Billions of dollars are transferred through millions of accounts every single week. Money goes from bank to bank, from country to country, and from customer to shop. We send more, shop more and spend more than ever before, and all of that means everyone is constantly on the lookout for the best ways to send money online.
Send Money Online: PayPal Alternatives
We have nothing against PayPal here on DebtReviews. We’e actually big fans of the service and have discussed it many times before, including our guide to PayPal Credit and Working Capital, and our discussion of PayPal Scams. But if you're looking for ways to send money online there’s a good chance you’ve already dismissed this service. After all, everyone knows about it and everyone has used it.
So, for this guide we'll focus on PayPal alternatives as we look at the best ways to receive money and send money online.
You can use this service to send money to anyone in the United States that has a Gmail address, which pretty much accounts for 95% of the online population. It’s quick, easy, and thanks to its connection to Google it’s also very accessible. It could be one of the better PayPal alternatives out there right now, especially where US customers are concerned, but it is somewhat lacking for business customers and self-employed individuals.
- Can send money to anyone with a Gmail account.
- Can receive up to $50,000 every 5 days.
- Very user-friendly and basic interface.
- One of the better options out there for quick payments between friends.
- Much more limited than PayPal.
- Lacks the intricacy and options of other web wallets.
- Can only request money from people in your contacts.
- Not as well suited to invoicing as other options.
Stripe is moving at a great pace right now and is quickly becoming the payment option of choice of many businesses around the world. It’s not just a PayPal alternative, it is a service in its own right and one that could soon rival PayPal in terms of size, features and user-base.
- Great for business clients.
- Integrates easily with Woo-commerce for e-commerce WordPress websites.
- Takes all major credit cards and many more payment methods.
- Works in over 100 countries and in many different currencies.
- A one-stop solution for your e-commerce website or self-employed business.
- There is a charge per transaction.
- You will need to understand WordPress.
- Not good for personal users and doesn’t work with eBay.
Neteller made waves in the online gambling industry when it first launched, and it has been riding those waves ever since. PayPal wouldn’t let its services be used for online gambling, which only made sense for a US company, but this excluded the vast number of non-US gamblers out there. Neteller saw the gap in the market, they seized it, and they used those online gamblers to grow into a significant force.
- Many transactions are cheap, with no hidden fees.
- Transfers processed quickly.
- Decent customer support.
- They charge a processing fee for most withdrawals.
- Currency conversions can be expensive.
- Not available in as many places as Skrill.
- Not very popular in the United States.
Skrill is currently the biggest PayPal alternative in the world and in some parts of Europe, as well as some industries, it is bigger than PayPal. It is owned by the same people behind Neteller and the PaySafeCard and while many PayPal users prefer it, the ones that do seemingly have issues with PayPal and if you look at how these two compare, Skrill falls short in many areas.
- Can setup an account anywhere and send and receive money in many currencies.
- Fast alternative to PayPal that offers plenty of features.
- Available in 7 major languages.
- Transfers processed quickly.
- Has a number of prepaid cards available.
- Can be expensive to send, receive and withdraw money.
- Support is very slow and poor, taking weeks to reply to emails.
- Not accepted in as many places as PayPal.
- The ID verification process can be lengthy.
- Deposits can be expensive (up to 7%) even though they are free through PayPal.
- Expensive currency conversions.
Other Ways to Send Money Online
Some of the following options don’t necessarily facilitate receiving money, nor do they operate in the same way as PayPal. However, they can all be used to send money online and should be considered if this is what you’re looking to do.
- Transfer Wise: A super cheap way to send money in different currencies around the world. The percentages charged are very low, much less than what high-street banks and even web wallets charge.
- Venmo: An Android app that you can to send money to other users. It has a huge user-base, but it is only available in the United States. It seems to very popular with younger users, but it can be used by all.
- Chase Quick Pay: Although this service is provided by Chase Bank, you do not need to have an account with them in order to use this service. You will need to signup though and once you do you will need to connect your account to another bank account or card.
- Moneygram: A fast and secure way to send money online and a good choice for our non-US readers.
- Apple Pay: This can be used in many stores and it integrates fantastically well with Apple devices. If you do not have those devices, however, then you can’t use it.
- Braintree: A highly secure option that can be considered as a PayPal alternative, even though it actually lets you make and accept payments using PayPal. It is designed for in-app purchases and website purchases, not unlike Stripe.
- Western Union: Another option for our non-US users, Western Union has gotten a bad name due to the amount of scammers using it to launder money in the past, but it’s still a good option and one that has grown over the years.
- Bitcoin Wallet: Don’t discount this cryptocurrency service when it comes to sending money online. If you have a Bitcoin wallet, which is free and available to everyone, and you have some Bitcoins (which you can get through a number of exchanges) then you have all you need to send money online and to receive it as well. It’s just a case of giving your wallet ID to someone who wants to send you money and using someone else’s when you are sending them money.
- Dwolla: This app is somewhat similar to Venmo. It has a fixed fee of $0.25 for all transactions, it is only available in the United States, and it’s quick and easy to set yourself up with an account.
- Square: A great PayPal alternative for self employed individuals who need to invoice clients and receive money from a host of businesses and individuals. You can create invoices on the website and in the app and it offers many straightforward solutions for professionals.