IF YOU’VE NEVER experienced a problem with PayPal, those websites, as well as the class action suit filed against the company years ago, might surprise you. If you have had issues – or if you’ve heard some of the seemingly exaggerated stories about how they take Christmas presents from underprivileged children – then you might be on the lookout for other online banking options.
Unfortunately, finding an alternative to PayPal isn’t as easy as finding an alternative to a regular bank. While as of yet there’s nothing out there that offers the exact services PayPal does, it may be possible to find something that will suit your specific needs.
Best for: Apparently, online gamblers. But also anyone else, consumer or merchant, looking for an alternative to PayPal, including those who use eBay.
What is it: According to their site, Skrill was “the first emoney issuer to obtain an electronic money license from the FCA.” Skrill is an online payment provider active in over 200 countries that allows users to make payments online without revealing financial details.
Best for: Small business merchants
What is it: Square is a service created by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey which allows merchants to accept credit and debit card purchases anywhere via iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphones. They charge a 2.75 percent fee for swiped transactions and a 3.5 percent fee and $0.15 surcharge for transactions which are entered manually – no activation charges, terminations penalties, or any other fees.
What is it: A Google app that turns your smartphone into a virtual wallet by storing your credit card information. You can use it to shop online, or in some brick-and-mortar stores with a simple tap.
Best for: Merchants and consumers in the UK
What is it: AllPay is an umbrella company that offers services that include direct debit, online payments, mobile payments, and swipe card payments. Fees are reasonable, and the company offers fraud protection for both buyers and sellers.
Best for: Merchants in the US
What is it: This website provides services credit card processing courtesy of National Merchant Bancard. The site is compatible with eBay, there are no activation fees, and the transaction fees are reportedly lower than PayPal’s.
Best for: Merchants and consumers in the UK
What is it: Users can choose from three options: a merchant account, which allows them to accept card payments around the world; a sellers account, which allows them to receive payments in the UK; and a personal account, which allows them to send and receive money with others.
Best for: Sellers in Australia and New Zealand
What is it: Paymate is an eBay compatible service for Australia/NZ residents that allows users to receive payments from nearly 40 countries, regardless of whether the buyers have a Paymate account.
Best for: Merchants and consumers
What is it: A UK-based service regulated by the Financial Services Authority that allows users to send money or purchase items online. Neteller offers great features, including an optional MasterCard, low fees, and support of multiple currencies.
Best for: Online consumers
What is it: iKobo is based in the US but open internationally. Users can set up a free account with a credit card or bank account, and send payment to sellers regardless of whether or not they have an iKobo account.
Best for: Online consumers with an experimental attitude
What is it: Bitcoin is arguably the most unusual service on this list, as it deals in digital currency, or crypto-currency, built on the concept that “money is any object, or any sort of record, accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic contest.”
Once thought to be the future of money as we know it, Bitcoin has had its ups and downs, from the disappearance of its mysterious creator to a string of hacks.
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Michelle is a musician, writer, and teacher just trying to see the world while doing what she loves for a living. She's taught ESL in Salvador, Brazil and kindergarten in Suwon, Korea, and now she's a full-time freelance writer living in Seattle (just to keep the city alliteration going). She'll try pretty much any food once and believes coffee is its own food group.
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