PayPal is still used by thousands of online merchants, yet ask them about PayPal and you always get a mixed response. It’s detractors point to high fees, the fact that PayPal almost always sides with the buyer rather than the seller, frequent freezing of accounts, customer service that has a lot to be desired, etc. All those things certainly contribute to its bad name. The truth is, however, that everybody who wants to sell something on the Internet, be it tangible or digital goods or services, needs some sort of tool to allow him to accept and process payments from his customers. There is no way around it. Whether you want to sell eBooks, digital comics, or goods that you need to send to your customers, you need the right solution to help you with that.
In a nutshell, PayPal alternatives can be split into 3 groups:
- Peer to peer alternatives to PayPal such as Dwolla or Skrill.
- Ecommerce payment solutions such as Selz, Google Wallet, or 2Checkout.
- Solutions designed with web developers in mind such as WePay, Braintree or Stripe.
Dwolla can be a good choice to sell your products or services if you want to attract others who already have a Dwolla account or who are willing to create one just to do business with you. Other than that, it is similar to PayPal in many ways. You can pay your friends or you can accept any business-related payment.
Does the name Moneybookers ring a bell? If yes, then you might know by now that their low fees and the ability to send text messages directly from your account are some of the most attractive features of this particular PayPal alternative. One feature of Skrill that stands out is being able to transfer your balance into a prepaid debit card in a matter of seconds. This feature makes it a perfect choice for international sellers who find it very easy to transfer their balance to a debit card issued in their country.
Selz is an ideal solution for bloggers, start-ups, or anybody without programming knowledge who want a professional looking way to start selling items from a blog, website, or a social network. One of the best things about Selz is that the buyer experience is superb with items being purchased without ever having to leave your site. It takes no time at all to be up and running. Selz has an impressive list of features and allows you to sell physical products, services and digital downloads. Selz is fantastic for people selling digital goods like ebooks or photoshop plugins as it does all the heavy lifting, with the file hosting, previews and automated delivery. You can boost sales with a range of discount options or use the innovative pay what you want feature.
4. Google Wallet
Even though some of its features can be used worldwide, its peer-to-peer payments are limited to the US only. Known as Google’s Checkout to all those who were using it in the past, its features have remained the same since the humble beginnings of the tool. It is similar to PayPal in many ways allowing you to transfer your balance to your bank account for example. With its help, you can also process credit cards and send invoices to your customers.
You will need a merchant account to be able to use this tool, but if it is OK with you, you will have a chance to enjoy its many features such as receiving credit card payments or PayPal payments. This platform is also suitable for international sellers as it gives them an opportunity to transfer money easily. Other interesting yet standard features include recurring billing and a solid shopping cart.
Only US citizens can accept payments via this PayPal alternative, which makes it a bad choice for anybody who lives outside of the US. On a more positive note, WePay might become a good choice for webmasters and website developers as the creators of WePay will soon be making their API available to other marketplaces or sellers.
Braintree was designed for web developers who know how to integrate this particular platform on website. Some of its features include recurring billing, credit card storage, a payment gateway, and more. Braintree is available to businesses located in the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe, although a Braintree user can accept payments from anywhere in the world.
Stripe is another example of a platform that serves well web developers. Unlike Braintree, it removes the need for a gateway or a merchant account. Web developers can use the various features of Stripe’s API how it suits them. In a nutshell, it offers a wide range of solutions that every web developer could find useful such as being able to store credit card details of your clients, being able to handle subscriptions, and finally being able to transfer the balance on your account to your bank account.
Accepting online payments has become a lot easier lately due to the growing number of PayPal alternatives available on the market. It seems that the one-time dominance of PayPal might diminished. Instead, new and easy-to-set-up solutions such as Selz or Stripe are going to grow the market allowing anyone looking to sell online to be able to do so with the minimum of investment in time and money.