We’ve reached a point at which there are all kinds of different online payment systems to choose from. Not so very long ago PayPal was the only major name in this category, and its early competitors were viewed as smaller, niche options. Over time however some of these competitors have become significantly more sophisticated and more popular, and some newer ones have emerged as well.
There is, unfortunately, no definitive way to rank or compare them. But based on tech, features, reputation, and general preference, these are our picks for the five best in 2018.
PayPal may have more competition these days, but it’s still the de facto leader in the field. PayPal does it all (including supporting its more peer-to-peer oriented subsidiary, Venmo), and is still working to do more. The company has made multiple acquisitions of late to improve its service and even recently secured a patent for augmented reality glasses, which could imply itâ€™s looking to combine this tech with payment options. Thereâ€™s no reason, at this stage, to say that any other service leads the field.
Dwolla is generally viewed as being similar to PayPal, if perhaps less popular and slightly less intuitive. It’s a service that has been around a while and ultimately found its niche through the facilitation of customizable payment solutions. Dwolla has a focus on bank transfers that allows its users to create methods by which these transfers (say, from customers) can be sent through and received on the same day.
There are some who might argue that Skrill is actually a better alternative to PayPal. It provides many of the same services but also involves instant withdrawals and deposits, and has a tool through which users can send a text message through the service. Like PayPal, Skrill has also been expanding, most notably becoming a popular option among online gaming platforms. One article about this pointed out that Skrill is committed to keeping fees as low as possible, which appeals to users not just in gaming but in general.
Payoneer has been around for quite some time now and is maybe the closest thing to an exact parallel to PayPal (though it doesn’t have some of PayPal newer features or capabilities). It’s generally marketed as being more suitable for businesses, whereas PayPal is commonly used among individuals as well. But whatever your needs, it’s a solid, reputable online payment service that’s nice to try out if for whatever reason you aren’t interested in PayPal.
Sometimes compared directly to PayPal, Stripe is actually a little bit like Dwolla in that it has made its names via an API that allows for customizable payment solutions. It can scare some people off who take a glance and see an apparent need for coding, but ultimately Stripe makes it easy even for inexperienced coders. For people running their own businesses, it may be the most comprehensive customizable experience.