PayPal is the top service when it comes to online payments, processing more than $150 billion in payments per quarter. It’s generally an easy-to-use and secure way to send money when buying products and services online, but it does have its drawbacks.
Fortunately, there are several online and mobile payment alternatives available to businesses and consumers alike. Below you can read some of the best PayPal alternatives for making payments and sending money to your friends and family.
PayPal Alternatives For Business
One of the biggest questions regarding PayPal alternatives for businesses. What services can businesses use to use online and mobile payments instead of PayPal? There are several options available that can be used by businesses of all sizes.
Amazon’s payment service was first accepted by consumers in 2007. Since then, Amazon Pay has taken on several different guises, including the now-defunct WebPay service. Never heard of WebPay? It was Amazon’s answer to PayPal, but stopped operating in October 2014.
Amazon Pay is a great payment acceptance option for online services for several reasons. If you’re already using Amazon, there’s a good chance the online marketplace stores your existing credit or debit card details, speeding up the checkout process.
Furthermore, you can use Amazon Pay to login and make purchases on many sites using the Login and Pay services. The same service also provides additional protection for consumers, as well as vendors who use these services.
While Amazon Pay no longer offers a personal payment service (e.g., person to person), the security found in its Login and Payments service makes it an excellent choice. Vendors will also find Amazon Pay a strong partner to help grow their business.
2Checkout is a payment processor that acts as an intermediary between you and the payer. You can accept credit cards, debit cards, and even PayPal as payment options. There is also the option to accept payments in more than 80 currencies.
2Checkout adds a layer of management to your online payment processing. Vendors can create weekly or monthly payment plans through recurring billing options. There is an extensive backend with add-ons and extensions, while the 2Checkout management panel contains a wealth of user and payment data to help you manage your payment processing.
The ease of use associated with international payments makes 2Checkout a useful option for many businesses. There are indeed some drawbacks.
Stripe is one of the most popular PayPal alternatives for accepting online payments. There are many services that prefer Stripe payments to PayPal and for good reason. It’s also one of the easiest payment options if you’re setting up an online store (Read How to Quickly Create an Online Store Using Shopify).
Stripe handles a large number of incoming online payment processes, with a very fair fee structure to boot. You can collect payments online using a variety of payment methods, and Stripe automatically transfers incoming payments to your bank account. You also have access to an extensive payment processing backend, full of data to help you analyze your sales.
There are no hidden fees or changing payment fee brackets with Stripe. Each transaction has a 2.9% fee + $0.30 per successful fee, but no monthly fees or deductions. However, your money can take a few days, which is a definite loss for Stripe. Furthermore, payments from international cards will incur an additional 1% transaction fee.
Traditional Merchant Account
Having a merchant account from a bank gives you the ability to accept credit cards directly. There is often a monthly fee, and you must comply with PCI Board security standards. However, if you do a lot of business and need to integrate a payment solution into your shopping cart or system, this is the best way to do it.
Ask your local bank about a merchant account or do some research to see if there is an online solution that fits your needs. Be sure to find a reputable provider that also doesn’t have a bad customer service record.
However, if you’re not going to be doing a significant volume of online business, or you’re content to use another service to process your payments, don’t worry about getting a merchant account.
PayPal Alternatives For Friends and Family
This PayPal alternative lets you send money to your friends and family directly. Some cross-over services with PayPal alternatives for businesses, without a doubt. However, if you want to send money worry-free, check out these PayPal alternatives.
Google Pay, formerly known as Android Pay and Google Wallet, is Google’s mobile payment processing option.
As you might judge by its name, Google’s payments app has gone through several iterations. At one time, you could use Google Pay’s predecessor as an inter-to-pay and peer-to-peer (P2P) payment application. Then, Google decided that you can only use this service as a means of P2P payments.
In its current iteration, Google Pay is an all-in-one mobile payment system. You can use it to make payments to your friends, at your local bar, supermarket store, and so on. The Google Pay digital wallet stores debit, credit, and loyalty cards, allowing you to make payments using your smartphone’s NFC chip.
Google Pay focuses on making mobile payments easier. “But Gavin, don’t all payment services do that?” Of course, they did. But Google Pay lets you send money to anyone with an email address or phone number, even if they’re not a Google Pay user. Recipients can cash directly to a bank account or debit card, providing almost instant access to your money.
Similar functionality is now also available for Gmail users.
Apple beat Google for mobile payments, when Apple Pay hit iPhones worldwide in 2014. Since then, Apple Pay has gone from strength to strength and as of this writing has nearly 400 million users. Apple Pay isn’t limited to just the iPhone. You can use Apple Pay from your iPad or Apple Watch, too.
Apple Pay allows you to upload credit, debit, and store loyalty cards for use with NFC payment terminals. It also makes it super easy to pay your friends and family for part of your bill, or send your kids a few bucks in time of need. One downside, at least compared to Google Pay, is that your payees must also use Apple Pay to access the money sent to them.
You can still send money to someone, even if they don’t have the Apple Pay app installed. But to access and cash out their money to a debit card or otherwise, they have to install Apple Pay.
WeChat Pay is a digital wallet and payment service available to WeChat users. WeChat is one of the largest messaging services in the world (Read 7 Messaging Apps You Can Use on Your Phone or Computer). Every WeChat user has the option to use WeChat Pay. WeChat’s sheer number of over 1.1 billion users at the time of writing means that WeChat Pay registers a large number of users.
Even though China has the highest number of WeChat users, the app is growing in popularity worldwide. This growth is partly due to Chinese users in different countries introducing the app to others.
However, it belies the role of WeChat owner Tencent, the Chinese tech giant. Tencent owns and operates hundreds of companies. As such, WeChat has seen integration with other Tencent services, including social media sites and gaming platforms.
Facebook Messenger Payments
Some people will have doubts about trusting Facebook with any form of payment information. After all, the social media giant has a dire privacy record. Still, the integrated Facebook Messenger Payments comes in handy for several reasons.
First, Facebook Messenger Payments is very easy to use. Find your friend in the Messenger app, select Pay, and add the amount. Second, you can send and receive money from your friends and family free of charge.
Finally, there is a strong chance that your friend already has a Facebook account. Sending them money via the app requires no additional tools, keeping the entire payment process fast and simple.
What Are The Best PayPal Alternatives For Online Payments
If you need to send money between friends and family, choose one of the four options above. Apple users can opt for Apple Pay, mainly because it integrates well with Apple and iOS products. However, those with Android (and iOS!) devices should consider Google Pay, which offers a similar service without Apple’s limitations.