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The Best Stripe Alternatives & Competitors For Small Businesses

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Stripe isn’t quite a household name the way some other companies are, but it’s safe to say this payment processing company has done a lot to change the way people pay online. It has opened up the potential for merchants all over the world to sell online and reach customers almost anywhere. But even if you don’t aspire to run a global empire, Stripe has powerful tools for billing and subscription management, customized online checkouts, and plenty more.

Like its competitor Square, the company has expanded its services and grown massively over the years, to the point that Stripe says there’s an 89% chance any given credit/debit card has been used on the Stripe network previously. Stripe’s client list includes giant companies in all kinds of industries, from retail to software and so much more, which no doubt plays into that statistic.

But what if you don’t want to use Stripe? Below, we’ll take a look at some Stripe competitors and alternatives to Stripe.

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Best for domestic, high-volume businesses that want a tidy, centralized platform.
Best for domestic, high-volume businesses that want a tidy, centralized platform.

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Best for high-risk businesses that are rejected by third-party processors like Stripe.
Best for high-risk businesses that are rejected by third-party processors like Stripe.

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Best for businesses that want a standalone ACH processor with developer-friendly tools and no long-term contract.
Best for businesses that want a standalone ACH processor with developer-friendly tools and no long-term contract.

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Best for low-volume merchants that make in-person as well as online sales.
Best for low-volume merchants that make in-person as well as online sales.

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Best for internationally-focused eCommerce businesses that don't want to do a lot of coding.
Best for internationally-focused eCommerce businesses that don't want to do a lot of coding.

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Other Featured Options:

  • Helcim: Best for businesses that sell internationally and need a scalable processor.
  • Braintree Payment Solutions: Best for businesses that want to make use of PayPal's online infrastructure.
  • Adyen: Best for larger, low-risk, high-volume businesses.
  • Amazon Pay: Best for low-volume businesses that use Amazon's infrastructure.

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Are Stripe Competitors Really Better Than Stripe?

It’s hard to say whether Stripe competitors are truly better, because the answer is likely different for different merchants.

If you want a full breakdown of everything Stripe has to offer, read our comprehensive review of Stripe. In meantime, here’s a summary of Stripe’s strengths.

  • Customizable: Stripe’s API is a big part of why it’s so widespread. If you’re comfortable writing code or have someone in-house who is, you’ll have a great playground to work in with excellent documentation. Not technical? There are tons of prebuilt store pages, configurations, and integrations to choose from.
  • Global: One of the most significant benefits of eCommerce is the ability to, theoretically, sell anywhere in the world. In practice, there are a lot of complications to doing business outside of your borders. Stripe makes it a lot easier by supporting over 135 currencies (it’s available to merchants in 34 countries) as well as helping you navigate local policies, such as VATs and sales tax.
  • Competitive Pricing: It’s not the cheapest service of its kind, but Stripe’s flat rates are predictable and transparent, and you get a lot of value for what you pay.
  • Billing & Subscription Management: Stripe supports recurring payments, making it easy to offer subscription-based services or products.

It should be noted that there aren’t any Stripe competitors that are exactly like Stripe.

Stripe’s approach to payment processing is to be a “full stack” payment processor, a complete, all-in-one service for online sales. There are similar companies, but none that take Stripe’s exact approach.

That said, there are other services in its niche that could be considered “better” if they meet your needs, and preferably at a lower price with better account stability.

9 Stripe Competitors & Alternatives You Need To Consider

If you have concerns about Stripe, or you are an existing customer who is curious about what else is out there, rest assured that there are numerous alternatives to Stripe, including Square, Amazon Pay, and Braintree. Keep on reading to find out more about Stripe’s top six competitors.

1. Fattmerchant

Fattmerchant



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Best for domestic, high-volume businesses that want a tidy, centralized platform.

Stripe’s simple, predictable flat-rate pricing is very good for low-volume businesses, but the last thing high-volume businesses want is to pay a high fee per transaction. Those businesses, provided they sell entirely within the U.S., may want to check out Fattmerchant.

Fattmerchant uses wholesale pricing, which means rather than pay a percentage markup on each transaction, you’ll pay a monthly membership fee and only a flat fee per transaction (you still have to pay the interchange rate–that’s inescapable). The fees are $99/mo for interchange + $0.08, or interchange + $0.15 rates per transaction (card present and card not present fees, respectively) for businesses that do up to $500,000 in transactions annually. Above that and the monthly rate is $199/mo with a card-present fee of interchange + $0.06, eCommerce fee of interchange + $0.12, and a virtual terminal fee of interchange + $0.15. Your payment gateway is included at no extra cost.

Fattmerchant’s developer tools and API aren’t as slick as Stripe’s, but they’ll be more than serviceable for most businesses. The Omni integrated payments platform offers a nice, user-friendly way to centralize your transaction information.

Pros

  • Transparent membership pricing
  • No percentage markup for transactions
  • Month-to-month billing
  • Convenient centralized platform

Cons

  • US-merchants only
  • Not suitable for low-volume businesses

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2. PaymentCloud

PaymentCloud



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Best for high-risk businesses that are rejected by third-party processors like Stripe.

Stripe can accommodate many types of businesses, domestic and international, but high-risk businesses will have an extremely hard time getting and maintaining a Stripe account. Third-party processors like Stripe (and PayPal) aggregate their customers into larger merchant accounts. As a result, they shun businesses that might cause have an unusually high amount of fraudulent transactions or chargebacks.

For businesses that fall through the cracks, there are processors like PaymentCloud. PaymentCloud is a high-risk specialist that comes highly recommended by some of the better low-risk processors in the businesses–Dharma Merchant Services, for example, refers their high-risk applicants to PaymentCloud. Because they’re a high-risk processor that shops your profile around to find a merchant account match, pricing will vary from customer to customer, but we encourage applicants to request interchange-plus pricing (it never hurts to ask).

Pros

  • High-risk specialist
  • Reasonable rates and fees
  • Excellent customer support

Cons

  • No publicly disclosed pricing

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3. Dwolla

Dwolla



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Best for businesses that want a standalone ACH processor.

Dwolla is a little bit different than the other names on this list in that it doesn’t actually process credit or debit cards. So why are we comparing it to Stripe? Well, one of Stripe’s convenient features is that it processes ACH payments. That’s Dwolla’s wheelhouse. So if you need ACH processing and don’t want the whole Stripe ecosystem along with it, it’s worth considering Dwolla.

Dwolla’s Pay-As-You-Go-Plan has no monthly fee and charges a flat 0.5% fee on ACH transactions (minimum $0.05, maximum $5).  It’s lightweight and can work as an add-on to your existing merchant services. Dwolla, like Stripe, also bills itself as developer-friendly.

Note that the higher-level plans are mostly aimed at large corporations, starting at $2,000/mo.

Pros

  • Pay-as-you-go ACH processing
  • Good developer tools
  • White-label payments options available

Cons

  • No credit or debit card processing
  • Paid plans are very expensive
  • Only available in the United States

Get Started with Dwolla

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4. Square

Square



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Best for low-volume merchants that make in-person as well as online sales.

Square started as a mobile POS app, but these days, it’s become an entire business ecosystem with support for in-person and online sales. This alternative to Stripe offers seamless advanced inventory management at no additional charge, plus online order management, invoicing, a customer database, very solid reporting tools, and, recently, in-app purchases. Like Stripe, Square uses flat-rate pricing: 2.9% + $0.30 for online transactions, 2.6% + $0.10 for swiped/dipped/tapped transactions.

The biggest drawback is that Square is only available to merchants in a handful of countries, whereas Stripe (and many of the other options on this list) has a much more global reach. Also, Square is a third-party processor just like Stripe, meaning merchants can get set up quickly but face a potential for funding holds and account terminations.

With that said, Square’s documentation and APIs allow you to build a system that can easily accommodate online and in-person sales, reporting, inventory, and more, using Square’s already robust tools. The APIs aren’t limited just to payments but also include inventory and catalog management, employee management, and customer database management. That adds some serious value because you don’t need to pay for third-party add-ons to handle inventory, customer engagement, and other peripheral tasks.

Square doesn’t match Stripe in the number of available integrations. However, it does have many options spanning a vast assortment of merchant needs, from eCommerce and accounting integrations to healthcare management, recurring billing, marketing, and plenty more.

Pros

  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • No monthly fees
  • Impressive feature set
  • Affordable chip card readers

Cons

  • Account stability issues
  • Not suitable for high-risk industries

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5. 2Checkout

2Checkout



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Best for internationally focused eCommerce businesses that don’t want to do a lot of coding.

Businesses looking for global reach will want to consider 2Checkout (now Verifone), a third-party payment processor focused on eCommerce. In fact, 2CO only processes card-not-present transactions, so brick-and-mortar businesses will probably want to look elsewhere.

That said, 2CO offers incredibly robust support for CNP transactions and optimizing your eCommerce pages, including A/B testing, global tax support, subscription management, conversion rate optimization, and fraud protection. It’s also reportedly easier to set up than some of the other processor/gateway combinations, including Stripe.

Because it deals with higher-risk payments (in the international sense), the pricing kicks in at a relatively steep 3.5% + $0.35 flat fee. High-volume retailers may be able to negotiate a lower price.  There are, however, no contracts or termination fees.

Pros

  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • Month-to-month billing
  • Broad international support

Cons

  • Can’t process card-present transactions
  • Frequent reports of held funds
  • Not available to high-risk merchants

Get Started with 2Checkout

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6. Helcim Merchant Services

Helcim



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Best for businesses that sell internationally and need a scalable processor.

Companies like Stripe, Square, and PayPal offer a very convenient platform that many higher-volume processors may struggle to match. While many processors leave low-volume merchants to the big brands, Helcim Merchant Services battles them on their own terrain while still offering high-volume savings to their larger customers.

Helcim’s feature set, while it may not look quite as polished as Stripe’s, is certainly competitive with it. You’ll get comprehensive international support, an online store, and solid developer tools. If you’re making sales offline, you’ll be able to make use of Helcim’s point of sale features, which can be run off a computer or mobile device.

One of the more interesting things about Helcim, however, is its pricing system. Rather than adopt a single pricing model, it offers three different ones, each tailored to the volume of the customer. Low volume businesses will get simple flat-rate pricing (similar to Stripe’s) starting at 0.30% + $0.08. Higher volume businesses will get interchange-plus pricing.

Pros

  • Scalable fee structure
  • No long-term contracts or cancellation fees
  • Processing costs decrease with business growth
  • Accepts international payments

Cons

  • Not suitable for high-risk industries
  • Monthly fee

Get Started with Helcim

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7. PayPal & Braintree

Braintree Payment Solutions



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Best for businesses that want to make use of PayPal’s online infrastructure.

Braintree is actually a PayPal-owned company, even though it operates separately in many regards. I’m combining these two because they share most of the same architecture for online payments, although there are a few standalone features for both.

Braintree looks similar to Stripe at a glance, right down to its developer-centric approach to payment processing and support for overseas markets. The hands-down biggest difference between them is that Braintree offers merchant accounts where Stripe is a third-party processor.

If you’re worried about the stability of your account, Braintree (note that PayPal is a third-party processor) is a great alternative. You’ll be giving up some of Stripe’s best-in-class billing tools, but there’s a trade-off for everything. You can also build PayPal into your checkout process fairly seamlessly. Braintree uses the same flat-rate pricing model that PayPal does: 2.9% + $0.30 for online transactions, 2.7% for swiped/dipped/tapped transactions.

PayPal does offer a suite of developer tools for businesses interested in a custom setup. In addition to providing access to Checkout with contextual commerce tools, PayPal offers tools for invoicing, mass payouts, and marketplaces.

However, despite being the parent company of Braintree, it seems that PayPal and its infrastructure haven’t entirely kept pace. For starters, PayPal’s marketplace tools are relatively new (introduced in 2017), and they are only available after you go through an application and vetting process. And while the developer tools exist, most of the chatter says they don’t match Stripe for quality.

Pros

  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • Excellent developer tools
  • Extensive integrations
  • Comprehensive payment type/currency support

Cons

  • Unsuitable for high-risk accounts
  • Account instability (PayPal)
  • Long setup times for accounts (Braintree)

Read our in-depth review

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8. Adyen

Adyen



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Best for larger, low-risk, high-volume businesses.

Despite its relatively small customer base, Adyen processes massive amounts of payments. That’s because Adyen built its business by chasing after the big fish. For example, Adyen’s first major client was Groupon. It currently powers payments for the crafting marketplace Etsy, and it even wooed eBay away from PayPal. However, now that Adyen has established itself, the company is starting to court smaller businesses.

Despite providing merchant accounts (which historically translates to better stability), Adyen has one stipulation that makes it very unsuitable for high-risk businesses: a chargeback threshold. The industry standard is 1% (and that includes Stripe), but Adyen will implement holds or terminate an account if it exceeds a 0.5% chargeback rate. Adyen is also unsuitable for low-volume businesses because of its monthly minimum of 1,000 transactions or $120 per month in processing fees. Adyen uses a blended interchange-plus and flat-rate system depending on the type of transaction: 0.6% + $0.12 markup for Visa, Mastercard, and Discover; 3.95% + $0.12 for Amex; $0.25 + $0.12 (totaling $0.37) for ACH Direct Debit

However, when you get past those concerns, you’ll find that Adyen is most similar to Stripe in its global reach and support for localized payment methods across Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, and North and South America. Adyen even supports PayPal transactions, which is something rarely available from companies not owned by PayPal. There’s a decent list of supported partners and integrations, though unsurprisingly, you’ll find many of them are tailored to enterprise-scale businesses.

Pros

  • Ideal for international merchants
  • No setup or application fees
  • No monthly fees

Cons

  • Required monthly minimum
  • Not for high-risk merchants
  • Mixed customer reviews

Read our in-depth review

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9. Amazon Pay

Amazon Pay



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Best for low-volume businesses that use Amazon’s infrastructure.

Amazon sellers will find Amazon Pay to be an extremely convenient way to handle their online transactions. Nevertheless, Amazon Pay does still have a lot to offer merchants outside Amazon’s ecosystem. Amazon Pay is easy to set up and integrate into your website. Of particular note here is Amazon Pay’s above-average fraud protection, which won’t cost you anything extra.

Amazon Pay’s rates are similar to Stripe’s. Like Stripe, it uses a flat-rate pricing scheme that starts at 2.9% + $0.30 for domestic transactions. The service is month-to-month with no monthly or annual fees. This is handy if your business is largely seasonal. Just remember it’s not the cheapest option around, particularly for high-volume businesses.

Pros

  • No long-term contracts
  • No monthly account fees
  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • Easy to integrate

Cons

  • Expensive for high-volume merchants
  • Poor customer service
  • Account stability issues

Read our in-depth review

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3 Things To Look For In A Stripe Alternative

When you’re evaluating a Stripe competitor, you should make sure it stacks up well as a payment processor broadly. Choose a processor with:

  • Transparent Pricing: Sadly transparent pricing isn’t an industry norm, but it’s something Stripe is excellent at. Make sure you know when you’re going to be charged and how much. And stay away from tiered pricing if you possibly can.
  • No Annual Contracts: In this day and age, there are very few reasons to lock yourself into a long-term payment processing contract. Doing so leaves you vulnerable to termination fees and other unnecessary headaches. Just be aware that high-risk industries may not have a choice.
  • Excellent Tools: Whether you’re looking for top-of-the-line developer tools or just a well-designed interface, make sure your processor offers the functionality you’re looking for.

Which Stripe Alternative Is Right For Your Business?

Stripe is a great option for many businesses. The fact that there are no monthly minimums makes it great for startups, and the number of supported countries, payment options, and currencies makes it a serious contender for global businesses, in particular. The available features make Stripe especially well suited to high-tech businesses that aren’t satisfied with the standard fare in a payments processor. And the company’s developer resources are second to none.

However, Stripe isn’t ideal for everyone, especially if you have concerns about account stability or your technical prowess. You will also pay more to access some of Stripe’s premium features, which isn’t unreasonable — but it does mean you might be able to find another provider with more competitive pricing.

As always, thanks for reading! Have questions? Experience using these processors? We’d love to hear from you, so leave us a comment and weigh in with your thoughts!

In Summary: 9 Stripe Competitors & Alternatives You Need To Consider

  1. Fattmerchant: Best for domestic, high-volume businesses that want a tidy, centralized platform.
  2. PaymentCloud: Best for high-risk businesses that are rejected by third-party processors like Stripe.
  3. Dwolla: Best for businesses that want a standalone ACH processor with developer-friendly tools and no long-term contract.
  4. Square: Best for low-volume merchants that make in-person as well as online sales.
  5. 2Checkout: Best for internationally-focused eCommerce businesses that don't want to do a lot of coding.
  6. Helcim: Best for businesses that sell internationally and need a scalable processor.
  7. Braintree Payment Solutions: Best for businesses that want to make use of PayPal's online infrastructure.
  8. Adyen: Best for larger, low-risk, high-volume businesses.
  9. Amazon Pay: Best for low-volume businesses that use Amazon's infrastructure.
Chris Motola

Chris Motola

Finance Writer at Merchant Maverick
Chris Motola is a writer, programmer, game designer, and product of NY. These days he's mostly writing about financial products, but in a past life he wrote about health care and business. He's a graduate of the University of Central Florida.
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3 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Nina

    Precise information. Useful for all the start-ups and small businesses.

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Brian Johnson

      I don’t have a review but rather a question about this subject that is new to me. Until recently I didn’t know an acquiring bank from an issuing bank and would have guessed chargeback was something a football player did. Then a friend of mind fell victim to a free-offer/ recurring billing scam that cost her $1000 and nearly put her on the streets. Needless to say she isn’t the sharpest knife in the kitchen and I had to take the lead in trying to resolve this.
      When she contacted the merchant their service representative told her that the terms were explicitly presented and had been agreed to so they would not refund the payments. I told her to contact her bank, close the account and file a fraud complaint. Meanwhile I visited the web site and scoured it specifically looking for the terms and she was correct, they were not there. So I placed an order taking screen shots at every step.
      Long story short 6 weeks later her bank said they could find no errors and let the charges stand. Her bank is an online bank where her social security checks are directly deposited. The only way to deal with them is through their call center and it’s like pulling teeth. They would not discuss the matter with me nor permit a three way call and my friend doesn’t know enough about the process.
      I suspect that the merchant offered as evidence a web page where the terms are clearly displayed and requires a check box affirming acceptance. In a letter her bank offered a copy of all documents and exhibits that they based their ruling on yet they never delivered on the request. I decided that it would be better to pursue action on our own; however cardholders are not provided with any information about who your bank sent the money to. I requested at a minimum the ID of the acquiring bank and the merchant ID number which were terms that the bank service reps had never heard of.
      So what are the rules about this, does a card holder have a right to that information and assuming I got the ID number of the bank /processor and managed to translate that into a company name and address how helpful would the acquiring bank be in helping to identify the merchant?
      There exists a multimillion dollar industry based on credit card fraud that goes unopposed. They rely on tricks like multiple accounts, load balancing and making small inside sales to lower chargeback ratios. They split the criminal operation among numerous businesses each one engaging in what they can argue is a legal service. The place where the provable crimes occur is at the payment processing point and connects to the person who owns the account unfortunately that is the most shielded point in the operation.
      I uncovered the name of the man running this particular operation and the names of at least eight businesses he owns including the call centers, drop shipping service, chargeback mitigation, third party marketing services etc. but its bank fraud that brings them down because one cannot run an operation like this for long without at some point falsifying information on bank documents. They get away with it because it’s not worth the time and effort just to recover a few hundred dollars.
      But I’m on a mission.

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

        Jessica Dinsmore

        Hi Brian,

        If the dispute with the card-issuing bank was decided in favor of the merchant, there’s not much else that can be done. After that, chances of getting the money back go way down. The cardholder is not entitled to information about the merchant’s bank or merchant account. But if a chargeback was filed, information would have been exchanged between the merchant’s bank and the customer’s bank. At this point, you can bring this information to the attention of the attorney general in your state and the state you believe the person is doing business in. Beyond that, you can just try to make the person’s life difficult by posting online scam warnings with the offending party’s name and business information on complaint sites and doing whatever else you can to get the word out. In either case, it’s not very likely that a refund will be issued without starting legal proceedings, which would be too expensive given the amount of money at stake.

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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