Recommended Services: General Use Alternatives
Remember, we have divided PayPal alternatives into two categories: those you can use with eBay and those you cannot use with eBay.
The following products and services are "PayPal alternatives" that cannot be used in conjunction with eBay. However, these services can be used to obtain similar results to what PayPal has to offer -- without worry about limited access accounts and other PayPal problems. Please remember that eBay updates its "Accepted Payments" policy often. Therefore, services allowed by eBay today, may not be allowed tomorrow -- and vice versa!
- How to open new anonymous Paypal & eBay accounts!
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Keep in mind that while we recommend these services for use, a particular service may NOT be right for you. It is up to you to figure out WHY you need a PayPal alternative and how you intend to use it. The following services are recommended for use by Screw-PayPal.com:
All Recommended PayPal Alternatives: General Use
The company that administers this program needs no introduction. Google is a rock solid company whose reach spans the entire globe. The company's financials put them in the top 10 most of America's most valuable companies. Google Checkout is clearly Google's answer to PayPal. It is doubtful Google would have started this service had PayPal been burdened with so few "problems." This service was started as a direct challenge to PayPal: Since you guys cannot provide a top notch service, we will. Google's answer is Google Checkout. Launched in mid 2006, this service allows users to pay for goods online, for sellers to receive payments online, and of course be able to send money person to person. Right now, Checkout has user agreements for over 10 countries -- if your country is NOT listed, you can still signup!
THE SERVICE: Not only is Google Checkout NOT PayPal, Checkout is the real deal and TOTAL PACKAGE. The only thing missing is their ability to be able to be used as a payment alternative on eBay (that is sure to come in time when a decision is reached on the current anti-trust lawsuit against eBay). Here is how the service works: You go to Google.com and login to your page. Then you choose to signup for Checkout. Once there, buyers can surf the internet and make payments to ANY business (online or bricks-and-mortar) that accepts Google Checkout. Buyers use the service free. For sellers, they can integrate Google Checkout into their website or online business. Google lets you use buttons, email links and other features to allow buyers to send their payments. Checking out is so easy, no instructions are needed. If you want to send money to somebody, you can do it with Google Checkout as well. The control panel is well designed and easy to navigate. Funds were taken out of our Google Checkout account with no problems. Funds were deposited with no problems. Customer service is available via email. No phone support is currently available. Fraud protection for both buyers and sellers is excellent -- and there are no worries about frozen accounts or limited access. Google does protect against fraud, so fraudsters watch out! For the rest of us, we don't have to worry.
PROS: The service is 100% free -- yup, for sellers as well. Until 2008, all seller transactions are fee and commission free! Buyers will always get the service for free. The signup process is easy with a limited amount of information that you must provide. Buyers can use this service without any problems. Funding their Google Checkout account is simple and fast. Sellers can use this service in so many ways! Google Checkout is accepted on all the major auction sites (except eBay), Checkout is perfect for online businesses and websites. All a seller has to do is put the payment buttons in place and let the buyers do the rest. People can send money to each other as well. The control panel is well designed and easy to find. Customer service takes about 24 hours to get back to you. All emails are read and all emails relate to what was asked. The user agreements for the countries available (example: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, China, Japan, etc.) are written with the customer in mind. The user agreement for all other countries is general because of the lack of jurisdiction, but it is fair. One can only get excited when thinking about new features Checkout will be rolling out in the months and years to come.
CONS: Not available on eBay -- yet. No phone support. Not known how Google users your information in relation to its Google Search feature. While backed by a strong company, this service is only a year old. It will take another couple years to work out the kinks and expand services.
OVERALL: Excellent e-commerce solution backed by a solid company. While still growing, Google Checkout can be used by residents of every major market in the world. Online sellers, websites looking for ways to accept donations, auction sellers (all except eBay), and online buyers can find an excellent home with Google Checkout. Recommended for ALL.
NO LINK TO Google Checkout: You must go to Google's homepage and login to your user account.
PayPay is another service that would fit great as an eBay payment alternative. I think this is the only reason why it is not allowed on eBay -- it could make a dent in some of PayPal's business. PayPay is a service that offers a total package that every user could need. If you had to make a choice to use this service or only one other service right now, PayPay would be an excellent choice. PayPay lets users send and receive money using their PayPay accounts (even receive through email, SMS, bank accounts, online or through payment buttons). The bottom line is: you can send and receive money anywhere, anyplace using your PayPay account.
THE SERVICE: PayPay offers free business and personal accounts. Buying using the PayPay service is always free. A buyer (who doesn't even have to have a PayPay account) makes their payment via a payment button a seller posts on his or her auction or website, makes their payment from phone to phone or email to email. You can even download their fee desktop software to keep track of everything -- including sending and receiving payments! Sellers have so many flexible options to receive payments, there are too many to list here. You get all the PayPay buttons you can handle -- all customizable. The system then walks your buyer through the short payment process. This service can be used on many auction sites (not eBay), personal websites, business websites and so much more. The service is available in ALMOST as many countries as PayPal. A user can withdraw his or her funds as often as they like via check or directly into their bank account.
CONS: Not available for use on eBay.
OVERALL: Highly recommended to ALL. This service is a small hidden gem that will only get better with time. Should it ever be allowed for use on eBay, it would give PayPal a run for its money. If you have to make ONE choice only, this service is the total package. Perfect for online sellers and buyers. Perfect for persons who want to send money person-to-person.
Neteller is another United Kingdom based service owed by the NETELLER Group. This company is licensed and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. The Neteller service is available to an international audience. With this service, you can send money person-to-person or make online purchases. Sellers can accept online payments with this service through auction websites that accept Neteller or off a website.
THE SERVICE: This company -- traded on the London Stock Exchange -- offers an okay package of features. Users can signup to get their "e-wallet account" and start buying online. You can fund your account multiple ways and start buying from online sellers who accept the service. Second, you can send money person-to-person through the service. For sellers, if you are approved, you can start accepting online payments from those with Neteller accounts. Funds can be retrieved from your account three ways: by check, direct deposit to your bank account or a MasterCard provided to you by Neteller. Very practical.
PROS: The service is offered by a solid company that is publicly traded. The service offers users a lot of flexibility to get money in and out of the system. The MasterCard is a great way to be able to have access to what is in your e-wallet all of the time. Fees all around the board are reasonable and low. You can tell they are trying to make money by volume and not hitting a few customers with high fees to make money. Customer service is easy to find via email or telephone. Buyer and seller protection is strong and reasonable -- not obtrusive -- security is a strong point with this company. The service supports multiple currencies and multiple countries. The user agreement clearly spells out what your rights are and what the company's obligations are. No hidden or complicated clauses that could come back and haunt you later.
CONS: Not available on eBay. Telephone support is hard to get if you live anywhere but in the United Kingdom (who wants to pay international rates?). The service is limited by the number of members that it has -- if buyers could use the service without being an account holder, a seller would then have a truly international audience. The website was lacking in functionability -- it could be organized a little better.
OVERALL: Not a bad service to use -- but with all the other choices out there, this would not be my first pick. However, if for whatever reason you want to use this service, it can meet your needs. For these reasons, we can recommend this service for all to use.
Ikobo is a U.S. based company out of Atlanta, Georgia. They are a solid company that has been around since 2001. The focus of this service is international person-to-person money transfer. This service is NOT an ecommerce solution -- in other words, you don't want to sign up for this service to be able to receive money for online payments. If one is clever, you could use it for this purpose. However, with other services out there, there is no need to do this.
THE SERVICE: Ikobo is an interesting service. It is not your traditional "PayPal" like company nor your traditional "Western Union" like company either. A user will sign up for a free Ikobo account. You can fund your account with a credit card or with your bank account. If you want to send money to somebody, you can sent it to their email address (similar system to PayPal) or, if they already have an Ikobo account, directly to their account. If you are receiving your FIRST PAYMENT ever with Ikobo, the person sending you the money will also pay a $2 US charge to send you an Ikobo MasterCard. From that point on, you will be able to access the money from your Ikobo account via your Ikobo MasterCard. That means your money is available to you 24 hours per day. You can use your card like any other credit card. All Ikobo customers end up with a card. A user could use the service to accept donations or light volume payments from his or her website. High volume will not work with this service.
PROS: Run by a solid company. The MasterCard gives one a very convenient way to access the money in their account. You can send money to somebody even if they do not have an Ikobo account. You can send money to somebody even if the do not have an account. A clever system for sending money all over the globe person-to-person. Well designed website with a customer friendly user interface. Signup is easy and quick -- you won't run into any complications. Once signed up, sending and receiving money was easy to do. Withdrawals and payments received were made without any account limitations or security warnings. The service was able to be used to collect light donation volumes and light payment volumes for online sales (even though the service was not designed with that in mind). The Ikobo MasterCard fees are low, low, low (only a .99 cents US monthly administrative fee -- every other use of the card is FREE).
CONS: Not a great PayPal alternative for most people. If you want to transfer money to somebody, the fees can be rather high (example: send $100 for an $8 fee). That is why this service cannot be recommended to most people. Not an online ecommerce solution for sellers. Customer service was responsive but could improve.
OVERALL: We recommend this service for SOME because of its limited uses in receiving online business payments. We know that there are people out there who are looking for an alternative to places like Western Union. When you want to send money to somebody, and be able to receive money, Ikobo is a great way to go. Finally, it is rumored that Ikobo is going to be expanding its business towards a more "PayPal" like system -- allowing users to accept online payments, payment buttons, etc. A system change like that would do away with the kind of fees they are charging right now. This company is a diamond in the rough.
While this service has been around only since 2004, it seems very promising. This company is headquarted in Montreal, Canada and is pretty close to offering a "total package" service. With AlertPay you can send money to anyone with an email address and accept payments online via auction sites (not eBay) or your online business. If you need to send money, make an online payment, be able to receive money, or receive online payments from customers around the world for your product or service, AlertPay can fill your needs.This is another service that could take away significant business from PayPal were it allowed on eBay.
THE SERVICE: Users sign up for one of three accounts: a personal account, a business account, or a secure account. The secure account is a business account that lets you receive money for more "risky" products and services such as multi-level marketing and adult content. All accounts are free to sign up for. Users can send money person-to-person, member-to-nonmember, nonmember to member, make online payments and receive online payments for their services and products. The service is available to an international audience. The service allows you to have total flexibility in meeting your individual needs. Credit cards are not accepted for funding payments -- every other way of funding your account is available. Credit cards are accepted for buyers to make payments to online sellers.
PROS: This was a service that I looked forward to trying out. It met most of my expectations. All accounts are free to sign up for. Fees are low and not unreasonable. The service will be issuing VISA Debit Cards in the near future. Taking money out of your account is fast and easy. The method of taking money out of your AlertPay account differs from country to country. However, all major markets are served with bank deposits. Strong buyer and seller protection is offered -- including chargeback protection. AlertPay is a BBB member among other places. Sellers can use the service to receive online payments from a world wide audience for virtually any product or service they can think of. Buyers can pay for their product or service easily and with no hassle. Signing up with AlertPay is a quick and easy process. AlertPay is available for use by an international audience. The user agreement is written in plain English with no surprises. Customer support is excellent -- fast email replies and phone support. Customer support is done through email, a phone number (not free to call) or through snail mail. Finally, the website is well designed and user friendly. Excellent, but not obtrusive, security features.
CONS: The company has been around only since 2004. Not available for use on eBay. Customer support could be expensive to call should you ever need to call them (phone number is not free and is Canadian).
OVERALL: This service is a pleasure to use. If I had to dump most of the services that I use now, I would dump the others and keep this as one of my top PayPal alternatives. This service is awesome for both buyers and sellers. If you need something close to the "total package," AlertPay should be a service at the top of your list. Recommended for ALL to use.
AnyPay Inc. is a company that operates out of Montreal, Canada. AnyPay has been hiding in bushes since 2001 -- obviously they got started trying to get on the bandwagon that PayPal and BillPoint started. With AnyPay, you can send, request and receive money to and from anyone with an email address. The service is available to an international audience. The service also has an online payment account that merchants can use to accept online payments -- but that is a separate feature. The service is person-to-person payments and merchant accounts.
THE SERVICE: Signing up with AlertPay is free. AnyPay is divided into three kinds of accounts (you can integrate different account features into one account if you wish): there are personal accounts, business accounts and auction accounts. The personal accounts allow you to send and receive money from an email address. You can also make online payments to those who accept the AlertPay system. The business accounts allow you to receive payments of all kinds -- from around the world -- for your online business or website. The auction account is specialized to allow you to use AlertPay with auction listings (not eBay). Sellers can put the payment buttons into their auctions and buyers will be guided through the simple payment process. Sending money person-to-person is free. There are no fees. Making a direct payment to a merchant cost .25 cents US per transaction. There are separate fees if you wish to have a merchant account.
PROS: Personal accounts have no fees at all. Business accounts have really low fees that are much lower than what PayPal or any other company today offers. Signing up is fast. Users from around the world have access to this company's services. Taking money out of your account is done via check or direct bank deposit. Customer support is available via email or telephone (not free). The website is available in three major languages. Buyers and sellers can get a lot of use out of this service.
CONS: Merchant accounts are expensive. Up front fees leave this option only for the very serious business owner ($49 US application fee, $15 US per month statement, $15 US chargeback fee). Website has obvious spelling errors that should have been noticed and fixed.
OVERALL: Based on our use of this service we can recommend this to SOME people. Those persons who are looking for an easy and cheap way to be able to send money person-to-person or be able to accept payments online for low fees. While there are better services out there, there is nothing wrong with this particular service per se. It is safe and it is fast.
PayKo has been a around as a company since mid 2001. PayKo is also a company that is in bed with PayPal -- and remains so inspite of running into big problems with PayPal in 2005 (PayPal froze their account and forced them to comply with policies that were favorable towards PayPal). If a person wants to use this service to its fullest, one must have a working PayPal account. However, the crux of their service is the ability to send money orders to anybody "with a mailing address."
THE SERVICE: You can get a Payko account for free. First, with the account sellers can accept payments for their online goods when buyers send them a money order through the service. There is no fee for the seller to receive money. Payko also offers money order service that allows you to pay with your PayPal account. Payko give the sender the ability to send payments to people who don't normally accept credit cards, to people who don't have access to a computer, and to people who don't accept PayPal.
PROS: Fees to use the service are reasonable. If you have a working PayPal account, and want to buy something from a seller that doesn't accept PayPal, this service allows you to use your PayPal account to send a money order to your seller (you pay PayKo for the service by giveing them money from your PayPal account). This can work with online sellers who don't or can't accept PayPal payments from customers with PayPal accounts. Sellers get their money without a fee.
CONS: The company is basically allowed to operate at the whim of PayPal -- there is nothing stopping PayPal from freezing PayKo's accounts again or causing other unforseen problems. That means you have to cross your fingers with every transaction your make. That is a little too much risk when there are other services out there without this kind of baggage. We did not make use of the PayPal options, however we did find it easy to send a money order from Point A to Point B. It was fast, hassle free and cheap. Sellers could use this service on their website to accept online payments (even though it would be a lot more work to run to the mail box everyday and keep track of all the payments on a paper basis).
OVERALL: This service has its uses. However, it is so specialized with the niche it has carved out for itself, it cannot truly be considered a PayPal alternative -- in fact PayKo NEEDS PayPal in order to operate the majority of their business. While the dependence on PayPal makes us nervous, we have to be fair and say that SOME persons might like this service. Second, the service does allow sellers a great way to get more payments from their online business. It would not hurt to put a PayKo button on your website -- therefore we can recommend this service for SOME, but NOT all persons.