December 2020 Update: Zelle is the best way to transfer money internationally according to my business manager.
This post reviews seven money transfer services.
Are you ready to dive in and learn the best way to transfer money internationally?
What is the best way to transfer money internationally?
How do you pay people half a world away and how do they pay you?
After you blog long enough, people will offer you money to promote them. The methods may vary.
Brands may offer you the compensation to promote them in your blog posts, in your newsletters, on your sidebar, or on your social media accounts.
You will need to know the best way to transfer money internationally.
The best money transfer app may be different for you and for your clients.
This post reviews PayPal, Skrill, Xoom, Apple Pay, Patreon, Q, and Venmo.
After you read these reviews, you will know the best way to transfer money internationally.
Update April 2019:
Updated information about the best way to transfer money internationally.
Since publishing this post, I discovered the most used payment method for Dutch people is called iDeal.
This post will explain how to target specific countries with different payment methods.
If you are going to be collecting money from people, you need to use a trustworthy online system.
PayPal was the first secure way of transferring money online.
I can personally vouch for PayPal since I’ve used this money transfer service happily for years. I use PayPal to pay people and other people pay me for sponsored posts, reviews, and blog coaching through my PayPal account.
Since I use PayPal to pay my virtual assistants and I’ve never had PayPal problems when people pay me, I can recommend this money transfer service.
My tech helper Phillip lives in England. I pay him through PayPal.
Is PayPal Free?
No. PayPal is not free. According to JustPublishingAdvice.com,
“There are two different basic Paypal fee scales with fixed fees and percentage deductions.
For sales within the US 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
For international sales 4.4% transaction fee plus a fixed fee based on currency received.
It is worth noting that if you send or receive money to a friend or family member for money as a personal payment from PayPal, there is no fee if you use your PayPal balance or bank account.”
Advantages of Using PayPal
- Do I have to worry about currency conversions? No! PayPal takes care of all of that for me.
- PayPal has a mobile app.
- When I signed up for the PayPal mobile app, I was sent a credit card swiper. I’ve never used it since I just type in the credit card number into the PayPal mobile app. However, it’s handy to have in case I ever meet any of my blog coaching clients and want to process their credit card payment with the credit card swiper.
- PayPal is a popular choice for brands who believe PayPal is the best way to transfer money internationally. For example, this article on Kingged explains companies that pay people to play games use PayPal.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m happy using PayPal. However, there are downsides.
For example, when my ebooks sell through the Amazon Kindle Program, Amazon won’t put the money in my PayPal account.
Instead, Amazon puts the money in my personal checking account. Then I need to reimburse my PayPal account which has my blogging income in order to avoid combining my personal funds and blogging funds.
Also, PayPal takes a hefty share compared to other money transfer services. Apparently, PayPal is not the cheapest way to send money. PayPal seems to take a bigger cut than other money transfer services.
In addition, PayPal doesn’t transfer money everywhere.
When I use PayPal, the person I pay has to pay the PayPal processing fees which doesn’t seem fair to them. Sometimes they charge me more to cover the fees.
Blogger Jhonny Castillo discourages the use of PayPal (Source: Ecommerce Marketing: How to Make Money in the 5 Best Places):
“The United Kingdom is renowned for its skyrocket ecommerce marketing transactions that account for about 15 percent of the country’s total purchases annually. Alternative online money transfer methods such as PayPal are not frequently used.
You need to establish a strong ecommerce business brand that will penetrate into the market. Being an English speaking nation, it will become easier for you to reach clients without involving the services of middlemen. The advantage of directly accessing your clients and prospects is that you can respond to their concerns to strengthen their loyalty.”
For information on how to use PayPal to make money, see this article on making money with PayPal.
Skrill Vs. PayPal
In contrast to PayPal which has a reputation for being expensive, Skrill is a money transfer service that allows money to be sent through the internet for less. Skrill apparently makes a sharp contrast to PayPal since Skrill focuses on low-cost money transfers.
Apparently, Skrill will even pay part of your service charges for an entire year if you refer a friend.
Xoom Global Money Transfer Service
PayPal won’t transfer money everywhere in the world. For example, one of my technical assistants lives in Sri Lanka. PayPal doesn’t transfer money there.
Instead, in order to pay him, I have to use Xoom, a service of PayPal to send money internationally.
When I use PayPal, the person I pay pays the fees. Sometimes they charge me more to cover the fees. With Xoom, I have to pay the fees to Xoom, not the person I’m paying.
How to pay:
With Xoom, you can pay with a credit card, a debit card, or your bank account. I was given the option of paying with my PayPal account, but two PayPal accounts showed and I only have one so I paid with a credit card since I was confused.
Disadvantages of using Xoom:
I found transferring funds complicated. I had to know my tech helper’s bank and account number. You can also send the money to a pickup location of his choosing.
The money transfer charger was high. I had to pay $5.00 on a $30.00 invoice.
Also, Xoom kept throwing me off the site for inactivity when I needed to look up the recipient’s information.
Advantages of using Xoom:
Paying my technical helper the second time was much easier than the first time. His information was already in the memory and populated as soon as I went into Xoom.
Also, sending money seemed secure since Xoom used my phone number to make sure of my identity. Xoom asked me to type in a code I received on my smartphone.
Apple Pay’s slogan is “Cashless made effortless.”
When you use Apple Pay, you transfer funds to a phone number instead of an email.
Emily Joy Mitchell explained why she recommends Apple Pay.
“I love using Apple Pay! It is so convenient, fast, and for my germaphobe self, I love that it keeps me from having to touch keypads in stores-especially during cold and flu season! It also keeps me from having to worry about any illegal skimmers that may have been placed on a keypad.
My husband was at a store and realized he had forgotten his wallet, but he had his phone so was still able to check out and pay for his items without having to put them back and come back later.
Apple Pay is so convenient for transferring money to people since I don’t typically carry cash with me. Gone are my days of having to try to remember to stop by an ATM to get money when I owe money to someone. I just pull out my phone and basically text them the money. Love it!”
Your supporters pay you. They are your patrons, your financial supporters.
Blogger Ileane Smith uses Patreon and asks for $5.00 a month. At the time of this writing, she has 16 patrons.
This is what you see on her site:
When you click, you’re taken to Ileane’s Patreon page.
Advantages of Using Patreon as a Global Money Transfer Service:
- Creators, the Patreon artists, get paid.
- Patreon gives creators a sustainable income.
- At Patreon, fans connect with creators.
- You get a Create Partnerships specialist. Patreon gives a disclaimer: For full-time creators who might qualify.
Consider these comments:
Found you when reading your post about how to start a profitable blog. Your philosophy on making money from your words feels kinda groundbreaking.
Your post was so great I just HAD to reach out! 🙂
Just curious, have you considered making money from a paid newsletter before?
That is, your readers pay you a monthly subscription fee to receive exclusive content, just like your own personal magazine.
I’ve had chats with other bloggers like you, and they like the idea of a recurring source of income. What are your thoughts on it?”
This is the idea behind Patreon. Your readers pay for your content.
How to sign up for Patreon:
On Patreon’s home page click Talk to a Create Partnership specialist.
Fill out the questionnaire.
Options for making money with Patreon:
Thanks so much for applying. Due to the high volume of requests, we won’t be able to reach back out to everyone.
Don’t wait for our response to get started! Begin building your membership by clicking here:
You can find resources on membership best practices here: https://blog.patreon.com/
(Note: I never heard back from Patreon.)
You don’t pay for Patreon. Your patrons pay. Patreon takes 5% of your what you make.
Patreon has teamed up with Reddit to help creators. Subcommunities of fans gather at Reddit. Reddit is the #5 most visited site in the world, according to Patreon, so they feel this integration helps their creators.
There’s even a hashtag associated with Patreon: #ThankYouPatrons
Apparently, Initiative Q gives away money. They call themselves, “Tomorrow’s money system” for this reason. The economists that developed Initiative Q feel today’s money system is antiquated.
You need to be invited to join Initiative Q. You can use Facebook or Twitter to gain yourself an invitation. Scroll down to How to Get Invited.
According to Peter,
“Initiative Q is an attempt by ex-PayPal guys to create a new payment system instead of credit cards that were designed in the 1950s. The system uses its own currency, the Q, and to get people to start using the system once it’s ready, they are allocating Qs for free to people that sign up now (the amount drops as more people join – so better to join early).
Signing up is free and they only ask for your name and an email address. There’s nothing to lose but if this payment system becomes a world leading payment method your Qs can be worth a lot.”
Peter continued explaining the monetary potential of Initiative Q:
Venmo is a money transfer service owned by PayPal. However, Venmo cannot be used for global money transfer. VenMo can only be used if both the sender and receiver live in the United States.
I interviewed former college student Rachel who used Venmo when she was in college. She explained why she feels Venmo is the best way to transfer money and how Venmo is used:
One phone has a scanner, the other phone has a bar code. The two phones can transfer money this way.
You can search for Venmo’s user names. Your contacts get saved. However, if there are many contacts with the same name, you can send money by connecting the phones to each other. Rachel commented she feels the technology is cool.
I asked if Venmo is used by younger people. She responded that the younger people she knows use Venmo.
When college student Rachel graduated, I asked why she enjoyed using Venmo so much when she was in college.
She explained the advantages of using Venmo:
- No convenience fees
- No minimum money amount
- Immediate deposits (no waiting time between the time someone pays you and the time it goes to your account)
- The option to keep Venmo payment in Venmo account or transfer to the bank as you wish
- Various privacy options (Public, friends, or private) per payment
- The option to have Venmo send emails whenever you receive money or whenever you pay someone.
- Very safe, fast, and convenient.
- She could pay as little as .50 even .10 if she wanted.
Other Advantages of Venmo:
People use Venmo to share costs. For example, I was joining friends to go to the theater. No one wanted to put out the money and buy the tickets in case someone canceled. We didn’t want to have to eat the cost of the tickets for no-shows.
With a Venmo account, many people can put the money in the account, and then when it’s time to buy the tickets, one person can take the money out of the account to make the purchase for the people who contributed.
Disadvantages of the Venmo Money Transfer Service
As explained, if you are looking for the best way to transfer money internationally, you can’t use VenMo. VenMo will only work to transfer to and from parties within the United States.
Wrapping Up: Best Way to Send Money Internationally
In closing, if you find the idea of paying for content in the current Digital Age surprising, don’t.
Even Medium.com, the popular content curation site, is getting into the Pay for Content Game.
Look what I see on Medium now after I publish my posts:
Takeaways: The Best Way to Transfer Money Internationally
This post reviewed the following global money transfer services:
PayPal, Skrill, Xoom, Apple Pay, Patreon, Initiative Q, and Venmo.
For me, the best way to transfer money internationally turned out to be PayPal. Which way is right for you?
I look forward to your views in the comments section.
Readers, please share so entrepreneurs who need to know the best way to transfer money internationally read this post.
Update: Most readers commented they preferred PayPal like me. However, my daughter insists Venmo is the best way to transfer money internationally. The debate rages on!