Paypal was a pretty disruptive technology when it first came out, the idea that you could send money from one person to another with just an email sounded so freaking insane at that time. However, Paypal has exorbitant high fees that can go up to 8% if you count in the currency markups that many people like me to deal with.
In this article, I’m going to share all the different PayPal alternatives in 2018 you can use to pay little to no fees when it comes to transferring money or settling payments.
Paypal Alternatives 2018
There are going to a lot of different alternatives to Paypal given below, starting with sites similar to PayPal but that charge you less in fees to methods that can possibly give you more money in your bank account than the other person paid but require a little more technicality.
There are many factors that will come in when you are making your decision among the following Paypal Alternatives; your residence/ country of operation, your type of business, your clients and also your technical background.
The Best Paypal Alternatives in 2018
- Transferwise (Get your first transaction for free)
- Bitcoin (or other crypto currencies)
- Payoneer (Get $25 for free)
Transferwise is my first recommendation as a Paypal Alternative for international transactions as their fees are incredibly low. Transferwise was started by the guys behind Skype and is backed by Richard Branson.
For any international transfer, the fee is only 1%, which is 1/3th of Paypal’s transfer fees. At the same time, they also offer exchange rates at the mid-market value ie the rate on Transferwise is almost equal to the rate you will see on Google unlike with Paypal where there’s a ~3% markup on the currency rate.
Another cool thing is TransferWise now offers its users an Online Bank called a Borderless Account, which is great as you can now have a bank account in United States Dollar’s, Euro’s and Pound’s along with local bank details in each location so that you can accept direct deposits and wire transfer using Transferwise!
TransferWise also plans on coming out with a debit card linked to the borderless account, if that happens Transferwise will be a one-stop shop solution to online banking and transferring money.
The only negative of Transferwise is that it only works for international transactions and not domestically.
Bitcoin will probably be the method with the lowest amount of fees in this list but requires a little bit more technical knowledge compared to the rest. If you don’t know what Bitcoin is or have just read headlines about it, do your own research before dabbling in it.
Bitcoins are getting a little mainstream or maybe I’m just stuck in a tech bubble where it seems like it is. But Bitcoin’s aren’t a single site or a service, it’s a decentralized and peer to peer cryptocurrency. Exchanging bitcoins from one person to another is as simple as sharing an “address” or QR code. To exchange it to your local currency you can sell your Bitcoins at an exchange and withdraw the money to your bank account.
Based on your country of operations and the exchange you use the price of Bitcoin and the fees may vary, in certain countries, the price you can sell your Bitcoin for is higher compared to others. But compared to Paypal the fees are insanely low.
I personally use Bitcoin/Altcoins as my most preferred method of payment, followed by Transferwise and you might want to too.
I’m from India where Bitcoins used to be sold at a 10% markup due to scarcity, so I get an extra 10% in my bank (instead of Paypal eating away 8% in fees and exchange rates). For example, when a client of mine buys 1000$ of Bitcoins from Coinbase and sends them to me, I can go to Zebpay or Coinsecure (which are the 2 biggest exchanges in India) and sell those and I’ll end up with 1100$ in my bank account. So yeah….I have no love for Paypal anymore.
Search “Your country bitcoin” on Google to see how easy it is to use Bitcoins in your country and what they sell for in the exchanges. For the US and most of the developed world where country arbitrage doesn’t work, using Bitcoin as a payment method will probably just take a few bucks for the mining fee but nothing as much when compared to Paypal fees.
Use of Bitcoin as a payment method will depend on your employer, client, business etc and also on your location and the. A freelancer working on Upwork can’t really use Bitcoin or if your company doesn’t know what cryptocurrency is, it might be hard to convince them to use this “bitcoin thingy”.
This is not financial or investment advice, I’m not recommending buying bitcoin. The above recommendation was to use it as a payment method, not as an investment. I am not a financial advisor, Do your own research before investing.
Payoneer used to be my go-to payment services and the best PayPal alternative I recommended before I started using Transferwise. It’s one of the oldest guys on this list and is a great alternative to Paypal due to their low fees and good exchange rates.
The plus is that if you signup with the link below you get 25$ for free, once you transact 1000$!
I still personally use Payoneer to receive my payments from Amazon.com’s Affiliate program to receive my commissions as they provide a local US bank account where I can deposit funds since Transferwise closed their Borderless account for Indians.
— Jeremy Noronha (@JeremyNoronha) October 11, 2018
Payza is another popular alternative that’s getting a lot of buzz.
Payza offers all the services that Paypal does while at the same time it allows you to accept and withdraw your balance in Bitcoin and also use other altcoins. It supports all the other major currencies of the world and over 190 countries including India, Pakistan, and Nigeria.
It also offers a Mastercard debit card, and the 2-factor authentication as a security feature is really great to see.
If you run an e-commerce store, Stripe is the go-to payment gateway for your site. Use by major companies like Shopify, Lyft, Slack, and Kickstarter, Stripe has been around for a while and is loved by everyone for its ease of use.
It’s a US based company but it accepts applications from around the world if your country isn’t on the list but Stripe has a program called Stripe Atlas that help you incorporate a company in the USA & they also do all the leg work and open a bank account for you.
Stripe works with a lot of the platforms on the internet and they open source documentation is an ease to work with. Stripe accepts all major debit/credit cards from 135+ countries and there is no setup fees or monthly fees. The fees are 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction. You can also accept payment in Bitcoins using Stripe payment processor.
Best Paypal Alternatives 2018
So which is the best alternative for PayPal in 2018? Well, there’s no single answer because it depends on a lot of factors and your exact circumstance.
So do you use one of the PayPal alternatives above? Let me know in the comments below! Cheers, Jeremy
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