10 different: PayPal vs TransferWise

TransferWise is a London-based company that provides online money transfer services. The company, found in 2011, has become decently popular in the market.

However, it still does not come close to the popularity and acceptability of the undisputed top name in the market, PayPal. While the services offered by both companies are similar, there are some differences between the two, as well.

The top ten differences between PayPal and TransferWise include the following.

1) Userbase

PayPal has been in the online financial services market for approximately two decades now. In comparison, TransferWise is a new name. Due to PayPal being older and having a larger market share, the company has over 346 million active users.


In comparison, TransferWise has approximately 8 million users. In some parts of the world, PayPal is a household name, while TransferWise does not even make it on the list.

2) Supported countries

PayPal supports more than 200 countries around the world with online transactions. However, there are still some countries where the company has not expanded its services for now.

TransferWise, on the other hand, supports transactions in approximately 90 countries around the world. It may be available in some other countries besides these, but officially the supported countries are significantly lower than that of PayPal’s.


3) Costs

An area where TransferWise has PayPal beat is the costs of transactions. The fees on PayPal are significantly higher, sometimes, going above 5% per transaction. The standard rate on the platform is 2.9% per transaction.

For TransferWise, however, the fee structure depends on the currencies and countries and currencies between which the transfer occurs. However, their fees can go lower than 1% in some cases.

4) Speed

When transferring funds on both the platforms, the transfer speeds also differ on both. For PayPal, a transfer takes between 3-5 days on average, but can also take much longer.

The transfer only occurs from one PayPal account to another, and users need to withdraw the amount if they don’t want to use it through PayPal. On TransferWise, transactions take between 1-2 business days but sometimes can complete within minutes.

5) Exchange rates

Both the companies are also different in the exchange rates they offer users. With transactions involved the conversion of currency, TransferWise is better than PayPal. It is mainly because PayPal also makes a profit on the exchange rates between currencies.

TransferWise, in contrast, only charges users the fee and does not benefit from exchange rates. Therefore, TransferWise offers better exchange rates as compared to PayPal.

6) Services provided

While both companies offer users the ability to transfer money online, they may also have some additional products or services. PayPal is an all-in-one services platform that can provide users with a wide variety of services.

Apart from the basic features, PayPal also offers other features, such as a virtual terminal, invoicing, payment notifications, etc. TransferWise only limits its users to money transfers and payments cards, features that PayPal already has.

7) Scope of transactions

As mentioned above, both platforms have a similar scope of usage. PayPal provides users with the ability to make transactions both internationally and domestically.

TransferWise, on the other hand, focuses more on international payments, which is a market that it targets. That is also the reason why TransferWise offers users better deals on international transactions as compared to PayPal.

8) Ease of use

When it comes to the ease of use for both platforms, TransferWise beats PayPal. While both platforms make the user experience easy and straightforward, PayPal has some procedures that users may consider complex.

For example, its registration and verification processes are complicated. On the other hand, TransferWise is simpler and easier to use.

9) Integrations

When it comes to integrability, PayPal offers users better integration with their businesses. That is because the nature of PayPal’s services allows these businesses to receive funds online through their website or other platforms.

TransferWise does not offer its users the same integrability as the platform focuses on transferring money rather than providing receipt solutions.

10) Customer support

Both platforms need robust and competent customer support services. While PayPal has a decent customer care department, it falls short according to some users.

The customer support of the platform receives a lot of criticism and negative reviews from users. On the other hand, TransferWise has a well-liked customer support department and has quite a few positive reviews.


The table below summarizes the above differences between PayPal and TransferWise.

UserbaseOver 346 million active users.Approximately 8 million active users.
Supported countriesMore than 200 countries.About 90 countries.
CostsMore costly, with some services costing above 5% per transaction.Lower costs, sometimes even below 1% per transaction.
SpeedTakes between 3-5 days to process payments.Transactions can take 1-2 business days, some resolved in minutes.
Exchange ratesDoes not earn through exchange rates.Does not charge extra for currency exchanges.
Services providedMoney transfer and several other business-related features.Focuses on money transfers only.
Scope of transactionsInternational and domestic.Better for international payments.
Ease of useEasy to use but still some complicated requirements.Relatively easier to use.
IntegrationsIntegrations with websites and platforms.Does not have the feature.
Customer supportCriticized by many and has negative reviews.Generally more positive reviews.