PayPal.com is one of the most widely used and accepted online payment and money transfer services in the world. It serves as a secure payment method that you can use to shop online or send money to other PayPal users. You get to choose where the money comes from -- your credit/debit card, your bank account, or your PayPal account balance -- and your personal and financial details don't get revealed to the payment recipient.
Not everyone will be enamoured with PayPal, though. Its many different transaction fees can put a dent in your savings, especially if you make a lot of currency conversions, or send money to others via credit card or outside of North America. And some feel that PayPal overemphasizes security, to the point that transactions take a long time to complete and users sometimes find their actions on the website restricted for no obvious reason.
If you're looking for PayPal alternatives that have lower fees, try Google Wallet or Dwolla.com. Or, if you want sites like PayPal that offer greater flexibility when it comes to processing transactions with large amounts of money or in particular currencies, try Payza.com or Skrill.com, respectively.
Here are 5 alternatives to PayPal that get mentioned frequently.
Google Wallet is Internet giant Google's alternative to PayPal. It allows users to transfer money between their bank account or credit/debit card and their Google Wallet balance, and send it to other Google Wallet users. Most transactions on Google Wallet don't cost fees, but Google Wallet can't be used to pay for items (either online or in real life) unless you have a separate Google Wallet Card. This card is accepted wherever MasterCard debit cards are accepted. Google Wallet is only available in the U.S.
One of the largest PayPal competitors, this British-based money-management website was formerly known as MoneyBookers. It has low fees on international money transfers and allows accounts to hold money in one of 41 different currencies, but only allows you to have one type of currency in your account at a time (unless you get a "VIP" account). It also suffers from some of the same problems as PayPal in terms of customer service and user accessibility.
Though it's one of the newer and smaller websites like PayPal, this American-only start-up is quickly gaining recognition. Previously, it only cost 25₵ per transaction to buy something -- or send or receive money -- over $10. Now, it operates on a "freemium" model, charging no fees for purchases/sales or money transfers under $5000 ($10,000 for businesses).
Online marketplace mogul Amazon also has a free PayPal alternative. If you already have an account on Amazon.com, you can use Amazon Payments to check out on affiliated websites using the shipping and billing information in your Amazon account. That means no need for re-entering your shipping address or credit card details on every website that you shop with! The downside is that Amazon Payments no longer allows for money transfers between users, like some of the other services like PayPal do.
This website, formerly known as AlertPay, is very similar to PayPal. It includes many of the same features, such as secure payments, the ability to deposit and withdraw money in a separate account in over 20 currencies, and the ability to send and receive money with other Payza users. Payza's main difference from PayPal is in its fee structure, which tends to suit larger transactions (i.e. of $200 U.S. dollars or more).
Have you tried managing your money with these other PayPal-like options? Did they give you peace of mind, or did you feel like you were dealing with crooks? Are there any other online payment and money-transfer services similar to PayPal that you would recommend to us and our users? We'd love to hear from you in the comment section below, or on our social media channels!
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