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Paypal Alternatives: We Compared The Best Options

Kit Jenkin
1 Nov 2022

When it comes to online payments, Paypal is one of the most popular options. But there are a number of alternatives available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we compare the best of them. keep reading to find out the best Paypal alternatives.

What is payment processing?

In order to understand Paypal alternatives, we need to understand what payment processing is.

Payment processing is a way for people to pay for things on the internet. It's a safe and easy way to pay, and it's used by millions of people all over the world. Payment processors act as a middleman between buyers and sellers, handling the payments securely and ensuring that both parties are happy.

How does payment processing work?

Many people use payment processing without even knowing it. While customers may tap or swipe a card and have their payment taken instantly, payment processing is actually a very complicated process.

Payment processing basics

It's always a risk to take a payment, especially from debit cards and credit cards. If the payment is fraudulent or the card is stolen, the merchant bank account may be liable for chargebacks.

On top of this, credit card payment means that the merchant doesn't get their payment immediately. Rather, the bank issues an IOU says implies the customer will be able to pay their debt at a later date. If this isn't paid, the merchant won't get their payment.

Because of the risk involved in payment processing, most businesses use a payment processor that will facilitate the transfer of funds between the customer and the merchant.

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The three steps involved in payment processing

Most card payments go through various stages before funds can be released. This process is designed to:

  • Verify the validity of the card

  • Protect the cardholder's data

  • Verify the funds are available

  • Transfer the funds through bank transfers to the merchant

Authorization

After the total purchase price has been calculated, the cardholder is prompted to present their card. The cardholder's issuing bank needs to verify the bank account and approve the transaction.

This is what the authorization stage looks like:

  1. Cardholder inserts their card into the terminal

  2. The terminal encrypts the card details and sends them to the acquiring bank (the bank used by the merchant)

  3. The acquiring bank sends the credit card details to the credit card association named on the customer’s card (such as Amex, Visa, MasterCard)

  4. The association approves the payment and requests the issuing bank account (the customer’s bank) to authorize the payment.

After the issuing bank verifies the below items, authorization can take place:

  • Card number

  • Expiration date

  • Billing address 

  • Security code 

  • Total payment amount

Authentication

The issuing bank verifies the card details and then authenticates the purchase in order to release the payment.

For authorized transactions:

  1. The issuing bank approves the transaction and notifies the credit card association. 

  2. The credit card association notifies the acquiring bank of the authorization. 

  3. The issuing bank places a hold on the cardholder’s bank account, which will then turn into a withdrawal after the transaction clears. 

  4. The card terminal or point of sale system prints a receipt to confirm the transaction.

For unauthorized transactions:

  1. The issuing bank rejects the transaction and notifies the card association and acquiring bank. 

  2. The transaction is voided. 

  3. The card terminal or point of sale system displays an error message and/or prints a receipt confirming the incomplete transaction.

Settlement

Per transaction, the issuing bank releases the funds to the acquiring bank. This does not occur immediately. It can take several days for the merchant to receive money and for the customer to see the transaction on their statement. Depending on the institutions being used, there may or may not be a transfer fee involved in the process.

  1. When the merchant closes for the day, the POS or card terminal sends a “batch” of approved authorisations to the acquiring bank.

  2. The acquiring bank sends this batch to the credit card network.

  3. The network seeks to “settle” each transaction. Settlement occurs when the merchant receives the funds, clearing the hold and ending the transaction.

  4. The credit card association sends approved transactions to the issuing bank.

  5. The issuing bank will then transfer money to the credit card network.

  6. The network sends the funds to the acquiring bank.

  7. The merchant account can withdraw funds from the acquiring bank deposits.

  8. The issuing bank completes the transaction on the customer’s account. 

What is Paypal?

Paypal is a payment processing company that enables individuals and businesses to send and receive payments online. It is one of the most popular online payment processors and is used by millions of people worldwide.

One of the main advantages of using Paypal is that it is very secure. All online transactions are encrypted, and Paypal offers buyer protection in case of problems. Additionally, Paypal is one of the most widely accepted online payment processors, which makes it convenient for buyers.

However, if Paypal isn't for you, there are a lot of Paypal alternatives out there. Keep reading to find out the best Paypal alternatives, including some companies that outshine Paypal in many ways.

Epos Now Payments

If you're looking for the best possible Paypal alternative, look no further than Epos Now Payments.

Epos Now Payments is the payment processing service from the POS systems provider, Epos Now. Epos Now Payments is designed to work within the Epos Now software ecosystem alongside their affordable yet high-quality payments hardware.

Epos Now systems, including hospitality POS and retail POS systems, are used widely around the world, so having Epos Now Payments integrated into a customer's point of sale removed the need to partner with other payment processing services. Everything remains in one place. This all makes accepting payments, as well as accepting payments globally, very easy.

Convenience isn't the only benefit of Epos Now Payments. Here are a few more:

Designed for small businesses

Epos Now serves independent merchants all over the world, with over 60,000 businesses served by their products and services. The company focuses on retail and hospitality businesses - therefore, the focus is primarily on meeting the needs of these industries.

Epos Now systems allow merchants to accept any kind of payment method, such as chip and pin, contactless payments, and even remote payments like MOTO payments over the phone. Offline payments are also possible with Epos Now Payments. These options also allow the customer to take international payments. they also offer easy currency conversion and no currency conversion fees.

If merchants already have an Epos Now account, they can set up Epos Now Payments via their existing merchant account. This removes the need for a complicated set up in person or over the phone.

With this experience of working with small businesses in mind, Epos Now wanted to create a payment processing service that was simple, easy, and affordable that can work with any payment method.

Powerful payment reports

It's important to know what your money is doing in your business. If you don't know where your money is going, you can't make good business decisions.

With Epos Now, you can leverage powerful payment reports to learn more about your business and where your money is being spent. You can track every transaction in real time and get a full overview of your cash flow. You can also simplify your bookkeeping with automated reports. This allows business owners to claim back the time they'd spend chasing down invoices and calculating receipts.

No hidden fees

Epos Now lets you accept all kinds of payments, including debit and credit card payments quickly and easily. But what makes Epos Now Payments so good is that merchants are charged one fixed fee, no matter the card. This makes calculating the cost of payments simple. With Epos Now, merchants always know where they stand.

Hardware tailored for your payment processing

Epos Now doesn't stop at the software. They have the hardware to go with it. Epos Now offers the Link, the Pro, and the Pro+.

The Link card reader will satisfy your need for a secure connection and take any card payment. With ethernet connectivity, there’s no need to charge or worry about an outage - the Link terminal is ready to go when you are.

The Pro card reader is a WiFi-enabled payment solution that allows you to accept payments quickly, safely, and on the go. Accept all types of payments and print receipts from a single, wireless device - wherever you are. It's the best choice for a business owner on the move.

The Pro+ allows merchants to run their entire business from the palm of their hand. With the Pro+, it's possible to serve customers, access reports, and take payments. Anything you can do on a countertop till you can do on the Pro+

Round the clock support

Epos Now doesn't stop at offering flexible and reliable payment processing services. They also have a round-the-clock support service for their customers.

Because Epos Now's payment processing services are intimately connected with the rest of the Epos Now ecosystem, inquiries about hardware and software can be addressed in the same call, whether it's about payment processing, payment processors, online and invoiced payments, payment gateways, credit card payments, debit card payments, or other payment options. No calling different companies to deal with different apps.

Integrate with your favorite apps

Speaking of apps, an Epos Now system offers industry-standard applications that sync beautifully with their payment processing services. Merchants can take advantage of popular apps like Sage Business Cloud, Quickbooks, Mailchimp, and more.

Safe, secure, and compliant

App flexibility is one thing. You also want to make sure your payments will come through at the end of the day.

Epos Now has over 10 years of experience developing cloud-based POS systems and integrated payment solutions, from payment processing and payment hardware to online payments and mobile payments. They've been delivering these services to merchants all over the world for years.

Epos Now Payments terminals remain PCI compliant with innovative encryption technology. This guarantees the safety and protection of you and your customers at all times.

Discover what’s possible with the Epos Now Pro range

Take your restaurant to the next level with Epos Now's suite of powerful card machines.

  • Send orders directly to your kitchen
    Pass orders directly to your kitchen to improve order output times and accuracy.
  • Manage tables
    Track time-at-table and manage floor plans in real-time to boost table turnover.
  • Simple product management
    Add and amend individual products, or make changes in bulk that appear instantly.

Learn more

Pro Range  1 min

Payoneer

If you're looking for an online payment processing Paypal alternative, one option is Payoneer. It is a popular payment processor with merchants around the world.

Pros

One of the main advantages of using Payoneer is that it is very secure. All online transactions are encrypted, and Payoneer offers buyer protection in case of problems. Additionally, Payoneer is one of the most widely accepted online payment processors, which makes it convenient for buyers.

Cons

However, having a Payoneer account can have its drawbacks. While Payoneer is widely available and works well with many currencies, they have many different types of monthly fees and a high transaction fee. The sign-up process can also be very complicated.

Skrill

One of the most widely used Paypal alternatives is Skrill.

Skrill is a digital payment platform that allows users to conduct online money transfers, including international transfers. It is designed for both personal and business use.

Pros

The company allows customers to connect their local bank account or bank accounts, credit card, or debit card to their Skrill account and use those funds to pay for goods and services online. Skrill also offers a digital wallet service that allows users to store funds in their Skrill account and use those funds to make payments online.

Cons

Skrill is very flexible but there are many downsides to using it. Their verification process can be very long, and customer service is incredibly limited.

Stripe

Stripe is a payment platform that allows businesses to accept payments over the internet. Stripe is one of the most popular companies in this space and has been growing rapidly. They have a simple and easy to use platform that makes it easy for businesses to get started.

Pros

One of the benefits of Stripe is that they offer a wide variety of payment options. This includes credit and debit cards, and ACH payments. They also offer support for Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Google Pay. By accepting things like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Google Pay, it allows customers to make payments with their phones.

Cons

However, there are some cons to using Stripe. Open API tools will be difficult to use without expertise in software development. It also has limited functionality for in-person retail businesses and restaurants.

Amazon Pay

Another one of the best alternatives to Paypal is Amazon Pay.

When it comes to online payment processing, Amazon Pay is one of the most popular options available. Amazon Pay's digital payment services are offered by Amazon which allows customers to pay for goods and services using the information stored in their Amazon account. This can include addresses, multiple payment methods, and contact information.

Pros

One of the main advantages of Amazon Pay is that it is very easy to use. In addition to being able to pay with just a few clicks, Amazon Pay also offers a host of features that make shopping online more convenient. These include the ability to track orders and view past purchases, as well as receive real-time updates on your shipment status.

Cons

There are some drawbacks to using Amazon Pay, though. There's no support for Paypal payments, which can be hard on some businesses.

Customers also need an Amazon account to make a payment, which can potentially reduce the number of your potential customers. The app is also incredibly finicky with its functionality.

Quickbooks Payments

Intuit's QuickBooks Payments is a solution for small businesses that want to process payments. It's one of the most popular alternatives to Paypal.

Pros

The app is fairly easy to use and helps you manage your payments and invoices with ease. In addition, QuickBooks Payments offers a range of features that make it a great choice for businesses of all sizes. These include the ability to create custom invoices, track expenses, and send invoices electronically.

Another feature of QuickBooks Payments is that it integrates with a number of other Intuit apps, such as TurboTax and Mint. This makes it easy for small business owners to keep track of all their financial information in one place.

Cons

However, there are some drawbacks to using this app. There are frequent updates and downtime with QuickBooks Payments. Their servers have been known to suffer from slow processing. Also, they are known for having high processing fees for credit cards.

Shopify Payments

Shopify Payments is an adequate payment processing platform available to online merchants. It's also a widely used alternative to Paypal.

It's a fairly new service, having been released in early 2016. But it has already gained a lot of traction, thanks to its low processing fees and its interface.

Pros

Shopify Payments is available to merchants who use Shopify's ecommerce platform. It's integrated directly into the Shopify platform, so there's no need for any additional software or plugins like a payment gateway. This makes it very easy to use, and there are no setup fees or monthly charges.

Shopify Payments is powered by Stripe, another payment processor. This gives customers the knowledge that their payments are being processed by a well-known company.

Cons

There are some drawbacks to using Shopify Payments, however. Shopify Payments charges a monthly fee for ecommerce plans in addition to transaction fees charged for processing payments. There is also a monthly fee for using a third party payment gateway.

Square

Square has an online payment platform that works with online payment providers and its other point of sale systems. It's been around since 2009, and it has become widely used by small businesses.

Pros

Square is fairly easy to use. Transactions, including international transactions, are processed quickly and easily, and there are no complicated procedures to follow.

Cons

However, there are more cons to using Square than you may think. There are common issues with account stability and accessing reports on frozen funds. It can be difficult to use Square Payments if you're in a high-risk business like hospitality or retail. It's also only exclusive to Square POS users.

Bluesnap

Bluesnap is an ecommerce payment solution service that has been around since 2000. It's a serviceable Paypal alternative, and it has a reputation for providing decent services.

Pros

Bluesnap offers a wide range of payment processing services, including credit card processing, debit card processing, and ACH processing. It also offers fraud protection services, which are important for online merchants.

Cons

Using Bluesnap can have some drawbacks, though. The flat rate pricing options is expensive for medium or larger-sized businesses. Account maintenance fees can also rack up in the long term, and customer support is only available during US business hours.

Payline Data

Payline Data is a Paypal alternative service that allows businesses to accept payments from their customers. They offer a wide variety of payment processing options, including credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal. Their services are known to be reliable and easy to use, and they offer excellent customer support.

Pros

If you're looking for a reliable and easy-to-use service, Payline Data is a great option. They offer a wide variety of options, and their customer support is good.

Cons

However, there are some cons to using Payline Data. After the company was acquired by Pineapple Payments, information on their website about their features became very limited, and information has been very inconsistent.

Payline Data also suffers from a glut of negative reviews from customers, citing an unexpected transaction fee, along with various other transaction fees, and a lack of transparency from sales representatives. Many customers said they were still charged monthly fees, transaction fees, and other recurring payments despite canceling their online accounts.

Charge.com

Charge.com is a popular online payment system that offers a wide range of features and services to help businesses manage their payments. Some of the features that Charge.com offers include online payments, recurring billing, invoicing, and more.

Pros

Charge.com is a great option for businesses that need to process payments online. Their services are reliable and easy to use, and they offer a variety of features that can help businesses manage their payments effectively.

If you're looking for a reliable and easy-to-use solution, Charge.com is a great option. They offer a wide range of features and services, and their payment processing services are reliable and easy to use.

Cons

The above may be slightly misleading, though. Charge.com is constantly accused of misleading advertising, onerous contract terms, and customer service that leads a lot to be desired. Most of the complaints against Charge.com involve things like undisclosed contract terms, undisclosed fees, a practice of withholding funds from customers, and very poor customer service and support.

Braintree

Braintree is a Paypal alternative that offers a wide range of features and services to help businesses manage their payments. Some of the features that Braintree offers include online payment systems, recurring billing, invoicing, and more.

Pros

Braintree is a great option for businesses that need to process payments online. Their services are reliable and easy to use, and they offer a variety of features that can help businesses manage their payments effectively.

If you're looking for a reliable and easy-to-use payment processing solution, Braintree is a great option. They offer a wide range of features and services, and their payment processing services are reliable and easy to use.

Cons

The issue with Braintree, though, is that there are many drawbacks. The payment processor's interface is complex and not particularly user-friendly. It is also owned by Paypal, so if you're trying to look for a Paypal alternatives, you may want to look elsewhere. Braintree charges chargeback fees in almost every instance. The company also has a large number of bad reviews on review sites, so there may be more issues with using the company, like poor customers service.

Final thoughts

Now that you know everything about top Paypal alternatives, there's more to explore.

Curious for more reviews? Check out these comparison pieces we prepared:

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