Skrill and PayPal are both big names in digital payments, e-wallets and online shopping. If you’re new to the world of digital and mobile payments, you can get a full guide to PayPal here - or check out our comprehensive Skrill review, here.
And if you’ve narrowed down your search for the perfect payment platform to Skrill or PayPal, you’re in the right place. Keep reading for our full PayPal vs Skrill comparison to help you decide which is best for you.
We’ll also introduce Wise as a smart, fast and low-cost option to send and receive international payments. Open a Wise account for free online and get access to the world’s most international account, to send money overseas up to 7x cheaper than old-school banks.
|📝 Skrill vs. PayPal: Table of contents|
You can open an account with either PayPal or Skrill online. To open a Skrill account you’ll have to¹:
- Open the Skrill website or download the app
- Click Register, and enter your name and email address to create an account password
- You’ll then have to verify your identity by confirming your name, birthdate, address and ZIP code, SSN and occupation
- Next time you log into your Skrill account, you’ll also have to create a PIN or enable 2-factor identification for security
You may be able to verify your identity through the automatic process, which only takes a few minutes. If you can’t use the automated system, you’ll have to upload your identity and address documents manually.
To open a PayPal account, you’ll need to²:
- Open the PayPal website or download the app
- Click Sign up, and enter your name, address, phone number and email address
- You’ll be prompted to create an account password and security questions
- To get started shopping or sending money, you must add a payment method by registering your bank account or payment card
The process to open a PayPal account will only take a few minutes. Depending on the type of transactions you make, you may later need to provide additional documents to verify your identity.
Let’s take the PayPal Skrill battle over to availability. If you want a global account you can use all over the world, and you prefer to get customer information and support in a language other than English, you’ll want to check out the differences here.
It’s also worth noting that there are fees for global payments which apply with both PayPal and Skrill. More on the costs of sending money abroad, and a full PayPal to Skrill comparison coming right up.
|Available currencies||Send payments in 40 different currencies|
Send payments to 130 countries with PayPal and Xoom
Hold balances in 25 different currencies with PayPal Cash accounts
|International acceptance||Broad acceptance - however, Skrill has a list of non-serviced countries including much of Africa. Japan is a notable developed economy not served by Skrill³||Global acceptance in 200 countries|
|Customer support languages||Support online in 12 different languages with regional options including Spanish for US based users|
Support online in a broad range of global languages
Phone and email support may not be available in all the languages found on the website⁴
Looking for an even more global account? Skrill and PayPal aren’t your only options.
In this segment, let’s compare Skrill vs Paypal by looking at their transfer fees and exchange rates – and see how much money the recipient gets. In the comparison, we are also going to look at another alternative, Wise.
Say you want to send 1000 dollars to your German friend in Euros:
|Fee||Exchange rate||Recipient gets|
|Skrill||0 USD||0.8388||838.77 EUR|
|PayPal||4.99 USD||0.821497||817.21 EUR|
|Wise||8.93 USD||0.856||848.50 EUR|
As you can see, your friend would get more Euros with Skrill than with PayPal in this case. However, it appears that you could save 31.29 EUR with Wise in comparison with PayPal and 9.73 EUR in comparison with Skrill.
|💡 If what matters to you is getting low cost currency conversion, and transparent fees for sending international payments, you could be better off with Wise. Hold 54 currencies in your Wise international account, get 10 different local bank details and send money to 80 countries in just a few clicks.|
Whenever you choose a financial product, you’ll want to review all the fees and account small print before you get started. Both PayPal and Skrill charge fees for various transaction types, and the fees when dealing in different currencies can be especially high. Here’s a rundown of the key fees - get the full details online in your chosen account’s terms and conditions document.
|Account inactivity fee||5 USD/month after 12 months of account inactivity||Not applicable|
|Account deposit fee||Free|
Free to receive payments as long as no currency conversion is involved
If you have a PayPal Balance account, there are fees to add funds⁷:
3 - 3.95 USD to add cash in person or using the app
2% - 5% to add funds by check
|Currency conversion fee||3.99%||3% - 4% depending on transaction type|
|Cross-border transaction fee||Currency conversion fee will apply on any transaction not in USD||4% conversion fee when paying in another currency|
|💡 Want to avoid high currency conversion costs? Next time you need to send money abroad, take a look at Wise. You’ll only ever pay a small transparent fee per transaction with the real mid-market exchange rate every time. Open a Wise international account for even more benefits like a linked multi-currency debit card and local receiving accounts to get paid in foreign currencies for free. No account inactivity fee, minimum balance or monthly service charge - just easy, low-cost ways to hold, send and spend in a range of currencies.|
Both PayPal and Skrill offer cards linked to their online accounts. You can learn more about the PayPal prepaid Mastercard in this full guide - or check out the top line PayPal Skrill debit card comparison below.
|Skril prepaid card⁸||PayPal prepaid Mastercard⁹|
|Card order fee||10 USD order fee may apply|
Order online for free, or buy in a retail location for up to 4.95 USD
Express delivery fees up to 25 USD Replacement cards 5.95 USD
|Monthly card fee||No monthly fee 10 USD annual fee applies||4.95 USD|
|ATM withdrawal fee||2.50 USD||2.50 USD|
|💡 When you’re deciding which card to get, check out the Wise debit card as a simple way to avoid monthly card fees and the hidden costs of spending in foreign currencies. Withdraw money at home and abroad, spend online with your favorite international e-commerce stores, and pay for your travel - without any foreign transaction fee to worry about.|
Knowing you’ll be able to get support if something goes wrong with your digital payments is important. As both Skrill and PayPal are virtual services, you can’t head out to your closest physical location to get help and advice. Customer service is all managed online and by phone.
PayPal customer service solutions include:
- Comprehensive bank of FAQs available online
- Community forum to ask questions to other PayPal users
- Resolution center to open, manage and sort out complaints
- Customer service through secure messaging and by phone
Skrill customer service looks fairly similar:
- FAQ and troubleshooting section, including user guides
- Skrill VIPs get dedicated customer support on the phone and online
- Customer service support available by phone if you have a security issue with your account
- Social media contacts through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Still not sure about the relative benefits of Skrill vs PayPal? The right account for you is a personal choice and often comes down to which transactions you’ll make regularly, and your preferred interface. Here are a few pros and cons of each service to help you pick one.
- No account deposit fees⁵
- Skrill wallet is a simple place to hold, manage and send payments to others
- Skrill is not as well known or broadly accepted as PayPal
- Skrill account inactivity fee applies after 12 months of your account being dormant⁵
- No account inactivity fees⁶
- PayPal is broadly accepted as a payment option, so you’ll probably be able to use your account in most countries of the world
- You may need to pay for depositing money to PayPal if currency conversion is involved in the process⁶
- There are monthly card fees for the PayPal prepaid card⁹
Both PayPal and Skrill are reputable online payment systems with decent acceptance levels. No matter which you choose, you’ll be able to send and receive payments, shop online and on your mobile device, and manage your balance between different currencies. However, in both cases, there are transaction fees you’ll want to know about before you sign up.
Whether Skrill or PayPal is best for you will depend on how you intend to use your account. If you mainly need a payment option when shopping online, PayPal is probably more broadly recognized and accepted compared to Skrill. However, if your priority is to have a low fee digital wallet with a linked debit card, Skrill might be your better bet, thanks to the cheaper debit card service fee.
Shop around and check out a few different online account options before you commit to either Skrill or PayPal, so you know you’ve found the perfect account for your needs.
Open your Wise account online for free, with no monthly fee or minimum balance to worry about. You can hold 50+ currencies in your account and send payments to over 60 countries, using the real mid-market exchange rate every time. Manage your money on the go with the Wise app, convert currencies in seconds, and only ever pay low and transparent fees. No hidden costs or lousy exchange rates, just easy, intuitive ways to manage your money and send money fast and cheap across countries.
Skrill has leading edge security and is fully regulated in all the countries it operates in. At the time of writing, Skrill gets a 4.1/5 Great rating in user reviews on Trustpilot¹⁰.
Skrill is legal - and available - in the US for services including online payments and money transfers¹¹.
1]Skrill Help - What do I need to open an account?
2]PayPal Help - What information is required to open a personal PayPal account?
3] Skrill - Non-serviced countries
4] PayPal Help - Does PayPal provide phone and email support in the same languages the website is in?
5] Skrill - Fee information
6] PayPal - Fee information
7] PayPal - PayPal Balance account fees
8] Skrill - Prepaid debit card fee information
9] PayPal - PrePaid Mastercard fee information
10] Trustpilot - Skrill review
11] Skrill News - Does Skrill work in the USA?
All sources checked on 23 September 2021
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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