebilling option
  • Includes currency exchange
  • Offers APIs

Cons

  • ATM fees are 3% of transaction

Credit and Debit Card Processing and eCommerce Platforms

internal image, merchantinc

11) Merchantinc – Widely-used credit card processor.

Pros

  • Fees are $1.99% plus 25 cents
  • 100% eBay compatible
  • Funds deposited directly into your bank account

Cons

  • none known

12) Amazon Payments- For your customers who have Amazon Payments accounts.

Pros

  • No monthly, set-up, or cancellation fees
  • Many volume discounts available
  • Your customers will likely find it easy to use, with 1-click options

Cons

  • Initial funds will be held in reserve for 2 weeks when you first enter your account
  • Chargebacks cost $10
  • Fees are pretty high if selling in low volume

13) Square – Square is a magic wand that allows anyone with an iPhone, iPad, or Android to accept credit card payments from customers with an Amazon Payments account.

Pros

  • Fee is just 2.75% per swipe
  • Funds hit bank account in 1-2 days
  • Free point of sale app
  • Can print receipts using an iPad via wireless printer

Cons

  • Deposit limits
  • Tendency to reserve or freeze funds

14) BlueSnap – Specializes in digital commerce such as games and music. It’s available in 145 countries.

Pros

  • Easy to create a “buy now” model
  • Easy to create a “shopping cart” model
  • Allows merchants to offer deals and promotions at checkout

Cons

  • $10/month maintenance fees

15) Sellvana – Launched this February, Sellvana prides itself on simplicity, and is reputed to work very fast.

Pros

  • Sellvana is available as open-source software
  • It comes to us from the man who brought Magento

Cons

Too soon to tell

Paypal Alternatives that Work with eBay

The above-mentioned companies, Merchantinc, Propay, and Paymate all jive perfectly with Paypal. Here are others:

Allpay- UK, based, includes a payment app

Hyperwallet—Many points for the great name. Features pre-paid cards and an online wallet

Nochex- free set-up; no annual charge; no monthly charge

Xoom- It bills itself as “the easy way to send money around the world.” Locked-in exchange rates and manageable fees.