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Back in the day, if you wanted to send somebody money, you either mailed them a check or a money order or probably offered cash. But you were out of luck if you wanted to send them money digitally or over the Internet—it was unheard of.
Also, collecting money from someone's checking account or credit card was complex, expensive, and involved a difficult-to-learn point-of-sale system.
PayPal changed all that! It enabled their servers to access your banking and credit accounts and money transfers. At the time, it was revolutionary for independent sellers and small businesses.
Over time, PayPal has grown and evolved as a business tool. It fills a niche that it created and has stayed on top. There is no exact one-to-one alternative, but it comes with some limitations.
So let's look at a few PayPal alternatives you can use in 2023.
The main thing that PayPal does is let you transfer funds from person to person. So let’s look at apps that do that first.
Cash App is a digital wallet/cash card with superpowers. It can safely and efficiently transfer money to other Cash App users. And it has quite a few more features, like these:
Skrill is a virtual wallet similar to Cash App but without as many bells and whistles, although it does let you send money internationally. Here are some of its features:
PayPal established itself before smartphones were even a thing. For that reason, sharing money with PayPal can feel clunky for people used to streamlined mobile apps.
Venmo makes sharing money through mobile payments smooth and easy. You can access someone's account name by scanning a barcode on their phone and sending the cash in minutes.
Another thing that makes Venmo stand out from the crowd is that it has a social media vibe. You can see online transactions that your friends have made, to whom, and for what.
Venmo got in early and made a big name for themselves, so they don’t need to pad their offering with many features. But they do have a few, like these:
Zelle is the barest of bare-bones ways to send money. Unlike the previous products mentioned, Zelle doesn't hold funds. They work with a system American banks use to transfer money, called ACH (Automated Clearing House).
The Automated Clearing House system usually takes two or three business days to transfer money between banks. Zelle offers the advantage of letting you do that instantly instead.
Zelle is a bank transfer tool, and that’s it. Here is a complete list of Zelle’s added features:
Zelle has a couple of drawbacks that are part of its simple way of doing business.
In essence, Zelle is a great option for simplicity. But you do need to keep your head on your shoulders. Think about every online transaction you make before you hit send. And treat your transactions as if they were cash. Once you give it away, you're not getting it back.
Whether you’re running your own ecommerce business, collecting client payments, or performing other credit card transactions, you need a professional way to accept money. These solutions offer more than basic person-to-person transactions and include features required by business owners.
One huge selling factor of PayPal is its global reach. You can send money through PayPal to almost anybody in the world. Many PayPal alternatives have little or no international transfer support. Payoneer is an exception to that rule.
Payoneer offers business-oriented financial solutions for small to medium companies that want to market to a global audience. Here are some of the benefits they provide:
Square made revolutionary changes in how small business gets done.
Several years ago, Square came out with a fantastic gadget. It's a credit card swiper that you can plug into the headphone jack of your cell. It lets plumbers, pool cleaners, closet organisers, and other independent contractors accept money from clients on-site as if they were a member of a much larger outfit.
Square also created a line of point-of-sale systems that are affordable, contract-free, and easy to start. They let small boutiques and hipster coffee shops throw off the tyranny of soul-crushing POS systems.
Square offers a massive host of services for businesses. And each one has many features. Let’s touch on a few of the most prominent services they offer:
Stripe started as a way for internet startups to collect funds. Over time, Stripe became a significant offering for all online businesses.
Like Square disrupted the world of retail sales, Stripe disrupted the world of online sales. Traditional payment gateway services are hard to work with, even for online payments. They have long contracts, high transaction and merchant fees, and are rarely programmer friendly.
Stripe lets any decent programmer add payment collection to a web app in a few hours. Stripe makes sure that collection is safe, trustworthy, and PCI compliant. That means that programmers only have to focus on the code.
Because Stripe is so programmer oriented, it spread like wildfire in the world of SaaS applications. Almost whenever you spend money online, Stripe acts as the credit card payment gateway behind the scenes. Even Amazon started working with Stripe to expand its international payment reach.
Some of the benefits of using Stripe include:
As mentioned in the previous section about Stripe, the fact that it's so widely adopted means you can use it from anywhere. If you're a freelancer, artist, or selling a few items online but don't want to avoid the hassle of setting up a whole shop, what's the best option?
You obviously need to have a professional presence on the Internet if you're going to be accepting money from people. You need a tool that's powerful, meets many of your business needs, and looks crisp and clean with a professional finish.
The quickest and easiest way to get to that point is by using Paperform. Paperform is, as its name implies, a form tool. You can use Paperform to set up simple and trustworthy online digital payment forms that perfectly match your company's brand.
And because Paperform is so flexible, the solution you come up with will be uniquely yours and match your needs perfectly.
Even better, Paperform integrates with over 20+ payment processing platforms, including PayPal, Stripe, and Square. If you only want to transfer money, connect Paperform to PayPal and Stripe and let your customers/clients decide which platform works best for them.
Or you can integrate it with your Square shop and collect money from other places outside your shop by adding your custom payment form anywhere on the web.
So why not get the ball rolling? Try Paperform’s 14-day free trial today, no credit card required, and start collecting insights today.
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