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A PayPal business account allows companies to accept card payments online, even from customers who don’t have a PayPal account. Its fast setup makes it a popular choice. But there are a number of reasons you might look for alternatives:
You need more features and functionality. PayPal’s point-of-sale systems technology, for example, is limited compared with other providers.
You want a more customizable option. Although PayPal has a number of payment solutions, certain providers, like Stripe, offer more advanced online payment customization.
You want lower fees. Some payment processors charge lower rates than PayPal.
You need better integrations with certain platforms. Some payment solutions might work more seamlessly with the other apps you use on a daily basis.
You want a dedicated merchant account, which is an account businesses use to access funds from card payments. PayPal aggregates all its customers' funds into a single merchant account.
The good news is that there are many services and apps similar to PayPal. Here are the best replacements for PayPal, including some of its biggest competitors that outshine PayPal in several areas.
Best for: E-commerce businesses looking for greater payment customization.
Stripe powers the checkout processes of large companies such as Amazon and Google. Its API allows companies to customize their payment solutions to fit their requirements, making it a good option for large online-based businesses. Other features include advanced reporting, billing and invoicing tools.
2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions.
2.7% plus 5 cents for in-person transactions.
3.4% plus 30 cents for manually keyed transactions.
3.9% plus 30 cents for international cards or currency conversion.
Best for: Tech-savvy online businesses looking for a versatile payment solution.
BlueSnap is a popular payment gateway — that is, a checkout portal that collects information for payment processing — that caters to a wide range of e-commerce businesses. It offers 100 currency types and a payment experience in 29 languages. It provides an API that allows you to customize your checkout page, as well as build subscription plans. This PayPal alternative also includes a virtual terminal and functionality specifically for marketplace payments.
Additional features you can expect include chargeback monitoring, fraud prevention and a reporting suite.
Pricing: Transaction fees vary by transaction type. Rates in the U.S. start at 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction.
Best for: SaaS businesses looking for their own hosted payment solution.
Unlike most PayPal alternatives on this list, WePay is designed specifically for businesses that operate software platforms and want to allow their users to send and receive payments. Instead of using a third-party processor and integrating it with your own platform, you can use WePay to create a payments solution hosted within your own system. WePay is owned by JPMorgan Chase.
Pricing: 2.95% plus 25 cents for online transactions if using WePay Link, which is the basic plan option.
Best for: Businesses looking for an affordable, all-in-one merchant service provider.
Payline Data is a solid, low-cost merchant services provider that offers in-person and online payment processing. The company also offers additional features such as a credit card reader, direct integration with QuickBooks and a virtual terminal, which allows you to accept cards online with an internet-connected device.
Interchange plus 0.4% and 10 cents for in-person transactions, and $10 per month.
Interchange plus 0.75% and 20 cents for online transactions, and $20 per month.
Pricing varies by card type for manually keyed transactions.
Best for: Businesses that want simple, low-cost processing with a dedicated merchant account.
Charge.com offers merchant accounts that allow small businesses to accept all types of card payments, whether via card reader, virtual terminal or an online shopping cart. The product doesn't have many additional features, but it does offer low-cost, simple payment processing.
Pricing: Starts at 0.25% plus 15 cents per transaction.
Best for: U.S.-based online businesses that already use an e-commerce platform; businesses that already have an Amazon seller account.
Amazon Pay is a payment gateway that allows customers to check out online using the information stored in their Amazon account. To access Amazon Pay, you set up a seller account and then use Amazon’s customizable API to integrate the plug-in with your existing e-commerce platform. It works with several e-commerce platforms, such as BigCommerce and Shopify.
2.9% plus 30 cents for web and mobile transactions.
4% plus 30 cents for Alexa transactions.
Extra 1% for cross-border transactions.
Best for: QuickBooks users looking for an integrated mobile payment solution.
QuickBooks GoPayment is the best PayPal alternative for syncing with your QuickBooks accounting software. Clients can pair it with the QuickBooks Card Reader to accept dipped, swiped and digital wallet payments. QuickBooks Payments is only available to businesses that use QuickBooks for accounting.
For QuickBooks Online users
2.4% plus 25 cents for in-person payments.
2.9% plus 25 cents for online and invoiced payments.
3.4% plus 25 cents for manually keyed payments.
1% for ACH transactions.
For QuickBooks Desktop users
Pay as you go plan (no monthly fee):
2.4% plus 30 cents per swiped transaction.
3.5% plus 30 cents per keyed-in transaction.
3.5% plus 30 cents per invoiced transaction.
Pay monthly plan (monthly fee):
1.6% plus 30 cents per swiped transaction.
3.3% plus 30 cents per keyed-in transaction.
3.3% plus 30 cents per invoiced transaction.
Best for: E-commerce businesses using Shopify.
If you have an e-commerce store with Shopify, it makes sense to use Shopify Payments. It offers multiple payment methods and competitive processing rates, although it is not available in all countries, and it doesn’t work with businesses in certain high-risk industries.
2.4%, 2.6% or 2.9% plus 30 cents for online payments for Advanced, Shopify or Basic plan, respectively.
2.4%, 2.5% or 2.7% for in-person payments for Advanced, Shopify or Basic plan, respectively.
Best for: E-commerce businesses that want PayPal features and capabilities, but with a dedicated merchant account.
Although Braintree is a PayPal company, the product and services they each offer differ slightly. While PayPal provides only aggregated merchant accounts, Braintree offers dedicated merchant accounts. With a dedicated merchant account, you can expect fewer account freezes and terminations. You'll be able to accept magstripe, chip card and contactless forms of payment and convert over 130 currencies.
2.59% plus 49 cents per transaction credit cards, debit cards and digital wallets.
3.49% plus 49 cents for Venmo (U.S. only), transactions in non-U.S. currency or transactions outside the U.S.
0.75% for ACH (maximum fee of $5). Discounts available for enterprise businesses.
» MORE: Braintree vs. PayPal
Stax (formerly Fattmerchant)
Best for: High-volume e-commerce businesses that want subscription-based, low-fee payment processing services.
Stax is a subscription-based, flat-rate payment processor for e-commerce businesses. Like others on this list, Stax also includes a QuickBooks integration. Although it charges high monthly subscription fees, its transaction fees are priced at the true cost of interchange, the most cost-effective pricing structure for accepting cards. That makes it a particularly appealing option for businesses with high sales volumes.
Pricing: Interchange rate with no processor markup per transaction. Growth plan is $99 per month; Pro plan is $159 per month; Ultimate plan is $199 per month.
Best for: E-commerce businesses that accept orders through multiple channels and want a dedicated merchant account.
Some major technology companies, like Spotify and Etsy, rely on Adyen for online payment processing. Subscribers can accept payments online with access to a suite of security features. Those features, as well as optimization tools and zero monthly or setup fees, make Adyen appealing for small businesses that want to accept payments across multiple sales channels.
Pricing: Interchange plus 12 cents for Mastercard and Visa; other methods vary. Although Adyen's transparent about pricing and provides a long list of how much any given payment would cost your business to process, its pricing can get complicated.
Best for: E-commerce businesses looking for a straightforward payment gateway that focuses on security and customer support.
With Authorize.Net, you get an all-in-one option with a payment gateway. To use it, you must have a merchant account. This can be purchased through its providers or separately. Features that come with Authorize.Net include fraud detection, recurring billing, a QuickBooks integration and an invoicing suite.
2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction, and $25 per month for merchant account option.
10 cents per transaction, 10 cent daily batch fee and $25 per month for payment gateway only.
Best for: Brick-and-mortar businesses looking for a full-service POS with integrated payment processing.
Square rivals PayPal in popularity, and for good reason. It offers a variety of payment processing solutions, including the ability to accept magstripe, chip cards and contactless forms of payment. It also sells some of the most popular payment processing hardware, including the Square magstripe reader and Square Register. Its free POS software makes it one of the best PayPal alternatives for brick-and-mortar businesses.
2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions (2.5% plus 10 cents with Retail Plus plan).
2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions or invoices without a card on file.
3.5% plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions or card-on-file invoices.
Best for: Businesses looking to offer customer financing and installment payment plans.
Klarna offers payment processing, merchant accounts and payment plan options for your customers. In addition to simple online and in-person checkout options, you can offer pay-over-time options, such as customer financing, 30-day payment plans or payment plans with four installments. Some unique features Klarna provides are the ability to integrate with e-commerce platforms, apps and social media sites, as well as the ability to utilize a messaging interface during payment.
Pricing: Varies based on where customers are shopping from, as well as the specific solution you implement for your business.
Best for: Businesses looking for multiple ways of accepting payments through one service.
ProPay offers both in-person and online payment processing for card payments and bank transfers — but it also carries a higher price tag. All plans include the ability to accept card payments through an online terminal, mobile application, mobile website, touch-tone phone, "buy now" button, "donate now" button and using stored cards. ProPay merchant account holders also receive a prepaid MasterCard debit card for free to access funds from card payments.
2.4% to 2.6% for in-person or manually keyed Visa and Mastercard transactions, depending on plan.
2.4% to 3.55% for in-person or manually keyed American Express or Discover transactions, depending on plan.
$39.95 or $69.95 annual fee, depending on plan.
A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.