PayPal makes sending and receiving money easy, but there are drawbacks. For one, PayPal isn’t always free. Because of fees, receiving money usually means you’ll see fewer dollars than you were expecting. There are also an increasing number of complaints about transaction delays, holds, and account freezes. While PayPal is still a reliable way to send and receive money online, you have other options.
Also worth checking out is Dwolla, an online payment service with much lower fees than PayPal (though not completely free like Amazon Payments). The only time you’ll be charged for using Dwolla is when you receive money, where there is a flat fee of 25¢ per transaction. Dwolla is integrated into many common platforms; the company just announced its service can facilitate transactions between connections on LinkedIn, and Facebook and Twitter integration is already in place. You can also use Dwolla via apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7.
Web giant Amazon operates a service similar to PayPal with one important difference: the fees are much more reasonable. For example, it doesn’t cost anything to send or receive money. You can see the full list of fees here. Amazon Payments allows you to request and send money online or via mobile phone. Withdrawals are permitted on balances above $10, and you can add funds to your account through your bank or credit card. A handful of online retailers accept Amazon Payments.
PayDivvy & WePay
For collecting group payments, consider Paydivvy and WePay. Both services allow you to request money from multiple parties and pool the funds to pay a bill. Paydivvy is free as long as you keep all transactions linked directly to and from a bank account; adding a credit card to the mix will trigger fees.
Finally, if you need a versatile way to collect credit card payments, you should take a look at Square. Upon signing up for a free account, you’ll receive a free credit card reader in the mail. Download the no-cost app for iPhone, iPad, or Android and you are ready to go. The diminutive card reader plugs into the headphone jack of your device, and each swipe results in a 2.75% fee (entering a card number manually costs more).