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Stripe vs PayPal: Choosing the Best Payment Gateway in 2021

Published on December 25, 2019 - Content Updated on December 24, 2021

8 Min Read

You may have the most competitive prices on your online store, but you won’t taste success if your payment gateway does not provide your customers with a smooth and trustworthy experience. And while there are plenty of names that crop up in the payment gateway discussion (like, BlueSnap, Wepay, Stripe, and PayPal, to name a few), it’s essential to choose the one with a good reputation and provides convenience to the customers.

When you talk about reputation and convenience, two names stand out: Stripe and PayPal!

Both have a reputation for being highly secure, but you must choose the one that suits your business needs. To help you with your decision, we’ve created this incredible payment gateway showdown of Stripe vs. PayPal.

Stripe at a Glance

Stripe is an all-in-one payment processor that helps the ecommerce store owner enable the payment functionality on the website. It is a payment gateway service, so you can not purchase the service independently, but you can use it for POS and ecommerce transactions.

As a developer-focused payment gateway, Stripe offers a robust suite of developer tools for integrating Stripe’s payment into your ecommerce website. It also provides robust support for numerous currencies.


PayPal at a Glance

PayPal is also a payment gateway that allows users to make and receive payments online. PayPal currently has 361 million active users, including more than 21 million merchants. PayPal is one of the biggest brands in eCommerce. PayPal Commerce is primarily focused on e-commerce but can make POS payments through PayPal Zettle.

PayPal is a user-friendly and developer-centric payment gateway, so it has a robust set of developer tools. You can use PayPal to securely send money to friends and family as well as receive money from people.


How Do Stripe and PayPal Work?

Stripe and PayPal are some of the largest online payments providers in the world. They let you accept credit cards and debit card payments.

An easy way to view payment gateways is through an envoy who rows information between merchants and banks.

Let’s see the workflow of the payment gateway for an ecommerce website via a visual breakdown.


Comparison – Stripe vs PayPal

Services Stripe PayPal
Fee per Transaction* 2.9% + 30¢ 2.9% + 30¢
Nonprofit Discount* 2.2% + 35¢** 2.2% + 30¢
Setup Costs/Monthly Fees No No
Contract Required No No
Recurring Billing 0.5%+ No
Refunds No Fees Returned No Fees Returned
Customer Support Email, Help Center, 24/7 Phone & Chat Email, Help Center, Phone & Chat
Countries Available 32+ 200+
E-commerce payment processing Yes Yes
Point-of-sale systems Yes Yes
Billing and invoicing Yes Yes

Important Considerations When Choosing Stripe vs PayPal

While both are solid choices for a payment gateway, both PayPal and Stripe bring distinct advantages and disadvantages to the table.

Before you choose a payment gateway, there are several basic questions you should ask yourself. Here are some to start with: “Can my customers pay using their mobile phones?” “How hard is it to integrate the payment gateway with my website?” “How many payment methods do you offer?” “How about your security?” “What are your charges and fees?”

Here are the 7 key points that we will compare Stripe and PayPal on to answer the questions and come to a decisive conclusion:

  • Transaction Costs and Fees
  • CRM and Website Integration
  • Global Availability and Supported Currencies
  • Supported Payment Methods
  • Refunds, Disputes, and Chargeback Fees
  • Customer Support
  • Conclusion

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1. Transaction Costs and Fees

Stripe and PayPal both allow you to begin selling without any monthly charges. That means if you aren’t selling anything, you don’t have to pay a dime.

This is especially great for small businesses that make a sale very often or may not have the necessary budget.

Beyond that, though, comparing Stripe to PayPal will result in a somewhat similar fee structure.

The base fee for Stripe and PayPal is the same: 2.9% + $0.30. So if you make a $100 sale, you’ll have to pay $3.20 to either Stripe or PayPal. The similarity comes down to the fierce competition between the two, but as long as the rivalry keeps the fee down and quality up, we are more than okay with it!

PayPal Fee Calculator – Calculate Your Transaction Fees

comparable rates

For international sales, transaction charges increase to 4.4% for PayPal and slightly lower 3.9% for Stripe. Of course, if you’re selling globally, Stripe’s fee will look more attractive.

Pricing Built

Stripe edges out PayPal in our first round thanks to their slightly lower fees on international transactions.

Winner: Stripe

2. CRM and Website Integration

Payment gateway integration should be easy, and PayPal, for starters, makes it pretty easy to connect with your website. All you’re required to do is copy and paste a couple of lines of codes onto your site. Once set up, you’ll see a “Pay with PayPal” button which enables your site to accept payments online.

You can also add a different PayPal button to your website such as Buy Now, Add to Cart, Subscribe, and Automatic Billing.

PayPal supports most CRMs, so no matter which platform you are using, you’ll be able to integrate PayPal with it.

Stripe supports a tad few more CMSs than PayPal, and you can easily integrate it on your website using either their API or their plugin.

If you have an in-house developer or you have the technical know-how, you can integrate Stripe with your website using their API system. However, our suggested way is to use their plugin for your CMS to integrate Stripe because it’s really easy to use.

Neither PayPal nor Stripe is a nightmare when it comes to integrating with your website, so let’s call it a tie in this round.

Winner: Tie

3. Global Availability and Supported Currencies

Let’s take a look at both the payment gateways’ supported currencies and presence in the world.

PayPal is present in over 200 countries and supports a total of 25 currencies. However, PayPal restricts its service in some countries like Belarus, Sudan, Liberia and many more.

Stripe, on the other hand, is available for business in 26 countries and accept payments from anywhere in the world. Stripe also leaves PayPal in the dust when it comes to currency acceptance by supporting over 135 various currencies from around the world.

There are no arguments here. If you want to accept payments from any corner of the world, Stripe is the best option for you!

Winner: Stripe

4. Supported Payment Methods

PayPal supports a number of credit cards including Visa, American Express, JCB, and MasterCard, etc., but lacks support for many others.

Stripe, on the other hand, accepts almost every known debit and credit card along with the following e-wallets: Google Pay, Apple Pay, Alipay, Amex Express Checkout, Microsoft Pay, Visa Checkout, and WeChat, etc.

Another round, and another cookie for Stripe for supporting many payment methods that may not be the most popular in the world.

Winner: Stripe

5. Refunds, Disputes, and Chargeback Fees

When a user files for a chargeback, payments tend to get stuck in the pipeline and you’ll most likely incur some extra costs. A Stripe vs PayPal fees overview will give you a clear idea of the better option, though.

PayPal allows customers to file for chargeback in such cases as when the customer:

  • Didn’t receive their item.
  • Received a damaged or defective item.
  • Don’t recognize a credit card charge.
  • Were charged more than once for something.
  • Didn’t authorize a payment.

If a chargeback is approved, the customer is reimbursed with the amount, but PayPal levies you, the seller, $20 as chargeback fees.

Disputes and Chargeback Fees

Stripe, on the other hand, charges $15 as chargeback fee in case of disputes. However, Stripe does offer merchants the ability to avoid charge card scams with their remarkable and brand-new Stripe Radar functions.

dispute fees

If you’re sure there will be some chargebacks on your online store but don’t want to pay much, Stripe should be your go-to payment gateway.

Winner: Stripe

6. Customer Support

Customer support is crucial for any service and is no less important when it comes to choosing the best payment gateway. If you run into any problem, you can’t wait for the customer support for hours while your business suffers, right?

Currently, PayPal provides customer support through phone calls, emails, and you can ask questions on their online forum.

When it comes to customer support, Stripe provides more support options than PayPal. You can reach out to them via Phone call, email, or talk to their agent on an online chat. You can also ask general questions on their support forum if you want, and if you need technical assistance, you can use their IRC channel to get instant help.

Winner: Stripe

8. Stripe vs PayPal – Which One to Choose?

Stripe clearly has edge over PayPal in most rounds in our Stripe Vs PayPal showdown. Despite that, the decision mostly depends on your business.

We have discussed both PayPal and Stripe and the features they provide. Each payment gateway comes with its own features, services, and restrictions. Now you need to check which payment gateway suits you the best.

If you are doing business globally or trade in the United States only, then maybe using Stripe along with PayPal will help you save on transaction charges, so you have this option as well. If you use both PayPal and Stripe payment gateway, you’ll have more options to accept payments from around the world.

However, if we were to pick one for you, it would be Stripe, thanks to its lower fees, lower chargeback fees, and presence in more countries than PayPal.

Which payment gateway are you using for your business or organization? Let us know in the comment section below.

Stripe Fee Calculator – Calculate Your Transaction Fees

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Stripe and PayPal?

Stripe and PayPal are online payment gateways that allow businesses and individuals to receive payments or make purchases over the Internet.

Q. Is Stripe better than PayPal?

The core functions of both payment gateways are the same but they differ in transaction costs and fees, global availability, supported currencies, and payment methods.

Q. Does Stripe work with PayPal?

No, you cannot use Stripe with PayPal. However, you can use both payment gateways on your online store to accept payments separately.

Q. Can Stripe accept international payments?

Yes, Stripe is an international payment gateway currently available for businesses in 26 countries.

Q. Is Stripe safe and secure?

Yes, Stripe is one of the most secure payment gateways and is PCI Service Provider Level 1 certified and safe for online transactions for businesses and individuals.

Q. Does Stripe accept debit cards?

Yes, Stripe accepts all major debit and credit cards from customers in every country.

Disclaimer: This is a guest post by WPMYWeb. The opinions and ideas expressed herein are the author’s own, and in no way reflects Cloudways position.

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Danish Naseer

Danish Naseer is a WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways. He is passionate about designing, developing, and engaging with people to help them. He also actively participates in the community to share his knowledge. Besides that, he loves to watch documentaries, traveling and spending time with family. You can contact him at [email protected]


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