Wise vs PayPal, 2024: Which Is the Better Money Transfer Service for You or Business?

Wise vs PayPal? These are two of the most popular money transfer services on the internet.
They both have a variety of benefits, but there are also crucial differences to be aware of before deciding which one is right for you.

PayPal is already well-known amongst online consumers, particularly for payments and transfers, owing to its plugin, which allows retail internet customers to pay directly from their PayPal account.

However, there is a catch!

Wise is cheaper and more transparent and enables customers to send and receive money abroad at a rate that is eight times cheaper than PayPal and traditional banks at a low fee. It also does many of what PayPal can do.

But before you decide to go with Wise for these reasons, there are a few things you should think about before making your decision.

In this article, we’ll explore how Wise vs PayPal work and what makes them different from each other so that you can make an informed decision about which one to use.

Short on Time? Here are the Highlights of Wise vs PayPal

FeaturesWise (formerly TransferWise)PayPal
Account TypesPersonal and BusinessPersonal and Business
Payment MethodsBank transfer, Credit Card, Debit CardBank transfer Credit/Debit Card, PayPal transfer
Modes of Receiving PaymentBank transferBank and PayPal Account transfer
Special Features● Transparent and low fees 
● Mid-market exchange rates for international money transfers
● Exchange rate calculator on their website
Enables purchases for travelling like a rental car, train tickets, and flight bookings
Other servicesA multi-currency account (borderless account) with a debit card
Ecommerce payments, email invoices, payment links, debit card
SupportOnline chat, email & phoneOnline chat, email & phone
Sign up BonusGet a fee-free first transfer of up to $3,000 CAD (or the equivalent of £2,000 in other currencies). You must use our unique link to get this bonus.
*Your secret code will be automatically applied.

Final Verdict ⤵️

Wise is superior for international money transfers because of its transparent fee structure, more competitive exchange rate, and support for over 50 different currencies. PayPal may be accessible in over 200 countries; however, only 25 currencies are supported.

In-Depth Review of Wise vs PayPal International Money Transfer

Wise vs PayPal: Overview 

Wise (formerly TransferWise)

Wise was founded in 2011 by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Cayman in Europe to provide a low-cost, easy, and fast money transfer service. On February 22, 2021, they renamed the firm Transferwise to Wise. They have 14 offices with over 2,400 workers.

Wise has over 10 million clients who send more than $4.5 billion every month, and according to the firm, they save $3 million in bank fees each year. They allow customers to send money across the world at mid-market exchange rates and transparent fees. They serve more than 80 countries across the globe, including Canada.

Read More>> Wise Canada Review


PayPal was formed in the United States in 1998 by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, and Luke Nosek to handle international money transfers, internet purchases and sales, and other commercial activities. On January 6, 2020, PayPal bought Honey to help their customers save money on eCommerce websites by redeeming coupons.

PayPal has a lot of functions beyond money transfers, which is one of the reasons it’s so appealing. You may reload prepaid phones, contribute to a charity, establish a pool of money, deposit funds or cash them in, send gifts, split bills with family and friends, create an invoice, rent a car, purchase train tickets and book domestic flights.

To join PayPal, go to their website at PayPal.com. It is incredibly straightforward to register with PayPal, and it is free. Once you join  PayPal, you are automatically covered by their Purchase Protection Plan, which reimburses your money if something goes wrong with a transaction. Of course, there are rules in place that demand verification of documentation, among other terms and conditions.

How Wise vs Paypal Works

How Wise Works

To join Wise, you must first create a free account on their website. You have the option of signing up for a Personal Account or a Business Account. You can have more than one Wise account at once. Your recipient does not need a Wise account to get paid. However, for Wise to transfer the money successfully, they will need their IBAN, an international identification number assigned to their bank account and is usually used for international transfers.

Simply follow the simple set-up steps until you’ve been registered. You’ll need to add the contact(s) you wish to receive money for after signing up for a free Wise account.

Once you’ve paid the fee upfront, using a debit or credit card or transferring the money to Wise’s local bank account in your nation, Wise’s technology begins working. Wise’s real market exchange rate and no markup are just two of the reasons it has such low transfer costs. They also avoid sending money across borders. Instead, you send money to Wise’s domestic bank account in your own country instead of a foreign bank account.

They accomplish this by using a currency exchange service or bank transfer system. They send the funds in the currency you choose to your recipient from another local bank account, avoiding international bank costs.

For example, if you are sending $1000 to a friend in the US from Canada, you’d send the equivalent in CAD from your bank account to a US Wise bank account. Then, Wise would send the US dollars from their local bank account in the US to your friend’s bank account.

You can check the status of your transfer in your Wise account, and if you’ve supplied your recipient’s e-mail address, they’ll be notified once the money has arrived.

How PayPal Works

PayPal offers Personal and Business Accounts. You may have more than one PayPal account. You will be asked to provide personal information, such as your phone number, email address, complete name, and password, when you open a Personal Account or a Business Account. You must also provide the name and category of the company if you’re establishing a Business account.

The process for transferring money through PayPal differs somewhat from Wise. Sending money is simple as soon as you create a free account. The only thing you’ll need is the e-mail address of the recipient. However, to access the funds, the receiver will need a PayPal account.

You can send money to people, businesses, and groups of up to 5,000 individuals for free with PayPal. You also have the option of creating invoices and requesting payment from other parties. Customers of PayPal may exchange money in up to 24 different currencies.

Every time you get money in that currency, you will see it as a separate balance in the original currency. You must choose your primary currency for payments in the same way you choose your desired payment option.

Wise vs PayPal Fees 


The costs associated with a transfer using Wise are determined by the currency, transfer amount, and funding method. You’ll know exactly how much money will be sent to the recipient because there are no hidden deductions.

International Transfer Fees:

Wise offers a mid-market rate plus a single low fee on international money transfers, which comes to roughly 0.35% to 1.65% of the amount transferred.

Domestic Transfer Fees:

Small charges may apply on domestic transfers, which they’ll be transparent about.

The true cost of sending CAD to USD


International Transfer Fees:

Paypal fees on international transactions are determined by the countries involved and whether they’re for personal or business use. At a minimum, PayPal’s international transfer charges include a fixed fee and a fee integrated into the exchange rate.

Paypal does not provide you with the mid-market rate, as opposed to Wise. The margin between the mid-market price and the exchange rate they provide varies from 2.5% to 4.5%, depending on your location.

Domestic Transfer Fees:

Transfers between family and friends are free (but only when they’re paid for with your PayPal account or bank account).

Using a credit (or even a debit card) to pay for your transactions will incur a percentage charge (depending on your location, for example, 2.9 percent in the US and 2.60 percent in Australia).

You can withdraw your balance to your bank account for free. However, if it’s an instant withdrawal, you’ll have to pay a 1-3% transfer fee.

✅ Verdict: Wise Wins

Wise’s cheaper rates and transparent fees make it the clear winner. Wise has one of the most competitive rates among all international money transfer services. So if you are looking to reduce costs and save money, Wise is the better option.

On the other hand, if you just want to send money locally from your balance or bank account, PayPal is an excellent choice as it’s free. You can also conduct local transfers, but it comes with small charges and some restrictions.

Wise vs PayPal: Transfer Speed


The speed of your Wise transfer is determined by the amount, currency, funding method, and time you set up your transfer.

With a bank transfer, money generally reaches Wise in a few hours if you schedule your transfer during banking hours on a weekday.

For popular currencies, currency conversion can take less than 24 hours. Your funds will then arrive at your recipient’s bank account within 1-2 days.

However, you should anticipate slower transfer speeds when you set up the transfer on the weekend, a bank holiday, or with an exotic currency.

In such cases, it can take two days for your money to reach Wise’s bank account, two more days to be converted, and a couple of more days to reach your recipient. So about 3-5 days. 

In many cases, the money will take two days to reach Wise’s bank account, two additional days to convert, and a few more days to reach your recipient. So roughly 3-5 days. Card-to-bank transfers are faster, taking only a few hours to one day. These transactions, however, are considerably more expensive.


When you fund a PayPal-to-PayPal transfer from your PayPal balance, the transfer occurs instantly. For international Paypal to Paypal transfers, it might take a few hours for the money to appear in your recipient’s account.

PayPal to bank account transfers via Xoom (PayPal’s international money transfer service) can take anywhere from 3-5 days for the funds to arrive.

Depending on your bank, it may take anywhere from two to three days for you to have your PayPal balance withdrawn from your bank account. A transaction fee is incurred when you make an instant withdrawal (1-3 percent based on location).

Verdict: Wise Wins

Both have similar international transfer speeds of 1-5 days, but Wise wins due to its sophisticated methods for funding transfers based on speed and cost.

Wise vs PayPal: Digital Accessibility

You can use PayPal or Wise on any computer or smartphone. Both services provide money transfers through the web, via a mobile browser on your phone, or through their mobile apps available for iOS and Android. You can use either platform to send, receive, or transfer money.

Verdict: It’s a Draw

Both Wise vs PayPal have their websites and mobile apps for users to access. So there’s no clear winner in terms of accessibility via digital mediums.

Wise vs PayPal: Ease of Use


Wise has a pleasant user experience with its website and app. The interface is easy to use, and the procedures are straightforward. The registration procedure is quick and simple, and in some countries, verifying your ID can occur instantly. 

Wise has a wide range of payment choices, including local bank transfers, debit/credit cards, and country-specific solutions such as POLi. The Wise app is arguably the most well-designed app for international money transfer services. 

You may assess exchange rates, establish and track transfers, add funds to your multi-currency account, generate virtual cards, or block your actual card if it is lost or stolen right from your account.


It’s easy to get started: simply go to the PayPal website or app and complete the registration form. Paypal’s mobile app interface is easy to navigate, and you won’t have to verify your identity.

However, if you want to keep money in PayPal and use other functions that require a balance, you must verify your identity with PayPal and establish a balanced account.

You may fund your account and transfers in several ways, such as bank transfers, debit cards, and credit cards

The home page of your PayPal account displays a brief history of your transactions and easy-to-find ways to send money or ask for payment. If you have a business account, you can also set up your PayPal checkout page with just a few clicks (including the option to accept Venmo payments).

However, note that Paypal does not support phone transfers. As a result, customers are unable to send money over the phone.

Verdict: It’s a Draw

Wise and PayPal both provide desktop and mobile applications that are simple to use. Because you aren’t required to verify your identity, PayPal may be a little easier to set up. However, if you’re sending the money internationally for security reasons, it’s better to go through these steps. Besides, it’s only a few extra steps with Wise.

Overall, you won’t feel lost or unsure of where to go next when navigating both systems. As a result, this one is a draw.

Wise vs PayPal: Security


Wise is a registered money services business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and renews its registration annually. They are also overseen by several other nations, such as:

  • Canada’s FINTRAC;
  • the UK’s FCA;
  • Australia’s ASIC, APRA, AUSTRAC;
  • and many others.

To keep your money safe, WIse holds your funds separately from their operating funds. For example, in the United States, Wise keeps your money with reputable firms like JP Morgan, Chase, and Barclays.

On their website and mobile apps, they provide industry-leading encryption to keep your money and data secure.


The FTC regulates PayPal in the US as a money transmitter, and the state laws govern it in each US state. In the UK, they’re overseen by the FCA, and in Australia by APRA and AUSTRAC.

You can also be confident that your personal information is kept secure thanks to PayPal’s strict privacy policies: no selling of information and Industry-Leading Encryption Technology on all platforms and gateways. Paypal also supports two Factor Authentication (2FA) for more excellent protection.

PayPal has made paying for goods and services a breeze, which has attracted scammers trying to take advantage of the company’s popularity. However, this is not due to a flaw in the service.

Verdict: It’s a Draw

Regarding safety, regulation is beneficial, and both Wise vs Paypal are regulated and claim to have excellent security. Furthermore, the fact that these companies are so large and that safety and security are paramount in their operations is reassuring. As a result, we’re deeming it a draw for this section.

However, there are several reports on the internet from PayPal customers stating that other users ripped them off. Even though this isn’t precisely a fault of PayPal’s security system, it does impact the user’s money.

READ ALSO >> OFX vs Wise

Wise vs PayPal: Supported Currencies & Transfer Limits


Wise allows you to send money to over 80 countries worldwide, aside from local transfers in your currency. Wise transfer limits depend on your location and payment method.

  • You may send up to 9,500 CAD daily and 30,000 CAD biweekly via direct debit.
  • You can send up to 3,000 CAD in a single transfer by credit or debit card.

Wise has temporarily limited how much they can transfer via online bill settlement and wire transfer for personal customers. The limit for each transfer has been reduced to 240,000 CAD. This does not apply to businesses as the previous limit of 1.5 million CAD on online bill payment, and wire transfers still stand.


PayPal currently supports only 25 different currencies for international money transfers (both personal and business), and you can only send from PayPal to other users of PayPal.

Suppose you want to send cash directly to a recipient’s bank account. In that case, you’ll have to use Xoom (review) (a PayPal-owned international money transfer firm that supports over 100 currencies but is limited to personal transfers).

So your options are restricted for both personal and business transfers if you want to transfer money internationally with PayPal. The daily transfer limit is 10,000 CAD, but it can be increased.

Verdict: Wise Wins

Wise supports more currencies and has higher transfer limits, so it wins this round.

Wise vs PayPal: Customer Reviews


Wise has a rating of 4.6/5 on Trustpilot, with over 110,000 reviews (85% of which are positive). Customers adore Wise’s transparent pricing, user-friendly app, well-rounded service, and courteous customer support.

However, 4% of the reviewers gave the service a one-star rating. Unexpected account blocks and identity verification requests were the top two concerns.

Being a regulated financial service provider, Wise may need to authenticate your identity. This sometimes entails auditing and restricting unusual transactions from accounts. Wise’s customer service staff is typically prompt in addressing these requests, and the difficulties are resolved within a few days.


According to Trustpilot, PayPay has a 1.2 rating out of five stars with just over 18,000 reviews.

Users appreciated the simplicity of the app and PayPal’s good buyer protection policy, which makes it simple to conduct online transactions using PayPal.

However, the majority of the reviews, nearly 85 percent, are negative and can be reduced to three primary reasons:

  • Poor customer service: PayPal’s customer service was criticized by many users, who felt that the staff either provided generic answers to their queries or were difficult to contact.
  • Blocked accounts: Hundreds of e-commerce merchants could not access their accounts and were instructed to wait more than 180 days before withdrawing money earned in their online stores. While PayPal is a regulated money transmitter that must regularly check transfers on its platform, waiting 180 days to resolve a dispute is too much.
  • Scammed by other users: While it isn’t PayPal’s fault, there do appear to be scammers on the service. And, in these cases, getting your money back after the transaction is finished may be difficult.

Verdict: Wise Wins

Wise has more satisfied users compared to PayPal, which suggests a superior experience.

Wise vs PayPal: Business Benefits


Apart from the services offered to individuals, Wise has some features accessible only to businesses. Unfortunately, because Wise is solely an internet company, a business client does not receive currency fluctuations and trends assistance. However, Wise does provide simple transactional foreign currency receipts and payments.

Transactional foreign currency receipts and payments are simple to use with Wise.

A recently added function is scheduled transfers. This can help reduce administrative time for regular monthly, weekly payments to vendors and staff. A sufficient amount of money must be in the Business multi-currency account. 

Wise will notify the account owner to make sure there is enough money in the multi-currency account.

Wise does not support standing orders from a business bank account. This implies that firms must restructure their operations to ensure constant adequate business account funding.

Overall, the Wise Business account provides businesses with the following:

  • Batch payments
  • Multi-user account access
  • Regular and scheduled transfers
  • FX optimized business debit card
  • Xero and Quickbook integration

Wise for business lacks the following features:

  • Risk management tools
  • Account management for businesses


PayPal for businesses offers a variety of specialized services for companies from all over the world. PayPal may be used to generate and send bills, as well as receive payments, for businesses. Online vendors can utilize PayPal’s merchant solution to accept PayPal as a payment method.

Customers may use their Paypal account to purchase goods or services using credit and debit cards or directly through the payment gateway. When selling low-cost goods, PayPal offers many more micro-payment options than its competitors.

Overall, PayPal for business offers:

  • A platform to make and accept international payments.
  • A digital wallet that holds funds and allows you to exchange in various currencies.
  • Payment solutions for online merchants
  • APIs, SDKs, code samples, and pre-integrated solutions for easy accounting integration.
  • A payment gateway to receive card payments.
  • In-store payments using a card reader plus a smartphone or tablet.
  • Risk management through fraud and seller protection.
  • Bulk payments.

PayPal for business doesn’t offer:

  • Currency hedging tools.
  • Account managers.

Verdict: It’s a Draw

Both Wise vs Paypal have excellent business tools, but they’re designed for very different purposes. PayPal is a good option for many e-commerce firms since it offers a secure payment gateway system that works with numerous platforms. 

On the other hand, Wise is the superior choice if you need a local bank account presence in several nations or better exchange rates for many currencies. For example, if you have an international company that needs to exchange currencies with clients from all around the world or pay workers who are located remotely.

Wise vs PayPal: Customer Support Services


Wise has exceptional customer support services. They provide personalized assistance via chat or phone (phone support is available in many languages). You’ll be able to ask them anything you want, whether it’s how to use their app, if they can assist with a transfer, or if they can help you troubleshoot any issues with your account.

Aside from that, they have a wealth of FAQs, with country-specific transfer guides, information on fees and setting up your account, managing your multi-currency account, and card handling, among other things. Whatever questions you have are probably already answered in their FAQ section.


PayPal provides customer support by phone, email, live chat and FAQs in several languages. However, their FAQs are hit-and-miss in some areas. They’re thorough in some areas but superficial in others (like the numerous costs charged by PayPal). 

Many customers have complained (on Trustpilot) that their issues go ignored for weeks, if not months, with the customer care team seeming to be impossible to contact.

Verdict: Wise Wins

PayPal’s unhelpful customer service has caused a lot of negative feedback on various websites, so we’re going with Wise. Looking at other user reports, Wise is usually trustworthy in this area.

FAQs: Wise vs PayPal

Do Wise and PayPal have an App?

Yes, both Wise and PayPal have an App.

What is the Maximum I can transfer from Wise and PayPal?

The maximum you can transfer from Wise is as follows:
– For local transfer: $1 million USD maximum.
– For SWIFT transfer: $1.6 million USD maximum.

The maximum you can transfer from PayPal is as follows:
– For an instant transfer to a card: $5,000 maximum per transaction, $5,000 daily maximum, and $5,000 weekly maximum. $15,000 maximum per month.
– For an instant transfer to a bank account: $25,000 maximum per transaction

Is PayPal or Wise faster?

Both PayPal and Wise are fast, depending on the type of transfer.

Wise payments may be sent instantly, with 80% arriving in the recipient’s bank account within 24 hours.

PayPal transfers can appear nearly instantaneously in the recipient’s PayPal account. However, withdrawals to bank accounts may take a bit longer.

Is PayPal or Wise cheaper?

Wise is cheaper than PayPal.
Wise has a transparent fee structure, with fees starting at 0.41% for major currencies, and they use the real exchange rate.

On the other hand, PayPal transfer fees are expensive, at 5% of the transfer amount, and they do not use the real exchange rate. PayPal charges add an additional fee of 4% to the real exchange rate.

Is PayPal better or Wise?

Wise is better than PayPal. Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate, while PayPal uses an inflated exchange rate. Overall, the transfer costs are lower with Wise compared to PayPal.

Is Wise Connected to PayPal?

Yes, Wise can be connected to PayPal. It is simple to set up Wise as your default payment account to transfer money between PayPal and Wise. All you need to do is to create a Wise multi-currency account, validate your ID and link your Wise account with PayPal.

Can Wise App be trusted?

Yes, Wise App can be trusted.
Your personal information is protected by strong security and encryption on Wise, and you may add two-factor authentication (2FA) for further security.
Still, you want to protect your Wise account with a strong, one-of-a-kind password.

Final Thoughts: Wise vs PayPal

This is a tough one as there are functional differences between the two money transfer platforms, but we will give this to Wise. It’s faster, has better rates, plenty of benefits like its multi-currency account (which allows you to hold funds in different currencies), and a spectacular customer support team.  

PayPal’s fees are higher, and it takes longer for funds to be sent. Also, PayPal offers fewer support options than Wise, making it harder for users to get in touch with someone who can help them out if they run into an issue. 

So, to wrap it up: if you’re looking for a better service for international transfers, Wise is hands down the winner. 

But suppose you want a secure payment gateway provider in addition to an excellent international transfer solution. In that case, PayPal can be a great option as it offers credit card processing and built-in security.

Hopefully, after seeing these comparisons, you now have a better sense of how Wise vs PayPal work and know which service is better suited for your needs now.


Charity (Charee) Oisamoje is the founder of TheFinanceKey - TFK. She leads the editorial team, which is comprised of subject-matter experts.

Her professional competencies and expertise make her qualified on this topic. She is an expert at collecting details, verifying facts, and making complex subjects easy to understand.

Backed by Solid Credentials: ✔️MBA in Finance ✔️Canadian Investment Funds (IFIC) Graduate ✔️Masters Degree in International Business ✔️Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) Candidate ✔️Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) ✔️BSc Accounting

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