A Comparison of the Major eWallets: Which is the best eWallet?
eWallets, otherwise known as digital wallets, are truly the forefront of the banking industry. They make it easy to transfer money, make online purchases, and even split bills. But what parameters does a service need for it to be defined as an eWallet, and what are the main differences between them when it comes to moving money to a different currency.
For your convenience, the following is an overview of what you need to know about eWallets, with a particular focus on international money transfers, which is where MoneyTransferComparison.com’s expertise lies.
1. The Basic: What is an eWallet?
To put it simply, an eWallet is a desktop or mobile app that allows you to manage money and make electronic commerce transactions. For a money management app to be considered an eWallet, we require it to have the following functions:
- peer-to-peer transfers: enables people to transfer money to other accounts.
- able to store money in the account for a period of time, like a normal wallet or bank account
- ability to withdraw funds out of it back to credit card or bank account (that part is not true for the newly added Cryptocurrency wallets we added here).
2. 20 eWallet Examples
- Apple Pay
- Google Wallet (Android Pay)
- Samsung Pay
- Walmart Pay
- Due App
- Circle App
- Venmo App
- Square App
- Adyen App
- Dwolla App
- BiyoWallet App (Biometic payments!)
- iDebit (local Canadian)
- iDeal (local Dutch)
- BlockChain.info (Wallet for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, ETH)
- GateHub.net (Wallet for Ripple / XRP)
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.
3. What makes an eWallet an eWallet?
What all these companies and apps have in common is that they specialise at transferring money between persons (p2p), or as a means of payment for a business by an individual (c2b), or as a means of payment to a business by a business (b2b). It is usually extremely easy to deposit and withdraw cash from the electronic wallet – some of them are connected directly to a credit card, and some are connected directly to a bank account.
4. What differentiates between different eWallets?
- 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, absolutely despises the user interface there. We believe it is absolutely terrible in terms of usability, although it is considered one of the best user interfaces.
Due to the above, we will focus particularly on fees.
5. eWallet Fee Comparison: Top 6 Popular eWallets
Below is a list of data we have gathered about various leading eWallets via several sources. We do not guarantee these are indeed the true fees, it is merely to give our readers and indication of how expensive it is to transfer money in this fashion.
|eWallet||Deposit Fees||Withdrawal Fees||Transfer Fees||FX Fees|
|Paypal||2.9%+$0.30||Up to $5||2.9%+$0.30||2.8%-5.4%+ Fixed fee|
|Skrill||1.9% (Credit Card)||7.5 Euro||1.9% up to $20||3.99%|
|Neteller||1.75%-4.95% (Credit Card)||7.5 Euro||1.9% up to $20||3.99%|
|EcoPayz||Up to 7%||5-10 Euro||0 to 1.5%||2.99%|
|AliPay||?||0.1% after 20,000 Yuan||0.1% after 20,000 Yuan||Min 3%|
|Venmo||3% (Credit Card)||?||$0.25 and Up||Only Dollar to Dollar Transfers|
5.a. Cryptocurrency Wallet Fees
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.net Fee Structure: (Ripple)
|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/byte per each bitcoin transferred 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.
6. Why are PayPal and Skrill ever so popular considering their high fees?
There are multiple reasons for the popularity of PayPal and Skrill:
- Diverse Functionality: 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. Similarly to people who still use banks for international transfers in spite of high cost and worsening reputation.
- 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 many are prepared to lose on some of their money for that reason.
- 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. Currencyfair does not accept clients from the USA. It must be stated, though, that 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. Currencyfair, however, has a great app. That being said, people are still more familiar with PayPal and Skrill apps that have been around for longer.
- Unaware of alternatives: Many customers are unaware that there are cheaper alternatives, and stay with what they know. It’s easy to think that other services are simply doing the same thing.
Understand more – Paypal and Skrill Reviews
7. International Money Transfers with eWallets: Expensive but Quick
What these companies don’t specialise at is international money transfers (FX). The overall costs of using either of the traditional eWallets is high and the FX fees are just nuts! What happens if you were to transfer $10,000 to someone abroad? You’ll end up paying high 3-figures just in commissions. That’s more expensive than the banks, in all likeliness.
7.a. 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).
|Company||Personal Transfer Fees||Currency Exchange Fees||Withdrawal / Receiving Fees||Total|
|PayPal (Traditional eWallat)||1%||3.5%||£0.20||4.5% and £0.20|
|Skrill (Traditional eWallat)||0% – 1.9% (5.5% – paysafe card)||2.99%-4.99%||£2.07||2.99% (or more) and £2.07|
|Currencyfair (FX specialized company which is also an eWallet by our definitions)||€3 (if from UK)||0.35%-0.5%||–||0.35% + €3|
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 4.5% fees as opposed to 0.35%.
Additionally, each of the services has its own sending limits:
- PayPal: requires a minimum transfer of just US$0.02, or £0.01 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: Visa funded transfers are limited to €5000 per single transaction.You can use your Skrill Card to pay for goods and services up to the value of €1,000.
- CurrencyFair: No limits!
The cost of using Paypal or Skrill for currency exchange purposes outweigh the many positive these companies have in comparison to other means of payment (like the easy on-boarding, professional software, ease of use, accessibility).
7.b. International money transfer services are the way to go with online money transfers
These are companies which aren’t traditionally considered as eWallets, but in fact they do enable clients to use the same function as an eWallet. The only differences is that none of these companies enables P2P transfers to another client on the platform but rather force you to send funds to a bank account (either yours or someone else’s). The exception to that is Payoneer which is truly revolutionary, but the reviews about it are too bad to even consider as option (view our Payoneer review).
Note: Most traditional transfer services do not enable users to keep sums of money in the account, but some of the larger money transfer companies have an E-MONEY license by the FCA which means they can withhold client funds for limited periods. These are the companies we will be focusing on. Check out a finite list of the best online money transfer services here.
|Company||Min Transfer||Transfer Fees||Exchange Rate Markups||Withdrawal / Receiving Fees||Extra Info||Total|
|World First||€1,000||None ($10 if from USA)||Usually less than 1%||None||Businesses get collection accounts abroad||Spotless reputation, collection accounts, low fees|
|Currencies Direct||€100||None||Usually less than 1%||None||Online sellers get collection accounts abroad||Spotless reputation, collection accounts, low fees|
|Moneycorp||€100||None||Usually less than 1%||None||No collection accounts, but you can receive checks from abroad||Banking License in Gibraltar, Operating since 79|
As you can see from the table above, the top rated money transfer companies can help an individual or a business make payments through an online system (similarly to eWallets) for a fraction of the cost. Funding the transaction is usually done via a bank transfer, but for smaller payments you can use a credit card, similarly to eWallets.
Receiving money from abroad through these companies is definitely do-able. With some companies like World First, businesses can have their own collection accounts abroad, and with other companies you will request an electronic check to be cleared by the firm. In either way, each one of the 3 companies above will supply you with a dedicated currency dealer to assist you with all your inquiries.
8. Bottom line
Who should use PayPal or Skrill?
PayPal and Skrill have their disadvantages, but they also have aspects that subsequently make them a necessary player for many people around the world. They are useful to people who need to transfer money very quickly or need to send domestic transfers. They are also necessary for people living in or sending to countries with limited reach. It has also become popular to use these services to evade the tax authorities.
PayPal vs. Skrill
There is no simple answer as to which one of these companies is better. PayPal’s fees are significantly lower than Skrill’s, for some things, and vice versa for others. These two companies are industry leaders (with Paypal having a much larger market share). They are effective, quick, nice to use overall, but expensive. It’s a tie!
Currencyfair has the advantage
Currencyfair, and other money transfer services, is far cheaper than either PayPal or Skrill for transfers involving currency exchanges. They also have far better customer service, based on client reviews, and far more comprehensive client support system, which makes clients feel safer. If anything goes wrong, they will work with you to resolve the issue.
PayPal and Skrill have their advantages, but Currencyfair is the eWallet provider with the lowest fees by far. Currencyfair major disadvantage is their limited reach, but they are the best choice in locations where they are accessible.