Stripe VS Square VS PayPal: Choosing a Payment Gateway for Your e-Commerce Store

Written by Pressable on

Having a strong online presence for your business is often necessary to maximize your success. This is particularly true for those involved in e-commerce, as the vast majority of their sales will depend on this factor.

In order to have your online store function optimally, though, you’ll need to choose the right payment gateway that your customers use during checkout.

Fortunately, choosing between the ‘Big Three’ (Stripe, Square, and PayPal) isn’t as hard as you may think.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about Stripe vs Square vs Paypal.

Stripe

In order to capitalize on the drastic expansion the e-commerce industry was experiencing at the time, Stripe was created to help online merchants facilitate online transactions. Since then, it’s become one of the most recognizable names in the space and is used by e-commerce stores across a wide variety of industries.

Let’s explore what you should know.

The Good

One of Stripe’s most notable attributes is how easy it is to integrate into your online store. This means that migrating to this option (or implementing it as your first payment gateway) is a relatively simple process.

It also supports the use of multiple different types of currency, making it ideal for merchants that frequently handle international transactions. Although international transactions come with a 1% fee, it’s well worth the utility that they provide.

As an added benefit, Stripe also offers free PCI compliance so that you can avoid potential complications in the future.

The Not-So-Good

For those unfamiliar with payment gateway integration, Stripe isn’t the most user-friendly platform out there. Those with substantial experience (or larger companies) are primarily the ones who have the most seamless integration.

For example, a company that’s in the process of building its own website from the ground up would find more utility in Stripe than a first-time e-commerce store owner would.

While this isn’t to say that inexperienced merchants can’t make extensive use of the platform, it may not be the best option for them if they aren’t willing to teach themselves along the way.

Square

In addition to serving as a payment gateway for e-commerce, Square also processes payments made from mobile devices. In fact, the company first began as a method for store owners to accept credit card payments via an attachment to their smartphone.

Currently, the company has progressed to the point where it’s now able to offer business loans to entrepreneurs.

Here’s what else to keep in mind.

The Good

Square is often praised for the high level of customization that it offers its users. Online store owners can integrate Square directly into their existing platform or choose to take advantage of its API for more personalized solutions.

Square’s hardware supports debit/credit card transactions, and you’re also able to factor in taxes, shipping costs, etc.

The Not-So-Good

Square is a solution with plenty of utility— until users experience a problem. Afterward, they’re mostly left to fend for themselves if they aren’t able to find their answer through Square’s barebones customer support.

Some users have experienced issues related to having their accounts suspended after Square deems that their businesses are ‘high-risk.’ Since Square makes this classification based on its own analysis, it’s not entirely clear how merchants can avoid it.

Additionally, it can be exceedingly frustrating to deal with account suspension when your primary resource is a lackluster customer support system.

PayPal

This payment gateway is one that most people are familiar with— even if they aren’t online store owners.

It’s been around for over two decades and has facilitated millions of transactions since its inception. As such, it’s become one of the most recognizable names in e-commerce (for both buyers and sellers).

Listed below are PayPal’s main benefits and drawbacks.

The Good

Since PayPal has been around for so long, it’s established a level of trust with consumers that few others in the industry are able to compete with. In addition to functioning as a comprehensive payment platform, PayPal also serves as an account to manage transactions.

This last attribute is particularly useful for smaller vendors with low transaction volume, as it’s as easy to manage as a personal bank account in this scenario.

The Not-So-Good

Even a payment gateway of this caliber comes with negatives. One of the most prominent is the fact that PayPal imposes steep fees on merchants that they often have significant difficult negotiating.

As previously mentioned regarding Stripe, PayPal account holders can sometimes find that they’ve been suspended without warning. Even a short period of downtime can cost a company thousands of dollars in some cases, so this is a risk you’ll need to keep in mind.

Customer service is often less than ideal when it comes to resolving issues, leaving merchants to figure problems out on their own.

Stripe vs Square vs PayPal: Which Is Best?

The truth is, there isn’t an option that’s universally superior in every way. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, and the right decision for you will be based entirely on your needs.

For example, companies that are planning to create their own website/platform can take advantage of Square’s flexibility. Someone who’s less experienced in this regard may find PayPal a more suitable option.

So, be sure to consider how each option will affect you in your current situation. This will help you make the right choice and start improving your e-commerce store as quickly as possible.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.

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