When working virtually you need to be able to offer your clients convenient payment methods. Most people know and trust PayPal because it's one of the oldest online payment providers and the most widely used for millions of people around the world.
There are, however, several alternatives available. Read below to find the best alternatives for PayPal for virtual assistants.
Dwolla is attractive because it offers free transactions for $10 or less or a $0.25 transaction fee for anything over $10. You can send money to anyone even if they don't have a Dwolla account but they will need to create an account to collect the funds. When you sign up for Dwolla you have to connect your bank account as the transfer of money is solely from bank to Dwolla and vice versa. In other words, no credit cards. What’s unique about this service is that if both parties have a Dwolla account, then money can be spent easily through their name, Facebook ID, Twitter handle, LinkedIn profile, telephone number, or email address. This is the only drawback of using Dwolla because it means having your clients create an account in order to pay you and this is another step for them.
Unless you live in the U.S and Canada you can stop reading right here as it's only available in these countries (Stripe is coming to the UK soon. Stripe is comparable to PayPal across the board. They both take a 2.9% plus $0.30 processing fee for each transaction. If you need to refund money to a client PayPal takes a transaction fee for the refund and with Stripe, there is no refund transaction fee. Stripe's users claim that Stripe's customer service is far better than PayPal and because Stripe financially backed by former PayPal founders you can bet they will continue to up their game and strive to offer the best service that continues to compete with PayPal. In short, Stripe has the same pricing as PayPal but you can process credit cards right from your site unlike PayPal which sends you to their site for processing. Last but not least unlike PayPal, Stripe holds your money for 48 hours before it will become available. Consider this when making a decision.
Payoneer is an Internet-based financial services business that allows users to transfer money and receive payments through re-loadable prepaid MasterCard debit cards. Payoneer works as an alternative for wire transfer services and online payments that provides users with refillable debit cards. The cards are issued through Mastercard and can be used at ATMs or at the point-of-purchase. You can withdraw money from your debit card directly to your local bank account. This is a great option for virtual assistants who live in countries where PayPal is unavailable. There is an annual fee of $29.95 and transaction fees of $3.15. While expensive if this is your only option, it's better than none at all.
Paymate is an option for Australians and New Zealanders. Paymate works by crediting funds directly into recipients bank accounts. Paymate enables sellers in Australia to accept payments in AUD, USD, GBP, EUR and NZD while sellers in New Zealand can accept payments in NZD. With Paymate, you get your money in your account within 1 business day.
Payza is offered in over 200 countries worldwide and accepts 22 currencies. You can invoice your clients directly with Payza. You get paid directly into your Payza e-wallet account. You can withdraw your money to your bank account either by bank wire, bank transfer or with Payza's prepaid card that you can use anywhere in the United States where Visa is accepted. To receive funds into your Payza personal or business account you will be charged a fee of 2.50% +$0.25. Starter accounts pay no receiving fees on up to $400 USD or equivalent/month or $2,000 USD.
To use Venmo you need to download their smartphone app. Users transfer money for free from one account to another and sending money is as easy as it gets. Venmo is only available in the United States and if you're funding your account with a credit card there is a 3% fee.
Like Venmo, Square requires you to download their smartphone app. Creating an account is easy. Once your account is open Square will send you their Square reader (credit card swiper) and then you need to download the Square Register. These two work together so that you can swipe credit cards using your smartphone and the money is applied to your bank account minus a 2.75% processing fee. While this option is incredibly useful for many things, I think that as virtual assistants we won't benefit from the ability to swipe credit cards. This is a great option to offer our clients, instead.
What online payment processor are you using and why? Also if you'd like to see a PayPal alternative added to this list leave it in the comments below.