Accepting payments: PayPal alternatives for online small businesses

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Are you becoming weary of PayPal's bad reputation? Worried about their increasing fees? Or perhaps you yourself have been a victim to some of PayPal's dubious practices and looking for an alternative? Maybe you just want to offer as many payment options to your buyers as possible. Either way, we have had a lot of feedback and questions from our members about PayPal alternatives so read on as we review some popular PayPal payment alternatives for online small businesses.


What it Offers: ProPay enables small business owners and eBay sellers to accept credit card payments and other electronic payments. ProPay is an accepted eBay payment form.

How it Works: Upon checkout, the buyer enters their credit card information. Payment is processed immediately and sent to your ProPay account.

Fees for eAuction Account for eBay Sellers:

Joining fee: $5
Annual fee: $35- $299 (ouch!)

Transaction fees:
ProPays transaction fees work on a tier system in accordance with your PowerSeller Status

Bronze PowerSeller: 3.1% and US$0.30
Silver PowerSeller: 2.7 and US$0.30
Gold PowerSeller: 2.4% and US$0.30
Platinum PowerSeller: 2.4% and US$0.30
And Titanium PowerSellers can contact ProPay and negotiate rates! Nice for some!

ProPay currently does not allow eBay's Basic seller's to use their payment system.

We Like:

  • That your buyers won't have to login or create an account to make payments
  • That it's fully integrated with eBay
  • According to the BBB (Better Business Bureau which helps to monitor business) they have a great customer service record
  • Your buyer won't be charged any fees

We Don't Like:

  • That they don't let eBay Basic Sellers use ProPay
  • Their annual fees
  • The complicated sign-up process including having to mail a check to pay your first annual fee - quite strange for a company in the business of processing credit card payments!
  • Money transfers from ProPay into checking accounts take around 3-4 business days – sometimes more according to some disgruntled users.
  • Limited seller protection


What it Offers: They perform payment processing for you for your online auctions and ecommerce sites. MoneyBookers is an accepted eBay payment form.

How it Works: Upon checkout, the buyer enters their credit card information. Payment is processed immediately and is sent to your Moneybookers account.

We Like:

  • Your buyer won't be charged any fees
  • MoneyBookers is authorized and regulated by the UK's Financial Services Authority
  • It's buyer friendly. Buyers do not have to reveal any sensitive financial information to the seller.

We Don't Like:

  • What we have heard from members about their customer service such as poor response times and difficulty getting help when things go wrong.
  • Their limited seller protection
  • Their fee's guide is unnecessarily complicated for user's


Registration: Free
Upload money from a bank: Free
Upload money from a credit card: 1.9%
Withdraw money to your bank account: € 1.80
Withdraw money via check: €3.50

Transaction Fees For Moneybookers Quick Checkout Accounts:

€ 0 – 1,000:        2.9% + 0.29 €
€  1,000 – 10,000:    2.7% + 0.29 €
€ 10,000 – 50,000:    2.5% + 0.29 €
€  50,000 – 100,000:    2.2% + 0.29 €
€  100,000 +:        1.9% + 0.29 €


What it Offers: Facilities for online payments, secure ecommerce facilities including credit card payment processing. Paymate is an accepted eBay payment form.

How it Works: Upon checkout, the buyer enters their credit card information. Payment is processed immediately and sent to your Paymate account

We Like:

  • How it eliminates the middle man. With Paymate you can tell your buyers that you accept MasterCard and Visa rather than just telling them you accept Paymate as they don't need to register to make payments to you via Paymate.
  • Fast transactions. Paymate pays sellers directly to their bank accounts – no 3-4 day waiting times which not only means you get your money faster, it also means you can ship the item out to your buyer faster, so everyone wins! Consider mentioning this to buyers, especially those who need their item urgently.  
  • Your buyer won't be charged any fees
  • Paymate does all the client refunds, bank inquiries and chargebacks, leaving sellers to do their real job

We Don't Like:

  • US sellers will need to register with Paymate, and then apply for a US merchant card processing account with Paymate's bank. This can take sellers some time to complete. Below is a list of some of the information you will need before you log into Paymate to complete your Merchant Details and submit your application:
  1. Business information such as business name, contact details and address, and Tax ID number (or EIN)
  2. eBay or ecommerce store account information: estimated monthly credit card sales, average order amount, etc. Please note that all sellers should be able to project at least $36,000 in sales via Paymate in the next 12 months
  3. eBay sellers must have a Total Feedback Count of at least 100 in the last 180 days with Positive Feedback Rating of at least 98%.

Fees For US Sellers:

Annual: Free
Monthly: Free
Transaction Fees: 3% + US$0.50 per payment

Credit Card Merchant Accounts

A credit card merchant account is an account at a financial institution that allows you to accept credit card payments yourself and without a third party provider such as MoneyBookers. You can usually get a merchant account directly from your local bank or you may decide to use any of a number of Merchant Account Providers that can be found on the Internet.

How it works: You will able to accept credit card payments to your online merchant account directly through your own ecommerce site's checkout or eBay Checkout by signing up for a Payflow payment gateway account. This is a free service for eBay sellers. Buyers pay immediately using the 'Pay Now' button. Payments are instantly processed online from eBay Checkout through Payflow. The seller never sees the buyer's credit card number. You will receive an email telling you that you have been paid and they know they can ship the item.

We Like:

  • Ease of use for buyers. Merchant accounts are generally very easy for your buyers to use. They simply enter their credit card details without the need to login or register.You will receive your money immediately.
  • Fees are usually less than third party payment providers such as PayPal and ProPay.
  • Sellers can avoid issues with frozen accounts and delayed payments into their checking accounts.

We Don't Like:

  • Merchant accounts offer very limited seller protection.
  • Many buyers will not make use of this step, opting instead for a more popular payment option such as ProPay, meanwhile, you are still required to pay monthly fees for having the merchant account, even if it is not being used. To avoid this, make sure you point out the benefits of using this option to any potential buyers such as a faster processing time which means they will get their item more quickly.

Look out for providers offering:

Free Shopping carts (some providers charge a lot for these and they are essential for ecommerce sites), no term contracts, no software required, no statement fees, great customer service options and technical help and fraud detection (helps if it's free or included too!)

Recommended Providers

CDG Commerce: Great value (free set up and $10 per month), long-running and reliable (member of BBB)
2 Checkout: Low fees (a one-time US$49 sign up fee) and a free shopping cart (member of BBB)

Do you have a favourite Paypal payment alternative? Let us know in the comments!

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SaleHoo Group

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  • OutDoorOscar 30th of August
    I went with a merchant account through and it's been great. I use them on my website to sell camping and outdoor related items and I also use them for occasional sales on eBay. They also offer a free app that is great for accepting payments at shows and conventions. I really like that there is no 3rd party account like with Paypal so money is always deposited directly in to my checking account.
  • Algi 3rd of December
    I first was Paypal user, however after some complications with my account I switched to another payment system - Paysera. Paysera may be not as universally accepted as Paypal, but it is growing and now i have a bit lower costs than i used to. The thing I like that Paysera offers up to 1% cashback to customers who pay though their app.So people who pay though it are getting the item a bit cheaper. Transfers are also processed instantly which is very convenient.
  • Don 27th of January
    As another alternative to PayPal I would recommend Cardinity ( I'm using this payment gateway provider for a half of a year now and I'm totally satisfied with it, especially for its comparatively low fees (€ 0.25 flat fee per transaction + 1.7% from the payment amount) and great client support. Strongly recommended!