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The Best PayPal Alternatives For Business: 13 Sites & Services Like PayPal

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Setting aside its role as a nearly ubiquitous P2P consumer wallet, PayPal is a comprehensive and trusted payment solution for merchants all around the world. Read our PayPal review to get the full picture of the company’s expansive business offerings.

However, as you can tell from even the briefest of glances at any website featuring vendor reviews of PayPal, it’s far from universally loved. Countless merchants have found themselves on the wrong end of an account hold or termination for innocuous or even nonexistent irregularities. Other disgruntled business owners have found fault with PayPal’s transaction fees (which are higher than those of most traditional merchant accounts) or customer support. Suffice it to say, a significant number of merchants who start out using PayPal end up looking for a PayPal alternative.

PayPal (and other all-in-one payment processing companies like PayPal) are known as third-party processors, or payment service providers. Signing up for a business account with a third-party processor is meant to be as easy as possible and can be done very quickly. That’s because you’re not getting your own personal merchant account — every account gets aggregated into one huge merchant account. Because of this, the vetting that would otherwise be applied to the merchant before signup is instead applied to each sales transaction. That’s why you see such a high volume of complaints from merchants who have had their PayPal business accounts held or terminated over the slightest (real or perceived) irregularities. This is a problem afflicting all third-party processors, so you won’t escape it by choosing a different one like Square or Stripe.

By contrast, a merchant account is different. When you sign up for an account with a merchant account provider, your business gets thoroughly vetted in a process referred to as underwriting. However, merchant accounts have their downsides as well. In particular, their pricing models often don’t match up well with the needs of online sellers.

Whether you’ve had trouble with your PayPal business account in the past or you prefer not to deal with them in the first place, you can breathe a sigh of relief: There’s no shortage of great PayPal competitors.

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Best all-around processor for businesses that want something similar to PayPal.
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Best for marketplace payments.
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Best for API & custom integrations.
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Best for international selling.

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Best for ACH payments.
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The Best 8 Alternatives To PayPal For Payment Processing

Here are the top alternatives to PayPal for payment processing. We chose processors with predictable and transparent pricing, an appeal for a wide range of online businesses, a good mix of integrations, and PCI compliance.

1. Square

Square



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Best all-around processor for businesses that want something similar to PayPal.

If you’ve heard of PayPal — especially if you dislike PayPal — the odds are pretty good you’ve heard of Square. What started as just an mPOS has branched out considerably over the years, becoming a full-fledged business ecosystem, as we discuss in our full Square review. And if you’re curious about costs, read the following article for a more detailed look at Square’s pricing.

In addition to its free mPOS and POS integrations, Square offers a free online store, free domain, shopping cart integrations, virtual terminal, card info storage vault, and invoicing. That’s not to mention the APIs or the monthly add-on services (including employee management, payroll, and appointment booking). Square’s free online store is somewhat limited compared to other options, but it is a breeze to set up. If you need something more complex, the API and eCommerce integrations allow for more advanced online stores.

Like PayPal, Square is a third-party aggregator. That means Square users face the same inherent account instability as PayPal users. But the sheer value of what you get for nothing beyond the cost of processing is astounding, which is a major reason why Square is easily the closest direct competitor to PayPal. It even has a consumer wallet, Square Cash. So if you’re looking for a PayPal alternative that closely approximates PayPal’s range of services, Square may have what you’re looking for.

Pros

  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • Affordable card readers
  • All-in-one payments system
  • Variety of POS apps, invoicing, and developer tools

Cons

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2. Shopify Payments

Shopify



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Best for marketplace payments.

Shopify started in 2006 as an eCommerce platform. In the years since, the Shopify ecosystem has grown to include an iPad-based POS system as well as payment processing in the form of Shopify Payments, which it provides through a partnership with Stripe.

You can use Shopify as an eCommerce store without using Shopify Payments as your payment processor. However, Shopify will take a transaction fee of 0.5%-2% out of each sale if you use another payment processor (this is in addition to your payment processing fees). If you use Shopify Payments as your processor, Shopify waives the transaction fees. However, you’ll still have to pay the processing fees as well as a monthly fee to use Shopify’s eCommerce platform.

Shopify has a lot to offer online vendors looking for a PayPal alternative. You’ll get loads of handy features, such as abandoned cart recovery, a Facebook store, reporting features, order management, and plenty of third-party integrations. You’ll also get to choose from some decent card readers for in-person sales.

However, pricing can get confusing due to the fact that you can pay a discounted per-transaction rate with the more advanced subscription plans. That must be weighed against the fact that the advanced plans cost an additional $79-$299/month, meaning you’ll only be saving money on processing fees with these plans if you’re a fairly high-volume seller.

Read our complete guide to Shopify’s plans and pricing for a closer look at costs. What’s more, if you do over $500K a year in sales, Shopify has a payment solution called Shopify Plus for large businesses.

Pros

  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • Using Shopify Payments is advantageous for Shopify sellers
  • Convenient checkout system
  • Numerous eCommerce integrations

Cons

  • Account stability issues inherent to all third-party processors
  • Not suitable for high-risk industries
  • The pricing system is more complex than that of PayPal, and there are monthly fees

Get Started with Shopify

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3. Stripe Payments

Stripe Payments



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Best for API and custom integrations.

Stripe and PayPal have a lot of similarities. For one, they both target online and in-app payments. They both work on a global scale, displaying local currencies and handling currency exchanges for their merchants, and each makes it possible to power marketplaces and share information so that merchants can sell on others’ platforms. However, Stripe is built first and foremost for developers, and its API and documentation reflect that. Read our Stripe review to learn more, then read our article on Stripe pricing to get the details on how much it’ll cost you to get what you want.

Stripe has a couple of compelling tools in its arsenal. First, its Atlas program allows international entrepreneurs to get established in the US. Second, it has a tool that allows programmers to manage and organize their data through custom SQL database questions. Other Stripe tools include a prebuilt payments page, billing and invoicing, a toolset to help you send mass payouts to sellers and service providers, and even a corporate credit card.

If you’re considering Stripe as a PayPal alternative, just keep in mind that Stripe, like PayPal, is an aggregator. That is, it lumps all of its user accounts into communal merchant accounts. That means account stability can be an issue, just as it is with PayPal. Our piece, PayPal VS Stripe: How To Choose The Right Payment Processor For Your Online Business, continues this comparison.

Pros

  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • Multicurrency support
  • Great marketplace and subscription tools
  • Excellent developer and reporting tools

Cons

  • Account stability issues inherent to all third-party processors
  • Not suitable for high-risk industries
  • Takes some technical skill to implement

Get Started with Stripe Payments

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4. 2Checkout

2Checkout



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Best for international selling. 

2Checkout is a unique payment processor. For one thing, the company only processes card-not-present transactions. Brick-and-mortar retailers needing a credit card processor will have to look elsewhere. For another thing, 2Checkout has more features on offer (such as recurring billing and an online store builder) than your average online payment processor. Unfortunately, this means that 2Checkout is pricier than its more basic competitors. Read our 2Checkout review for the full story.

For sellers who do business exclusively online, require advanced subscription management features, or operate from a country without a lot of payment processing options, 2Checkout may be worth the extra cost. With three payment setup options and compatibility with nearly every shopping cart under the sun, 2Checkout is quite a formidable package for the right kind of merchant.

Pros

  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • Month-to-month agreement
  • Ideal for international merchants

Cons

  • Not for card-present merchants
  • Some reports of held funds

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5. Dwolla

Dwolla



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Best for ACH payments.

Dwolla is unlike the other vendors on this list in that it’s a niche solution rather than a comprehensive payments platform. Dwolla deals exclusively in automated clearing house (ACH) payments, which are used for B2B and recurring transactions in the U.S.

If you’re happy with your payment processor and just looking to add ACH payment capability, or you’re running a frugal business that can get by without taking credit or debit card payments, Dwolla can provide a good amount of value at a low cost. For no monthly fee, you’ll be able to process ACH payments for a reasonable fee of 0.5% per transaction (maximum $5).

The only real downside to Dwolla is it doesn’t scale smoothly. While the default plan is pay-as-you-go, but you’ll have limited customer services options. The “Scale” plan costs a jaw-dropping $2,000/mo.

Pros

  • Pay-as-you-go ACH processing
  • Good developer tools
  • White-label payment solutions available

Cons

  • No credit or debit card processing
  • Paid plans are very expensive
  • Only available in the United States

Get Started with Dwolla

Read our in-depth review

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6. Dharma Merchant Services

Dharma Merchant Services



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Best for non-profit businesses.

Dharma is unique in the world of credit card processing companies in that it donates a significant percentage of its profits to charity. Related to that, Dharma provides discounted rates for nonprofit businesses.  While many believe that nonprofits get the best rates with a software specialist such as Blackbaud Merchant Services, Dharma provides much lower discount rates and better service.

Dharma’s fee structure is transparent — it uses interchange-plus pricing exclusively, and it has no annual merchant service fees. This includes OptBlue pricing for accepting American Express transactions.

In general, Dharma charges:

  • In-Person: 0.07% + $0.07 per transaction
  • Online: 0.20% + $0.10 per transaction

The rates get lower for those who process more than $100,000 per month.

Nonprofits that accept credit cards with Dharma pay a markup of only 0.20% + $0.10 markup for virtual and 0.15% + $0.07 for in-person payments. And Dharma Merchant Services will meet or beat your current rate to win your business; rates are always negotiable in this industry.

The company also doesn’t charge account update fees, early termination fees, PCI compliance fees, or require a monthly minimum. Fees that it does charge are fully disclosed on its website. This is a company that strives to do the right thing with all its business practices.

Pros

  • Interchange-plus pricing offered exclusively
  • No annual fuel or monthly minimum
  • Discounted pricing for qualified nonprofit companies

Cons

  • Not recommended for businesses processing less than $10,000 per month
  • Only available in the United States

Get Started with Dharma Merchant Services

Read our in-depth review

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7. Intuit Merchant Services (QuickBooks Payments)

QuickBooks Payments



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Best for Quickbooks compatibility.

Whether or not Intuit’s QuickBooks Payments will appeal to you will depend almost entirely on whether or not you use QuickBooks. Even then, you shouldn’t feel like you have to use QuickBooks Payments, but there are definitely conveniences to doing so.

QuickBooks Payments is a straightforward, no-frills payment service that, as you might expect, seamlessly works with QuickBooks. QuickBooks Online even supports PayPal payments, making it a rare alternative to PayPal that can still accept PayPal. QuickBooks Payments comes in a number of different plans, each of which favors a particular sales method (POS, eCommerce, mobile, desktop). Most of these plans can it two forms: a pay-as-you-go plan with no monthly fees and higher per-transaction costs, or a plan with a monthly fee and lower per-transaction costs. No matter the plan, QuickBooks Payments uses flat-rate pricing, which tends to be better for lower transaction volumes.

QuickBooks Payments isn’t the cheapest or sleekest service out there, but it’s well-rounded enough to accommodate a wide variety of payment methods.

Pros

  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • Seamless QuickBooks integration
  • No monthly minimums
  • ACH support
  • PayPal support

Cons

  • High per-transaction fees
  • Slow deposit times
  • Inconsistent customer service

Get Started with QuickBooks Payments

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8. WePay

WePay



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Best for adding payments to software.

WePay, owned by banking behemoth J.P. Morgan Chase, markets itself as a “platform partner.” As such, you’ll often find it integrated into popular software like GoFundMe or Constant Contact as a white label payment solution. Whether or not you want to use WePay will, in all probability, depend upon whether it comes attached to a program you’re using.

Like PayPal, WePay is a third-party processor. WePay allows its partners to negotiate transaction fees, so they may differ from platform to platform. The processor does, however, list a flat rate of 2.9% + $0.30 as an example, which is the industry standard flat-rate for card-not-present transactions. WePay also provides ACH transaction support, which pre-negotiation, seems to start somewhere around 1% + $0.30 per transaction.

WePay offers strong developer support, as you might expect from a service that’s designed to plug into other platforms. While it doesn’t necessarily stand out in any particular area, WePay can be a convenient payment solution, especially if the partnered platform has negotiated a competitive rate.

Pros

  • Good developer tools
  • Good marketplace tools
  • No setup or application fee
  • ACH support
  • PayPal support

Cons

  • No pre-disclosed pricing
  • Account stability issues

Read our in-depth review

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5 More Great Alternatives To PayPal

Need more alternatives to PayPal but don’t necessarily need a full payment processor? Check out these additional competitors.

1. Payoneer

Payoneer



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Best for general money transfers.

Payoneer may not be a household name, but it’s used by some of the biggest names in eCommerce, including Amazon, Google, Airbnb, and Upwork. While it might draw surface-level comparisons to PayPal, particularly when it comes to its focus on international transactions, Payoneer is neither a merchant account provider nor a third-party processor. It’s primarily designed for B2B transactions.

As a B2B service, Payoneer makes it easy and inexpensive to transfer money between businesses that belong to its network. In fact, payments from one Payoneer account to another are free. So are local bank transfers and eChecks. Payoneer makes its money when you withdraw money from your Payoneer account to your local bank account, or when you convert currency, and from an annual $29.95 fee. Payoneer can take credit cards, but I wouldn’t recommend doing it often as they incur a 3% fee per transaction.

Payoneer won’t work as a merchant account replacement for most businesses, but if most of your business is B2B and you only occasionally need to deal with credit cards, it might work for you.

Pros

  • No early termination fee
  • Free payments between Payoneer accounts
  • Good for international businesses

Cons

  • No payment gateway or virtual terminal
  • High credit card transaction fees
  • $29.95 annual fee

Get Started with Payoneer

Read our in-depth review

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2. Wise

TransferWise



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Best for international money transfers.

Wise, formerly TransferWise, is an international money transfer service based in London. Wise takes an unusual approach to the longstanding problem of expensive currency conversions by maintaining pools of currency into which customers can deposit one local currency and withdraw another.

Wise’s transfer fees are significantly lower than what you’d typically see for international transactions. Fees are variable but reasonable, ranging between 0.4% and 1.4% of the amount transferred. If you want a better idea of what a transaction will cost you, head over to their website and use their fee calculator (you don’t have to have an account).

While it’s not meant for commerce in the same way that PayPal is, Wise can fill an important niche in international P2P transfers.

Pros

  • Easy online account setup
  • No minimum transfer amounts
  • Low, transparent fees
  • Mid-market exchange rates with no markup
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Slower than traditional transfer services
  • No local cash pickup options
  • Occasional account terminations

Get Started with TransferWise

Read our in-depth review

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3. Apple Pay

Apple Pay



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Best for contactless payments for Apple users.

Most people who use PayPal don’t experience it as a payment processor so much as a digital wallet, and that’s exactly what Apple Pay is.

Apple Pay offers a number of conveniences to customers including the ability to hold a cash balance and store credit card information for NFC payments. From a merchant’s perspective, your decision will be whether or not you want to invest in POS hardware that can accept Apple Pay. The good news is these kinds of terminals are pretty common nowadays. Additionally, if you want to dabble in accepting cryptocurrency payments, Apple Pay does allow users to integrate some crypto-wallets.

Apple Pay, and NFC payments generally, are considered card-present transactions when used at POS, meaning you’ll meet EMV standards for fraud liability. Just be aware that Apple Pay is not doing any payment processing. It’s just a payment method.

Pros

  • Convenient for customers
  • Secure contactless payments
  • Most payment processors can handle Apple Pay.
  • Cryptocurrency support

Cons

  • Primarily consumer tech
  • May require a POS terminal upgrade

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4. Google Pay

Google Pay



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Best for contactless payments for Android users.

Like Apple Pay, Google Pay is a digital wallet that can replace some of PayPal’s functionality, particularly on the consumer end.

Just about everything we said about Apple Pay also applies to Google Pay. The main difference is that Android users will be using Google Pay and iPhone users will be using Apple Pay. Google Pay can store credit card information, cash balances, and can integrate with some crypto-wallets. Accepting Google Pay means investing in terminals that can handle NFC payments. Luckily, these are becoming more and more standard so there’s a decent chance your terminal can already accept them.

As is the case with Apple Pay, Google Pay is not a payment processing service.

Pros

  • Convenient for customers
  • Secure contactless payments
  • Most payment processors can handle Google Pay.
  • Cryptocurrency support

Cons

  • Primarily consumer tech
  • May require a POS terminal upgrade

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5. Zelle

Zelle



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Best for instant bank transfers.

Zelle is one of the newer kids on the block and the product of an unlikely alliance between some of the biggest banks in the United States. Zelle, previously clearXchange, is a P2P payment service.

If you’re a merchant considering Zelle, you should know that the service is oriented around bank-to-bank payments rather than card payments. This puts Zelle in a similar category to PayPal’s P2P functionality, Venmo, and Cash App. The aforementioned banking alliance gives Zelle one distinct advantage over its competitors, however, by allowing banks to transfer directly to each other without the middle step of holding the funds in your P2P account. This makes Zelle potentially much faster for bank-to-bank transfers. Zelle also offers B2B accounts, but not every bank partnered with the app currently supports this feature. Zelle doesn’t charge fees for transfers.

Zelle seems to represent an effort by banks to circumvent both credit card interchange fees and competitors in the P2P market. While the service is still a little bit niche, it seems like it may have a lot of potential for businesses looking to minimize transaction fees.

Pros

  • Fast, direct bank-to-bank transfers
  • Free transfers
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • Limited by participating banks
  • Not all partnered banks currently support B2B

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Looking For One Of These PayPal Competitors?

Plenty of companies offering payment services get mentioned in the same breath as PayPal. However, not all of these sites like PayPal compare with the other companies on this list for the same quality of service. Here are a few options that didn’t make the cut in terms of being suitable PayPal alternatives for business.

Skrill

Skrill is another company that gets mentioned alongside PayPal in discussions of payment service providers. However, it’s not a service we’re recommending at this time. Our Skrill review found numerous problems with the service, including poor customer support, high transfer fees, and limited pricing disclosure. Recent reports indicate that while Skrill’s services may have improved somewhat, it still doesn’t quite meet our standards, so we’re not recommending it as a PayPal alternative.

Klarna

Klarna may get mentioned in the same breath as PayPal because it’s an alternative payment option, but the two services have almost nothing in common beyond that. By all means, Klarna is worth considering if you’re looking for a retail short-term loan option for your customers. Still, it not a solution you can adopt lightly as a replacement for PayPal. It’s a payment solution that requires strategic consideration: will it grant you enough extra sales to offset its high per-transaction cost?

How To Compare & Find The Best Alternatives To PayPal

PayPal’s strength is in its sheer breadth of features and overall convenience. If you’re looking for an alternative to PayPal, you should ask yourself if you’re looking for a platform to entirely remove PayPal from your life, or if you’re looking to replace some of what PayPal does with a more specialized service.

Not every PayPal competitor is going to be ideal in every respect. Nonetheless, when considering a payment service provider, you’ll want to choose an option that meets your business’s specific needs without incurring an unacceptable amount of cost. Make a list of where PayPal is letting you down or features you’d like to have that PayPal doesn’t provide.

We’d also recommend that merchants avoid services that require a long-term commitment. You want to have the freedom to change services when you need to without paying enormous penalties.

What’s The Best PayPal Alternative For My Business?

We hope this article has given you a solid overview of some of the leading payment processing alternatives to PayPal for business. Read our article on our favorite online payment processors for another detailed look at the best merchant account and payment processor options out there.

Naturally, the processor that is the best PayPal alternative for you is going to depend on the particulars of your business, but in broad terms, Square has our general recommendation. It’s overflowing with features for small businesses, comes with a free website, and its online processing rates are similar to those of PayPal. Just keep in mind that using Square, just like using PayPal, Stripe, and any other third-party aggregator, entails the risk of encountering account holds and/or terminations due to the strict scrutiny aggregators apply to your transactions. That said, there are other points of differentiation between these outfits. Merchant accounts, of course, present their own array of benefits and drawbacks.

And if, after all this, you decide that PayPal might be a fitting choice after all, then have a look at our guide to setting up a PayPal business account.

Whichever way you go, it’s our mission to give you the facts about these services and empower you to make the choice that suits your own unique business needs.

In Summary: The Best 8 Alternatives To PayPal For Payment Processing

  1. Square: Best all-around processor for businesses that want something similar to PayPal.
  2. Shopify: Best for marketplace payments.
  3. Stripe Payments: Best for API & custom integrations.
  4. 2Checkout: Best for international selling.
  5. Dwolla: Best for ACH payments.
  6. Dharma Merchant Services: Best for non-profit businesses.
  7. QuickBooks Payments: Best for Quickbooks compatibility.
  8. WePay: Best for adding payments to software.

    5 More Great Alternatives To PayPal

  1. Payoneer: Best for general money transfers.
  2. TransferWise: Best for international money transfers.
  3. Apple Pay: Best for contactless payments for Apple users.
  4. Google Pay: Best for contactless payments for Android users.
  5. Zelle: Best for instant bank transfers.
Chris Motola

Chris Motola

Finance Writer at Merchant Maverick
Chris Motola is a writer, programmer, game designer, and product of NY. These days he's mostly writing about financial products, but in a past life he wrote about health care and business. He's a graduate of the University of Central Florida.
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