Online payment methods: The 10 best solutions

There are several ways to earn money on the internet. They include freelancing, blogging, affiliate marketing, online courses, podcasting, consulting, transcription, data entry, ecommerce, and creating a YouTube channel. Whatever your hustle, you’ll need some dependable online payment methods to ensure you receive fair compensation for your hard work. This article will cover some of the most popular options at your disposal.

10 most convenient online payment methods

1. PayPal

This service is arguably the world’s most popular payment gateway. Started in 1998, PayPal is renowned for its strict security requirements. They regularly ban accounts for suspicious financial activities. It’s one of the most trusted online payment methods for freelancing giants such as Upwork, Fiverr, Guru.com, and Freelancer.com. It also offers easy integration with most ecommerce websites, as well as web-hosting providers.

Paypal is one of the most popular online payment methods

To sign up for the service, you need an email account, and bank account with a PayPal recognized financial institution. Before activating your PayPal account, you must provide other details such as name, address, and phone number. Other than a password, you’ll also provide two security questions. Read the PayPal terms and conditions carefully to avoid account limitation or a ban.

2. Stripe

Although founded in 2010, this San Francisco-based company has quickly become a viable alternative to PayPal. It builds economic infrastructure for small, medium, and large online businesses. Stripe uses innovative technology to tackle the bureaucracy that has long slowed down the adoption of online payment methods.

Stripe is a worthy alternative to Paypal

They include APIs that allow webmasters to integrate payment processing into their sites and robust anti-fraud tools. Stripe also offers a billing product for websites that charge recurring subscriptions. Although it claims to have millions of users in over 120 countries, the service has been criticized for its limited availability.

3. TransferWise

It might not be as well known as some online payment methods on this list, but TransferWise has a different approach to money transfer. Most large payment processors only focus on the Dollar, Euro, GBP, and other major currencies. This situation makes their services expensive for users when they convert to their local currencies.

TransferWise sends you money that’s already converted to your local currency, using real-time exchange rates. They deduct their commission before converting, which still makes their service considerably more affordable. You also receive the funds within an hour, which is faster than most providers. TransferWise has over 7 million users and transfers an average of $5 billion per month.

Transferwise is affordable and converts to local currencies using realtime rates

Other than multilingual support, it converts to 59 currencies, with a commitment to add more.

4. Payoneer

Known for its reliability, this financial services company is used by significant freelancing and ecommerce sites for mass payouts. Although it doesn’t offer direct integration with websites, its peer to peer payment system works flawlessly across the globe. One downside is that it charges higher fees than PayPal and Stripe.

With Payoneer’s debit card, you can withdraw funds at any ATM in the world that accepts Mastercard.

5. Alipay

China-based Alipay’s 1 billion users make it larger than established peers such as PayPal. The brand is owned by Ant Financial, which is an affiliate of the Alibaba Group. Although formed to provide a smooth payment gateway for Aliexpress, Alipay grew to become a standalone service that’s used across the globe.

The service focuses mainly on Chinese users and tourists around the world. The country’s online payment methods are markedly different from western alternatives. Nearly all Chinese citizens depend on smartphone payment apps rather than credit cards due to China’s rapid economic growth. Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay provide convenience for hundreds of millions of daily users.

Alipay and Wechat pay, two of China's and the world's biggest online payment methods

The two payment apps have been working hard to expand outside China in the recent past. They’ve made partnerships with international online processors such as Visa, Mastercard, Discover Global Network, and American Express. These collaborations allow non-Chinese tourists and online shoppers to pay comfortably for services.

6. Amazon Pay

Amazon is already one of the largest ecommerce sites in the world. It makes sense to have an in-house payment processor for hundreds of millions of its customers. You can also use your Amazon Pay account to transact on third party websites and apps. The online giant doesn’t charge membership, currency conversion, membership, and foreign transaction fees.

However, if you’re paying through a particular credit card, you’ll pay the necessary fees associated with it. This online payment processor enables donations through Alexa. It’s as simple as saying, “Alexa, I want to donate to (charity organization of choice).”

7. Google Pay

This app was previously known as Google Wallet and is available on both Google Play and iTunes app store. You can conveniently use it to purchase Google products and services, as well as transactions on partner stores. As with most online payment methods on this list, you can also connect Mastercard, Visa, and other credit cards.

Google pay, formerly known as Google Wallet is one of the most popular online payment methods

The Google Pay app allows NFC payments for Android users. You can also send money to your contacts who also have the app with a few taps. There are limits as to how much money you can send. Although Google Pay is formally available in about 30 countries, it has partnerships with hundreds of banks across the world. The online giant is expected to roll out the service more aggressively throughout 2020.

8. Apple Pay

This digital wallet is similar to Google Pay, though it has a larger and more established user base. It only works on Apple devices and is selectively rolled out to the company’s largest markets. Other than North America, they include China, the European Union, South America, Japan, Australia, and Saudi Arabia.

Apple Pay was one of the pioneers of NFC technology. Its contactless payment system has various security features. One of them is two-factor authentication, which is activated through Face ID, passcode, or touch ID. Apart from major credit card providers, Apple Pay also has partnerships with country-specific payment processors. They include China’s UnionPay, Saudi Arabia’s Mada, and Japan’s JCB.

9. Paxum

Paxum is similar to Payoneer. It’s available in more than 50 countries and over 20 currencies. One of its selling points is the relaxed approach it takes to the types of platforms it supports. Nearly all of the online payment methods on this list take a hardline stance against some types of content. Paxum processes payments for cam sites and other adult content providers.

Paxum is secure like Payoneer but is less restrictive

It offers multiple ways to withdraw and add funds from and to your Paxum account, respectively. You can do so through credit cards, wire and EFT transfers, Paxum prepaid cards, and P2P transfers. It also offers specific solutions for people who work for US and EU employers but are based overseas.

10. Crypto wallets

Bitcoin is one of the world’s first, most popular, and most revolutionary crypto-based online payment methods. Its blockchain-powered technology makes it secure, decentralized, transparent, and easy to use. A crypto wallet works similarly to fiat-based accounts. It allows you to receive, store, and convert your digital currencies to fiat alternatives.

The wallets contain the private keys or secret codes that represent your cryptocurrencies. They’re also available as apps that you can download on your phone or desktop for easier management. These apps show you how much balance you have, as well as its equivalent amount in fiat.

Bitcoin wallets are the most innovative online payment methods

The most popular Bitcoin wallets include BitPay, Bither, Armory, Bitcoin Core, Electrum, and Edge. Most websites today allow crypto transactions. These are faster and more straightforward because they eliminate the various third parties involved in other online payment methods. Bitcoin wallets can also transact globally, unlike other options that require bureaucratic regulatory approvals.

Final thoughts

There are several other country or region-specific online payment methods in the world. They include Worldremit, MPESA, EasyPaisa, Western Union, Moneygram, Flutterwave, Line Pay, and WorldPay. Each provides convenient solutions depending on the particular transaction being undertaken. Whether you’re an individual or an online business, you can easily transact with clients all over the globe.

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