PayPal may be a household name, but that doesn’t mean it is your best option for sending money around the world or for accepting payments at your ecommerce store. There are many options that offer better rates, faster sending speeds and more options when it comes to accepting payments for your business.
We’ve listed out some of the more popular alternatives and highlighted what features they have that PayPal doesn’t.
Sending money internationally
While it can be convenient to send to another PayPal account, this can come with a cost. Both PayPal’s currency exchange rates and fee schedule are often less favorable than dedicated money transfer providers. Check out some of the alternatives to PayPal for transferring money outside of the US.
WorldRemit covers fewer countries than PayPal, but typically has lower fees and more competitive rates for the countries in its network.
Why pick WorldRemit instead?
- Cash pickup available
- Home delivery available
- Transparent fees and exchange rates
- Mobile airtime account transfers
- Low maximum transfer
- Low daily transfer limit
- Requires a government-issued ID
Xe Money Transfer
Xe is designed to transfer money abroad so you’ll be unable to transfer money within the same currency, which is something PayPal offers. However, Xe does not charge any transfer fees and offers competitive exchange rates to save you money in the long run.
Why pick Xe Money Transfer instead?
- No transfer fees
- Allows for maximum transfers nearly 50x greater than PayPal’s standard account limits
- Bank-to-bank transfers only
MoneyGram pairs with Walmart to offer more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide, which makes it a good option for sending cash fast. MoneyGram has a large pool of services for sending, receiving or financing.
Why pick MoneyGram instead?
- 350,000 agent locations in over 200 countries and territories
- Fast transfers, with same-day service in many global locations
- Low minimum transfer of $1
- Home delivery and cash pickup options
- Fees vary depending on payment type and transfer destination
- Agent location exchange rates may vary from online quotes
Sharemoney has lower limits and country availability than PayPal, but its cash pickup and home delivery options make it a good alternative.
Why pick Sharemoney instead?
- Low minimum transfer amounts
- Low transfer fees
- Online exchange rate calculator displays exactly how much will be sent
- Door-to-door delivery in as little as 48 hours
- Cash pickup options
- Limited availability around the world
- Exact location must be specified when sending cash pickup
- Low maximum transfers
- Only offers one-time transfers
Accepting ecommerce payments
Deciding how you want to accept payments for your business is a crucial step toward success and there are many factors to consider when picking what payment option you’ll use, including the following:
- Fees. Services often charge both transaction fees and monthly fees, which can add up quickly. Evaluate the typical amount of payments your business will accept and seek out a payment provider that fits your needs.
- Integration capabilities. Make sure that your chosen payment processor will work flawlessly with the platform your ecommerce store is built on as well as your preferred online shopping cart.
- Niche options. Are you trying to appeal to a specific country’s market? Perhaps you want to accept payments in cryptocurrencies? Use this to help narrow down the market.
- The cost of free. Many ecommerce payment providers offer a free plan with restricted services, which may limit the earning potential of your business. It may be the case that paying more upfront can save you money in the long run.
Stripe is designed with developers in mind, so if you plan on using it and have no developer experience, it may be a bit daunting at first. Stripe claims that “payments [are] a problem rooted in code, not finance.” Stripe isn’t as confusing as it first appears and when you dive into its APIs, you’ll discover a huge array of flexible tools for ecommerce.
Why pick Stripe instead?
- Customize Stripe’s payment forms as much, or as little, as you’d like to fit your business
- Manage recurring payments and subscriptions
- 24/7 phone and online chat support
- Used by businesses in more than 100 countries
- Pay-as-you-go pricing charges 2.9% + $0.30 per successful card charge
- Add an additional 1% if any currency conversion is required for international payments
- Premium customer support starts at $1,800 per month
Square may have started as a convenient mobile payment device used by individuals and businesses, but it has since grown and added online payment support for e-commerce websites. Square has straightforward fees and does not charge any startup, statement, authorization, business card, refund, or PCI-compliance fees.
Why pick Square instead?
- Recurring payments are free, a service that PayPal charges for
- Integrates with popular ecommerce software like WooCommerce, OpenCart and Weebly
- Ecommerce transactions cost 2.9% + $0.30
- Features like removing Square ads, abandoned cart emails, advanced ecommerce statistics and more are locked behind paid plans
Google Pay does not charge any fees for accepting payments, so it is free for both merchants and customers to use. It allows your business to accept payments through online checkout, in-store checkout, ecommerce platforms and even through integrated passes and reward point systems.
Why pick Google Pay instead?
- No monthly subscription or transaction fees
- Integrates with dozens of online checkout systems and ecommerce platforms
- Customers can connect their PayPal accounts to their Google Pay
- In-store payments require contactless technology, such as near-field communication (NFC)
Authorize.Net launched in 1996 and is a payment gateway that offers 24/7 support, accepts all major credit cards and even accepts PayPal as a payment method. Business owners can easily sync their transaction history to their QuickBooks account after filtering transactions through 10+ configurable fraud filters to protect themselves.
Why pick Authorize.Net instead?
- All-in-one plan offers perks like fraud prevention, recurring payment solutions, a merchant account and e-check processing
- Easily sync transactions to QuickBooks
- 24/7 customer support by phone or chat
- No free plan, base cost is $25 per month and 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
- Limited currency support when compared to other options
Sending money domestically
PayPal is often used domestically to send and receive money, so it is important to consider other cash transfer options that are restricted to the US. Check out our guide on the best ways to send money to family and friends within the United States to learn more.
Cash App is a straightforward, no-frills way to send money to friends and family. Use this app to pay friends back after a night out or to pay your roommate your portion of rent. This app focuses on being simple to use and easy to set up, and when you confirm your identity, you can increase your sending limits.
Why pick Cash App instead?
- Free when transferring from a bank account
- Can hold funds in your Cash App balance to use in the future
- Simple to use and has two-factor authentication for added security
- Standard deposits to your bank account can take one to three days, but they are free
- Instant deposits to your debit card cost 1.5%, with a minimum of $0.25
Zelle operates as a bank-to-bank transfer service that is slowly replacing the native transfer apps many banks offer. Chase QuickPay, for instance, now routes its transactions through the Zelle network. Use Zelle when you don’t want to trust a third party with your money, as Zelle relies on ACH transactions directly between bank accounts.
Why pick Zelle instead?
- Free to use
- Transfer directly between bank accounts using ACH, funds are never held in an escrow account like PayPal
- Transfers within minutes if your bank supports Zelle
- Not all banks support Zelle
- Transfer speeds and limits vary by bank
- Direct transfers only, no scheduled or recurring transfer options
Still looking for other options?
Alternatively, learn more about PayPal in our review.