Out of the dozens of eWallet websites and apps, which one is right for you? Do you actually need an eWallet if your main thing transfer money abroad? We look at eWallets from across the web with a particular focus on the larger ewallets like Paypal or Skrill with a hyper-focus on their exchange rates for international payments.
If your purpose is to transfer money digitally to another person, and you are trying to circumvent the bank to avoid hefty fees and lengthy process then you should consider the best international money transfer companies – companies like the world-renowned TransferWise will allow you to fund transfers through debit/credit card or a domestic bank transfer to a third party account. In other words you don’t necessarily need an eWallet.
The basics: What is an eWallet?
An eWallet is an online application that lets you deposit and manage money for online transactions. For many people, it is a convenient way to have funds available online for purchases like plane tickets or streaming subscriptions, without having to reach for their credit card. For a money management app like that to be considered a digital or eWallet, it must fit certain conditions. First, it must be able to keep money in your digital account for a significant period of time, just like a bank account would. Second, it should give you the ability to transfer funds from your eWallet back to your credit card or bank account. What these apps all have in common is they are all built especially to deal with payments between individuals (P2P), customers and businesses, and businesses to other businesses.
Available eWallets on the market
When researching which digital wallet might be right for you, keep in mind that fees, interest, and access options can vary wildly between companies, some are limited to only certain kinds of transactions, and not all eWallets are offered globally.
- Airtel Money i P2PGlobal
- AlliedWallet P2PGlobal
- American Express P2PGlobal
- ApplePay P2PGlobal
- Bank Of America P2PUSA
- Barclaycard iUK
- BiyoWallet iUSA
- Boost MobileUSA
- Brinks P2PGlobal
- CapitalOne Wallet P2PUSA
- Circle App P2PGlobal
- Citrus Pay P2PIndia
- Due P2PGlobal
- epayments P2PGlobal
- Facebook P2PGlobal
- FreeCharge P2PIndia
- GateHub.net P2PGlobal
- Google Pay i P2PGlobal
- Gyft i P2PUSA
- HDFC Bank i P2PIndia
- ICICI Bank P2PGlobal
- Leopay P2PGlobal
- Microsoft WalletUSA
- Mobikwik P2PIndia
- Momoe iIndia
- Moven i P2PUSA
- Mozido P2PUSA
- Neteller P2PGlobal
- Official PaymentsUSA
- Oxigen Wallet P2PUSA
- papaya P2PGlobal
- Payoneer P2PGlobal
- PayPal P2PGlobal
- PayTM P2PIndia
- PayToo i P2PGlobal
- PNC Bank P2PUSA
- Puut Wallet P2PGlobal
- RBC P2PGlobal
- Skrill P2PGlobal
- Solid Trust Pay P2PGlobal
- Square Cash P2PUSA
- State Bank Buddy P2PIndia
- Stocard WalletGlobal
- Transferwise P2PGlobal
- U.S. Bank P2PUSA
- Venmo P2PUSA
- Vodafone m-pesa P2PGlobal
- walletone P2PGlobal
- WebMoney P2PGlobal
- WeChat i P2PChina
- WellsFargo P2PUSA
- WorldRemit P2PGlobal
- Yandex Money P2PGlobal
- YesPay P2PIndia
- ZipCash iIndia
- Zelle i P2PUSA
This is merely a sub-set of eWallets in existance, and not necessarily the best eWallets out there, just the ones that have been tested and confirmed to be actually eWallets by MoneyTransferComparison.com.
16 eWallets which allow currency exchanges and how they stack up
Let’s look at the top 16 eWallets that handle international money transfers and currency exchanges in their platform.
180: All except Afghanistan, Belarus, Central African Republic, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic
2: USD, EUR
172: All except Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Haiti, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Myanmar, Pakistan, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Uzbekistan
24: AUD, BRL, CAD, CZK, DKK, EUR, HKD, HUF, ILS, JPY, MYR, MXN, TWD, NZD, NOK, PHP, PLN, RUB, SGD, SEK, CHF, THB, GBP, USD
163: All except Afghanistan, Angola, Barbados, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Comoros, Cuba, Djibouti, Eritrea, Gambia (Republic of The), Grenada, Guyana, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Libya, Namibia, Niger, Palau, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Togo, Turkmenistan
35: EUR, TWD, USD, THB, GBP, CZK, HKD, HUF, SGD, JPY, PLN, CAD, ISK, AUD, INR, CHF, KRW, DKK, ZAR, SEK, RON, NOK, HRK, ILS, JOD, MYR, OMR, NZD, RSD, TRY, TND, AED, MAD, QAR, SAR
154: All except Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Micronesia (Federated States of), Myanmar, Nauru, Samoa, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, United States of America, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Yemen
45: EUR, GBP, USD, ARS, AUD, BAM, BGN, BRL, CLP, CAD, COP, CHF, CNY, CRC, CZK, DKK, GEL, HKD, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, ISK, JPY, MDL, MOP, MYR, MXN, NIO, NOK, NZD, PAB, PEN, PLN, RON, RSD, RUB, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, VEF, UAH, UYU, UZS and ZAR
149: All except Afghanistan, Benin, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cuba, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia (Republic of The), Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Niger, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Yemen
27: AUD, BRL, BGN, CAD, DKK, EUR, GBP, HUF, INR, JPY, MYR, MXN, MAD, NGN, NOK, PLN, RON, RUB, SING, ZAR, SEK, CHF, TWD, TND, AED, USD, COP
182: All except Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, South Sudan, Timor-Leste
8: RUB, EUR, USD, UAH, BYR, BTC, VND, MDL
54: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America
9: EUR, USD, GBP, HRK, CHF, RON, PLN, BGN, CZK
186: All except Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Timor-Leste7
56: USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, AUD, CAD, CNY, BHD, BDT, BBD, BAM, BRL, BGN, CLP, CRC, HRK, CZK, DKK, EGP, HKD, HUF, INR, IDR, ILS, JMD, JOD, KES, KRW, KWD, CHF, MYR, MXN, MAD, NPR, NZD, NGN, NOK, PKR, PEN, PHP, PLN, QAR, RON, RUB, SAR, SGD, ZAR, LKR, SEK, THB, BSD, TTD, TRY, UAH, AED, VND
188: All except Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic
4: USD, EUR, BTC, XPR
10: Albania Congo, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Romania, United Republic of Tanzania
10: KES, INR, ALL, CDF, EGP, GHS, LSL, MZN, RON, TZS
190: All except Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran (Islamic Republic of)
141: USD, AFN, DZD, EUR, AOA, XCD, ARS, AMD, AUD, AZN, BSD, BHD, BDT, BBD, BYR, BZD, XOF, BTN, BOB, BAM, BWP, BRL, BND, BGN, BIF, CVE, KHR, XAF, CAD, CLP, CNY, COP, KMF, CRC, HRK, CUP, CZK, DKK, DJF, DOP, USD, EGP, SVC, ERN, SZL, ETB, FJD, GMD, GEL, GHS, GTQ, GNF, GYD, HTG, HNL, HUF, ISK, INR, IDR, IQD, ILS, JMD, JPY, JOD, KZT, KES, KWD, KGS, LAK, LBP, LSL, LRD, LYD, CHF, MGA, MWK, MYR, MVR, MRO, MUR, MXN, MNT, MAD, MZN, MMK, NAD, NPR, NZD, NIO, NGN, NOK, OMR, PKR, PAB, PGK, PYG, PEN, PHP, PLN, QAR, MDL, RON, RUB, RWF, WST, STD, SAR, RSD, SCR, SLL, SGD, SBD, SOS, ZAR, SSP, LKR, SDG, SRD, SEK, SYP, TJS, THB, MKD, TOP, TTD, TND, TRY, TMT, UGX, UAH, AED, GBP, UYI, UZS, VUV, VEF, VND, YER, ZMW, ZWL, CFA
192: All except Brunei Darussalam
2: EUR, BTC
192: All except Democratic People's Republic of Korea
15: USD, EUR, BDT, BRL, CAD, GBP, HKD, IDR, INR, JPY, PHP, RUB, SEK, THB, VND
191: All except Saint Lucia, Timor-Leste
9: USD, EUR, KZT, RUB, ZAR, TJS, BYR, PLN, GEL
186: All except Andorra, Brunei Darussalam, Congo, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, San Marino, Sudan
13: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan, Thailand, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
The chart above outlines some of the major categories of difference between these brands. The first three columns deal with the basics: where the company was founded, what currencies it operates in. The second set deals with fees, and what certain transactions will cost you. And lastly, there are the different limits set by each app. This can make a big difference to someone who is regularly wiring large amounts of money overseas.
You’ll notice most of the eWallets primarily deal with US dollars and Euros. You’ll also see that there are certain outliers. For instance, while a lot of these companies charge no transfer fee, Paypal charges a very high one. Notice that Skrill, while it doesn’t charge as much as Paypal for transfers, makes their money on withdrawal fees instead. And each eWallet has their own limits and restrictions on transaction amounts. Most of the eWallets operate within the same average range of fees, but the bigger services, Paypal and Skrill, can have surprisingly large fees hidden for certain transactions. They can afford to buck the market average because of their popularity, most people are willing to swallow higher fees in exchange for a name they trust. In addition to the fees, the limits an app places matter. Papaya, for example, caps withdrawals at 1000, which can be very inconvenient if you need the rest of your money quickly. Ecopayz has a max of 500,000, which is great, but their withdrawal fees can also be as high as twelve euros.
Neteller and Paytoo also have exorbitant withdrawals fees of 15 and 16 USD, and cap their withdrawal amounts very low. Customers who have been with those companies for many years may not mind the fees as a price for familiarity, but on paper, they don’t compare very well. Take a look at some of the unique features we’ve outlined, because not all eWallets are the same. Gyft, for example, is only gift cards. Airtel Money is a semi-closed wallet that doesn’t allow withdrawals. Biyo is a biometric wallet that lets you make purchases with the palm of your hand. Moven lets you pay a friend by text, even if they don’t have a Moven account. Apps like Zelle can transfer to any US bank in minutes, but Barclaycard is only available in the UK.
eWallets for international payments – costs of sending and receiving money
- Personal Tranfer Fees 4%-12%
- Currency Exchange Fees 2.5%-4%
- Withdrawal/Receiving Fees 0-2.5%
- Total Fee 6.5% – 18.5%
- Transfer Limit (After Verification) $60,000
- Personal Transfer Fees 1.45%
- Currency Exchange Fees 3.99%
- Withdrawal/Receiving Fees 7.5%-11%
- Total Fee 13% – 16.5%
- Transfer Limit (After Verification) $10,000
- Personal Transfer Fees $0
- Currency Exchange Fees 0.1%-0.5%
- Withdrawal/Receiving Fees None!
- Total Fee 0.1%-0.5%
- Transfer Limit (After Verification) No Limit!
Plain Vanilla Currency Transfer?If you intend on using your eWallet to send international money transfers, you may be better off working with a money transfer service like CurrencyFair.
Neither Paypal or Skrill were set up for international transfers specifically, and consequently the fees can add up to insane amounts. CurrencyFair has no transfer limit amount, no withdrawal or receipt fees, and the few fees they do charge are usually half of other services, if not much less. Sometimes you can save a lot by using a company better suited for your needs of international payments than run-of-the-mill solutions like Paypal and Skrills.
eWallets vs Multi Currency accounts for businessesThere is a much better alternative to eWallets called a multi-currency account. These virtual bank account allow you to SEND, RECEIVE and HOLD money in almost any currency. The problem is that they are only for small businesses (including sole traders and online sellers).
View our comparison of the best EUR account and best USD accounts here.
Cryptocurrency wallets, as you can see in the chart below, are a much cheaper option than eWallets when it comes to fees. However, the trade off is you may be limited in where exactly you can use your cryptocurrency. Many banks do not accept cryptocurrency, because of its notorious market instability. But if the bulk of the transactions you do are cryptocurrency, one of the most popular cryptowallets is Ripple, which is backed by Google and known for their transparency.
If you wanted to inquire about the costs of Cryptocurrency eWallets like Gatehub (our most recommended wallet that we personally use – for Ripple), then you can view them below. They are obviously much more sensible than the costs of eWallet but come with their own risks.
Gatehub Wallet Fees:
|SEPA Withdrawal (< 50,000.00 €)||1.00 €|
|SEPA Withdrawal (> 50,000.00 €)||8.00 €|
|International Wire Deposit||0.1 %, min. fee $15.00, max. fee $130|
|International Wire Withdrawal||0.1 %, min. fee $15.00, max. fee $130|
|Ripple Fee||0.2 %|
Blockchain.info Fees: (BTC/ ETH)
80 satoshi per byte or 0.001%
Without doubt, using either cryptocurrency instead of a standard eWallet can slash off your expenses tremendously! But of course remember about the difficulties of using bitcoin for remittances – it is currently volatile and not widely accepted enough with merchants to become really usable in the same fashion as fiat currencies.
If Their Fees are So High, Why are PayPal and Skrill So Popular?
There are multiple reasons for the popularity of PayPal and Skrill:
- Familiarity: People use these eWallet apps to receive and send local-currency payments all the time. When they need to exchange currency they just go back to the same platform they know. This is the same thing as people who still use banks for international transfers despite the exorbitant costs.
- Reputation It is unwise to underestimate a good reputation. PayPal and Skrill are household names, because they have been at the top of the industry for a long time. People trust them more than a name they know little about, and the extra cost seems like a small price to pay.
- Reach PayPal and Skrill allow you to send money across the globe, from just about anywhere in the world. Other services do not accept clients from certain countries. However, both PayPal and Skrill have limited availability when it comes to currencies (less than 30 currencies).
- Quick PayPal and Skrill are easy to use – transferring funds is quick and simple. For certain customers, the convenience and ease make up for the fees.
- Great Apps Many transfer companies do not have their own mobile apps, and when they do they are often inferior. Paypal and Skrill both have easily understandable apps that are easy to use for everyone.
- Unaware of alternatives Many customers are unaware that there are cheaper alternatives, and stay with what they know. It’s easy to believe that every eWallet in the world works exactly like Paypal, if Paypal is all you’ve ever known.
How EXPENSIVE are Traditional eWallets for International Payments, exactly?
We have compared Paypal and Skrill’s fees and in comparison we tossed in a specialised foreign currency provider (which we will deal with later).
As you can see in the table above, Skrill has the most hefty fees, which are far more expensive than PayPal and Currencyfair. PayPal itself is significantly more expensive than Currencyfair, with 2.5% fees as opposed to 0.35%.
Additionally, each of the services has its own sending limits:
PayPal: requires a minimum withdrawal amount of just US$1.00 The maximum you may send through PayPal is US$10,000 in one transfer. Since Paypal is funded by your debit or credit card, standard credit limits will apply.
Skrill: The maximum per‐transaction limit is €10 000 or the equivalent in another currency.You can use your Skrill Card to pay for goods and services up to the value of €6,300 on a 24-hour rolling period.
CurrencyFair: No limits!
Paypal and Skrill Reviews by Actual Users
PayPal was founded back in 1998, getting its IPO in 2002.
PayPal became a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay later that year, and remained so until it became an independent company in July 2015.
- Amount PayPal moves annually:
In 2017, the PayPal’s annual payment volume amounted to US$451 billion. This was across more than 200 countries, in 25 different currencies.
- Xoom takeover:
PayPal is currently acquiring Xoom Corporation, which is another leading remittance provider. This will increase PayPal’s reach and boost revenue significantly.
- Client perceptions:
PayPal is a household name globally, which necessarily comes with a lot of criticism. In the early 2000s, PayPal had a widespread problem of being used for fraud, which they have largely addressed and cracked down on. However, the perception caused by the controversy remains fresh in the mind of many.
Client feedback is also often quite negative. On TrustPilot they have a score of 1 out of 5, with 5030 reviews. A lot of the complaints focus on bad customer service when things go wrong. There are also complaints about money being taken off with no indication of why.
The main disadvantage of using PayPal is the high fees, and the fact the company lacks client support is highly negative. It is mostly convenient to use, but when things go wrong, customers face a lot of frustration and difficulty getting money returned.
Skrill is another company that has been around for a while. Skrill was founded in 2001 as Moneybookers, but was taken over and rebranded by Skrill Limited.
Skrill’s parent company is Paysafe Group.
Optimal Payments acquired Skrill in the 3rd quarter of 2015, which is the latest in a long line of acquisitions over its 14 year history.
- Ukash takeover:
Skrill have acquired Ukash, their biggest competitor in the UK. This is expected to increase the scale and reach of Skrill’s paysafecard, which will help them maintain their status as one of the leaders in the market.
- Client perceptions:
Just like PayPal, Skrill’s global reach has built up a large base of unhappy clients. On TrustPilot they have a rating of just 1 out of 5, with 1371 reviews. The major complaints involve possible scams, accusations of fraud, and non-existent customer service.
The major disadvantage with Skrill are the very high payment fees, even higher than PayPal’s. Skrill also has customer service problems, and a lack of client support.
After analyzing thirty five reviews of Paypal and Skrill left over the course of the last two years on several review sites, we found that only 40% of the reviews were actually positive. Of the negative complaints, the most repeatedly mentioned issues were payment delays, lack of customer support to turn to when something went wrong, and verification problems that led to account freezes. People also mentioned problems with peer to peer transfers, account access limited for no reason, and delays with refunds due.
But What Exactly is the Difference Between eWallets?
Sixty-eight different types of eWallets is a lot to choose from. How do you find out which one is right for you?
The first category to look at is function. What do you need to use your eWallet for? Do you mostly make international purchases or just in your own country? Do you spend most of your online money paying individuals or businesses? The best eWallet for you will entirely depend on the amount of function you need it to have.
Once you’ve narrowed that list down based on your desired uses, next look closely at the fees. Digital wallets are notoriously expensive when it comes to fees. From withdrawals to deposits, and currency exchange fees, it can add up. And it’s important to check out how you can put money in your account. Some eWallets offer physical locations where you can add funds, or will take cheques, but most only work with a bank account or credit card. Cryptocurrency eWallets are often not accepted for transfers to bank or credit accounts. And not all eWallets work globally, some have specific country restrictions.
- Convenience The main concept behind eWallets is the ability to send and receive money instantaneously 24/7, whereas banks are working only a few hours each day, and weekends and bank holidays are off.
- Credibility Since an eWallet is a form of a bank account, in which significant amounts of money will be stored in, you should consider credibility and security above all.
- Fees Deposit fees, withdrawal fees, currency exchange fees, and a variety of other fees – eWallets are notoriously expensive!
Since all the eWallets listed on this page are credible (large companies with plenty of clients who have received major media coverage and have been funded by many millions), we are not going to go there.
Similarly, the convenience part is very much in the eyes of the beholder. The staff at MoneyTransferComparison which uses the Paypal desktop and web app very often, and enjoys the quality of accessibility there. It’s very easy to use it even to Transfer money from PayPal to a Transferwise account.
Due to the above, we will focus particularly on fees.
- Unfortunately, eWallets can be an easy target for scams and account fraud. After all, think of all the information linked to your payment account. The people most at risk here are people who shop a lot online, so there are a few rules to remember. First, no eWallet will ever send you communications asking for your password. Hackers may email you pretending to be from your eWallet app service asking for password details or security answers.They will then clean out the account. You should never give out your security information.
- Second, never refund money to a buyer or seller without first checking that your wallet has definitely received the money they claim to have sent. A common eWallet scam is that a stranger will contact a victim, claiming to have mistakenly sent them money. As proof, they may send a doctored screenshot showing the transaction. Always verify for yourself in your app that the funds have been received or cleared before sending refunds.
- And lastly, scammers may send requests for transfers for travel emergencies, or ask for account information to send “lottery winnings” or supposed inheritances. Never send money or give your account information to a person you do not know, who you cannot verify.