Wise vs PayPal: Which Platform Is Best For You (In 2024)

If you are looking for Wise vs PayPal and trying to figure out the best way to manage your money online, then you can do just that with these excellent platforms called Wise and PayPal. PayPal and Wise both do similar things, but each has its own unique way of doing it.

There are a few minor differences between them, but they both allow you to transfer money around. However, which one is best for you? Your specific requirements will determine what you need.

In this detailed comparison, we’ll dive into important factors like exchange rates, pros and cons, features and functionality, cost and fees, and more. So let’s get started!

Suggested: Wise vs XE Money Transfer.

Wise vs PayPal: An overview

PayPal and Wise are both online payment companies, but they specialize in different tasks.

PayPal is great for buying stuff online and sending money to friends using email addresses. It’s widely used and convenient for everyday transactions.

Wise focuses on international money transfers, making it easier and cheaper to send money between different countries and currencies.

So, if you’re looking to shop online or send money locally, PayPal works well. But if you need to move money across borders, Wise might be the better choice.

Read also: IntaReM vs Wise Money Transfer.

FocusInternational money transfers, multi-currency accountsOnline payments, personal transfers, international transfers
FeesGenerally lower, transparent mid-market rates with small fixed feesHigher, often adds markup to exchange rate, hidden fees possible
SpeedFaster, typically 1-2 business daysVaried, can be instant for small amounts, slower for larger sums or specific countries
Payment methodsPrimarily bank transfersBank transfers, online payments, personal transfers
ConvenienceSimple interface, good for bank transfersFamiliar platform, widely accepted, good for quick transfers and online shopping
Best forCost-conscious transfers, large sums, frequent transactionsConvenience, quick transfers, personal payments, online shopping
Currency coverageOver 50+ currenciesMost popular currencies, limited reach in some regions
SecuritySecure, regulated, bank-level encryptionTrusted platform with fraud protection measures, but some security concerns
Customer supportResponsive, 24/7 chat and emailVaried phone and email support is available; wait times can vary
Pricing transparencyUpfront fees and exchange ratesFees and exchange rates not always clear

Wise vs PayPal: Exchange Rate

Wise uses the real mid-market exchange rate without any additional fees, which is a great advantage for its users. 

Alternatively, PayPal adds an extra charge to the mid-market rate, which could affect the overall cost of your transaction. 

This additional charge often makes Wise a more cost-effective option for international transfers.

Read also: Review Of Wise Money Transfer.

Wise vs PayPal: International Transfer

Wise and PayPal both help send money across countries:

  • PayPal: It’s well-known and easy to use. You can link it to your bank or card to send money, but there might be higher fees for converting currencies and transferring between PayPal accounts.
  • Wise: Works like a bank in different countries. They use the real exchange rate and charge a small fee, often cheaper than PayPal. Good for bigger transfers or regular transactions.

Choose PayPal for convenience if the person you’re sending to uses it. But if you want to save on fees, especially for larger or frequent transfers, Wise might be better.

Read also: Review Of XE Money Transfer.

Wise vs PayPal: Features And Functionality

Both platforms offer features beyond simple money transfers. They support sending and receiving money, online purchases, and currency conversion. 

PayPal also offers lines of credit, while Wise has a multi-currency account feature that lets you hold and manage money in multiple currencies.

Read also: How To Receive Money From Wise.

Wise vs PayPal: Fees And Cost

The cost of receiving or withdrawing money should also be considered, along with transaction fees. PayPal charges a 2.9% fee to receive business payments, while Wise has no receiving fees. 

The process of withdrawing money from PayPal to a bank account also charges fees, which vary by country, whereas Wise charges a small fixed fee.

Read also: How To Send Money With Wise.

Wise vs PayPal: Ease Of Use

Both platforms have user-friendly interfaces, easy account setup processes, and offer integration with other platforms.

However, some users find Wise’s interface cleaner and its process more convenient than PayPal’s.

Read also: The Best Way To Send Money Internationally.

Wise vs PayPal: Target Audience And Use Cases

  • PayPal

Target Audience: Businesses and individuals who are looking for a payment system that is widely accepted. Good for online shopping, sending money to friends/family, and basic business transactions.

Use Cases: Convenient for everyday payments, online shopping, and transferring money between people who already use PayPal. However, it might have higher fees for international transfers.

Also read: How To Link Bank Account To Wise.

  • Wise

Target Audience: People or businesses doing regular international transfers or dealing with different currencies.

Use Cases: Perfect for expats, freelancers, businesses dealing with global clients, or anyone sending money across borders regularly. 

Wise offers better exchange rates and transparent fees, making it cost-effective for international transactions.

Also read: Review of RemitMoney International Money Transfer.

Wise vs PayPal: Speed Of Transfer

  • PayPal: Transfers within the same country are usually quick, often instant. International transfers take a few days to process, depending on the recipient’s location and currency.
  • Wise: Local transfers are generally fast, similar to local bank transfers. International transfers with Wise might take a couple of days, but it’s often quicker compared to traditional banks, especially for popular currency routes.

Suggested: PayPal Refer A Friend.

Wise vs PayPal: Pros & Cons

1. PayPal


  • Widely Accepted: Many people and businesses use PayPal, so it’s convenient for transactions.
  • Easy to Use: Sending money using emails or phone numbers is simple.
  • Good for Online Shopping: It’s a common method for buying things online.


  • Higher Fees: Charges can be higher, especially for international transfers.
  • Complex Fees: Understanding the exact fees, especially for international transactions, might be confusing.

2. Wise


  • Low Fees: Transparent and often lower fees, especially for international transfers.
  • Real Exchange Rate: Offers the actual exchange rate, often better than banks or PayPal.
  • Clear Fees: Clearly shows how much your recipient will get after fees.


  • Less Common: Not as widely used as PayPal, so the person you’re sending money to might not have a Wise account.
  • Might Take Longer: Transfers take more time compared to PayPal in some cases.

Suggested: The Easy Way To Get Free PayPal Money.


Choosing between Wise and PayPal largely depends on your individual needs, the nature and frequency of your transactions, and the countries you’re transacting between. 

Consider the pros and cons, fees, and features of both services to make an informed decision. The strengths of Wise and PayPal vary depending on your priorities, such as cost-effectiveness, speed, and global reach.

We hope that in this article you have got a lot of information about Wise vs PayPal.

Suggested: Top Best Instant Money Transfer Apps.


Does Wise accept PayPal?

No, Wise does not directly accept PayPal for sending or receiving international money transfers. However, there are two ways to connect your Wise and PayPal accounts: 1. Transfer money from PayPal to Wise, 2. Use Wise to pay for things linked to your PayPal account.

Is Wise payment safe?

Yes. Currency can be held, spent, and exchanged safely in the Wise Account.

Is Wise more expensive than PayPal?

Generally, Wise is cheaper than Paypal for international transfers. It uses mid-market rates and transparent fees, while PayPal often adds markups and has hidden charges. 

Can Wise be used as a bank account?

No, Wise cannot be used as a full-fledged bank account in the traditional sense.