Best PayPal Alternatives for Sending Money Abroad - 2024
PayPal is a giant in ecommerce and digital payments, with a huge global reach and user base. It’s a super convenient way to send a payment overseas - but before you choose PayPal for your next international transfer, it’s well worth shopping around a bit to see if you can get a better deal with a PayPal alternative.
There are plenty of different providers like PayPal which can help you move your money conveniently, depending on where you’re sending to, and how you want your payment to be received. Join us as we walk through 5 alternatives to PayPal, how they compare and why they might be better than PayPal.
In our comparison we picked out the following PayPal alternatives you may want to consider:
Wise - Mid-market exchange rates and fast - or even instant - transfers
OFX - No transfer fee and 24/7 phone support if you need it
TorFX - Known for great customer service and personal account management
Remitly - Good choice for cash collection or home delivery
WorldRemit - Popular option with different pay out methods including cash collection and airtime top up
Alternatives to PayPal comparison
To get started let’s look at some PayPal alternatives which may suit your specific needs. To compare, we've taken into account their speed, transparency, ease of use and price when transferring money abroad. We’ll look at each of these money transfer services like PayPal in more detail next.
|Mid-market exchange rate
|50%+ of payments are instant, 90% arrive in 24 hours
|Exchange rate includes a markup
|Most transfers are received within 24 hours
|Exchange rate includes a markup
|1 - 2 working days
|Exchange rate includes a markup
|Varies by destination and payment type
|Exchange rate includes a markup
|Cash collection payments can be more or less instant, bank deposits may take a little longer
As you can see, there’s a good range of PayPal alternatives - the one that’s best for you will depend on how you want your payment to be received, and the destination country.
Wise offers fast payments with the mid-market exchange rate and low fees from 0.43%
OFX has a 24/7 phone service which lets you talk to a broker to understand your payment options
TorFX supports payments for personal and business customers in 40+ currencies, and has a reputation for great customer service
Remitly has payments to banks and for cash collection, on popular remittance routes
WorldRemit can help if you want to get your money to someone without easy access to a bank account or ATM
Wise offers UK personal and business customers easy ways to make cheap, fast international payments as well as the Wise multi-currency account to hold and exchange 40+ currencies in one place. Set up your transfer online or in the Wise app, for deposit to your recipient’s bank account quickly - or even instantly.
Best Wise features
Wise payments can be sent to 160+ countries, with the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees. Wise stands out on price and speed of transfers - 50% or more payments arrive instantly, and 90% are in the recipient’s account in 24 hours.
If you’re looking for a way to receive, exchange or easily spend in foreign currencies, you can also get a Wise account to hold 40+ currencies, receive payments in up to 10 currencies, and spend in 150+ countries with a Wise international debit card.
Why you should use Wise as an PayPal alternative
Wise is a strong PayPal alternative if you want to send money to a bank account internationally. Wise uses mid-market exchange rates for currency conversion, with low, transparent fees for all transfers. 50% of payments are instant, and 90% arrive on the same day, so there’s no waiting around. Plus if you decide to open a Wise account you can hold and exchange 40+ currencies and only pay for the services you use.
OFX serves UK businesses and individuals with international transfers to bank accounts as well as currency risk management services. Online sellers and business customers can also get a multi-currency account to receive, hold and send international payments conveniently. There’s no OFX transfer fee, although a small exchange rate markup will apply for currency conversion - and you can talk to a broker 24/7 by phone.
Best OFX features
OFX is well known because you can call a broker 24/7 to talk through your options. This can just be handy for times you need a bit of reassurance or an explanation of your options - or it may be mandatory if you’re looking at more complex products like a currency risk management solution.
Why you should use OFX as an PayPal alternative
OFX is a PayPal alternative to consider if you’re sending a larger value payment to a bank account and would prefer to talk to someone about your transfers and transactions. OFX has a 24/7 phone service which can be reassuring if you’re making a high value payment or if you need to understand your options for currency risk management tools.
TorFX is a currency specialist which offers international payments to a bank account for personal and business customers in 40+ currencies. While it’s UK based, TorFX has offices around the world - plus it holds the highest possible credit rating and is known for offering good personal customer service. There are no transfer fees when you send a payment with TorFX. Instead, a charge will be added to the exchange rate used to convert your funds.
Best TorFX features
TorFX is a specialist provider which has built a reputation for great customer service. You can send one off or recurring payments, or get more complex currency services like forward contracts and market orders. Set up a payment online, in app or by phone, depending on your personal preference.
Why you should use TorFX as an PayPal alternative
TorFX may be an attractive PayPal alternative if you want solutions to reduce currency risk, or make high value transfers to bank accounts around the world. TorFX is known for its great customer service, too, resulting in a loyal customer base.
Remitly lets UK customers send money to around 170 different countries around the world, in 100+ currencies. There’s a very good range of pay out options including cash collection or delivery, and deposits to mobile money accounts. This can make it a convenient service if you need to get cash to someone in a more remote area who can't get to a bank easily.
Best Remitly features
Remitly payments offer great options for pay outs - including depositing the funds to bank accounts, mobile money accounts or debit cards, and cash collection or home delivery. Choose to pay with a bank transfer, for an economy payment - or with a card for an Express transfer. Express payments may arrive in minutes, while the cheaper Economy option can take 3 to 5 business days to arrive.
Why you should use Remitly as an PayPal alternative
Remitly may be a good PayPal alternative if you need to send money to be collected in cash locally, or even sent out for home delivery in some destinations. These options make it a handy choice if you need to get money quickly to someone who can’t get to a bank or ATM easily.
WorldRemit lets you send money online or in-app, to 130+ countries, with a range of different payout options depending on what suits your recipient. You could send money to a bank or mobile money account, or for airtime top up for example. There’s also the option to have your money collected by the recipient in cash which is handy for people who don’t have easy access to a bank account.
Best WorldRemit features
WorldRemit really stands out because of the range of pay out options. You can send money to 130+ countries, and have it collected in cash - often in just a few minutes. Plus you can send to mobile money accounts and as airtime top up. That makes WorldRemit a good PayPal alternative if you need to get cash to someone who doesn’t have access to a bank account or ATM.
Why you should use WorldRemit as an PayPal alternative
WorldRemit is another PayPal alternative to consider if you want your money to be sent for cash collection or even as an airtime top up. These services aren’t available from PayPal right now, which might mean WorldRemit has the edge if that’s what you’re after.
Still looking for providers? Compare all international money transfer services
Why you should consider a PayPal alternative
PayPal is a great option for shopping online domestically or sending money to a friend within the UK. However, whenever you transact internationally with PayPal a few extra fees creep in, which can push up the costs more than you expect.
If you want to send a payment overseas with PayPal UK you’ll pay a transfer fee of 5%, which is capped at 2.99 GBP. However, this isn’t the only cost involved - the other fee you’ll pay is an exchange rate markup which can be trickier to spot, and may also be higher than the transfer fee itself. When PayPal converts currency for you, you’ll be able to find the applicable exchange rate in the PayPal app. This exchange rate is likely to include a markup - but to spot it you’ll need to compare it to the mid-market rate for your currency pair.
You can check this out yourself by looking at the PayPal exchange rate in the app, and getting the mid-market rate for your conversion using a Google search. If there’s a difference this is likely to be a markup - which is an extra percentage fee rolled into the rate used for conversion.
The other reason to consider a PayPal alternative is that PayPal international transfers can only be deposited to another PayPal account. While PayPal has a huge user base, you’ll need to check if your recipient has an account already - and bear in mind, they may need to pay a fee to withdraw their money back to their bank, depending on where they live. In some countries, there’s a PayPal charge to withdraw funds in some currencies, or to arrange an instant transfer to a bank account. If you need to get money to someone in a hurry, using a service similar to PayPal which offers fast or instant bank deposits, or cash collection, may be a better bet.
Pros of PayPal
Trusted company with a huge user base
PayPal accounts can be used for shopping locally and internationally, as well as for sending payments
Your money could be deposited instantly to your recipient’s PayPal account
Send to more or less any country in the world
Around 25 currencies supported for payments
Cons of PayPal
Exchange rate markups are likely to push up costs
Transfer fees apply of 5% (capped at 2.99 GBP)
Your recipient may need to wait to withdraw their money to a bank, or pay a fee for an instant withdrawal
Are the alternatives safe?
Yes. All the sites like PayPal we have picked out are safe to use, and registered and regulated by the FCA in the UK. They’ll also have their own internal safety measures, such as fraud detection protocols and ways to track your transfers, for reassurance.
PayPal alternatives conclusion
PayPal is justifiably popular, and offers a great range of services for UK customers. However, the PayPal international transfer fees can be on the high side, and are likely to include currency conversion costs. PayPal also has the drawback that payments are deposited to the recipient’s PayPal account rather than their bank - which means they’ll need to arrange to withdraw their money if they want cash.
It’s worth shopping around a few different sites like PayPal before you set up your next international payment. Depending on what you need you might find a PayPal alternative which can help you send your transfer cheaper, faster or more conveniently. Use this guide to kickstart your research and make sure you get the best available deal for your needs.
What is the cheapest way to send money internationally?
Sending money internationally with a specialist online or digital service is often cheaper than using a bank. However, different services have their own rates and fees - so to find the cheapest way to send money internationally in your specific case, you’ll want to compare a few options based on both the transfer fees and the exchange rate markups applied.
Which is the safest mode of money transfer?
Sending your payment with a properly regulated and trusted provider is essential. Check the money transfer service you pick is reputable - starting with our PayPal alternatives guide is a good plan, as we’ve included services similar to PayPal in this article that are FCA regulated and safe to use.
What is the best company to transfer money with?
There’s no single best company to transfer money with. Comparing a few is the best way to get a good deal. At Exiap we only review and compare trusted providers - so you can use our top picks as a starting point to find the best one for you.