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For several years, Paypal seemed to have a near monopoly in online payment methods. The service is easy-to-use, readily available and, in its early years, had only minimal fees. But draconian changes to its terms of service have sent some long-time users scrambling for alternatives.
In recent years, Paypal changed its policies to hit business owners with larger fees, and some users have reported problems with Paypal not accepting their credit cards for payments because they don't have a Paypal account. Additionally, other users have raised concerns over the quality of Paypal's security.
Then, earlier this month PayPal updated its terms of service to allow it to robocall and robo-text users - even at phone numbers you did not provide them.
While Paypal is still the most-widely used online payment service, other alternatives exist for business owners or individuals who want to shop online or send money to family, friends or business associates. Let's look at a few of the choices.
Google Wallet for Business allows you to replace the checkout functions previously offered on websites and in apps with Google services. And it is as easy to use as other Google offerings, like Adwords and Gmail.
While our friends at Google are no angels when it comes to privacy, they have not yet started to send robo-calls and texts my way, either.
Debbie Mahler at Internet Tech Specialists (formerly Mice Training & Technology) recommends U.S. Bank Merchant Services as one alternative. Not only is this a full-scale merchant services company that lets you take credit cards over the phone, through fax or in person, but it also has a Virtual Merchant interface that can integrate with your website's shopping cart system.
Many options for merchant services exist. If you are a small business owner with a decent credit history, it may not pay to mess with sites like Paypal, when you can get all your merchant needs taken care of by one company. You can learn more about how to accept credit cards with your small business here on CreditShout.
Hailed as one of the fastest and safest ways to pay online or transfer money of the Internet, Skrill (formerly called Moneybookers) is a true alternative to Paypal, providing options for businesses and individuals to send and receive money.
In Closing ...
People tend to lean toward the familiar, which explains Paypal's continued popularity. But you don't have to settle for a service you've been unhappy with; shop around for alternatives that fit your unique needs to send and receive money online!