Small business owners rely heavily on strong payment processing options to ensure stability and growth. For years, PayPal has been the go-to service for this purpose – but as technology advances, so too do available alternatives. In this article we unearth some of these fresh services - all free of charge & primed to empower your small biz.
After a thorough review of the top contenders in payment processing, we have identified several excellent alternatives to PayPal. Whether it's for better rates, more stability with a traditional merchant account, or specialized services that cater towards specific business types - these are our picks for best-in-class solutions:
Stripe is a payment processing service that allows businesses to accept credit card payments online. It's free to set up an account, and Stripe charges a flat rate of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. While this rate is higher than PayPal's, Stripe offers more advanced features, such as the ability to customize checkout pages and integrate with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce.
Stripe has an extensive global reach, allowing businesses to confidently operate in hundreds of countries and interact with customers using the local currency. Plus, Stripe offers cryptocurrency support for those looking to transact digitally. Signing up is simple but does necessitate some background knowledge when it comes time to integrate the platform into your software.
Square is a popular payment processing service that offers a range of free tools for small business owners. With Square, you can accept credit card payments in person or online, manage your inventory, and even create invoices. Square charges a flat rate of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for online payments and 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction for in-person payments. While these rates are similar to PayPal's, Square offers more advanced features like a customizable online store and the ability to manage appointments.
Square has become an increasingly popular payment processor due to its easy-to-use POS and abundant features, such as integrations for ecommerce, delivery services, and accounting. It also provides a free virtual terminal with ACH processing capability - something that PayPal does not offer. However, the latter enjoys wider acceptance in online stores than Square does.
Google Pay is a digital wallet that allows users to store their credit and debit card information and use it to make payments. It's free to use, and small business owners can accept payments by adding a Google Pay button to their website or app. Google Pay charges a flat rate of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, which is comparable to PayPal's fees. While Google Pay doesn't offer as many features as some of the other options on this list, it's a good choice for businesses that want a simple and easy-to-use payment processing service.
With powerful integrations and partners, Google Pay enables seamless online payments for your customers. Offering a well-known brand of trustworthiness around the world - its secure processing is available in over 75 countries! And with connections to BigCommerce, Clover, PayPal alternatives like Square or Stripe – even Amazon Pay – it's never been easier to take advantage of this growing platform.
Venmo is a peer-to-peer payment app that allows users to send and receive money from their friends and family. However, small business owners can also use Venmo to accept payments from customers. Venmo charges a flat rate of 1.9% + $0.10 per transaction, which is lower than PayPal's fees. While Venmo doesn't offer as many features as some of the other options on this list, it's a good choice for small businesses that only need to accept occasional payments.
Zelle is a digital payment network that allows users to send and receive money from their bank accounts. While Zelle is primarily used for person-to-person payments, small business owners can also use it to accept payments from customers. Zelle doesn't charge any fees for transactions, which makes it a great option for businesses that want to keep their costs low. However, it's worth noting that Zelle doesn't offer as many features as some of the other options on this list.
Zelle provides an effortless experience for sending money to customers. With just a few clicks, businesses can transfer funds quickly and without the hassle of additional invoicing or point-of-sale systems. To use Zelle's service, both parties must have accounts registered with them; but luckily it’s easy to enroll through your bank’s payment app - though you should be aware that some banks may charge small businesses a fee as part of their services.
Pillar is an alternative to traditional payment processors which provides a business account tailored towards small business owners. The totally free built-in invoicing feature allows you to generate and send professional-looking invoices to clients and customers quickly and easily, without having to rely on manual processes or third-party software.
All in all, when it comes to free PayPal alternatives, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You need to evaluate your current needs and take into account the pros and cons of each service before deciding. But one thing's for sure – whichever payment platform you decide on, you won't be left feeling shortchanged by your choice of free PayPal alternative! So make sure you explore what's out there and find the right fit for your small business. Who knows – it might just help you save money and live the life of your dreams (emphasis added).
Advice and research for Canadian small businesses from our expert team