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The Best Stripe Alternatives & Competitors For Small Businesses

Stripe is a great option for many businesses, but it isn't ideal for everyone. Rest assured that there are numerous alternatives to Stripe, including Square, Amazon Pay, and more.

    Chris Motola
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Stripe alternatives

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 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 do a lot of ACH transactions.
Best for businesses that do a lot of ACH transactions.

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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 mid-sized businesses.
Best for mid-sized businesses.

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

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

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

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

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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.

11 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 eleven competitors.

1. PaymentCloud

PaymentCloud



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Exclusive Promo: PaymentCloud will give you $200 if they can't beat your current rate. Get Your Quote

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • No publicly disclosed pricing

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).

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2. National Processing

National Processing



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Get a free Clover Go card reader from National Processing when you sign up. Claim your card reader.

Best for businesses that do a lot of ACH transactions.

Pros

  • Full line of Clover terminals and POS systems
  • Excellent online reputation
  • Low-cost echeck/ACH payment processing
  • Interchange-plus and membership pricing are offered exclusively

Cons

  • “Free” equipment may require a long-term contract
  • Early termination fee charged for “free” equipment

National Processing may not be a household name in the payment processing world, but it’s among the best in the business, particularly when it comes to servicing small and medium-sized businesses.

National Processing provides extensive pricing disclosures on its website, exhaustively detailing its interchange-plus and membership pricing models to prospective customers. Plans are tailored to specific industries, each of which has a different processing rate (restaurants, in particular, make out well here). If you need ACH processing, National Processing offers it as an add-on for $15/month and a $0.48 fee per transaction, making it quite cost-effective for businesses that have subscription-based services.

One point of caution with National Processing is that the “free” equipment offerings come with long-term contract obligations, so make sure you know what you’re getting into if you decide to go that route.

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3. Square

Square



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Get a free card swiper from Square at no cost when you create a free account. Claim your card reader.

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

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

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. (Check out our Square vs. Stripe comparison for a closer look.) 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.

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4. Host Merchant Services

Host Merchant Services



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Best for mid-sized businesses.

Pros

  • No long-term contracts
  • Transparent interchange-plus pricing
  • No setup fees
  • Good customer support
  • High-risk merchant accounts offered

Cons

  • Expensive for low-volume merchants
  • Monthly fee

Businesses looking for a more stable alternative to Stripe may want to consider Host Merchant Services. Host Merchant Services provides full merchant accounts to its clients, so you won’t have to worry about freezes and holds as much. This comes at the cost of $14.99/month, but businesses that process over $10,000 should be able to make up that cost in transaction savings.

Host Merchant Services charges interchange + 0.35% + $0.10 on eCommerce transactions, though higher volume businesses may be able to negotiate a better rate. Additionally, Host Merchant Services has excellent support for brick and mortar businesses, particularly restaurants.

Finally, Host Merchant Services is willing to work with high-risk businesses that Stripe won’t touch. Just be aware that you’ll be looking at less favorable terms than the ones above.

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5. Helcim Merchant Services

Helcim



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Helcim is now available with NO MONTHLY FEE. Start Here!

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • Not suitable for high-risk industries

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.

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6. Stax By Fattmerchant

Stax by Fattmerchant



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

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

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 US, may want to check out Stax by Fattmerchant.

Stax 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/month 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 $5,000,000 in transactions annually. If you’re processing more than that, you’ll need to contact Stax for a custom quote. Your payment gateway is included at no extra cost.

Stax’s developer tools and API aren’t as slick as Stripe’s, but they’ll be more than serviceable for most businesses. The Stax Pay integrated payments platform offers a nice, user-friendly way to centralize your transaction information. Stax Pay goes for $49/month, $89/month, or $129/month, depending on the subscription package you choose.

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7. 2Checkout

2Checkout



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

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

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.

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8. PayPal & Braintree

Braintree Payment Solutions



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

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)

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.

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9. Dwolla

Dwolla



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Best for businesses that want a standalone ACH processor.

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

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/month.

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10. Adyen

Adyen



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Best for larger, low-risk, high-volume 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

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.

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11. Amazon Pay

Amazon Pay



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

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

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.

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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!

Common Questions About Alternatives To Stripe

Who are Stripe’s competitors?

Stripe’s most direct competitors include Square, PayPal, and PayPal’s subsidiary Braintree, as well as Authorize.net and Amazon Payments. However, given the breadth of Stripe’s services, most online payment processors can be considered competitors.

Are there cheaper alternatives to Stripe?

Stripe has no monthly fees and charges on a pay-as-you-go basis. For low-volume businesses, Stripe is one of the cheapest payment processors. However, for businesses processing more than $5,000/month in credit card sales, opening a merchant account will be a cheaper alternative in most cases.

Is Stripe the best payment gateway?

Stripe is among the best payment gateways in terms of features and integrations. However, Stripe is a third-party payment processor, which comes with inherent risk of account instability. Not all businesses will be a good fit for Stripe.

In Summary: 11 Stripe Competitors & Alternatives You Need To Consider

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

Chris Motola

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
An expert in personal and business loans and financial health, Chris Motola has been writing about small business finance and payments for over 5 years. He has been cited in various industry publications, including Forbes Advisor, GoBankingRates, and Medium. Chris is a graduate of the University of Central Florida.
Chris Motola
View Chris Motola's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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Merchant Maverick’s ratings are editorial in nature, and are not aggregated from user reviews. Each staff reviewer at Merchant Maverick is a subject matter expert with experience researching, testing, and evaluating small business software and services. The rating of this company or service is based on the author’s expert opinion and analysis of the product, and assessed and seconded by another subject matter expert on staff before publication. Merchant Maverick’s ratings are not influenced by affiliate partnerships.

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