Monday, 7 October 2013

Alternatives and Competitors of Paypal Online Payment Gateway

Alternatives and Competitors of Paypal Online Payment Gateway

There are a lot of alternatives and competitor of Paypal online payment gateway services in the market which are boasting cheap, reliable and secure payment transactions for eCommerce websites. No doubt, Paypal is the most famous online payment gateway service provider but other competitors and alternatives to Paypal like Google Wallet, Amazon Payments, 2CheckOut, Dwolla, WePay, Stripe, BrainTree, Square, Moblized, Click2Sell, ClickBank, Payza, Propay, Skrill etc. are giving tough competition to Paypal. So if you are going to setup an eCommerce website for selling and receiving payments online from your customers, think beyond Paypal because you may find other online payment gateway services more useful and cheaper as compared to Paypal. Below list of Paypal alternatives and competitors helps you to compare various online payment gateway services as per their cost, setup fees, features, support etc. I have prepared a list of various alternatives and competitors of Paypal which one should consider before choosing Paypal online payment gateway services. 

1. Google Wallet

At the moment, Google Wallet is mainly used in the US but it accepts credit or debit cards from many countries. It acts like a digital wallet, more so in the US as you can tap to pay in-store with an NFC-enabled Android device. As for online shopping, there are a handful of online merchants that accept checking out with Google Wallet.

Unlike PayPal, Google Wallet is strictly for mechants, so you cannot send money to other Google Wallet users. However, there are no chargeable fees when using Google Wallet online or in-store, this is good if you’re shopping on one of their online merchants where it only accepts US credit cards and not your local one.

2. Amazon Payments

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.

3. 2CheckOut

I have used 2CheckOut on and off for many years, ever since Paypal started to mess me about and from time to time stop accepting sales from customers. In that time 2CheckOut has been there for me and has provided an uninterrupted service whether I’m selling physical goods or digital products. So long as your product is legal and ethical then 2CheckOut can accept you.

2CheckOut is a truly global payment processor. Not only do they accept clients from around the world but they also offer a dynamic shopping cart which will translate your product rices into any one of dozens of local currencies. In doing so you’ll help your customers to feel safer and will offer a clearer pricing structure – meaning better sales.

On the downside, be aware that the 2CheckOut order form that your customers need to fill in is considerably longer and more complicated than when payments through other Paypal alternatives like Clickbank or Click2Sell.

4. Dwolla

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.

5. WePay

WePay is designed to be the PayPal alternative. WePay is a simple, but powerful way to accept payments online. WePay provides simple tools to collect money. You can sell tickets to events, collect donations for fundraisers, sell items online, and send invoices.

6. Stripe

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.

7. Braintree

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.

8. Square

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.

9. Moblized

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.

10. Click2Sell

Click2Sell is a relatively new payment processor but in the few years it has been around it’s made something of a splash in the industry. The reason is that Click2Sell not only allows you to sell a huge range of products – including digital and physical ones – but also comes with two additional services not offered by many Payal alternatives; or indeed even Paypal themselves.

The first of these is a built-in affiliate program which allows you to recruit affiliates, track their sales and pay their commissions no matter where in the world they are. This alone has considerable value as it saves you using a third-party service and is a simple yet effective way to grow your traffic and sales.

However the second major feature really is unique; namely a built-in autoresponder. Using the Click2Sell platform you’re able to send out broadcast emails to previous customers of yours and this can be perfect for letting them know about a new product release or a promotion you’re running.

Bearing in mind the costs of signing up for your own autoresponder and the power of email marketing to boost your sales this really is an impressive feature and helps to make Click2Sell one of the most “complete” offerings of all the Paypal alternatives listed here.

11. Clickbank

Clickbank has a long-established pedigree in the “digital sales” market and are ideal for selling ebooks, software, membership site subscriptions and any other downloadable product you can imagine. They offer repeat billing (for subscription products) and a very simple application and set-up process.

Clickbank has also come a long way in the last few years in terms of features to help you grow your business. Not only can you add your own logo and product-photo to your order form and to create upsell pages to increase your revenue.

Clickbank also provides the facility to charge your customers a small initial fee (such as a dollar) and then the balance of the price at a later date (such as a month later). This may sound like an insignificant feature but in testing we’ve found it can significantly increase your overall sales volume thanks to the low risk that new customers take when buying from you.

These additional features mean that for digital goods not only is Clickbank a valid alternative; in many ways it’s actually even better because of the opportunities to easily increase your bottom line.

Payouts from Clickbank vary depending on your sales volume. Most accounts start out receiving their earnings every two weeks though it’s normally simple enough to change this to weekly payouts.

12. Payza

Out of all the Paypal alternatives Payza offers a feature-set that is most similar to Paypal making the transition that bit easier. You can, for example, send money between different Payza accounts, you can manually withdraw money fro your account into your bank account or by using their prepaid debit card and you can accept payments from other Payza account holders.

That said, at the time of writing it seems that Payza is having issues in the UK and has been restricting numerous accounts thus preventing customers from accessing their funds. In addition it seems that with a Payza account you’re unable to accept standard credit card payments; instead your customers need to sign up for a Payza account before actually ordering from you.

While Payza looks like a useful service, which hopefully will improve in the future, right now it seems that having an account with Payza is just as risky as continuing to do business with Paypal.

13. ProPay

ProPay is another alternative to Paypal that sadly only accepts US clients at the time of writing. While you’re free to sell products to anyone around the world, the account holder themselves needs to be US-based, and provide information such as your social security number and US checking account details in order to become authorized.

That said, if you’re a US-based business then ProPay may well make a suitable alternative to Paypal as they offer not just the ability to accept credit cards on your website but also a mobile swipe device so you can process credit cards in person using your cell phone. Recurring billing and a built-in shopping cart also come as standard with your account.

ProPay is also set up deliberately to help you accept payments on Ebay – something for which a Paypal account has been so essential for a long time. Now, if you want to sell on Ebay but you don’t have (or don’t want to use) a Paypal account then you may well find that ProPay is your best alternative.

14. Skrill (formerly Moneybookers)

I had such high hopes for Skrill. The feedback surrounding their service was good and the feature-set was very similar to Paypal.

Free setup, low fees and even a few nifty features like the ability to send text messages straight from your account makes Skrill a popular and user-friendly alternative to Paypal. For international merchants there is the additional benefit of being able to transfer your account balance onto a prepaid debit card for almost instant access to your funds.

Sadly, however, it seems that their service leaves a lot to be desired and in setting up a test account we were instantly declined before providing any real information on our website and business model.

Bearing in mind the approval process in place and all the information we needed to enter – just to be told we couldn’t have an account – it seems that Skrill isn’t currently worth the effort to apply to. Best pick one of the other Paypal alternatives listed here for a more reliable experience.

15. Paymate

Paymate is a great way for sellers based in Australia and New Zealand to get money from international buyers from many countries. Sellers from the two countries can use Paymate on their website or on Ebay Australia for a small fee.

As for the buyers, all you have to do is key in your credit card information to pay, taking away the hassle of creating an account. Although this means there’s no way to send money to another user, online merchants can take advantage of Paymate as an alternative payment. Also, your credit card details are not sent to the seller but handled securely by Paymate.

16. Payoneer

Payoneer is an interesting way to pay for online shopping. Registering for the service grants you access to a prepaid MasterCard which will be sent to your doorstep. Creating an account is free and you’re only charged when you activate the card. Once the card is activated, you can load money into the card from your local bank or other credit cards.

An activated Payoneer card can be used in many countries and in different currencies. Of course, maintaining the use of this activated card requires an annual fee. With the card, you can purchase items and even withdraw money from a MasterCard ATM.

17. Serve 

Serve is a new offering from American Express and is very similar to Amazon Payments. Link your bank account to Serve, and easily send and receive money using a web browser or smartphone app. The payments occur instantly, and you can send to someone at their e-mail address.

18. ING Direct Person2Person

ING Direct Person2Person, which comes free with a checking account, transfers money from your account to anyone else’s. It sends the recipient an e-mail with a link to a secure page on ING. They’ll then need to enter their bank account number, which can seem a little scary, but remember checks? Whenever you give someone one of those, you’re also giving them your account number. 

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