I currently have a registered business with a client that pays me every two weeks. Normally I send an invoice, and he sends a check via snail mail. We would like to move this to something online. We tried PayPal, but I unexpectedly got hit with a 3.0% fee as soon as he paid the invoice.

Is there an online site or someway online we could transfer funds without paying a fee? I am fine with using a personal PayPal account or something similar (last attempt I used a business PayPal account, and just hit the "request money" option), but his account would remain a business account. I'm not sure if that's free or not.

And we're looking at the amount of around $1000-1500 dollars worth of transfers a month.

  • 3
    If there were a free and quick way of doing this, everybody would use it and the banks would not make money. So, the actual costs are likely to be hidden in other charges (or requirements such as you must maintain a minimum balance of $X in your non-interest-bearing account) that the bank will impose on you. – Dilip Sarwate Feb 19 '13 at 2:54
  • 3
    Posting as a comment as this is Canadian. We have a service interac.ca/index.php/en/interac-etransfer/etransfer-detail that is tied to all our major banks. Same network that runs direct debit at retailers, allows for email money transfers between accounts. Might be something similar south of the border? Not free, but fixed/low cost, definitely not percentage like paypal. – sdg Feb 19 '13 at 23:19
  • You (or someone else) can send money through Paypal for free if you specify that the payment is a "gift". If the exchange is not a legitimate gift, it's breaking the TOS and, if caught, they will close your account and could seize your funds. However, I thought I'd point out that there is a way to send money, for free, without associated fees for either party. An alternative is to use a service where the purchaser pays the sending fees. I'm not 100% sure, but I think you can send funds electronically through Western Union this way. – RLH Feb 20 '13 at 20:57
  • What countries are involved in the transaction? – Bhavin Mar 1 '13 at 22:23
  • @Bhavin US on both sides – Kyle Mar 5 '13 at 16:07

I think something you might want to look at is a service called Dwolla.

They charge $0.25 per transaction, and are free for transactions under $10.

  • Dwolla looks like what i'm after..why was this downvoted? something wrong with Dwolla? – Kyle Mar 1 '13 at 21:03
  • I don't know @kyle. If there is something wrong with it, I would certainly like to hear what people have against it. – MJ. Mar 3 '13 at 0:49
  • currently signed up for Dwolla and awaiting verification, will update when the transactions go through...so far so good – Kyle Mar 5 '13 at 16:08
  • Great to hear! I've been wanting to try it, but just haven't had the chance. – MJ. Mar 8 '13 at 5:36
  • Dwolla works well, they hold the money for a few days before transferring, but works perfectly for what I was after – Kyle Mar 26 '13 at 7:25

The easiest and cheapest way I can think of is the online bill pay service that most banks use. It's free for both of you; regardless of what the bank has to go through to get the payment to its destination, they generally eat the costs. You can use this to pay anyone from your rent to your electric company to your cousin Vinnie. However, I do not think that a business checking account has this feature. Instead, most corporate cash accounts typically have an ACH service attached to them, where for some small, fixed fee like 25 to 50 cents per transaction, they will accept transfer requests in an ACH format. This is how your electric company does auto-debit (if you let them), and how banks do online bill pay to most corporate payees; they, and their bank account numbers, would be verified by and kept on file with each bank that moved a substantial volume of money to this payee.


PayPal offers a service called "PayPal Business Payments". Instead of charging a percentage, they charge a flat fee.

For US-to-US payments, the fee is fifty cents per transaction.

For Canada-to-Canada payments, the fee is five dollars per transaction. You need to use a third-party invoicing service and choose the "PayPal Business Payments" option. FreshBooks or Zoho Invoice might work.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.