November 14, 2016

Best PayPal Alternatives at a Glance

Yael Morowati

Experts predict that the entire market for mobile payments will reach up to $240 billion by the end of 2017.  Irrespective of personal or professional use, PayPal is undoubtedly the most widely used payment gateway.  Whether you’re a small business owner, a student, or a freelancer, having a trusted and reliable payment processor is an absolute must for everyday online transactions. But if you’re anything like me, then you like to have a few options from which to choose.

Depending on your needs, there are some great alternatives to PayPal since it has some serious disadvantages such as high transaction fees, withholding payments, and country-based restrictions.  Despite its obvious drawbacks, I plan to keep PayPal in my arsenal, but here are a few other options worth reviewing.

Best for Everyday Transactions: Google Wallet
With Google Wallet, you can store credit, debit, loyalty, and gift cards into a digital wallet. Make purchases and pay bills easily. Also, send money to friends and family by using Gmail attachments or an email addresses. Fund purchases or transfers through your Google Wallet balance or directly from one of your cards or bank accounts.  For in-person purchases, use your smartphone through NFC support.

Annual Fee: 
Free with Google account

Commission: Free + standard transfer charges

Accepted Locations:  United States


  • One single card
  • Airtight security
  • 24/7 Fraud Monitoring
  • Purchase protection
  • Tight Google account integration


  • Current limited availability
  • Not widely accepted
  • Standard transfer charges apply to transfer money into your Wallet


Best for Larger Transactions: Dwolla
Dwolla is a secure and simple billing alternative that allows individuals and businesses to accept or receive payments. Send and receive money from family and friends anywhere on the internet, using email addresses, business names, telephone numbers, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, or LinkedIn connections if they have an account aswell. Its MassPay feature allows you to send thousands of payments in a matter of seconds.  Transactions over $10 have a $0.25 fee.

Annual Fee: Free

Commission: $0.25 over $10

Accepted locations: United States


  • Free service
  • Low transaction fees
  • Simple user interface and support for Android and iOS
  • Easier methods of clearing payments


  • Not widely accepted
  • Transferring money to your bank account may take up to 2-3 days
  • No linking with credit or debit cards


Best for International Transactions: Payoneer
Payoneer is an award-winning payment platform for marketers, freelancers, small business owners and other professionals who send or receive money globally. It’s an excellent solution when it comes to processing international transactions.  Users can receive funds in two different ways: bank transfer or Payoneer’s reloadable credit card. Plus, you have an option to transfer money to other Payoneer users.  Transfer fees depend upon the country you live and in which currency you process your transactions. In addition, there’s a slight charge when you use your Payoneer Credit Card via an ATM to use your funds.

Annual Fee:

Commission: Depends on the country and currency

Accepted Locations: 
200+ countries, 150 currencies

Pros: Huge acceptance

Cons: Annual fee


Best for Instant Withdrawal: Skrill
Formerly known as Moneybookers, Skrill has become popular due to its features like free set up, low fees, prepaid debit card, and the ability to send text messages directly from your account. Skrill allows users to send money to email IDs belonging to other Skrill users. It allows instant withdrawal into the bank account of recipient (pretty impressive feature).  Once you receive payment, you can apply for a MasterCard debit card and withdraw the cash from an ATM, receive the funds via check, or deposit them directly to your bank account. Transferring money from your bank to Skrill is almost free if you use SWIFT Transfer.  With Skril’sl Prepaid MasterCard, you can use your Skrill account to make purchases in real life.

Annual Fee: Free + Commission structure

Commission: 1% + standard transfer charges

Accepted Locations:
200+ countries, 50 currencies


  • Wide acceptance
  • Low transaction fees
  • Instant withdrawal
  • Globally available
  • Top-level security
  • Skrill Prepaid MasterCard

Cons: Each country is charged differently

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