Why I left PayPal — and why I’m not going back


PayPal may be one of the most well-known and popular ways to pay or send money, but that doesn’t make it the best. Three former customers explain why they left PayPal behind to make their international banking easier and far less costly with Wise.

Wise is a new way of managing your money internationally for a fraction of the price of a bank or PayPal. For this article, we asked some of our customers to share why they switched to us. These are their words and opinions, and we thanked them for their time with a transfer credit. If you need to send money, you can join Wise here.

“With Wise, I’m guaranteed rock-bottom, low fees.”

Roberto, business owner from New Jersey, turned to Wise to manage payments for his online learning platform.

I worked in the corporate world for 27 years before starting my own business, a language-based educational tele-service that connects students and tutors from different countries. We wanted to make the cost of paying our teachers as cheap as possible, to make our prices more affordable for students. I used PayPal because it was convenient, but it was too expensive to be sustainable.

PayPal charged a fee for the transfer and on the currency, so the payments cost us roughly 6%, on average. When my business scaled up and the fees piled up, I thought, maybe there are better alternatives.

“It's not just for business owners like me — it works for everybody.”

One day I read an article about Wise — it was a game-changer. I was a little concerned because it was a new service. Ironically, I was the one who ended up making a mistake on a payment — I didn’t add the correct reference number. I was really worried thinking I would lose money. But the staff of Wise did wonders. They spent a lot of time trying to figure out what happened. It wasn’t a big transfer but I really felt like I was taken care of.

Since then, I’ve been using Wise routinely. Between myself and my teachers, it takes away the pain of deciding who swallows the fee each time. Now, I love being able to manage transfers from both sides of the ocean. The service keeps improving and our payments are typically complete in 2 days. It’s a no-brainer. It just works really well.

“I struggled to trust PayPal. It didn’t take me long to want an alternative that worked.”

Sam, British expat living in the Netherlands, uses Wise to send and receive money internationally.

Before Wise I used my bank or PayPal for international banking. I never found PayPal user-friendly, even though it’s so popular. Their customer service was very opaque, and I don’t think I ever spoke to a human there. I don’t plan to ever return to it for international payments.

I moved to the Netherlands in 2013 to complete my master's. My first hurdle was paying for my tuition. All of my money was still in the UK and I needed a secure, easy, quick, and cheap way to move it without paying hundreds of pounds. My bank charged an extortionate amount of money in international payment fees. I felt ripped off. Then, I found Wise and it was perfect, exactly what I needed.

"It felt like a weight lifted.”

My first transfer with Wise was for my rent — and it was free, thanks to their referral program. It was so simple. Now, I use it for almost all of my international finances. If my family or friends ever send me money, they do it through Wise and I withdraw it from my Dutch account. Wise’s account and debit card are invaluable for travel, too. I’d use it as my main bank account if I could. Over the years since I stopped using PayPal, I’ve saved a significant amount with Wise, and it has made things a million times easier for me.

Right now I work in learning and development for an international company. The biggest concern for new joiners is finding help with their finances. Wise is one of the first things I recommend.

For people in my generation who have student debt piling up, high rent, and might be living paycheck to paycheck — it's not all about being rich. It's about knowing how to make your money work for you and managing it well.

“With tools like Wise, my life as an expat is simpler."

Nicole, American expat living in Sweden, uses Wise to pay off her student loans and continue living without borders.

Eight years ago, I moved to Stockholm for my master's and fell in love with the country. I’ve been working here since as a digital marketing professional. For my student loans back in the US, my bank and loan provider recommended PayPal. I didn’t have any concerns because of how established it was.

But PayPal was very frustrating. Its customer service wasn’t very helpful. The sending limits meant I had to make 3 transfers, and their fees were high. It was a rip-off. I started looking for other options.

Around that time, a recurring question in a Facebook group for American expats was “how do I transfer money back to the US?” The predominant answer was Wise.

Setting up my account was easy. My first transfer went smoothly, and the fees were clear. I also got notifications along the way which calmed any anxiety I had.

“I’ve easily saved hundreds of dollars with Wise. For me that means enjoying life a little bit more and not being so worried.”

I'm still paying off my loans with Wise. I also have the debit card to use when I travel to the US. It's extra handy. Any money I have on that account, I can convert to USD without paying exchange fees. It's important that people who regularly transfer money are aware of what different services charge. Wise’s fees are fair. It's taken a large burden off my shoulders. I almost don't use PayPal for anything anymore.

Do you need to send money internationally? Wise is proud to help 9 million people just like you send, spend and receive money across borders. Set up your free account at wise.com, or through our Android or iOS app.

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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