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Stripe vs PayPal: Pros and Cons. Which One Should you Choose?

Posted by Mark Fouche on Jul 15, 2019
Mark Fouche
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Stripe and Paypal are the major players when it comes to selecting a payment gateway for your business. Both offer similar benefits and have comparable fees, but there are some significant differences between the two.

Stripe vs PayPal: Pros and Cons. Which One Should you Choose?

It is worth taking the time to consider all the factors when choosing how to accept online payments. After all, as an online merchant, the decision about how you will take payments is one of the biggest decisions you will have to make.

Let’s take a closer look at Stripe and Paypal to see what is right for your business:

Stripe vs PayPal: Pros and Cons. Which One Should you Choose?


Stripe Pros

  • Stripe is pretty uncomplicated – they are a payment gateway singularly focussed handling payments for you. They process credit card payments and also offer more payment options than PayPal, such as echecks, debit cards from all major companies, ECH and EFT transfers, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Bitcoin.

  • Stripe offer API integrations so you need not rely on their internal reporting. They offer official plugins for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento among others and have dedicated libraries for platforms built on Laravel, Ruby, React Native, Vue, Angular and many more.

  • Stripe is used by many major corporations, so while you may not know Stripe’s name as well as you do PayPal’s, Stripe is trusted by many big names you will recognise, such as UnderArmour and Facebook.

Stripe Cons

  • The set up process for Stripe is not as easy as PayPal - not by a long shot. Firstly, Stripe requires your site is totally SSL protected - which, let’s face it, it should be anyway - and if you need help ensuring your site is locked down by SSL, click here so we can organise that for you. Next there’s the fact Stripe involves some API key juggling. If you use WordPress, there are loads of plugins to help you with this, however you will need to read carefully through the documentation and procedures.

  • Stripe is not available worldwide, nevertheless, Stripe are expanding their network. As Australia is one of their supported countries, Australian businesses can take payments from anywhere.


PayPal Pros

  • One of the most recognised and trusted payment platforms on the internet, PayPal is also one of the oldest.

  • Customers with an existing PayPal account can press one button to pay, which makes it quick and easy at the customer’s end.

  • PayPal is the default payment method for more than just a few ecommerce solutions and for many plugins, (which makes it quick and easy on your end as well!).

  • PayPal have tried and tested dispute settlement processes, and offer a myriad of buyer and seller protections.

  • PayPal’s analytics, reports and other useful tools are easy to find in the PayPal dashboard – and the data is easy to export, too.

  • PayPal is just about everywhere, accepting 25 different currencies and available in over 200 countries.

PayPal Cons

  • As we’ve said, PayPal is just about everywhere - however, there are still a minority of people who resist it. Some want to make their purchase using a credit card - without being directed to another website to do so, while others simply do not want to set up a PayPal account. If PayPal is your only payment option, you may lose these customers.

  • PayPal requires you link out to them so that the customer can pay on the PayPal platform and, afterwards, the customer will be redirected back to your store. Sometimes these redirects will be interrupted, which puts the sale at risk while it’s in the all-important endzone.

  • PayPal is fantastic for payments made via credit cards and bank accounts, however it does not allow for Apple Pay, Android Pay or cryptocurrency payments such as Bitcoin. If PayPal cannot secure it, then it isn’t an option – which, while inconvenient for some, shows their unwillingness to compromise on security.

Which is right for my business: Stripe or PayPal?

Your customers will have their preference no matter which one you choose, so to provide your customers with as many payment options as you can, why not use both?

Now, if the thought of using two different platforms and managing the payments from both is giving you a headache already, you may like to opt for just one.

PayPal is your easy solution – it is simple, standard with most platforms and you can get paid straight away. Stripe, on the other hand, is the answer if you require a fully-integrated payment system, and although more complicated to get going, runs dependably and silently in the background. If you are still uncertain, you can go ahead and compare the features of Stripe vs. PayPal at a glance here. Online merchants can also ask how PayPal stacks up against a Merchant Bank Account, you can read more about that here.

The type of businesses that generally opt to just use PayPal include freelancers, startups, non-profits and smaller companies. Stripe is favoured by larger enterprises, medium-sized businesses that are growing and companies that sell only online. Generally speaking, companies that choose to use both are eCommerce businesses, marketplaces, and WordPress agencies.

Choosing to start with one doesn’t rule out adding the other at a later stage. For example, PayPal can be your quick solution for adding a payment gateway today, while Stripe integration can be added later if you choose to.

If you are looking for help with your ecommerce site or just want to meet for a chat to discuss how to grow your business, contact us today.

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Topics: eCommerce