If you do business online, no doubt that you use PayPal. It has become the most mainstream online payment service over the last few years, thanks, in part, to it collaboration (and then purchase) by eBay. However, it is not the only player in this space, and here are a few alternatives you should check into.
Serve is American Express’s venture into the online payment space. Just like PayPal, it allows you to send money for free to friends and family who also have Serve accounts. It can be accessed online like PayPal, or by using an app on your phone.
Just like PayPal, you connect your Serve account to a checking account or credit card. If you use your checking account, adding funds is free. However, if you use your credit card, you are subject to a 2.9% fee.
Finally, (and once again “Just Like PayPal”), you can get a debit card that is sponsored by MasterCard, so you can use it as both an ATM card and for purchases. If you use it like an ATM card, the first withdrawal is free, and then there is a $2 charge per withdrawal.
WePay is designed to be the PayPal for small businesses, and it hypes itself up as the easier and friendlier alternative. It’s target audience is small business owners, non-profits, and informal sellers who need to receive payments.
Just like PayPal, you can send invoices to customers and get payments by credit card or e-checks. The site charges a 3.5% flat fee per transaction, with a $0.50 minimum.
Finally, it bills itself as being friendlier because it won’t freeze your account if you don’t have it setup properly in it’s eyes. This is a direct attack at PayPal, who regularly freezes accounts it believes are accepting payments in incorrect ways.
Google Wallet is another payment system very similar to PayPal, except that it is trying to get smartphones to be able to make payments at physical retailers. Google Wallet (formally Google Checkout), still allows merchants to accept payments online, but now allows individuals to make payments using their own credit cards, and not just funds currently in the Google Wallet account.
Google Wallet charges merchants a transaction fee as low as 1.99% + $0.30.
The big difference with Google Wallet is the goal to have Android phones be mobile payment devices, and not having to always log into an account or app to make a purchase.
Readers, what other alternatives to PayPal do you use? Any you recommend?