With the internet rapidly immersing itself into every aspect of our daily lives, it was not long before online trading became a norm and urged the creation of a number of international payment systems. PayPal, Skrill, NETELLER, ecoPayz, Paysera, WebMoney – these are only a few of the names which have become common language in the world of online transactions for goods and services. This article will take a closer look at two of these: PayPal and Skrill.
Before proceeding to the main focus of the article, it is important to note that this analysis is based on the main markets of each of the two payment systems considered: the USA for PayPal and the UK for Skrill. Such an assumption underlies all of the subsequent tables and explanations for the sake of accurate comparison. Exact fees, terms and other information may, therefore, vary according to the specific countries in which these services are provided.
General information about Skrill and PayPal
It only took two years for Skrill to be launched in 2001 after the early foundation of PayPal in 1999. Although Skrill also had an early start in the trade, it was known as Moneybookers all the way up to 2011 when it underwent a large-scale rebranding campaign, taking the significant turn which has now led the company to its current standing. Meanwhile, PayPal had soon acquired a leading position in the electronic payments market through its acquisition by eBay in 2002. From then on, the company was quick to amass a generous portion of the market with one in every two of the largest online transactions passing through PayPal.
The American giant has scarcely lost its popularity as it now claims up to 300 million users as of 2020. This is no small number to compete with, yet Skrill nevertheless has managed to accumulate a commendable 36 million users from its UK market, albeit 8 times less than the former. Total numbers aside, Skrill is still far from having said its last word as its clientele appears to be growing faster than its competitor, at a 50% rate versus PayPal’s 20%.
PayPal’s worth is marked at a colossal $141 billion, whereas Skrill was acquired by Optimal Payments for just $1.1 billion. It does not take a statistician to see that both companies are worlds apart when it comes to scale and market capitalization. And yet, even such a drastic difference does not prevent both companies from competing against each other.
PayPal’s operations in the US are run on a license permitting the transfer of money. In 2007, the company was granted the status of a European bank after it established its headquarters in Luxembourg. Such expansion assigned them a banking license to operate freely throughout the European Union. In the Russian Federation, PayPal has earned the status of an extra-bank credit institution.
Right from its earliest creation, Skrill, then known as Moneybookers, held a license with the Bank of Ireland and now holds the European e-Money license which allows it to serve countries across the world with its payment service. The company is also licensed in every state of the US.
Comparison of Skrill and PayPal VIP programs
|Feature||VIP Skrill||VIP Skrill via Baxity||VIP PayPal|
|Requirement to achieve VIP status||Deposits in every quarter||Deposits in the first 30 days after registration||Not available|
|VIP Silver||15000||5000||Not available|
|VIP Gold||45000||n/a||Not available|
|VIP Diamond||90000||n/a||Not available|
It is clear from the table above that PayPal’s take on privileged status levels is quite straightforward. Indeed, unlike payment services like Skrill, or NETELLER and ecoPayz, PayPal does not offer its users with the possibility of earning a VIP status and its associated benefits. The opportunity is simply not provided by the payment service itself and the closest one may come to such a loyalty scheme is the “Cash Reward Program”. Its terms state that bonus points may be earned on each purchase via the PayPal account linked to your bank card to be spent at the user’s discretion. This is most commonly translated into a cashback of up to 2% of the payment.
Participation in Skrill’s loyalty scheme relies on one principal condition: meeting the minimum transaction amount during the set time period of a year’s quarter. Meeting such a criterion will earn one a VIP Silver status after €15,000 worth in transactions.
What differentiates Skrill’s loyalty scheme from PayPal’s “Cash Reward Program” most significantly is the variety of functions for the user to benefit on. You are not just limited to the acquisition of goods and services, any deposit made to a gambling operator or casino table worth a total of €15,000 will automatically update your account to Silver status on the following day. A week later you might withdraw some funds back to your account and have it transferred to Pokerstars to be promoted up further to the next status level, Gold. You will not even be required to wait until the end of the current quarter for your upgrade to go through, your account will immediately be moved up to a higher level even before the start of the following period.
Comparison of Skrill and PayPal tariffs
Although loyalty schemes are an important feature to consider as part of a payment service, it is far from being a decisive criterion in the ultimate choice of payment service. Most users will be most intrigued to find out about the transfer volumes permitted and their associated fees, after all, a payment service is all about money – your money. Most will, therefore, want to skip over thorough multistage analysis and all of their intricate stat calculations and focus on what matters most: their payments.
|Feature||Skrill||Skrill via Baxity||PayPal|
|Number of available currencies||41||41||24|
|Number of accounts||1 multicurrency account||1 multicurrency account||2 (1 personal + 1 business)|
|Inactivity fees||12 months – no, then 5€ per month.||12 months – no, then 5€ per month.||Free|
|Conversion fees||3.99% without status and from 1.99 with VIP statuses||3.99% without status and from 1.99 with VIP statuses||2.5%|
|Deposit fees||0-1%||0-1%||Free, except for credit card deposits. There varies from 2.90% + $0.30 to 7.40% + $0.50.|
|Commission for bank withdrawals||5.5 euro, from VIP Silver for free||5.5 euro, from VIP Silver for free||Free|
|Commission for ATM withdrawals||1.75% without status and free from Silver status||1.75% without status and free from Silver status||$2.5|
|Transfer within the system||1.45% without status and free from Silver status||1.45% without status and free from Silver status||Free|
|Deposit for verification||5 euro||Free||Free|
|Verification period||1 to 5 working days||24 hours on workdays||48 hours on workdays|
You should keep in mind two important factors when consulting the payment information listed in the table above:
- The values in the table are subject to variations according to the user’s country of residence. For example, you will not have to pay for a deposit in the UK by bank transfer, but you will have to pay a 2.5% charge for a deposit made in Russia via the same method.
- Such information about payment methods and their associated fees tend to become outdated quite rapidly due to constant changes by the payment system. For up to date and exact information, you should consult the official Skrill or PayPal site, or otherwise get in touch with us for more information.
Until recently, using multiple currencies within Skrill came with some complications, mainly attributed to the need for VIP status to unlock access to an additional account. This has now changed, such that any user, regardless of status, may now enjoy all the advantages and practicalities of an additional multi-currency account where each account balance is expressed in a different currency of your choice.
You should keep in mind that a great number of inconveniences you may come across when using Skrill can be solved with an exclusive registration with Baxity. Whether it is speeding up your verification process to no more than 24 hours or granting you privileged access to higher status levels on preferential terms, Baxity can make your Skrill experience that much more simple and advantageous. You may obtain VIP Silver for €5000 within the first 30 days of registration and without having to pay for the mandatory €5 deposit to verify.
Comparison of Skrill Prepaid MasterCard and PayPal Prepaid MasterCard cards
You might think the payment services like PayPal and Skrill are entirely online-based, but one of their most attractive and popular features is in fact the use of MasterCard branded prepaid cards. Both companies provide their users with the option of ordering such a card, but on largely different terms. The most important ones are listed below.
|Order and annual service fees||Free from Silver status, without status 10 euros||Free|
|Delivery time||7-10 days||2-4 weeks|
|Reissue cost||Free from Silver status, without status 10 euros||Free|
|Where available||European Economic Area + United Kingdom||US|
|Currency of the card||Euro||Dollar and Euro|
|Limits on withdrawal at an ATM (per day)||from €900 and above (depending on VIP status)||$400|
|Limits on purchases (per day)||from €2,700 and above (depending on VIP status)||$5000|
|Period of validity||3 years||3 years|
|Commission for withdrawal at an ATM||1.75% without status and free from Silver status||$2.5|
PayPal lets its users obtain a ‘plastic’ MasterCard entirely free of charge, whereas this is only the case with Skrill for Silver status and above. The latter will otherwise charge you with a €10 annual service charge in addition to the initial cost of the order. Skrill does, however, operate on much more favourable time scales, delivering your prepaid card to your door in less than 10 working days instead of PayPal’s lengthy one month wait. Those are quite a few days lost which could be devoted to your spending. The British payment service scores another important advantage when it comes to the availability of its MasterCard which spans over all residents of the European Economic Area (EEA).
Skrill’s service further imposes itself in terms of the limited currency options which include Euros only. PayPal is, however, more suitable for large withdrawals via ATMs with its higher caps. Still, this last statement only holds true for comparisons between standard Skrill and PayPal accounts. When it comes to upgraded status levels with Silver VIP and above, the picture changes quite dramatically in favour of Skrill. At such VIP levels, your ATM withdrawals will no longer cost you anything when using your prepaid MasterCard.
Comparison of cashback and security in Skill and PayPal
Yes, cashback rates, loyalty programs and payment volumes are interesting factors to consider when selecting a particular payment service, but ultimately, nothing is more important than its security. What use is there to having hundreds of bonus points to spend or great commissions on your transactions if all the money in your account has suddenly been stolen. It is therefore essential to consider a close comparison of the security measures implemented by Skrill and PayPal to keep their customers safe.
|Cashback and stock||Skrill Knect||Cash Reward Program|
|Verification of identity and address||Yes (using a camera)||No|
Both companies come out quite strong on the issue of security. However, Skrill takes the upper hand slightly with the “Strict customer identification” scheme it put in place back in 2019. This is an additional safety check for account logins or transactions which comes in the form of a unique 6-digit verification code sent via SMS or email for a confirmation.
With regards to their cashback schemes, the results appear just as unanimous. Whilst the American payment service held an advantage on this front for many years, Skrill’s addition of its Knect program has recently evened up the competition.
Benefits Skrill and PayPal
Generally speaking, the key benefits of Skrill are as follows:
- Most popular payment system amidst gamblers and online traders from its past as Moneybookers. You will rarely find a poker room, online casino or bookmaker’s office online which does not have Skrill as a payment option.
- The combination of VIP statuses and the Knect program looks much more attractive than the PP bonus points offer.
- Higher security standards make it the most reliable service to take care of your money.
- Most rates and fees are lower than those put in place by its competitors, and advantage which grows significantly as one moves up in status level.
- The availability of multi-currency accounts alongside a much larger choice of national currencies lets one save up on conversion charges.
PayPal does also have its own strengths:
- A close connection with leading internet giant eBay allowed PayPal to become the most popular payment service in the world. While Skrill dominates the gambling niche, PayPal remains the #1 choice for any online purchase.
- Higher transaction speed. This is especially true for caches which are mostly instantaneous with PayPal but may take up to 24 hours with Skrill.
- It holds a banking license in the European Union, advocating for the reliability of the platform.
Comparison of Skrill and PayPal terms and conditions for merchants
With reference to the terms and conditions of each site, PayPal holds an unconditional advantage for sellers. PayPal has been an integral part of eBay for many years already which has given the platform an unmatched recognition amidst online buyers and sellers, even so far as to become a household name for many of them. Over its decades of operation, the platform has put in place a number of complex features which have significantly increased the attractiveness of its payment service for sellers:
- Seller Protection. A unique function which ensures that honest businessmen get paid as long as they have fulfilled all conditions on the delivery of their goods. The seller is required to confirm the shipment or delivery on the relevant form which is then put into review before making the money available.
- Buyer Protection. Although its primary purpose is to refund buyers if any problems arise with the delivery of the goods, it also indirectly helps to increase clients’ trust in the seller.
- The standard fee set for any goods sold through PayPal is just 2.9% + $0.3 per transaction. Adding a payment system as a payment method to your website can cost another $5/month.
- Easy and straightforward procedure to open business accounts. The seller is only asked to link a personal bank account or bank card to their profile to receive payments without the $500 per month withdrawal limit.
- PayPal Here. For just 2.7%, merchants may receive a card reader which allows them to process payments online wherever and whenever without the need of a business account.
Skrill’s interaction with merchants is not yet developed enough, mainly due to its relatively recent change in structure. When operating under the name Moneybookers, the company prioritised its relations with online gambling businesses or casinos and only undertook its rebranding in 2011. This set back has also meant that it missed out on becoming such a well-known household name like PayPal, relying mostly on its popularity amidst gamblers and traders instead.
Skrill has also had to take in a wave of negative reviews, paired with frequent account freezes due to suspicious transactions and poor support service, all of which have not helped its public image amidst sellers. Business fees set by Skrill are dependent on transaction volumes, with the lowest-earning merchants earning up to $3000 a month being charged at a 2.9% rate + 0.29 per purchase. This fee is however reduced by 0.1% for higher revenues.
Before you make your final decision about which to choose, you should ask yourself one last question: “What do I want to use payment service for?” If you are looking for speed and convenience when depositing or withdrawing your money for trading or gambling purposes, then Skrill is your number one choice. But if you are hoping to go on an eBay shopping spree or make other small payments here and there, then PayPal is the best way to go.