Online finance is booming, with new mobile banking apps and services and online payment systems making remote work and online based business much easier for both entrepreneurs, organizations, freelance and employees working around the world, and at a fraction of the cost and speed of traditional banks transfers.
For some time, PayPal had been the easiest alternative, when it first hit the scene twenty years ago, it was a game changer. It soon became the household name for online payment, and today it is still used as the payment system for online giants and is an almost universal alternative to paying with your credit card online. But it’s no secret that PayPal’s transfer fees are high, especially for international transfers.
Many more online banking and money transfer options have been launched in the last few years though, many with even more flexible requirements and more functionalities to make instant, online and app based payments! Let’s go through them.
1. Wise (Previously Transferwise)
If you’re looking for an easy multi-currency transfer solution, TransferWise or Wise as it’s called today is the way to go. The money mover previously only allowed money transferring facility.
Recently, it has started to branch into the online banking world. What makes the service convenient is its multiple currency transfer options. It also allows you to transfer money from at least 18 different nations, adding to its versatility. So if you have multiple sources of income from multiple countries, this is the right option for you. Additionally, the business account feature that they offer is exactly what one might need for a startup.
Wise has become one of the most popular multi-currency transfer B2B alternatives after Paypal due to its easy to use and lower fees.
Natalie Arney, SEO Consultant, says:
“For me I use Wise the most – really helpful with clients in other countries as the fees are much less suffocating than PayPal, for both parties!”
- Bank to bank transfer
- Credit to bank transfer
- Uses local bank accounts to complete transfers on sender’s behalf.
- Uses current exchange rate
- Also offers an online bank account
- Fees depend on sending and receiving country
- Approximately 1 to 2% of amount transferred
- Credit card or debit card may charge extra fee
- Additional fee charged by credit card or debit card
- Bank account information needed for both sender and receiver
- Not available worldwide yet, but in +60 countries
With its availability in 200 countries, Skrill is no less than a universal online banking service. One of its most attractive features is that you can send money to linked email accounts as well as phone numbers. Therefore, your options are never limited.
If you want a fuss-free money transferring experience, the user-friendly Skrill application is bound to pique your interest.
The main target customers are gambling customers and traders in forex. Overall, Skrill offers a swift service that may even give PayPal a run for its money from time to time. Even though opening an account is free and you can easily settle into your money transfers, the app itself isn’t completely pocket-friendly. Its fee structure focuses more on catering to your needs rather than saving up cash.
- Account to account transfer for personal use
- Prepaid credit card attached to account
- Payment solutions for businesses available
- 1.90% of total spent, capped at €20
- Currency exchange fee extra
- No fees on payment received
- Sender and receiver need an account for money transfers
If your requirement is a straightforward and simple money transfer platform, then look no further. The outstanding feature of Venmo is the simplicity of its app. Its main attractions include the free money transfers you’re allowed if you have a bank account, Venmo balance, or a debit card.
Elizabeth Lefelstein, SEO and Creator of Tekki Digital, says:
“In my experience, Venmo, Zelle, and PayPal are among the most popular options in the US. For me specifically, my past clients have preferred PayPal, and my sub-contractors have preferred Venmo!”
The app works by transferring money in the form of a Venmo balance between accounts. Even though the balance transfer is swift, it may take a day or two to verify the balance transferred to your account.
However, there is a drawback to using Venmo and that is its lack of protective policy. You may find yourself in hot water if you transferred money to the wrong account. Contrary to expectation, Venmo won’t do much for you if that happens. This can become a headache because mishaps tend to happen in everyday transactions, and everyone can’t be trusted to return your hard-earned money. Therefore, vigilance is key when conducting transactions through the app.
- Sign up through Facebook or email
- Use online account, bank account or debit card to send money
- Make payments in mobile apps from online account
- Transfers free from Venmo account, bank account, or debit card
- 3% charged for credit card transfers
- Sender and receiver need an account for money transfers
- Owned by PayPal
4. Xend pay
The Xendpay service provides versatile money transfer options to its customers. Its availability in over 150 countries with at least 45 different currencies to transfer money makes it one of the leading vendors in its field.
If you’re looking to work around that pesky transaction fee, Xendpay’s flexibility might be your cup of tea. Xendpay provides an option to decrease the transaction fee and, in some cases, might let you pay none at all for your first $2000.
The overall transaction fees even after your first $2000 is only about 1.4% of the transfer amount, so it’s extremely cost-effective.
An additional feature is a minimum amount you can transfer with the application, going as low as $1! So a tight pocket won’t be stopping you from transferring your cash where it’s required.
- Credit/debit card to bank transfers
- Bank to bank transfers also available
- Set up account with Facebook or Gmail
- Created by Indian entrepreneur to help migrant workers sending money home to their families
- No exchange fees
- No set transfer fees
- Pay what you want (PWYW) for up to £2000 per year in personal transfers; up to £4000 per year for business clients
- Bank account information needed for receiver.
- Transfers can take several days to complete
Although Veem’s service is a little restricted, operating in only 60 countries, it has significant potential as a money transferring service. Veem offers economical transactions by utilizing blockchain service for B2B transactions. This cuts out the cost of a bank and aids in cutting down expenses.
Veem brings a unique transaction experience by combining the before-mentioned blockchain tech with the primitive fiat currency. This multi trail transaction model has transformed the money transfer experience for a vast majority of the 60 countries where Veem provides active services.
Although Veem is a fast and easy way to transfer money, it is focused on providing business payments rather than personal ones. So, even though it won’t suit you to transfer money to your family, it’s a great option for your startup.
- Invoice feature to keep track of payments
- All currencies available
- No minimum or maximum transfer limits other than documentation for maximum
- $0 when transferring from USD to other countries
- $15 for USD to USD transfers
- No personal transactions offered
- Services restricted to a limited number of countries
Payoneer is a frontrunner amongst transaction companies that are currently providing money processing services in 200+ countries. Its winning feature is a prepaid credit card that provides ease of payment throughout a wide market. From shopping malls to hotel bookings, Payoneer has got you covered. Making an account on Payoneer is also very easy: All you need to do is sign up and request a prepaid card. Once you receive the card and activate it, you’re good to go.
The good thing about Payoneer cards is that they last you three years and new cards get issued without extra payments on your end. Payoneer’s target customers are business owners and freelancers. It is suitable for both paying employees as well as receiving a steady and safe transaction as a freelancer.
Lekan Akinyemi, Head of SEO at ZEODigital.com, says:
“Payoneer is accessible to anyone. Clients don’t need to have an acct with them before they can make payments for invoices. Unlike Paypal with lots of restrictions for people in Nigeria which is where I live, Payoneer allows me to move money to my local bank account.”
- Free transactions between Payoneer accounts
- Automated and mass payment options
- Payoneer escrow feature allows safe B2B transactions
- Free Payoneer to Payoneer transactions
- When received payment: 3% for credit card payment
- For withdrawing: 2% for local currency
- 24/7 customer services in the form of live chat and phone calls are not available.
Revolut is one of the top online banking solutions offering flexible services. The accessories you’ll receive with a Revolut account include a Mastercard with your UK account details. This Mastercard allows you to process your cash without any extra fee. This also facilitates remote working from any part of the world without additional financial strain.
Revolut’s focus is on providing a refreshing banking experience and removing the barriers set up by primitive online banking services.
Its stats highlight the 150 billion pounds worth of transactions its customers have conducted using the platform, making Revolut a viable and reliable option for processing your payments.
- Transactions between £0- £75,000
- Option to add funds with existing credit cards
- Free virtual bank account
- Upto $22.99 membership fee
- Transfer time between 3–5 days
- Not available in the US
- Foreign Exchanges over £5000 cost 0.5% of the amount
- No physical bank branches currently available
Where money processing services are concerned, PayPal is in a league of its own. Its vast array of accounts has something for every kind of customer. Whether you’re an online shopper, vendor, or are a full fledged ecommerce service running a high end business, PayPal is the answer to all your money transferring problems.
The platform is responsible for birthing the popular Paypal app, with its user friendly interface and convenient options. It’s also incredibly easy to link your contacts to your PayPal. The protection Paypal offers when conducting transactions other than personal ones is one of many advantages to using the service.
The user interface allows an effortless and convenient money transfer experience owing to its numeric keypad. You simply need to enter the amount and it will be transferred.
All that needs to be done next is adding the option of either the bank account or credit card to fund your transfer.
Looking at specifications will provide a better idea of the service in general, so we’ll get into those.
- PayPal Key: If you’re using a website that doesn’t have a PayPal button, you might be saved by the PayPal key feature. It provides an instant credit card number and security details to be used. Although an OTP two factor authentication will be required, it is a convenient immediate solution.
- The cashless options PayPal provides make it very useful for remote work. This involves using QR codes instead of the usual near-field communication.
- Money Pools: A convenient feature for people to pool in money. The amount can be specified or the group can pool in whatever they want depending on the specifications made.
- Purchase Protection Policy: The security that PayPal provides is unmatched. This feature allows a secure online shopping experience by preventing vendor access to your credit card details.
- No fee for opening an account
- 9% processing commission charged if the transaction is done through a credit or a debit card.
- Payment splitting not as straightforward as in Venmo
- Few in-store payment options
9. Special Mention: Western Union
Western Union is the original money transfer business—it started by sending money in the United States via telegram in 1871 (the original wire!)—and it is still the go-to for sending money around the world. Today, using the website and your credit card or Visa debit, you can send money to bank accounts around the world.
But, what makes Western Union special is it’s classic service—sending cash to Western Union locations for pick-up—no banking information or online account required. WU bank transfer fees are competitive with other bank transfer options, but transfers for cash pick up cost significantly more (for example, bank transfers from Canada to India cost CA$5, but cash transfers are CA$35). Bank transfer fees also depend on the receiving country. But if cash is what you need, Western Union is for you.
If you find yourself in a bind (for example, if local ATM machines are broken or empty, or your bank card is gone, or isn’t working), you can send money to yourself via Western Union with a credit card number and a passport. Western Union’s global reach means you can find an outlet almost anywhere—but make sure the location has cash available to distribute before making the transfer!
- Easy transactions from convenience stores
- Transactions without a bank account
- No receiver fee
- Universal transactions in more than 500,000 areas
Fees depend on factors such as
- The location where you’re transferring money, method of payment, and the particulars of transaction reception.
- Exchange rates highly influence the charges associated with the transactions. These depend on the currency being transferred.
- Exchange rates may be up to 20%, which is not favorable for transferring large amounts
- Takes long (up to 6 days) for transactions to complete
- Mandatory transaction fees may be between $3.50-$100, making Western Union one of the more expensive options
If you found this article useful you might also like to take a look at:
- Best Mobile Banking Apps and Online Services for Digital Nomads
- 5 Online Payment & Invoicing Software for Digital Nomads and Remote Working Professionals
- How to Manage Your Remote Based Business Finance and Accounting as a Digital Nomad
- The Best Countries to Incorporate a Remote Based Company for Digital Nomads
- Best International Travel Insurance Plans For Digital Nomads
- Best Virtual Mailboxes for Digital Nomads & Remote Professionals
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