PayPal Alternatives in India: All you need to know

Aman Saxena

At a quick glance, PayPal - with its global reach and online platform- can seem like a good option for you or your business to receive money in India.

⚠️ Yet if you look closer, you’ll see that there are high transaction fees of 2.5% + a fixed fee for payments in India and ranging from 3.4%-4.4% + a fixed fee for international payments.¹

Add on a marked up exchange rate and extra steps of taking the money out of the PayPal wallet and to your bank account, and the whole PayPal process can feel long, expensive and complicated.

But the good news is that there are lots of different options out there to help you make receiving payments a breeze.

Stripe, Instamojo, Skrill, Payoneer and Wise are all options for online payment platforms that can be used in India 💸

Whether with low fees, real exchange rates or payments directly to bank accounts, you can save money by looking at some of the alternatives available. But they all aren’t the same.

Let’s take a look at how each of these options work when it comes to important parts of a transfer, like the exchange rate you get and transfer fees.

Say you are sending $1,000 USD from the United States to India, here is how these payment providers shape up:

ProviderExchange RateTransfer fees
Stripe²Market exchange rate + 2% conversion fee$43 at a 4.3% fee
Wise³The real mid-market exchange rate9.26 USD
InstamojoInternational payments not readily available, only on request$30 at a 3% fee
SkrillWholesale exchange rate + 3.99%Free, but a withdrawal fee of Rs. 415.60
PayoneerWholesale exchange rate + 2%3%

Stripe

  • Integrated APIs for your online business
  • No monthly or setup fees
  • Accepts over 135 currencies

Stripe is an online payments platform that should make the developer on your team happy. With easy to use APIs and a smooth online payment platform, the US-based Stripe is a popular option. While still fairly new to India, Stripe offers competitive transaction rates on domestic payments.

Wise

  • Uses the real exchange rate the banks use
  • Free account for money transfers
  • Send money to 150 countries

Wise is used by over 8 million customers globally for their money transfers. Using smart technology, Wise gives customers a low fee that they will know upfront and the real exchange rate on all transfers.

And you will also know the delivery time upfront too. For more flexibility, Wise offers a multi-currency account for qualifying countries.

Open your free Wise account now

Skrill

  • Online wallet, payments platform and marketplace
  • Charges you for depositing and withdrawing funds from your wallet to your bank account
  • Accepts international payments and cryptocurrencies.

More along the lines of an online wallet, similar to PayPal, Skrill does also offer money transfers. In addition to buying and selling crypto currencies.

But using Skrill can take more time than anticipated as you will always have to make sure your wallet is full before sending any funds. And the fees can feel higher than necessary.

Payoneer

  • Free transfers to other Payoneer customers in USD, JPY, GBP and EUR
  • There is a charge to withdraw money into your bank account from Payoneer
  • Local bank details to get payments in USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, AUD, CAD, and MXN

Payoneer is a cross border online payment platform and wallet. Payoneer is one of the few providers that provides local billing details to get paid in other countries at the local currency. But similar to PayPal, once you get a payment in your Payoneer wallet there are fees to withdraw money to your local bank account.

Instamojo

  • Only processes transactions in Indian Rupees
  • Free NEFT/ RTGS/ Bank Transfer transactions
  • A free plan and a paid yearly plan are available

The Bangalore-based Instamojo has a specific focus on making e-commerce payments easier in India. While there is a free plan that you can sign up for and use, you will get hit with a higher per-transaction-fee than if you opt for their paid yearly plan.

For international payments this may not be optimal because even though they accept international cards, with a fee, they only process transactions in Indian Rupees.

Doing business overseas and need to receive international business payments? Wise could save you money.

PayPal business accounts let you get payments from abroad, but it may not be the cheapest way to do international transactions. With one transparent fee and an exchange rate that is the same one that you see on Google, Wise can save you money on every transaction.

Wise offers Indian businesses and freelancers with account details in 8 different currencies to receive payments from abroad. Your clients pay you with a local transfer in their currency, and you receive rupees in your INR bank account — with eFIRC for every transfer. That is truly business without borders.

Get started with a Wise Business Account 🚀

What to consider when choosing your money transfer provider

Take a look at some of the key factors to consider when choosing your global money transfer provider.

Total cost of transfer

You can be surprised by how many different parts can make up the total cost of your transfer. If you look closely at certain providers, your total cost can include transfer fees, conversion fees and hidden fees added to the exchange rate.

The true cost of sending USD to INR

The real exchange rate is the rate that the banks use themselves, and is the same one you’ll find on Google. This is different from other providers who give you an exchange rate that is weaker than the real exchange rate by sneaking a hidden fee in the marked-up rate you get.

Transfer speed

Whether to hold a reservation for a holiday or if you’re sending a last minute gift, transfer speed can play an important factor to determine which provider to go with. Often some providers charge different fees depending on the speed you need your transfer delivered.

If you’d prefer immediate or as close to immediate as possible, check out the providers that use smart tech to make money transfers fast.

Convenience

With so many options available online, there isn’t a good reason to continue going down to a physical branch to make global money transfers. But on top of being online, would you prefer having an app you can easily access from your mobile?

Choose a provider that works with how you do your banking, whether online or through an app, or offline.

Currencies supported

What are the different currencies that you need now, and will need in the future, to send money in? As far as supported currencies, the more the merrier is the best way to go.

A lot of providers have a bent towards North American or European countries’ currencies, so find a provider that is able to access more of the world. That way you won’t have to have multiple providers with different accounts to send money globally.

Trust

You’re sending your hard earned money across the globe so you need to trust that it reaches where it needs to go, on time and at the stated cost- without hidden fees.

On top of that, you can talk to customer support and get the help you need when you run into an issue. Take a look at customer reviews and places like Trustpilot to help find a trusted partner.

Sources used for this article:
  1. PayPal India for business
  2. Stripe
  3. Wise
  4. Instamojo
  5. Skrill
  6. Payoneer

All sources checked as of 11 November, 2020


Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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