PayPal Vs Xoom

About Author: Hi, I’m Quinn Askeland. In 2014, I started Transumo after experiencing expensive, slow, and frustrating international money transfers and payments through banks. Once I discovered how to manage my own international currencies much better, I became driven to help others improve their transfers and payments. Fortunately, today, there are many excellent options. See My Full Bio.

Which is Best for You?

Xoom Vs PayPal

Xoom is very different to PayPal when it comes to transfers – which is why PayPal owns them and also why you can move money easily to Xoom from PayPal.

  • PayPal is limited to transfers within PayPal.
  • Cash and transfers to bank accounts is something Xoom can do.

Both services can work well.

But based on 3rd party reviews and our analysis neither are great and we will show you. Let’s dive in.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and savings on transfers if you use some of the links! For more information, see my disclosures here.

Quick Comparison – PayPal Vs Xoom

Xoom and PayPal are both widely used services. But they have not received good ratings on Trustpilot, with Xoom getting 2.3/5 from 22k+ reviews and PayPal getting 1.3/5 from 27k+ reviews. On the bright side, both apps have done well on Play Store and App Store, with ratings above 4.2/5 and millions of downloads.

PayPal has been around for almost 30 years (Yes! Founded in 1998) and are mostly in the business of making payments easy – but they do a lot more including money transfers.

In some cases PayPal can be a good option for some people but over the years many specialist money transfer companies have reduced the fees and created better services.

PayPal realised this, and in 2015 purchased Xoom.

Xoom (since 2001) helps their users send money to friends and family (160+ countries) and lets you send cash and bank transfers. You can even pay utility bills and top up mobile phones in some countries.

Xoom is only available in the US, Canada, UK, and Eurozone.

The question PayPal Vs Xoom depends on many factors and this page will show you the differences quickly. We also suggest you check out a few alternatives to save some money and potentially have a way better experience.


PayPal Likes:

  • Available for personal and business
  • Sign ups supported from 200 countries worldwide
  • Fast PayPal to PayPal transfers
  • Easy to use
  • Pay vendors and contractors abroad

PayPal Dislikes:

  • Can be very expensive
  • Limited to smaller amounts only
  • Can’t send cash or direct to bank accounts
  • Limited currencies


Xoom Likes:

  • Can sign up with PayPal account and fund transfers with PayPal balance
  • Send money to 160+ countries
  • Send cash or bank transfers, top up mobile phones, and send money to mobile wallets
  • Pay utility bills in some countries

Xoom Dislikes:

  • Only supports registrations from the UK, US, Canada, and Eurozone
  • Personal transfers only
  • Can be expensive compared to its rivals
  • Limits applicable based on user levels and countries – ideal for small transfers only

1. Real Fees – Is One Better Than the Other?


PayPal’s fees depend on

  • Funding method (card, bank transfer or PayPal balance)
  • Amount
  • Currency
  • Your location
  • Fixed fee based on target currency and currency exchange fees are charged
  • There’s a margin on the exchange rate PayPal offers Typically – 2.5% to 4.5%
  • Service fees often applicable based on amount between $0.99 USD to $4.99 USD (US example)
  • No fee to transfer money from PayPal balance or linked bank account
  • Transfers funded by credit or debit card can be very expensive (cash advance fees applicable)

Complex fees: As we found in our article on PayPal International Fees, there are many factors to determine the total fees. While they might not be intentionally “hidden”, we think they can easily be missed.


Fees on Xoom depend on:

  • Funding method (card, bank transfer or PayPal balance)
  • Transfer type (cash, bank account, or bill payment)
  • Amount
  • Currency
  • Fixed fee based on currency and a currency exchange fee is applicable
  • Margin on the exchange rate is charged
  • Transfers funded by banks credit cards are more expensive (bank will charge a 3% cash advance fee)
  • Transfers funded by PayPal balance and linked bank account are fee
  • Fees applicable for bill payments and mobile top ups

Complex fees: As we found in our Xoom Review, there are many factors to determine the total fees. While they might not be intentionally “hidden”, we think they can easily be missed.

See an estimate of the fees you’ll pay with your Xoom transfer here.

Winner: Tie

PayPal and Xoom have similar fee structures with some minor differences. Overall, their fee structure is complex and sending money abroad with them can be expensive.

Sometimes, the premium is acceptable if your priorities are ease and familiarity.

However, if you want to save more on fees for your small transfers abroad (both cash and bank transfers), we recommend services like Wise money transfers (review) for bank to bank transfers, WorldRemit cash transfers (review) for cash, and Remitly for immigrants (review) to send money back home.

2. Are They Safe?


  • Secure connections to the PayPal website with TLS and Https technology
  • One time passwords (OTP) for logging into their mobile app
  • Active fraud detection team keeps tabs on transactions
  • Robust buyer protection based on Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) standards (required for credit or debit card transfers or purchases)
  • Email notifications for all transfers and swift investigation for unauthorized transfers (if applicable)


  • Xoom uses 128-bit SSL to keep all information between your browser and Xoom’s website private and secure
  • The servers Xoom uses are protected both physically and electronically
  • Their employees need to undergo mandatory background checks
  • Their privacy policies are compliant with all the banking laws of the companies they operate in and audited regularly
  • Cash is only disbursed if the recipient carries a valid ID.

Winner: Tie

As far as is reasonable to tell both Xoom and PayPal are safe.

With a combination of the latest security technology, compliance with banking regulations based on location, and manual intervention by their anti-theft and fraud prevention teams, they certainly seem proactive.

Xoom also makes sure your money reaches the right hands by only disbursing the cash you send to authorized recipients carrying a valid ID.

Quick suggestion: Only send money to people you know to avoid online payment scams.

3. Ease of Use – Some BIG Differences


  • Easy and fast sign up and verification process
  • Get paid by sharing your email address. Similarly, send money easily to your recipient’s email address
  • Fund transfers with no fees from your PayPal balance
  • Shop securely online from global stores


  • Sign up with your email or use PayPal credentials to create an account
  • Fund transfers with no fees from your PayPal balance
  • Send money directly to a bank account
  • Send cash to agent locations in 160+ countries
  • Pay utility bills for your family or friends in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salavador, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico
  • Top up mobile phones or send mobile wallet payments

Winner: Tie

PayPal has a good mix of business and personal, while Xoom comprehensively meets all the requirements of a money transfer service that’s focused on personal transfers.

There are both overlaps and big differences between how they operate, but the entire process is easy and seamless.

4. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones) — What Others Are Saying


PayPal is rated 1.3/5 on Trustpilot, which is considered “Bad.”


  • Easy to use
  • Great buyer protection

“If you’re not using PayPal when it comes up as a payment option ANY WHERE then you need help! The security they give to purchases is FABULOUS..”

– J Harding on Trustpilot

“I have been using PayPal for over a decade, and haven’t had any problems so far. I recently had to escalate an issue through PayPal, as an item I had purchased didn’t arrive and the seller was unresponsive. Using the resolution centre was straightforward, and in the end I got a refund. My money probably would have been lost forever if I had paid the seller directly, so I’m very grateful to PayPal for stepping in. Thank you!”

– Jenn on Trustpilot


  • Poor customer service

Most of the negative reviews for PayPal are related to poor customer service, but it is important to realise PayPal is focused on payments and not just money transfers.

  • Expensive service

PayPal’s transfers can attract a lot of fees as we have shown and some reviewers also figure this out.


Xoom is rated 2.3/5 on Trustpilot, which is considered “Poor.”


  • Very fast transfers
  • Easy to use platform

“Xoom is one of the best ways that I have found to quickly and easily send money to anyone anywhere, you can deposit it right into their account by just following their easy steps.”

– Kurt Edward Boardman on Trustpilot

“I have never sent cash abroad before, but wanted to send cash gift to my daughter in the USA. I found Xoom easy to use, all the information I needed was there on the screen and she was able to travel to her nearest Wall art store and Pick up the money within minutes. Amazing service. I am sure I will use this service again, instead of sending vouchers. Thank you.”

– Kathreen Ivison on Trustpilot


  • Transfers frequently canceled

Some users were dissatisfied with their transfers being canceled frequently. This could be due to one of the following reasons:

  • Going over Xoom’s transfer limits (based on user level and time period)
  • Sending money for donations or other purposes that isn’t strictly meant for family or friends
  • Unhelpful customer service

Xoom users seem to be met with impersonal responses that are more focused on following Xoom’s internal policies than helping their customers solve their problem.

  • High fees

Xoom’s complex fee structure can increase the cost of money transfers.

Winner: Tie

PayPal and Xoom seem to be performing their core functions well: Secure online payments (PayPal) and fast transfers to friends and family (Xoom).

Both are below 4/5 on Trustpilot though and when we send our money we prefer services above 4/5 to give us greater confidence.

5. Transfer Speeds


  • PayPal to PayPal transfers are instant when paid with PayPal balance or a few hours when paid with the linked bank account
  • Withdrawing to your bank account can take anywhere between 2-4 days depending on your location and banks
  • You can opt for an instant transfer by paying a 1% withdrawal fee


  • Cash pick up is available within minutes
  • Transfers funded by credit or debit cards are almost instant – available within a few minutes to a few hours
  • Transfers to bank accounts are slower – can take 3-5 days (which is normal due to banks)

Winner: Tie

Both PayPal VS Xoom transfer speeds are up to industry standards with PayPal having a clear advantage because they don’t deal with the banks at either end.

6. Customer Service and Support


  • Extensive FAQs – however these can be a hit and a miss. Some responses are detailed, while others don’t offer much clarity
  • Country-specific phone and chat – however, customer service representatives can be hard to reach
  • Fast investigation and resolution for unauthorized and disputed payments


  • Multilingual email support (English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Arabic, and Chinese)
  • Multilingual phone support:
    • Agents in the US and Canada can speak English, Spanish, and Filipino
    • Agents in the UK and Europe speak English, Spanish, Filipino, French, Italian, German, and Arabic
  • FAQs on the website

Winner: Xoom

Xoom also offers truly international customer service and support, but resolution of issues can be slow and sometimes unsatisfactory.


Xoom works pretty well for cash transfers – money is available in minutes and you can send to over 160 countries. Mobile wallet payments and bill payments are also cool perks.

PayPal offers a good mix of personal and business features when it comes to money transfers.

However, they’re not the cheapest or the best options for sending large amounts.

For affordable bank transfers we recommend Wise (review).

Sending cash? Check out WorldRemit (review), and Remitly (review).

Happy Transfers!

Is Xoom and PayPal connected?

PayPal owns Xoom and they have made it so that it is easier to use Xoom if you have a PayPal account. For money transfers PayPal and Xoom offer different strengths and weaknesses which means it helps to understand their differences.

Which is cheaper Xoom or PayPal?

Both services have different fees which can be complex and relatively difficult to figure out. However if you can use both PayPal might be better if you can use a PayPal balance and avoid currency conversion.

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