Top 13 alternatives to PayPal for business

Panna Kemenes

If you run an online business, then you can have customers, partners, employees and suppliers based anywhere around the World.

PayPal can be great for domestic payments and transfers as it’s such a widely used service. But if any of your transactions cross international lines, it’s worth looking for an alternative to PayPal for business.

PayPal adds a currency spread of 3-4% onto the wholesale exchange rate for international payments.¹ On top of this, PayPal’s international fees run from 0.99 - 4.99 USD, and an additional 2.99% + a fixed fee for credit and debit card payments.²

When you add it all up, PayPal international transfers can be costly.

Make business payments up to 19x cheaper than PayPal
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If the PayPal Business account doesn’t suit your business’s need, you have other options. Here’s all you need to know about the top alternatives to PayPal for your online business.

Alternative to PayPal for business: Top 13

1 wise

Wise Business

Wise is a smart and safe money service provider that offers international money transfers throughout much of the world. You can arrange a transfer online, or through the Wise app, which comes highly rated for both iOS and Android phones.

What’s more, Wise Business can save you up to 19x compared to PayPal for business payments. This makes it a great alternative to PayPal for buisness. You can check out this independent study to see Wise vs PayPal savings you can make.

Wise uses smart new technology to connect local bank accounts all over the globe. And payments are made at the real mid-market rate, like the one you'll find on Google.

Wise only charges a small, upfront fee. Which means if you’re sending money internationally, you may be able to save up to 8x by using Wise rather than your bank when you send your money abroad.

With Wise Business, you’ll also get a Wise Business account with multiple currency balances. This is an especially useful tool if businesses are located in one country but have clients and suppliers located across borders.

You can store, send, receive and organize your money in dozens of currencies internationally, without crazy fees and exchange rates. Just a small, fair charge when your money moves between currencies.

    The account lets you:
    • Sign up for free
    • Say goodbye to frustrating monthly fees and account balance minimums
    • Receive domestic payments in several regions — like the UK, the EU, the US, and Australia — by generating your own domestic account details
    • Store your money in dozens of currencies and convert between them at the real mid-market rate for a small, fair fee
    • Make international money transfers to over 50 countries at the same exchange rate you find on Google for a fair fee — always stated upfront

    You can read the quick guide to find out how to easily open a Wise Business account.

    Start saving now with Wise Business 🚀

    2 skrill

    Skrill

    Founded in 2001, Skrill is based in London and specialises in low-cost money transfers, both domestically, and in over 40 currencies if you’re sending abroad. You can manage your money through an app, and withdraw your funds to a linked bank account. It’s possible to make a transfer to a bank account directly, or to a Skrill wallet held by another account holder.

    You can get a prepaid Mastercard through Skrill, including an option which is intended for travel use. Skrill also highlights the fact you can use your account for online betting and gaming. For regular users of Skrill, there’s a VIP club which offers perks and discounts.

    A heads up, though. Skrill advertises “no fee” international transfers but seems to make a bulk of their profit through offering poor exchange rates.³ So before you press “send money now,” check that exchange rate against the one you find on Google to find out what you’re really paying.

    If you read the information on their fees page they specifically note:

    For transactions involving currency conversion Skrill adds a fee of 3.99% to our wholesale exchange rates.⁴

    3 payoneer

    Payoneer

    As a company in digital payment solutions, Payoneer is something of an old-timer, founded way back in 2005. Payoneer is a popular service, integrated with other marketplaces, such as Airbnb, Fiverr and Upwork.⁸

    For international transfers, the fees vary depending on the currency being moved, and whether it’s coming from another Payoneer customer, via a receiving account, direct from a customer, or through a platform which has Payoneer integrated, such as Fiverr.⁹

    In addition, if you’re sending money to a bank account in a different currency, Payoneer notes clearly that they will charge up to 2% of the transaction amount when they make the switch, on top of any other fees that may be applicable.⁹

    4

    Xoom

    Xoom is a PayPal company, offering payments and remittances, globally.

    However, Xoom is specifically for person to person payments — useful if you want to remit money home, for example. But it wouldn’t work for business transactions such as paying a supplier invoice. Here’s how Xoom explains their policy in their online FAQ:

    Xoom is a person to person remittance service and does not support transactions for goods or business purposes. While you may be able to submit a transaction intended for a business, the transaction will eventually be rejected or the transaction will not be completed as the business receiving the payment will not be able to associate it with an invoice number.¹⁰

    In addition, even if you are using Xoom for personal use instead of business, make sure you [pay attention to Xoom’s international transfer fees. Xoom explicitly notes that they make money on the Xoom exchange rate, and you’ll likely find if you change the sending amounts that the more you send, the better of an exchange rate you’ll get.

    In addition to the transaction fee, Xoom also makes money when it changes your U.S. dollars into a different currency.¹¹

    5

    Google Pay

    Google Wallet and Android Pay both used to be popular options, but in early 2018, Google began bringing the two under a single brand: Google Pay.¹²

    It’s great for payments between friends and family, but you may not realize that you can use it for business, too.¹³

    Google Pay hasn’t made their stance on international transactions easy to find, in fact, there doesn’t seem to be any information available publicly stating whether or not international transactions are possible. Only a list of countries that Google Pay now works in.¹⁴

    On the positive side, Google advertises that businesses can integrate with its Google Pay API so your customers can start paying you in under a week. They also state that “you and your customers won’t be charged a thing when a purchase is made.”¹⁵ However, Google will ask you to submit a W-9 form.

    Google is required to report gross amounts (without adjustment for refunds, chargebacks, or adjustments) of payment transactions to the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by Internal Revenue Code §6050W. All payment methods currently supported by Google Payments are affected by regulation 6050W..¹⁶

    6

    NETELLER

    NETELLER is an e-money service, founded in 1999. There are options for both personal users, and merchants who want to use the system to take payments. You can make and receive international payments with just an email address.

    22 currencies are supported.¹⁷ There are also products like prepaid Mastercards available.¹⁸

    It’s worth looking at the fees if you’re considering using NETELLER, however, as these can vary widely depending on how you want to use the system.

    Funding your wallet, for example, comes with a fee depending on how you want to make the transfer. The fee ranges from completely free if you make a local bank transfer, to an more average range of 2.5% charged by many banks.¹⁹

    But not only do you need to watch out for upfront fees, there are also currency conversion charges to be mindful of.

    All transactions involving currency exchange are subject to a markup of up to 4.99% above the average daily interbank market rate, plus up to 3.99% foreign exchange fee.²⁰

    What that means is that you’ll be charged an additional 3.99% on a poor exchange rate if your transaction involves 2 or more currencies. Add that fee onto whatever you’ve already paid and that can be quite painful.

    Sadly, if you’re a NETELLER VIP member, the fees may not be much better. Their lowest VIP package still comes with 3.19% FX Fees. Whereas their highest package does get those FX fees down to 1.29%, but you’ll need to transfer to merchant, or buy and sell crypto to value of 600,000 USD per quarter.²¹

    If you’re a business that does transactions across borders, these fees can eat into your profit quite quickly.

    7

    Zelle

    Zelle, launched in 2017 by Early Warning Services, which itself is owned by major banks like Bank of America, BB&T, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo, definitely assures consumers that they are in experienced hands.

    With Zelle, you can send, request or receive money between person to person.

    If you’re looking for an international solution, Zelle won’t be it. It’s available only to senders and recipients whose bank accounts are located inside of the US.²²

    Unfortunately, Zelle business account is not compatible with all US banks. If you’re a business, you might want to check with your bank’s terms with Zelle to see if you’re eligible.

    The good news is that, if these are the type of payments you’re looking for, then for the most part Zelle is pretty simple to use. As a major upside, the service itself is fee-free, although it’s possible your bank may tack on its own charges.

    You just need the preferred email address or mobile number of the person you’re sending money to. If they have already used Zelle, then the money will go straight to the bank account they’ve already linked with their info, normally within a few minutes.²³

    8

    Stripe

    Stripe was founded in the US in 2010 and works in 25 countries. It’s set up mostly for internet businesses with all sorts of tools for billing customers, accepting payments, or even setting up a marketplace with a global payments platform.²⁴

    Customers love that Stripe’s tools can be used as-is or completely customized. So you can drop a single line of pre-written code into your website to accept payments there, or you can design your own payment flow if you’d rather, using the building blocks Stripe provides.

    You can even just add a plug-in to your website or blog, for the ultimate ease.

    Most pay fees for Stripe with a ‘Pay as you go’, in which case you pay a percentage + a fixed fee for all transactions. Although there are options to buy into a tailored package to suit your business.

    If you’re taking card payments domestically, there’s a charge of 2.9% + $0.30, with an extra 1% if your client pays with an international card payments.²⁵

    In addition, if there are 2 or more currencies involved, Stripe charges an additional 1% if currency conversion is required.²⁶

    Stripe also supports cheaper payment methods like local ACH payments, and, although supported, domestic wire payments may get a bit pricey.²⁷

    9

    Dwolla

    Dwolla is a US-based payment company, which allows American business users to facilitate local US bank transfers and online payments through their website. Like Stripe, you can either buy an off-the-shelf solution to get started, or use the Dwolla API to build your own, tailored payments options.

    Businesses can, through the ACH network, “send transfers to customers, receive transfers from customers, facilitate transfers between customers, and send ACH payouts or mass payouts.”²⁸

    It’s only available for use within the US at the moment, so international payments are a no-go. If your online business is currently trading globally, or if you might ever intend to reach customers, employees or suppliers based overseas, then Dwolla might not suit you.

    10

    ProPay

    Propay offers businesses solutions if you want to accept credit card payments online, take payment by text or email, and a whole bunch more.²⁹

    There are different services aimed at different types and sizes of businesses, from very small companies to larger enterprises, and even tools which are aimed toward people working in a specific field — like software vendors.

    With ProPay’s Global Payment processing you can pay out in more than 180 countries, and more than 130 currenciess.³⁰

    11

    Intuit

    Headquartered in California, Intuit has been around since 1983. Intuit is also the parent company of Turbotax, QuickBooks, Mint and Proconnect, offering a wide range of services for individuals and professionals.

    QuickBooks Payments is a neat solution for small businesses and professionals, allowing you to track income and expenses, estimate quarterly taxes, run reports, invoice & accept payments, even on their most basic of plans in the US.³¹

    When you invoice and accept payments on QuickBooks, you can accept credit cards and bank transfers for online or mobile payments, direct from an invoice which you have sent a customer.³¹

    You can choose the option to get a month’s free trial of the various packages, after which there is a monthly fee, plus any costs associated with various payment methods your customers may pay you in.³²

    You can also create and send your invoices by using our invoice generator or downloadable free invoice templates.

    The monthly plans and costs vary depending on where in the world you are, but there are several different levels of membership, at different prices, which offer different benefits.

      If you have international bills to pay, not only can you pay them at the real mid-market rate with Wise, but now you can also sync Wise with QuickBooks.
    • See your unpaid bills in real time and pay them seamlessly from your ‘Bills’ page on Wise.
    • Bill payments and any other Wise transactions will be synced, matched and categorized in QuickBooks for simple reconciliation.
    • Once connected, all bills you create in QuickBooks Online will automatically sync in real time to Wise, where you can choose which ones to pay.
    • All bill payments you make with Wise will be matched to the original bill in QuickBooks. They'll also be categorized into the right accounts. If no bill is found, each payment will simply be added as an Expense.

    Connect QuickBooks and Wise:
    Save time on reconciliation

    12

    2Checkout

    2Checkout offers a range of payment options. When it comes to global payments, 2Checkout offer 87 currency options in over 200 countries, giving them a fairly impressive global reach. If you need help, there’s a support team that can help you in any one of 15 different languages.

    2Checkout offers global payments, hosted checkouts, a payment API, shopping cards, and recurring billing.³⁴ You can either embed the code in your own site for a fully integrated payment option, or you can use a hosted checkout option, where you use the default options available online.

    In the US, the cost per transaction from each of your customers is currently3.5% + $0.35 for the smallest subscription package. However, if you’re dealing with international payments, prices can go up quite quickly.

    If your customer is outside of the US you may have to pay an additional 2% fee for certain countries.³⁵

    13

    Authorize.net

    Authorize.net is a payment gateway partner which was established back in 1996. You can accept card payments through Authorize.net in a number of different ways.

    You can take payment online, on a mobile, by mail or telephone if your customer sends you their credit card details, or in person using a card reader.

    This can be very handy for customers who do a mix of on and off-line selling. For example, if you have a craft business and sell at fairs, as well as through your website.

    If your business is based in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe or Australia, you can take international card payments, too.


    What to consider when choosing PayPal alternatives

    Let’s start at the beginning. What do you need to consider when choosing an alternative to PayPal for your online business?

    Don’t be fooled. Fee-free international transfers don’t exist.

    If a service claims to offer zero commission, or fee-free international money transfers, be wary. They may add a markup to the real exchange rate, so you'll end up paying a fee in this way instead.

    Moving money overseas can be a fairly complex process. There are costs involved, and the bank or money transfer service will also want to make a profit on the transaction.

    And you can bet that, one way or another, the costs will be passed on to the customer.

    Check the exchange rate carefully with Google before committing.

    If a bank or money transfer service list upfront fees, then, of course, you can check these to help you decide which service offers the best value.

    However, it’s also very important to check the exchange rates used by different international money transfer services.

    Check out the exchange rate that you’re offered for your currency pairing, and then compare it to the mid-market rate. The mid-market rate is the only real exchange rate — it’s what banks use to trade money on global financial markets. You can find it with a quick Google search, or by using a currency converter online.

    This matters because many services won’t offer customers the mid-market rate when they make an international transfer. Instead, they wrap a bulk of their profit into the exchange rate they use. That’s seldom a good deal for customers. Use the mid-market rate as your benchmark, and you can avoid being ripped off.


    Which is the best alternative to PayPal for business? Summary

    When it comes to running your online business, you’ll want to make sure you keep your costs down wherever possible, while still offering a great customer experience.

    It’s important to choose the right service for receiving payments and paying suppliers and employees — especially if you’re doing business internationally.

    Get it wrong, and you could find that the costs mount up quickly.

    If you’re looking for a global payouts solution or just need a way to accept money from your clients locally in a major region like the US, the UK, the EU or Australia, then Wise Business may be the low-cost answer you’ve been searching for.

    It’s good to know that there are lots of options which suit different business types. Check out the PayPal alternatives, and remember to review not only the fixed fees but also the exchange rates used, to make sure you get a fair deal for your business.

    The true cost of sending USD to GBP

    Sources:

    1. PayPal - Fees
    2. PayPal - Fees
    3. Skrill - International money transfers
    4. Skrill - Fees
    5. Payoneer
    6. Payoneer - Fees
    7. Xoom - Can I use Xoom to send money to a business?
    8. Xoom - Money transfer fees
    9. Google Pay
    10. Google Pay - Business
    11. Google Pay - Supported payment methods
    12. Google Pay - Tap to pay and online checkout
    13. Google Pay
    14. Neteller - Money transfer
    15. Neteller
    16. Neteller - Fees
    17. Neteller - Currency exchange fee
    18. Neteller - VIP
    19. Zelle - Can I use Zelle internationally?
    20. Zelle - How it works
    21. Stripe - Payments
    22. Stripe - Currencies
    23. Stripe - Pricing
    24. Stripe - Pricing of payment methods in the US
    25. Dwolla - ACH transfer
    26. ProPay
    27. ProPay - PayVision and planet Payment
    28. QuickBooks - Pricing
    29. QuickBooks - Payments
    30. QuickBooks - Exchange rates
    31. 2 Checkout - Hosted checkout
    32. 2 Checkout - Pricing
    33. Authorize - International

    This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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