The 6 Best Alternatives to PayPal

Adam Rozsa
21.06.22
5 minute read

PayPal can be a great option if you want to send money to friends and family, or make online payments to businesses.

As a business owner, PayPal also offers a range of payment solutions to allow small businesses to get paid online and in person from all around the world.

However, depending on the transactions you need to make, you might find that using one of PayPal’s competitors might work out cheaper.

That’s where this guide comes in. We’ll explore alternatives to PayPal, and who they might suit - including the Wise account for individuals and businesses managing payments across currencies.


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📝 Here's the list of the 6 best PayPal alternatives:

Skrill

Skrill¹ has been around since 2001, and is one of the most established PayPal competitors. You can open a Skrill account to make and receive digital payments and manage your money through the Skrill mobile app.

Skrill business² customers can open a merchant account to accept payments online. You’ll be able to integrate Skrill as a payment gateway, so customers can choose this option when they choose to check out their shopping cart. Business customers can hold and receive 40+ currencies in their accounts - but there are fees for currency conversion which can be 3.99% - 4.99% depending on the transaction type³.

Skrill might be the right alternative to PayPal for you, if you need to send and receive payments to other Skrill customers - these transactions are typically fast and free, so long as there’s no currency conversion required.

ProsCons³
  • Established company with both personal and business accounts
  • Send and receive international payments
  • Skrill to Skrill transfers are free
  • International transfer exchange rate markup of up to 4.99%
  • Inactivity fee of 5 EUR or currency equivalent per month
💡New to Skrill? Get a full Skrill review here - or check out a more detailed Skrill vs PayPal analysis here.

Wise

If you want to make international online and mobile payments, with cheaper fees and a faster delivery time compared to bank transfers, a free Wise account might be the perfect alternative to PayPal for you.

Open an account online or in the Wise app to hold and exchange 50+ currencies, switch between them using the real exchange rate with low transparent fees, and get paid like a local from 30+ countries.

Account holders can send payments to 80+ countries, with funds being deposited into the recipient’s bank account for convenience. You’ll also be able to spend and make ATM withdrawals all over the world if you order a Wise debit card.

Wise personal accounts are free to open, while business customers can open an account for free, and pay a one time 54 USD fee to upgrade and get all the functionality on offer. Business accounts come with handy features like batch payment solutions, a powerful API and integration with cloud based accounting software.

See how much you can save with Wise:

The true cost of sending USD to GBP

Google Pay

Google Pay⁴ is the digital wallet and online payment platform brought to you by tech giant Google. Google Pay is available on all Android and Apple phones too. If you’ve got a Samsung phone, you’ll also have the choice of Samsung Pay as an alternative to Google Pay.

You can use Google Pay by adding a debit card or credit card to your account, to make online and mobile payments and send money to friends and family.

However, Google Pay isn’t as broad reaching as PayPal when it comes to international transfers - in fact it’s only able to support payments within the US, Singapore or India.

ProsCons
  • Make online and mobile payments easily
  • Shop online with your linked cards
  • Popular and easy to use mobile wallet service
  • Not all features are available in all regions
  • Peer to peer payments only in the US, India and Singapore
💡Google Pay might be a good PayPal alternative for you if you’re most interested in making easy, secure mobile payments from your Android phone. Get our Google Pay vs PayPal full guide here.

Venmo

Venmo⁵ has over 83 million customers already, who use the service to send money instantly to friends, family and businesses. Sending a Venmo payment is easy, and because you can include a note, emojis and more, there’s a social element to it which makes it great as a way to split bills and pay back friends. Businesses can also accept Venmo payments online, in app and in person.

If you’re considering getting Venmo, here are a few handy tools to learn how to use the service:

One of the main drawbacks is that you can’t use Venmo to make international transfers.

ProsCons
  • Easy, instant, social payments
  • Huge user base within the US
  • Business and personal account options
  • USD payments only - you can’t send money overseas
  • You need to be a USD resident with a bank account and local phone to get an account
💡If you’re looking for a service that allows you to send money to people based overseas easily, you might benefit from these Venmo alternatives for easy international payments.

Payoneer

Payoneer⁶ accounts are aimed at freelancers, service providers, ecommerce sellers, and people working in digital marketing. You’ll be able to open a Payoneer account to receive, hold, spend and exchange major global currencies, making it easy to get paid from international marketplace platforms, and to pay your own suppliers and contractors.

Fees may apply when getting paid directly from customers, including a 1% ACH fee and a 3% credit card fee⁷. However, if you use your local receiving account details to be paid by bank transfer, you may be able to avoid costs, depending on the payment value.

ProsCons
  • Get bank receiving details to get paid by local transfers from overseas
  • Get paid directly from marketplaces and ecommerce platforms
  • Working capital solutions available
  • Businesses and entrepreneurs only - not for personal customers
  • Only major global currencies offered
  • Fees apply when receiving payments from customers and marketplaces
💡Take a look at alternatives to Payoneer, or check out this Wise vs Payoneer head-to-head review here.

Stripe

Stripe⁸ is a payment processing platform which offers software and APIs used by millions of companies to accept payments, send money and manage their businesses. Stripe can be used by new businesses as well as huge established companies, with a range of solutions to suit all. As well as payments, Stripe offers financial service solutions and business operations products like tax accounting and risk management.

Stripe fees include 2.9% + 0.3 USD/card and wallet payment, +1% for international cards, +1% for currency conversion - or you can custom-make a package for your business which includes the services you require⁹.

Stripe might be a good PayPal alternative to look at if you’re interested in building a suite of business services and want to pick out the features that match your specific needs with a custom-built package. Get a full Stripe vs PayPal review here, or check out these other handy resources:

ProsCons
  • Huge, established company
  • Broad range of solutions for different client needs
  • Buy an off the shelf package or design the Stripe solution that’s right for your business
  • Business services only - not for personal customers
  • International payments come with higher fees

Choose Wise for business to connect with more customers and cut your international transaction costs

If you’re looking for a PayPal alternative to suit your business, you could cut costs and connect with more customers by choosing Wise Business. Open a Wise business account for a one time 54 USD fee, to get access to a Wise business account, which is packed with business friendly features.

Hold and handle 50+ currencies, get international debit cards for you and your team, currency exchange which uses the real exchange rate, and your own local bank details for 10 currencies, to get paid fee free from customers all over the world. See how far your business can go, with Wise.

Get a Wise Business account

Frequently asked questions

What is the best alternative to PayPal?

PayPal is an enormous company with a very broad range of services and products for individuals and businesses. Many PayPal alternatives have a somewhat more narrow niche - which means that the best PayPal competitor for you will depend on exactly what you need to use the account for. As an example, Venmo might suit you if you want to make free instant USD payments to friends, while the Wise account for individuals and businesses is a great choice for anyone transacting internationally frequently.

Is Google Pay similar to PayPal?

Google Pay lets you make online and mobile payments, and send money to friends in the US, India and Singapore. PayPal offers similar services - but also has a broader range of functions including credit services and more.


  1. Skrill
  2. Skrill business
  3. Skrill fees
  4. Google Pay - availability
  5. Venmo
  6. Payoneer
  7. Payoneer fees
  8. Stripe
  9. Stripe pricing

All sources checked on 21 June 2022


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 TransferWise 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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