Historically, paying and getting paid globally has been a hassle, especially for businesses. From one-person-operations to CFOs, payments have been a thorn in the side of generations of financial professionals and excited upstarts. But thanks to tech developments like mobile currency platforms, businesses are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. PayPal, Western Union, and Veem are all examples of payment platforms that are innovating the financial space, paving the way for convenience and smoother transactions for the present and future of the industry.
As the payments industry grows, businesses must face the daunting task of choosing between too many payment options, and understanding the fine print and hidden fees that digital payment methods use to take advantage of small business owners.
Small businesses are at the mercy of hidden fees, inflated exchange rates, wait times, processing costs, security threats, and much, much more when they send money. But transferring money doesn’t have to cost your business excessive amounts of cash, time, or worry. Learn the pros and cons of each of the top money transfer options.
PayPal Online Transfers
As an innovator in online payments, PayPal was the first of its kind available for ecommerce payments. No other processor really competed in the way PayPal connected online vendors with online buyers. Providing such a product was a huge step for the payments industry. PayPal is known best for its handy integration and partnerships with the biggest ecommerce platforms, as well as its peer-to-peer transfer system.
PayPal is perhaps most popular for business-to-customer transactions, but they also offer business-to-business transactions.
A brief history of PayPal
Founded by Peter Thiel and Max Levchin in 1998 under the name Confinity, PayPal arose from a merger with Elon Musk’s banking company, X.com in 2000. Despite the attention gained by fraudsters, hackers, and government officials, PayPal reached one million customers in less than two years. In 2002, PayPal sold to eBay, although the online giants parted ways in 2014.
Along the way, PayPal has inspired many competitors in the space, such as Braintree (Venmo) and Xoom (for international payments). At the same time, quite a few people have become very rich from what seemed a simple online concept, while benefiting individuals and businesses in their transfer processes.
In 2006, PayPal released its mobile payment platform called PayPal Mobile and in 2017, PayPal released its peer-to-peer payments platform.
PayPal inarguably broke the ice for peer-to-peer payments by stepping into the spotlight for government bodies who immediately imposed regulations, rules, and security measures to protect both investors and customers who wanted to send money. Of course, fines were handed out to PayPal and investigations took place over business practices, but the company learned, regulators learned, and ultimately PayPal prevailed and paved the way for electronic cash payments.
To send money through PayPal, users must use their credit or debit cards.
|Cost to send money||Time to send money|
|Domestic: Receiver pays 3.40%, plus a fixed fee ($0.30 USD)|
International: 4.4% + $0.30 USD
|Domestic: Within minutes
International: 3-5 business days
Pros of using PayPal for business transfers
- PayPal’s history of trial and error has helped them learn how to send money. Combined with a whole lot of money behind the company’s namesake, PayPal is widely regarded as a legitimate, secure, and convenient way to send money. Now, they’re one of the top trusted cash transfer platforms in the world.
- Smooth integrations
- Invoicing on the go
Cons of PayPal’s business transfers
PayPal costs businesses more to send money than some other providers, charging 2.9% of the transaction value, plus $0.30 per domestic transaction. And for international transactions, PayPal charges 4.4% of the transaction value, plus a fixed fee depending on the currency the receiver prefers their cash in.
Western Union Business Transfers
Western Union, founded in 1851, making it the oldest way to send money on this list. In fact, Western Union can be credited with the very first wire transfer service. Starting out as a telegraph company, the company eventually recognized its potential for sending money via their telegraph technology. Thus, the wire transfer was created. Now, Western Union has extended its offerings from in-person or over the phone and online transfers, to include payments by and to personal and business accounts.
Payments are available through cash, credit cards, and in some countries, debit cards or bank transfer.
|Cost to send money||Time to send money|
|Domestic: Bank-to-bank is $0.99|
International: Generally $30 USD fee
|Domestic: A few minutes
International: 3-5 days
Pros of using Western Union for business transfers
- Western Union is easy to find, offering services in-person, over the phone, and now online.
- Western Union offers white papers and resources on how to avoid fraud and scams that are possible through their platform. But Veem removes the need for these guidelines by ensuring security from the start.
- Competitive rates for large transactions.
Cons of Western Union’s business transfers
While the company was innovative in the early to mid 1900s, their security features and delivery times remain frozen in the past.
- Western Union lacks transparency, notoriously putting businesses at risk of fraud and losing cash payments, affecting both the receiver and the holder of the sending account.
- Filling out a wire transfer form with Western Union is no walk in the park, and that’s if you have all required information on hand and avoid any mistakes. If an error is made on the sender or receiver’s bank account numbers, there’s no way to know, which means no cash for either side.
- Foreign exchange is marked up to 6% above the mid-market rate when you send money through Western Union.
- Money transfers are not available in all countries, meaning international receivers and accounts may have to go to a physical location and pick up their cash.
TransferWise Online Transfers
TransferWise is an international payments processor that offers regular or one-off businesses and individual money transfers. In terms of pricing, TransferWise fees depend on the currency of the cash, amount, and method of payment.
A brief history of Transferwise Online Transfers
Transferwise was founded in 2011 by a pair of Estonians, Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus. Back then, they both had great jobs in different parts of the world, but needed to send money home to pay the bills.
Not only were the two forced to exchange currencies between their sender and receiver accounts, but the process to send money was slow, tedious, and expensive. So, they created TransferWise.
Since then, Transferwise has given their users the ability to send money around the world for less, and faster.
Payments are processed through bank wire, debit card, or SWIFT transfer. TransferWise charges a small upfront fee to send money, but uses the mid-market rate for foreign exchange.
TransferWise allows users to send money directly from a debit card or bank, or make payments from a business bank account. Receivers don’t need a TransferWise account to receive their money.
|International: A fixed fee, generally around $9.90, plus 0.5-2.35% of the transaction.||International: 1-3 business days|
Pros of using TransferWise for business transfers
TransferWise is a strong competitor of PayPal for users trying to send money, with some better offerings:
- TransferWise advertises that it is 19x cheaper than PayPal to send money.
- They don’t inflate the exchange rate between the 40 currencies they deal in.
- Guaranteed foreign exchange for 24hrs.
Cons of TransferWise business transfers
- Not ideal for large payments, as TransferWise charges between 0.5-2.5% to send money.
- Many steps to create a business account in order to start sending money. You create a business account, “alongside a completed personal account,” wait to be verified, and then wait for TransferWise to request additional information. Only then can you send money from your account.
Veem Business Transfers
Veem is an innovator in the payments space. The only difference is, we refuse to stop while we’re ahead. Veem began as an alternative to slow, opaque, and unsecure bank transfers, offering global business-to-business payments in 1-3 days. Since our beginnings, we’ve started offering true tracking, invoice templates, and incomparable customer service.
Payments are sent using multi-rail technology, including SWIFT, local networks, and blockchain. This combination makes Veem the fastest, safest, and simplest way to send money online. Our payment routes allow us to cut out the middlemen and credit card fees, allowing for better transparency.
Our multi-rail technology and our relationship-based payments system make us one of a kind. And we do it all for less than PayPal, and with more security and transparency than Western Union or TransferWise.
|Cost to send money||Speed to send money|
|Domestic: Only $1.00 USD|
International: Lock in the best exchange rate. That’s all you pay.
|Domestic: Instantly or up to a few minutes
International: 1-3 business days
What Veem offers
Veem offers a variety of business financial solutions. We optimize online business payments, both internationally and domestically.
At the base of our offerings, we streamline the payments process by offering the following at no added cost:
- Quick and easy online signup
- Seamless integrations
- An advanced API for your website
- Locked-in FX rates
- Real-time tracking
How Veem is developing
In the world of business finance, there’s always room for growth. Here are some features that we’re currently developing in order to continue providing the absolute best in business payments for our clients.
At Veem, we conveniently cut out the middleman and directly connect your bank account to your receiver’s. And although this also means we cannot process credit card payments, we’ve come up with a better solution. To diversify our offerings and payment options, we’ve created our own, better credit system, called Veem Capital. With Paid Now, Pay Later, businesses can pass off invoices to Veem and skip waiting for payments. We’ll take over the invoice so your cash flow is never interrupted.
Additionally, Veem offers fast cashouts. You’re able to deposit your Veem account balance directly to your credit or debit card with our Instant Deposit program.
As far as digital payments go, online-only payment systems shouldn’t take away from customer service.
For many users, sending business payments might mean sacrificing the human component like an agent or representation. With Veem, it’s quite the opposite. The only thing we remove from the process is making you go to a bank. You can send money anytime from anywhere. And if you run into any confusion, Veem has acclaimed customer service and country representatives that are experts in getting your money from your account to your receiver, quickly, clearly, and securely.