Best PayPal Alternatives

What to Know Before Getting Started

If you’ve ever needed to accept credit card payments online, you’ve probaby considered using PayPal. Due to the success of eBay, its parent company, PayPal has become one the best-known online payments options over the past decade. Aside from its success with eBay, most online customers have become comfortable paying via PayPal for their e-commerce purchases and so the service has been widely adopted as additional payment method with many online stores.

Even with PayPal’s great success, it is important to understand that the service does have its limitations and grievances. PayPal is a good e-commerce option for online businesses that are just starting out, for established brick-and-mortar merchants that wish to offer products and services through a preexisting website, and for low-volume or seasonal online merchants. It is not an ideal as the sole payment acceptance method for successful or high volume online businesses, or for merchants accepting face-to-face payments.

With PayPal’s tremendous popularity has come major backlash due to some of the company’s policies. Many e-commerce vendors have vowed to stop doing business with PayPal as a protest against unexpected fund holds, transaction fees, and poor customer support.

Below is a list of alternatives to PayPal for accepting debit and credit card processing online. Just like PayPal, these processors all provide simple checkout options by way of either a “Pay Now” button or an API that can be easily integrated into a merchant’s existing website. Each processor in this list has its strengths and weaknesses and you should evaluate each option according to your own business needs.

In addition to the list below, here are some other resources you may find useful:

Our unbiased articles are supported in part by helping you find highly reviewed merchant accounts. You can learn more here.

Why These Merchant Account Providers

Shopify

Shopify is a well-known e-commerce platform based in Ottawa, Ontario. The company’s payment processing platform, Shopify Payments, is powered by Stripe and functions as the preferred payment option provided by the company. In addition to online credit card acceptance, Shopify provides completely customizable store templates, a secure, on-site shopping cart, integration with over 70 different payment gateways, unlimited hosting and bandwidth, online marketing tools, and email support. Shopify also provides point-of-sale (POS) equipment for merchants with physical locations.

Shopify offers different service packages at the following pricing tiers: $9/month (Lite), $29/month (Basic), $79/month (Standard), $299/month (Advanced), and a customized Plus plan for merchants who sell over a million dollars in merchandise per year. Online per-transaction fees decrease with each upgraded package, starting at 2.9% plus $0.30 for the Lite package and ending with a low custom rate for the Plus plan. Merchants can integrate their existing merchant accounts with Shopify, but they will pay an additional 2% per transaction on the Lite plan, an additional 1% per transaction on the Standard plan, and an additional 0.5% on the Advanced plan.

CardPaymentOptions.com currently awards Shopify an “A” rating, and the Better Business Bureau gives the company an “A+” at this time.

For more information, visit the Shopify website.

Selz

Based in San Francisco, Selz is an e-commerce merchant account provider that enables merchants to create an online store, integrate a shopping cart into their existing websites, or sell products via social media. The company’s features include “Buy Now” buttons, sales analytics, discount codes, digital downloads, responsive themes, online store builders, an online shopping cart, PayPal integration, and advanced shipping functions. Selz is a great fit for small e-commerce merchants, bloggers, and existing businesses that wish to easily add e-commerce functions to their websites.

Selz offers several different pricing plans on a month-to-month basis with no early termination fees. Selz merchants may choose Stripe, PayPal, or 2Checkout as their payment processor, and each provider will offer its own processing rates on top of Selz’s built-in transaction fees. Our review of Selz currently assigns the company an “A” rating, and the BBB does not maintain a profile for Selz at this time.

For more information, visit the Selz website.

PayJunction

PayJunction is a merchant account provider headquartered in Santa Barbara, California. Like PayPal, the company offers a proprietary web-based virtual terminal that is perfect for both online and single-register brick-and-mortar businesses. PayJunction’s paperless payments system enables e-commerce merchants to securely accept credit cards using only an internet-connected desktop computer, and it can also securely establish recurring billing, accept ACH payments, identify returning customers, set up and manage payment plans, add a “Buy Now”-style button to existing websites, and view each given credit card’s transaction history.

PayJunction is a good option for merchants without busy point-of-sale needs who would like to process payments without buying or leasing a traditional credit card terminal or paying for a dedicated phone line. PayJunction offers interchange-plus pricing with no early termination fees to most merchants and is also able to customize rates based on a business’s type and volume. Our review of PayJunction currently gives the company an “A,” and the BBB also gives PayJunction an “A+.”

For more information, visit the PayJunction website.

Other Merchant Account Options

The providers in this section may not have been researched as thoroughly or may lack a quality that prevented them from being listed above. We have listed them here to provide a broader view of potential merchant account options. Are you a decision maker with your company and believe that you should be listed below? Tell us here.


ProPay

A TSYS company operating out of Lehi, Utah, ProPay (propay.com) is able to serve both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce businesses equally well. Its online and mobile payments services, however, place it in direct competition with PayPal. ProPay offers a virtual terminal, email invoicing, recurring billing, an online shopping cart, and “Buy Now” buttons, all of which are powered by the company’s ProtectPay tokenization and encryption service. All of these payment options are included in every service tier ProPay offers, each of which is available for a different annual fee. ProPay offers standard rates of 2.60% swiped and 3.40% keyed, but these rates may be subject to variation depending on the service utilized and a merchant’s size.

ProPay utilizes TSYS as its processor and currently maintains an “A” grade on CardPaymentOptions.com. The BBB is awarding ProPay accreditation and an “A+” rating at this time.

For more information, see the ProPay website.

2Checkout (2CO)

2Checkout (2checkout.com) offers a seamless on-site solution for businesses that accept payments exclusively via the Internet. The company highlights its support for 26 different currencies and 15 different languages as significant advantages for merchants who conduct international business. 2Checkout offers online shopping carts, a PCI compliant payment gateway, and on-site checkout that does not require a designated 2Checkout account for deposits. 2Checkout’s flat processing rate is 2.9% plus $0.30, but this rate increases to 3.9% plus $0.30 if U.S. merchants accept international payments.

2Checkout is also known as “2CO.” CardPaymentOptions.com awards 2Checkout an overall rating of “A” at this time, and the BBB gives the company an “A+” grade.

Braintree Payment Solutions

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Braintree Payments (braintreepayments.com) is an excellent alternative to PayPal due to its easily integrated API and fixed-rate, all-inclusive pricing. For 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction with no other monthly costs, merchants can add an on-site payment option that is seamless and secure to their websites. Braintree also enables recurring billing, a Marketplace platform for market-style businesses, and full compatibility with the popular mobile app Venmo.

Braintree utilizes First Data as its processing network but handles its accounts directly via phone and email support. The company is currently showing an “A+” rating on CardPaymentOptions.com and an “A-” rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Amazon Payments

Amazon Payments (payments.amazon.com) is divided into two different services that allow merchants to process electronic payments: Checkout by Amazon and Amazon Simple Pay. Of the two, Checkout by Amazon is most similar to PayPal in that it allows e-commerce retailers of physical goods to accept payments on their websites via either a co-branded pop-up window or a fully integrated checkout process. The advantage to using either of these options is that they both keep customers on the merchant’s website, whereas PayPal’s checkout system directs customers to the PayPal website to complete a transaction.

The second option, Amazon Simple Pay, is designed for online businesses that sell digital and virtual products. This service allows businesses to accept subscription payments, and it also facilitates marketplace-style transactions.

Amazon Payments charges a standard fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction, but this amount decreases as a merchant’s monthly volume increases. The service also applies a special transaction rate of 5.0% plus $0.05 for sales under $10. We are currently showing an overall “A” grade for Amazon Payments, and the BBB gives Amazon as a whole an “A+.”


If your company provides non-PayPal payment processing, please let us know in the comment section below or get in touch with us directly.

Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry to start my own a small business. From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to write about it, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this insider knowledge to myself, so built this website to help small business owners research which service providers to use and how to save money on rates and fees. I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers here. I can help you save money with your current merchant account or help you find a new one. Message me here to get started.

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