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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 why you might be looking for alternatives:
You’re looking for 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’re interested in lower fees. Some payment processors charge lower rates than PayPal.
You're looking for 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.
Here are some options that outshine PayPal on these measures.
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. Payment processing is 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction.
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, offering 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.
BlueSnap will charge you varying transaction fees based on what kinds of transactions you process. Rates in the U.S. range from 2% plus 30 cents up to 3.7% plus 30 cents per transaction. Additional features you can expect include chargeback monitoring, fraud prevention and a reporting suite.
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.
For WePay Link, the basic plan option, the rates are 2.95% plus 25 cents for credit card processing.
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. Pricing for the Payline Start plan starts at $10 per month; the transaction fees are interchange and 0.2% of the total plus 10 cents. The company also offers additional features such as a credit card terminal, direct integration with QuickBooks and a virtual terminal, which allows you to accept cards online with an internet-connected device.
Best for: Businesses that want simple, low-cost processing with a dedicated merchant account.
Charge.com offers merchant accounts at a low cost. Its processing rates start at 0.25% plus 15 cents per transaction. It allows you to accept all types of card payments, whether you're using a POS terminal, virtual terminal or an online shopping cart. The product doesn't offer many additional features, but it’s a solid choice for low-cost, simple payment processing.
Better integration with other platforms
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 your customers to check out online using the information they have stored in their Amazon account. To access it, you can set up a seller account and then use its 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.
Amazon Pay charges 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction for purchases made online or through a mobile app. For payments made with cards issued outside the U.S., there's a cross-border fee of 3.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. Note that it offers lower fees to charitable organizations.
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. It's an app that allows for mobile payment processing that costs 2.4% plus 25 cents per magstripe, chip and contactless payment, and 3.4% plus 25 cents per keyed-in payment. All the payments you accept will sync seamlessly with your existing QuickBooks account.
Best for: E-commerce businesses using Shopify.
If you have an e-commerce store with Shopify, it makes sense to use Shopify Payments. The company will charge you an additional transaction fee on top of the rates you’ll pay from your payment processor if you use a different service.
Basic Shopify Plan subscribers get access to payment processing rates starting at 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions ($29 per month). That rate drops to 2.4% plus 30 cents for Advanced Shopify subscribers ($299 per month).
Dedicated merchant account options
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.
For both a merchant account and a payment gateway from Braintree, you’ll have to pay 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. You'll be able to accept magstripe, chip card and contactless forms of payment and convert over 130 different currencies.
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. The cost to use the Stax Starter Platform is $99 per month plus a per-transaction interchange fee, which varies depending on which platform you're using it with (e-commerce store, EMV terminal, virtual terminal).
The Stax Ultimate Platform costs $199 per month with corresponding transaction fees. 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. Like others on this list, Stax also includes a QuickBooks integration.
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 its online payment processing. Subscribers can accept payments online with access to a suite of security features.
One downside: Although it'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 that will allow you to process online transactions for 2.9% plus 30 cents. You’ll also pay a $25 monthly gateway fee.
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.
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. Square’s payment processing rates are relatively affordable: 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions, and 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions.
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.
Unlike some of the other PayPal alternatives on this list, Klarna’s pricing will largely vary based on where your customers are shopping from, as well as the specific solution you implement for your business. 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.
Best for: Businesses looking for multiple ways of accepting payments through one service.
One of the most comprehensive PayPal alternatives, ProPay offers both in-person and online payment processing for card payments and bank transfers — but it also carries a higher price tag. Pricing starts at $39.95 for the setup cost, $39.95 for the yearly cost, plus transaction fees that range from 2.4% to 3.55%.
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 will also receive a prepaid MasterCard debit card for free that allows them to access funds from card payments.
A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.