What Are the Best Online Wallets in 2021?Online, digital, or electronic wallets, whatever you choose to call them, are software programs that facilitate financial transactions over the internet. They are the equivalent of bank accounts. Meaning, they let user store funds, make monetary transfers, and track their payment history.
Digital wallets rose to prominence with widespread internet adoption in the early 2000s, when PayPal dominated this market. Today, hundreds of such software options exist, catering to different demographics and some even serving distinct functions. Some wallets target users of the best online casinos for US players, while others aim to please those that indulge in online shopping. Though, services that have a unique twist are somewhat of a rarity. Most wallets have similar attributes, which only differ slightly in terms of fees and features.
If you have recently purchased something online, the odds are that you either used an online wallet or you got offered such an option. They are more-or-less mainstays in the online payment sector. Below, we analyze what many consider to be the current best six options on the market.
PayPal is the originator, the brand that built the stage for things to come. The company behind this software launched its operations in 1998 as Confinity. However, after failing in their original field – creating security software for handheld devices, they pivoted to developing a digital wallet. As of the third quarter of 2020, PayPal had an active user base of 361 million. It is the most widely-used financial software of its kind.
PayPal’s main advantages lie in that many merchants accept it, and it incorporates many other services for free or a nominal fee. Negatives include that the services verification system can take too long and that fees charged on non-PayPal payments are expensive.
Formerly known as Moneybookers, Skrill is an established online wallet that has been available for use since 2001. Today, it operates in over one hundred and twenty territories and allows more than forty currencies. In 2015, Skrill got acquired by the Paysafe Group, and it now operates under the same umbrella as the prepaid payment provider Paysafecard and former fierce competitor Neteller.
Skrill is famous for its low fees, security, and the fact that it allows Bitcoin transactions. However, the downside of this service is that it takes an increased commission for a double conversion of funds, and not all international banks work with it.
As mentioned above, Neteller at one time was Skrill’s biggest rival. It is an even older wallet, with roots dating back to 1999. Neteller’s main goal was and still is to process online gambling payments. That is its niche sector. At one point in time, this service was processing money transfers for over 85% of the world’s gambling merchants, and many of its transactions came from US residents. That percentage gradually decreased, and the company left the US market in 2019.
Now, Neteller is active in one hundred and three countries, accepting twenty-six currencies. Its perks are that it has high-end security, it processes transfers instantly, and has an excellent VIP program, likely one of the best ones in the industry. Disadvantages of using Neteller are that it has high currency conversion charges for non-VIPs, and some services exclude Neteller transfers from promotions.
Payoneer is the most used digital payment service by freelancers worldwide. Companies like Google, Upwork, Amazon, and Airbnb use its system to send money globally. Even e-commerce marketplaces such as wish.com, Walmart, and Rakuten utilize it. So, despite this service being active since 2005, recently, it has made tremendous headway, as now it is available in over two hundred countries and works with more than one hundred and fifty currencies.
Payoneer is terrific because it has no maintenance fees, features low transaction commissions, and offers a Payoneer MasterCard that ATMs and physical stores accept. The main drawback of this service is that customer support is slow and that users can only transfer funds directly to another Payoneer account. So, sending funds to a bank account is out of the question.
Revolut is a Russian-owned fintech brand that has its headquarters in London. Going by a 2020 valuation (£4.2 billion), it is the most valuable fintech company in the UK. It applied for a UK banking license in early 2021.
Revolut is unique because it has commission-free stock trading, offers travel insurance at low rates, can act as a crypto wallet, and has no maintenance fees in standard accounts. This e-wallet can hold popular cryptos such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, XRP, and Ethereum, but those options are only for premium and metal users. The latter two pay a maintenance fee. On top of all this, Revolut has a perks program that provides up to 30% discounts. Currently, this service has a user base of fifteen million.