Photo courtesy of David Muir.
Aren’t we all looking for smarter, cheaper and more flexible ways to get paid online?
And no, we’re not just talking about PayPal.
There are other payment processors out there, and you’ll want to keep an eye on them because they might offer more flexibility for you and your customers.
After all, it’s important to take stock of all the different ways a customer might want to pay you. Who knows, there might be another option that might give you a new insight on how to interact with your customers.
Let’s take a look at some of the widely used PayPal alternatives.
Amazon Payments, also called Amazon WebPay, is a common alternative to PayPal. Developed by e-commerce giant Amazon, the service enables its users to send and receive money without any set-up or monthly fees. Their standard transactional rate is 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
Funding your account is simple and can be linked to your credit card or bank account. In having a system that exists free of charge, Amazon is hoping that you spend your money on other services they offer.
One of the downsides with Amazon Payments is that you can’t withdraw an amount smaller than $10. This probably won’t be a huge problem, but it’s something to be aware of.
Dwolla works across many business environments, ranging from online transactions to brick and mortar storefronts. The flexibility of payment options benefits users who need to accept credit cards and take payments across multiple environments.
Unfortunately, it does cost $0.25 to receive money. Although the fee is small and can benefit you if you usually process larger sums, it may be a turn-off for some users.
Google Wallet is a versatile option offered through your Google Account. Think of it as a virtual wallet that allows you to spend money both online and even in some stores. Google has a wide array of great services and this one is no different.
This service has become fairly popular, because it’s fully supported by Google and is even integrated into Gmail. Most people also love the ability to store their money in one place and have the ability to spend it across multiple platforms, online and in person.
There are two downsides to this service. First, a small percentage fee is charged on each credit and debit card transaction. Second, there is also a few limitations on the places where Google Wallet is actually accepted. So far, it’s only available in the US. If Google continues to pour more energy into the resources, you can bet it will expand.
Stripe is another popular PayPal alternative. It’s a useful service because it doesn’t require you to have a gateway or a merchant account. Indeed, they handle everything from storing cards and subscriptions to paying straight to your bank account.
There are no setup or monthly fees, and they only charge you when you earn money. Currently, that would be 2.9% + 30 cents per successful charge, but make sure to check the website for their latest fees.
Braintree is a payment platform that makes it easy to accept payments in your mobile app or on your website.
The standard price is 2.4% and $.30 per transaction, but that includes unlimited access to their support. What’s good about Braintree is that there is no minimum transaction fee and just like Stripe, there is no monthly fee, either. You could also use it for recurring billing, which is useful if you’re running a membership site.
Unfortunately, it’s only available in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Australia, but they have plans on expanding to other countries soon.
The following services focus primarily on businesses with a storefront. They use mobile technologies to help businesses process payments.
Square is one of the first companies to focus solely on mobile technology for payment processing.
Square gives you a free card-reader that plugs into your smartphone and allows you to accept payments. The setup is easy: you link your Square account to your bank account, and accept payments through the card reader. Receipts are generally emailed, thus saving you paper.
The only drawback to this service is the 2.75% fee charged per swipe.
Moblized maintains a structure very similar to Square above, except they offer a different payment plan to their users. Basically, the company sends you a free card reader, and then you can begin to accept payments. There’s also no contracts involved, which can be extremely attractive to some users.
Their payment plans involve a 2.69% fee, plus $0.19 per swipe. Depending on the amount of transactions you’re processing this can be slightly higher than other services.
Over to You
You’ve now been introduced to a few PayPal alternatives. The market will continue to grow and new alternatives will appear. By staying up to date, you’ll be able to make sure you’re getting the best deal when processing payments, whether in person, or on the web.
Have you used any of the above services? Or do you know of any other useful PayPal alternatives? Please add your suggestions in the comments!