PayPal is seen as the easiest, most convenient way to send and receive money online, but the company has run into trouble as it has grown larger – including unnecessary account freezes, a lack of communication with its users, and increasing fees.
As a freelancer, most of my clients prefer to pay me via PayPal. It’s fast, convenient, and anybody with an e-mail address can sign up for free. However, the problem is that PayPal takes a large chunk of my pay cheque with its 2.9 per cent fees (plus a 30 cent transaction fee).
This year, I have paid $271.24 in merchant fees alone. PayPal charges an additional 2.5 per cent fee if I receive funds in U.S. dollars and want to convert it to Canadian dollars, as well as 50 cents per transaction every time I want to transfer less than $150 into my bank account.
Here are three PayPal alternatives for Canadians:
While all accounts are free, the basic personal account allows you to send funds, as well as receive funds up to $400 US per month for free. The Personal pro account charges 2.5 per cent (plus a 30 cent transaction fee) to receive funds. The fees are high, but still a cheaper option than PayPal. You can add money to your account via bank transfer, wire transfer, certified cheque or money order, as well as a credit card.
Related: 5 alternatives to eBay
This is a payment processing company based in the United Kingdom. Receiving money is free, and there is a one per cent fee when sending money to someone. Personal accounts are charged a monthly service fee of $1.50, but the fee will be waived if the user has logged into the account or made a transaction every 18 months.
There is no fee for receiving money through Interac e-Transfer, however the sender may have to pay a small fee from their financial institution. For example, President’s Choice financial charges a flat fee of $1.50 for each e-Transfer.