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Money Transfer Services: PayPal Alternatives

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Money Transfer

Table of Contents


Money Transfer Companies


  1. PayPal

  2. Western Union

  3. MoneyGram

  4. Xoom

  5. Ria Money Transfer

  6. TransferWise

  7. Remitly

  8. Venmo

  9. Cash App

  10. Zelle

  11. Escrow






Sometimes you just have to move money, and move money fast. The bank can be a pretty easy was to transfer money but that 3-5 business day wait just doesn't cut it for every situation. In this article you will be able to compare the companies that offer money transfer services, compare the speed in which the transfer is completed, compare fees & requirements and all other questions related to your money being transferred. This is our money transfer definitive guide.


*Note: If you are searching for a quick answer to your specific question, simply click on the link of that question above.






PayPal is one of the largest online money transfer platform and notably the most popular platform. In the past companies like Revolution, with their Revolution Money Exchange and current companies like Peymynt (a black owned money transfer company for business) attempted to compete with PayPal but no company has yet succeeded. PayPal offer a seamless way for users to create an account and link either a debit card or bank account. The great thing about using PayPal is that everyone has heard of it and many already have an account with them. Because PayPal is so popular their customer service is pretty terrible. If you rely on contacting PayPal via email don't expect a reply back. We've tried contacting PayPal several times to inform the company of an issue with their name change for the business account. We've emailed them 3-4 times and just received an automated email response back. Only when we decide to call which was equally frustrating at times did we resolve the problem.


Can I Transfer Money Instantly?


In some scenarios you can receive payment instantly. If you are transferring money from a PayPal account to a PayPal prepaid debit or cash card its usually instantaneously done. If the person sending money uses PayPal's "Send To Friend" feature instead of "Paying For Goods" the money is usually available on that person's PayPal account instantly as well. PayPal does charges a fee like most of these money transferring services we’ll be discussing. Here is a real example of fees. We’ve sent $15 to another PayPal user using the “Send To Friend” payment method. A service fee of around .50 cents would be applied. If the money we were sending goes into the users bank account then a fee of around $1.00+ would applied. We found out recently however, that if we were to the user money using the “Pay For Goods” method, that there is no fee, or at least the fee isn’t passed on to the user sending the money.


PayPal Ease of Use


PayPal is fairly easy to use. The platform makes sending money a breeze and also receiving money. However, when you receive your first payment, that is commonly when PayPal require the user to submit information about themselves such as social security number and possibly other information. I remember having to go through the process of also uploading and submitting utility bills and drivers license/government ID. It’s not optimal but Im guessing PayPal wants to really shield themselves and prevent fraud from happening on their platform.




  • Popular platform

  • Millions of registered users



  • PayPal Hold

  • Verification Receiving Money




Western Union


western union

If you ever needed money “wired” from one place to another the same day, then you’ve probably heard of Western Union. Western Union is one of the largest money transferring company with thousands of brick and mortar locations. Like PayPal, Western Union has the ability to transfer money from one place to another place all the while exchanging currency (If the money is being sent internationally). Western Union has been a around for a long time and therefore is a very trustworthy money transferring service.


Western Union Scams


Western Union is used by scammers more than any other money transferring service. One of the reasons why scammers choose to use Western Union over other platforms is because the payment cannot be reversed back and we’ve never heard of someone being banned from Western Union. With PayPal & Cash App or Zelle & Venmo user accounts can be suspended preventing users from access to these apps. That is not the case with Western Union.


How Does a Western Union Scam Work?


A person says they are selling goods or services (usually it sounds too good to be true and therefore tempting). This person tells you, you have to send payment first with Western Union and provide them with a “receiver code.” The receiver code is a combination of letters and numbers that is given to the person who is expecting the money. This process serves as a verification that the money is being sent to the right person. Once this person receives the code, they head over to a Western Union location near them, and provide the clerk the code and other information. The clerk then gives the receiver the cash and you will never hear from them again. They will not provide the services or good that they said they would provide and there is nothing you can do except notify the local police but that will not get you anywhere because they cannot do much about it. This is one example of the Western Union scam but there are many other versions of this scam however, they all involve giving the scammer the money first and they disappear. Unfortunately there are also legitimate international online businesses that use Western Union as a form of payment (China definitely). So you have to pick and choose who to trust.


Western Union Ease of Use


Western Union is somewhat easy to use but its not as simple as PayPal. To send money you will have to fill out a bunch of information on a form or online. To receive money is simple, because all the recipient has to do is provide the clerk with the receiver code, and the city & state of the person who is sending the money.




  • Many physical locations

  • Hassle free to receive money

  • Currency Exchange



  • Little protection against scam

  • Sending money involve filling out forms






MoneyGram is like Western Union in many ways and is a direct competitor to Western Union. MoneyGram, like Western Union has many physical locations where individuals have to fill our a form to send money and provide information to pick up that cash. MoneyGram has slightly less locations than Western Union but not by enough where it makes a difference. MoneyGram is also a scammers favorite service for the same reasons as Western Union, there really is no protection against scammers and you won’t be able to get your money back. Its better to play it safe and only send money to people who you actually know, rather than someone claiming to provide a service or goods. Other than the branding, there really is not much of a difference between MoneyGram and Western Union.



Xoom money tranfer


Xoom is another money transfer service company that allow users to send money and pay bills including phones for 131 countries. However, Xoom is really a PayPal alternative considering that PayPal actually owns this company. Xoom is more for users sending money abroad rather than to other individuals living in the US.


Xoom Ease of Use


Xoom is pretty easy to use, very similar to PayPal. Xoom offers a mobile app for both Android and IOS smartphone users, making it simple to transfer money on the go.


Some of the the things we didn't like about Xoom are the following. Xoom as we mentioned above isn't for people sending money to each other within the United States. Its more for people sending money internationally. Since we don't ever send money international nor need to add money to pay our phone bills we, nor many other users whose scenario are similar will have no use for Xoom. Xoom fees are also more expensive than other competitors like PayPal, Western Union or MoneyGram and your total fee are always higher than what you expect. Xoom has some transparency issues when it comes to their fees that you should be aware of.




Venmo is one of the most popular money transfer apps on the market today and not surprising it’s also owned by PayPal so we cannot say its an alternative. Venmo allow money to be transfer via P2P (Peer2Peer). Venmo is especially popular with Millennials and Generation Z.