Personal Features

PayPal

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PayPal provides different services for personal customers from a number of countries. However, the services on offer vary from one region to another.

What PayPal does

  • International money transfers.
  • Debit and prepaid cards.
  • PayPal Credit.
  • Links multiple payment methods to your account to shop online.
  • Digital wallet to hold funds in multiple currencies.

What PayPal doesn’t do

  • Dedicated account managers.
  • Risk management tools.
  • Cash pickup.

TransferWise

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TransferWise provides a simple easy to use international money transfer service with digital wallet capabilities. Their digital wallet, or Borderless account also gives the individual local banking details in 6+ currencies including, EUR, SGD, NZD, USD, GBP and AUD. Their TransferWise Borderless debit card backs on to their Borderless digital wallet allowing you to spend directly out of your multi-currency account balances.

What TransferWise offers individuals

  • International money transfers
  • Borderless multi-currency receiving accounts
  • Borderless Debit Card - FX optimised debit card
  • Android and Apple apps
  • Send money to email address

What TransferWise does not offer individuals

  • Personal account management
  • Regular transfers
  • Cash pick up or international bill payments

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Business Benefits

PayPal

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PayPal provides a range of specialized services for businesses from different countries.

What PayPal for business offers

  • Make and accept international payments.
  • Solutions for online sellers.
  • Digital wallet to hold funds and transact in multiple currencies.
  • Payment gateway to accept card payments.
  • Accepts in-store payments with a card reader and a smartphone or tablet.
  • Easy accounting integration through APIs, SDKs, code samples and pre-integrated solutions.
  • Risk management through fraud and seller protection.
  • Mass payments.

What PayPal for business doesn’t do

  • Account managers.
  • Currency hedging tools.

TransferWise

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In addition to the services TransferWise offers the individual, there are some features only available for a business. Unfortunately, as TransferWise is online only, a business customer does not have support with currency fluctuations and trends. TransferWise does however offer easy to use transactional foreign currency receipts and payments.

What TransferWise offers businesses

  • Batch payments
  • Xero and Quickbook integration
  • FX optimised business debit card
  • Multi-user account access

What TransferWise for business doesn’t offer

  • Business account management
  • Risk management tools
  • Regular transfers

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Fees & Exchange Rates

PayPal

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PayPal fees vary based on where you live and the services on offer.

Fees for sending money within the US

Payment methodFees
PayPal Cash, PayPal Cash Plus or a linked bank account $0
Credit card, debit card or PayPal Credit2.9% of the transfer amount, plus a fixed fee

Fees for sending money overseas

Payment methodTransaction feesFunding fees
PayPal Cash, PayPal Cash Plus or a linked bank account 5% of the transfer amount (minimum of $0.99 and maximum of $4.99)$0
Credit card, debit card or PayPal Credit.5% of the transfer amount (minimum of $0.99 and maximum of $4.99)2.9% of the transfer amount plus a fixed fee

Fees for selling

Mode of sellingFees
Selling in the US2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction
Selling internationally4.4% plus a fixed fee based on the currency received
PayPal Here card reader2.7% for card swipes, or 3.5% plus $0.15 for manually entered transactions

PayPal exchange rates

PayPal adds a margin of up to 3% on existing mid-market rates when carrying out currency conversion. Combined with the fees you need to pay, the cost of sending money overseas through PayPal becomes rather prohibitive.


TransferWise

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TransferWise offers the real time exchange rate at the time of your transfer. Therefore fees are visible in addition to the transfer amount. The fee structure is complex as it differs depending on the currencies you are sending from and to. Fees also apply to the type of Borderless account transaction. Fees can also apply on the use of the TransferWise Borderless debit card. Fees are briefly summarised below. Read the detailed TransferWise review for more details on TransferWise fees.

TransferWise ServiceTransferWise fee
Simple International Money Transfer

0.4% - 2% 

Varies on currency and payment type

Adding to TransferWise Borderless account0.4% - 0.5%
Converting between Borderless account0.3% - 0.6%
Sending money out of Borderless accountLess than 0.1% in most cases
Borderless Account Debit Card

No fee for card issuance

Fee free cash withdrawal limit of US$250, 2% thereafter

Zero cost on spend from existing currency balance, 0.24 - 3.69% fee if there is no existing balance


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Ease of Use

PayPal

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What PayPal does well

Sign up - Signing up takes little time, and you may do so by using the PayPal website or app.

Payment options - You can fund your account and transfers in different ways such as bank transfers, debit cards and credit cards.

PayPal app - The PayPal app is available for iOS and Android.
 

Where PayPal could improve

Phone transfers - PayPal customers can not send money over the phone.


TransferWise

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The TransferWise app design and user experience of their technology is great with simple, intuitive processes.

Registration - Fast and easy account creation

ID verification - Instant in some countries

Transfer speed - It can be instantaneous in some countries. Fast payments to TransferWise comes at an additional cost.

Minimum transfer amount - $1

Mobile app - Simple and easy to use. Probably the best designed app of the international money transfer companies.

Payment options - TransferWise has the broadest range of payment options. Local bank transfer, debit / credit card and country specific solutions such as POLi.


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Support & Countries

PayPal

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What PayPal does well

Supported countries - PayPal provides its services in more than 200 countries and territories.

Multilingual website - You can use the PayPal website in different languages.
 

Where PayPal could improve

Local phone support - PayPal could do better by providing local phone support in countries with large customer bases.


TransferWise

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TransferWise’s supported countries vary with different services having different supported customer countries and destination countries. These are detailed in the TransferWise Countries and Currencies article and is summarized below.

Send from - 23 countries plus the Europe SEPA countries

Send to - Over 60 currencies

Borderless account and debit card - Over 6 countries can sign up to their Borderless services.


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Trust & Transparency

PayPal

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What PayPal does well

  • PayPal is licensed to provide its services in all the regions in which it operates.
  • Dispute resolution and purchase protection for buyers.

Where PayPal could improve

Customer rating - PayPal gets a rating of Bad on Trustpilot. Several PayPal reviews written by customers highlight the company's poor customer service. None of the recent reviews have been answered by PayPal.

Exchange rate transparency - The non-transparent exchange rate margin leaves many customers wondering about the true cost of their transfers.


TransferWise

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TransferWise is fully regulated by the FCA and their customer funds are segregated from their business banking activities.

TransferWise is rated on TrustPilot as Excellent. Unfortunately there have been some poor reviews on TrustPilot indicating sudden account closures with funds being returned with no explanation.

TransferWise continues to raise capital through private funding. This could be a concern for the future when the shareholders are looking for aggressive growth and / or a return on their investment.


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The Result

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 TransferWise