Payza vs AlertPay: Comparison of Fee Structure and Customer Service Support

AlertPay is dead. If you are a long-term AlertPay supporter, you may be a bit uncomfortableto hear that AlertPay has been acquired by an UK-based company called MH Pillars since April 2012 and has then been renamed Payza. According to the official announcement, the change is intended to help integrating AlertPay with prepaid card solutions and to just get AlertPay 'better'. AlertPay was one of the key competitors of PayPal, the leading payment system online by far.

While people have no idea what is happening and some may even wonder whether the new Payza is a scam (because AlertPay has been losing credit card supports even before becoming Payza), we feel it is necessary to check at least what kind of service the new Payza is offering to different users in different countries.

Is Payza Really 'Better' vs. AlertPay?

To answer this question, we decide to check the new Payza fee structure first. In fact, for users in the U.S., you may not notice a significant difference (except for the change in brand name of course) because the new Payza fee structure does not seem to have any change in this country. We, however, note there are BIG changes for international users if we compare the new Payza services against the old AlertPay. Taking Hong Kong as an example:

Account Type:Personal StarterAccount Type:Personal ProAccount Type:Business
AlertPay vs. PayzaOld AlertPay FeeNew Payza FeeOld AlertPay FeeNew Payza FeeOld AlertPay FeeNew Payza Fee
Receive moneyFreeNo change2.50 % + HKD$2.9No change2.50 % + HKD$2.9No change
Receive money via Credit CardNot allowedNo change4.90 % + HKD$2.9Not allowed4.90 % + HKD$2.9Not allowed
Send moneyFreeNo changeFreeNo changeFreeNo change
Withdraw money via Bank WireUSD$15No changeUSD$15No changeUSD$15No change
Withdraw money via Bank Transfer or Credit CardHKD$35 ~ HKD$38Not allowedHKD$35 ~ HKD$38Not allowedHKD$35 ~ HKD$38Not allowed
Withdraw money via CheckUSD$4FreeUSD$4FreeUSD$4Free
Withdraw money via Prepaid Debit CardNot allowedUSD$1Not allowedUSD$1Not allowedUSD$1
Deposit money via Money Order/Check, or Bank WireFree ~ USD$20No changeFree ~ USD$20No changeFree ~ USD$20No change
Deposit money via Bank TransferFee variesNot allowedFee variesNot allowedFee variesNot allowed
Deposit money via Prepaid Debit CardNot allowedFreeNot allowedFreeNot allowedFree
Deposit money via Credit CardNot allowed3.5%Not allowed3.5%Not allowed3.5%

Payza vs. AlertPay Table: Comparison of Fee Structure (For Personal Starter, Personal Pro, and Business Account Types)

While we, as a team of money savers, like the idea that Payza cuts some fees and makes them comparable to the U.S. fee structure, we are unhappy to know that it has disabled most of their credit card supports, except that they start to allow deposit money via credit cards. Instead, Payza enhances its prepaid card supports by allowing money withdrawal and deposit via prepaid debit cards. What is perhaps the most inconvenient is that now it disallows money deposit via bank transfer, and money withdrawal via bank transfer or credit card for international users, taking Hong Kong as an example.

That is why we decide to ask Payza support directly why they stop most of their supports to bank transfers and credit cards. This is part of the email content we sent to Payza customer support:

Dear Customer Support Team,

It seems that Payza now disallows money deposit via bank transfer, and money withdrawal via bank transfer or credit card for Hong Kong users. Is it just temporary or I cannot do it forever? Please help!

Our first surprise was about the speed of their response. In AlertPay old days, we got used to receive responses from their support team within 2 working days. However, after changing hands to Payza, we needed to wait for more than 1 week for the following answer:

Dear XYZ,

Unfortunately, we are currently unable to process any Credit Card transactions.

We are working diligently to resolve this issue we are experiencing and hope to resume a normal service again soon. However, due to the nature of the issue, we are unable to offer a time frame for when our credit card processing will be available again.

To make a purchase, your customers will be able to fund their Payza account to complete their payment to you. Members can deposit funds into their Payza account by using one of the following methods:

(1) Bank Transfer (Depends on Your Country);
(2) Bank Wire;
(3) Check/Money Order.

Thanks for your email and I hope you have a great day!

Business Development Team – Payza

We considered good (speedy and helpful) customer service as a traditional advantage of using AlertPay. It appears that good customer service may no longer exist for Payza, although we understand their customer support team might have received too many email inquiries during the period of changeover which can cause delay in receiving their reply. Since their first reply appeared to be too robotic (close to PayPal standard) and did not answer our question correctly (especially for the bank transfer issue), we asked again and got their second reply as below:

Dear XYZ,

We apologize for the inconvenience however, unfortunately at this time banking cannot be supported for your country. Please note that you are still able to add and withdraw funds to your Payza account by other methods.

To add funds, you can do so by bank wire or by certified checks/money order.

To withdraw funds, you can do so by bank wire once your account is verified.

Please be aware that we hope to have our regular banking services up again soon.

Thanks again for contacting us. If you have any other questions or problems in the future, myself or one of my colleagues will be more than happy to help.

Customer Support Supervisor – Payza

This time it took even longer (around 2 weeks) for receiving the second reply from their customer support team, but to be fair, at least our questions have been answered. The true fact is: Payza has limited choices for international users to add or withdraw money from their accounts.

How do you feel about the above story? If you are living in a country that can still get satisfactory services and can save your online transaction costs, congrats and you may save money by clicking here to join Payza now, or if you further compare fee structure and customer service support quality do you consider to join PayPal instead?

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