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10 Best Alternatives To PayPal For Online Payment That Will Make Your Life Easier

10 Best Alternatives To PayPal For Online Payment That Will Make Your Life Easier

PayPal has become somewhat of a standard when it comes to online payments and is very widespread. It’s not that it is the cheapest or even the best online payment option out there, it’s that people have gotten used to it and aren’t really aware of the alternatives. You might be wondering why you shouldn’t just stick with what you know and go for PayPal, after all it’s what nearly everyone uses. The main reasons for looking at alternatives would be competitive pricing and ease of use, although numerous reports have also been made against PayPal’s questionable business practices.

Another point against it is that not everyone from around the world can use it, which cuts you off from several different markets, but some of the other payment systems share this problem, although they run a much tighter ship. Running a successful eCommerce website with plenty of traffic will require a good amount of resources and hard work, so you want to make sure that the customer satisfaction is high and that all transactions go as smoothly as possible. At the same time, you may need an effective way to send and receive money internationally. To accomplish these things, you may want to check these alternative of online payment methods that have proven to be consistent with the quality of their service.

1. Skrill

Skrill

    Formerly known as Moneybookers, Skrill provides you with an online account that is fairly quick to set up and easy to use. You can send money to other users and receive payments, buy items online and they send you a prepaid debit card which you can use for payments stores or ATM withdrawals.

    The good

    • It’s fast and easy to set up an account
    • You can use it anywhere in the world
    • Works with a number of major currencies
    • Has a reasonable flat fee for transfers (1% and limited to 10 euros max)
    • It’s fairly secure

    The bad

    • Stringent fraud prevention policies can cause problems like freezing accounts
    • Poor customer service which makes it difficult to resolve problems quickly

    As long as you aren’t one of the few unlucky people who experience a problem and have to deal with their lacklustre customer service, Skrill is a great online and offline payment method.

    2. Payoneer

    Payoneer

      Much like Skrill, Payoneer provides you with an online account and a PrepaidMaster card with a fixed activation fee. You can load money onto your account, receive and send payments as well as shop online and in any store that accepts major credit cards and withdraw cash form ATM’s.

      The good

      • Quick and easy account set up
      • Seamless and straightforward transactions
      • Can be used around the globe
      • Is supported by major freelance platforms like oDesk

      The bad

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      • High fixed account maintenance and ATM withdrawal rates
      • Fees involved in bank account transfers unlike similar services where this is free
      • Hit and miss customer service

      Overall it is a fairly reliable payment system that can be used in any country in the world, but you will need to come to terms with relatively steep rates when compared with similar options.

      3. Dwolla

      Dwolla

        Dwolla is a very secure, quick and cheap way to make or receive payments online directly through your checking account. With free transactions bellow $10 and only 25 cents for any amount above it is definitely one of the most cost-effective platforms, although it does require both parties to have a Dwolla account.

        The good

        • Very low transaction fee of $0.25
        • Allows sender to assume transaction fee
        • Easy to use
        • Instant cash transfer

        The bad

        • Both parties need to have a Dwolla account to make payments
        • The service is only available in the US

        If you live in the US this is definitely one of the cheapest and fastest ways to send money, as long as you can convince others to sign up for an account.

        4. Google Wallet

        Google Wallet

          As far as storing all your debit and credit cards for quick and easy use goes, Google Wallet has proven to be a great option for many people. It is essentially an online wallet that contains your different cards, and it also has a card that you can use for in-store purchases.

          The good

          • Very safe and secure
          • Make payments from your smartphone
          • Easy to receive and send money

          The bad

          • Only available in the US
          • Sending money and topping off your balance from your credit card carries a 2.9% fee

          It is a very good payment solution, but it is limited to the US market.

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          5. Amazon Payments

          Amazon Payments

            With a good amount of functionality and a very simple checkout process, Amazon Payments is high up there as far as online payment solutions go. You don’t have to worry about fees up to a certain point and the transactions are fairly quick.

            The good

            • Send and receive up to $1000 monthly without any fees
            • Very reasonable transaction fees 2.9% +$0.30
            • Decent security and protection

            The bad

            • You need a US social security number to use the service

            Amazon Payments is a good and user-friendly service, but unfortunately limited to US users.

            6. Braintree

            Braintree

              Primarily geared towards online store owners and merchants, Braintree is a merchant account provider with a flat transaction fee and some useful options for improved customer satisfaction, e.g. multiple languages. You can integrate it into your website with a bit of programming skill and gain access to a fast and effective checkout option. It was purchased by PayPall and is available in most countries around the globe, supporting a great number of currencies.

              The good

              • Straightforward and reasonable pricing
              • Good customer support
              • A big list of useful features

              The bad

              • Requires merchant account
              • It takes some programming skill to implement

              Braintree is a very good choice for eCommerce websites if you are willing to put in a little work.

              7. Clickbank

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              Clickbank

                Clickbank allows an easy setup and fast transactions when it comes to selling digital content online. You get a good marketing platform with access to affiliates, so you can sell your digital content with ease.

                The good

                • Great for artists with talent, but no real online business skills
                • Reasonable flat start-up fee and 7% fee on all your sales
                • They take care of everything for you, allowing you to focus on your work

                The bad

                • It’s only really good for people looking to sell digital content online

                This is a good deal if you’re looking to sell digital content without too much hassle, but not a very versatile service otherwise.

                8. Selz

                Selz store

                  This is another quick and easy way of selling products online, especially for blogs and websites that don’t need to sell all that many items. Selz can be installed in a matter of minutes and is incredibly user friendly, allowing Visa and Master Card payments.

                  The good

                  • Users don’t leave the products page when buying
                  • Fast automated digital content delivery
                  • Easy to install “buy now” button
                  • Decent flat transaction fees of 5% +$0.25
                  • Users can sell from blog or social media pages

                  The bad

                  • Not really suited for a robust eCommerce website
                  • Limited payment options
                  • Limited shipping options for non-digital content

                  It is very simple and quick, but it is only really suitable for fairly small businesses, bloggers and artists looking for an easy solution to sell their work from their website or social media platform.

                  9. Stripe

                  Stripe

                    With Stripe you can accept payments from customers through use of a buy button that allows the transaction to happen on the same page, much like with Selz. There is a flat transaction rate of 2.9% + 30 cents and it is integrated with the most popular shopping cart options.

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                    The good

                    • Automatically deposits to an outside bank
                    • Accept payments from all over the world
                    • Mobile payments

                    The bad

                    • Will have to wait for a week after a transaction to collect your funds
                    • Requires some programming skills
                    • Only available for merchants in US, Canada, UK, Australia and Ireland

                    This is a good choice and well-priced option for those based in a few selected countries, with a bit of programing skills or a WordPress website where available plugins make integration a bit easier.

                    10. Payza

                    Payza

                      Online purchases, sending and receiving cash and sending out invoices are a breeze with Payza, formerly known as AlertPay. The service is geared towards both private users and companies, and has shopping carts and buy buttons that can be integrated with a website.

                      The good

                      • Receive money from around the world in a variety of currencies
                      • Offers shopping cart integration
                      • Good security
                      • Reasonable fees that wary from country to country
                      • Online and offline purchases with prepaid credit card

                      The bad

                      • A lot of people experience processing and verification issues
                      • Not the best customer support service

                      Payza is a decent option overall, with some good functionality, but there are still some problems here and there, and their support isn’t all that great.

                      All in all, there are quite a few good online payment options that give PayPal a run for its money. Whether you are a freelancer looking to receive payments, a blogger looking to monetize their blog or an online store owner who want to give visitors a good PayPal alternative, you will find these to be some great options.

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                      Ivan Dimitrijevic

                      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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                      Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                      Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

                      In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

                      5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

                      Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

                      1. Be Clear About the Objectives

                      Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

                      It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

                      Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

                      2. Keep Them Realistic

                      It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

                      It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

                      3. Account for Inflation

                      Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

                      Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

                      For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

                      4. Short Term vs Long Term

                      Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

                      As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

                      More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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                      5. To Each to His Own

                      The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

                      It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

                      By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

                      11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

                      Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

                      • Ensuring healthy savings
                      • Making smart investments

                      You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

                      Ensuring Healthy Savings

                      Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

                      This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

                      1. Track Expenses

                      The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

                      Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

                      2. Pay Yourself First

                      Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

                      Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

                      The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

                      Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

                      3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

                      Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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                      Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

                      At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

                      Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

                      You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

                      4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

                      Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

                      If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

                      Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

                      All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

                      5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

                      In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

                      Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

                      Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

                      If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

                      If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

                      So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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                      6. Talk About It

                      Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

                      Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

                      7. Maintain a Journal

                      For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

                      So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

                      Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

                      When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

                      At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

                      Making Smart Investments

                      Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

                      8. Consult a Financial Advisor

                      Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

                      Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

                      9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

                      Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

                      Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

                      Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

                      It is here where that classification will help.

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                      So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

                      10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

                      Einstein once remarked about compounding,

                      Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

                      So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

                      Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

                      11. Measure, Measure, Measure

                      All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

                      If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

                      If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

                      Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

                      The Bottom Line

                      This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

                      As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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                      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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