Google Pay vs PayPal: Comparing features, fees, and more

As a business owner, you can’t escape the hype around payment apps. Recent research shows that 82 percent of Americans use digital payments, which is a clear reason to offer them as an option at checkout. But deciding which payment apps to offer is a little less cut and dried.

Two popular choices are Google Pay and PayPal, but which one is right for your business? In this article, we’ll compare Google Pay vs PayPal, giving you a breakdown of their basic features, fees, uses, and integration capabilities.

Google Pay vs PayPal: Tech, features, and fees

First, let’s cover the basics. While Google Pay was originally designed as a digital wallet, PayPal was initially built to serve as a transaction platform (though both function as digital wallets now). Essentially, Google Pay’s user-friendly mobile design was intended to hold multiple credit accounts and payment types, while PayPal was built to facilitate bank transfers.

These foundational differences have faded over time. Recently, Google resurrected a previous offering, Google Wallet; in the United States, both Google Pay and Google Wallet have the functionality to handle mobile payments. PayPal, too, has made some changes to facilitate payments with credit cards and other payment methods.

The bottom line is this: Today, both Google Pay and PayPal allow users to pay for products and services with a variety of different financial accounts.

Google Pay is free for businesses and can be set up in only a few days with a developer-friendly API. PayPal, on the other hand, charges a range of fees for accepting different forms of payment.

It’s also important to consider each platform’s global support. Google Pay is available for customers in 57 countries and is actively growing its reach, but PayPal offers payments for users in over 200 countries and regions. If your business has a global reach and vision, PayPal could be the more practical option.

Google Pay vs PayPal: Integrations

Both platforms offer integrations with popular website builders and e-commerce tools, allowing you to accept Google Pay or PayPal as payment types easily on your website or online shopping space. Google Pay features dozens of partners: It can integrate with e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify; online checkout providers like, Square, and Stripe; and even ticketing solutions like Passcreator and Zebra.

PayPal is a payment gateway in and of itself, but it also integrates with numerous e-commerce facilitators and website hosts — including WooCommerce, Wix, and GoDaddy — as well as various accounting software tools.

In short, both tools make it easy to integrate payment services with your website.

Google Pay vs PayPal: Security and rewards

Both platforms have numerous security protocols in place to achieve the kind of payment protection you’d expect from enterprise-level payment solutions.

Google Pay is an attractive option for businesses because of its Google Pay Shield platform, which offers fraud alerts, hacking prevention, and user identity verification in an effort to help merchants minimize fraud. PayPal also protects merchants with clearly defined fraud protection and chargeback resolution support.

Both digital wallets also support customer rewards and engagement. Thanks to Google Pay’s loyalty features, you can give your customers digital loyalty cards accessible through the Google Pay app and even send customers location-based notifications to foster engagement with your loyalty program. PayPal offers customer insights to help you create targeted reward programs, cart recovery to help customers complete purchases, and store cash incentives to keep customers loyal.

In the end, both Google Pay and PayPal are valuable cashless transaction platforms that facilitate an excellent buying experience for customers. Their differences lie in their fees, number of global users, different integration strategies, and customer loyalty features.

Keep in mind there’s no need to choose just one — you can offer as many payment options as you think your customers need. When making your choice, consider your customer base and what will best support them and your business over the long term.

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