This article is part of a larger series on Payments.
Both Stripe and PayPal are excellent online payment processors. We like Stripe for international sales, B2B businesses, and larger companies. PayPal is great for small businesses, solopreneurs, and as an additional payment method to any website or online store.
- Stripe: Best for tech-savvy startups and growing ecommerce businesses, B2B sales, and international sales
- PayPal: Best for small or casual retailers and those needing an additional payment option
They both made our list of the best online payment and credit card processors. Stripe took the top spot with an overall score of 4.39 out of 5, while PayPal received 3.84 out of 5. Both Stripe and PayPal can also accept in-person payments and offer POS terminals and card readers.
When to Use an Alternative: Helcim
High-volume businesses might find Helcim a better option with its zero monthly fees, interchange-plus pricing, automatic volume discounts, all-in-one hardware, and an option to opt for ACH payments or pass-on credit card fees for bigger savings. automatic volume discounts. Plus, all of Helcim’s tools are free to use. Visit Helcim to learn more, or see how it compares below.
Stripe vs PayPal Quick Comparison
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If you’re looking for a more specific solution, both Stripe and PayPal frequently make our lists of the following:
Stripe vs PayPal Pricing & Contract
3.38 out of 5
3.38 out of 5
Monthly ecommerce subscription
$0, $25/month for use of payment gateway
Ecommerce transaction fees
2.9% + 30 cents
2.59% + 49 cents
Virtual terminal transaction fees
3.4% + 30 cents
3.09% + 49 cents
ACH transaction fees
0.8%, $5 cap
Echecks: 3.49% + 49 cents, $300 cap;
ACH: Upgrade to Braintree
2.9% + 30 cents plus 0.4%–0.5% per invoice, depending on plan
3.49% + 49 cents plus $10–$30/month for recurring billing/payments
Chargeback: $20 US (varies by country)
Dispute: $15 US (varies by country)
Special pricing for nonprofits
1.99% + 49 cents (charity)
2.89% + 49 cents (donations)
Offers custom rates
Stripe vs PayPal Calculator
Compare Stripe vs PayPal fees. Enter an estimate of your monthly sales data in the calculator below:
Stripe vs PayPal Payment Types
4.63 out of 5
3.88 out of 5
Credit card, debit card, digital wallets, ACH, gift cards
Credit card, debit card, digital wallets, echeck, digital gift cards, crypto, Venmo
Ecommerce payment tools subscription
Varies (third party)
$0, $25/month for payment gateway
Online transaction fee
2.9% + 30 cents, plus, $0–$2/active user/month
2.59% + 49 cents
$30 per month
Invoiced payments fee
2.9% + 30 cents plus 0.4% with 25 free invoice processing per month, or 0.5% per invoice, depending on plan
3.49% + 49 cents
Recurring payments and card on file fee
2.9% + 30 cents plus 0.5% per month or 0.8% per invoice, depending on plan
$10 gateway fee + 3.49% + 49 cents per transaction
ACH and eCheck
0.8%, $5 cap
Echecks: 3.49% + 49 cents, $300 cap
135 currencies, 1.5% fee, 1% spread for currency conversion
24 currencies, 1.5% fee, 4% spread for currency conversion
PayPal button generator, PayPal standard integration, PayPal advanced integration
Stripe Payment Link, Stripe Connect
Payment link, Seller Profile for personal PayPal accounts
Buy Now, Pay Later
Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna
PayPal Pay Later (Pay in 4, Pay Monthly)
Tap to Pay on iPhone
33 online stores, 18 marketplaces, 17 website design systems, shipping label tools, and many others not mentioned on the website
5% + 5 cents*
4.99% + 9 cents or applicable standard transaction rate
*Must contact Stripe to apply for a custom microtransaction rate.
Stripe vs PayPal Account Features
4.63 out of 5
3.63 out of 5
Bank deposit speed
2 business days, first deposit takes up to 14 days
Approximately 3 business days
1% of payout volume
1.5% of payout volume
0.4% per transaction
0.4% per approved transaction
Dispute management tools
Advanced risk monitoring
$0–7 cents per transaction
With an upgrade to PayPal Enterprise
Payment security features
Payment data encryption
Built-in machine-learning fraud detection
Customized payment risk evaluation
3D secure authentication
Secure data migration
Online identity verification
PayPal Security Key
Machine-learning fraud detection technology
CLI, Visual Studio Code, live event monitoring, advanced SDKs
API executor, multiple languages, interactive mode, or mock mode
Documentation, YouTube tutorials, newsletter, live chat with developers, 24/7 support
Documentation, updates, demos, developer community, FAQ, live support via ticket
24/7 chat and phone support, email, resource library
Extended phone support, active seller community, help center, text messaging and social media customer support
Stripe vs PayPal Expert Score
We scored this category based on our own experience of ease of use and how affordable and transparent the pricing is. We also looked at the number and ease of integrations, as well as the input of real-world users as recorded in third-party user review sites like Capterra and G2.
Methodology—How We Evaluated Stripe and PayPal
We test each online payment processor ourselves to ensure an extensive review of the products. We then compare pricing methods and identify providers that offer zero monthly fees, pay-as-you-go terms, and low transaction rates. Finally, we evaluate each according to various payment processing features, scalability, and ease of use.
The result is our list of the best online and credit card processors. However, we adjust the criteria for specific use cases, such as for different business types and merchant categories. This is why every online payment processor has multiple scores across our site, depending on the use case you are looking for. For this in-depth analysis, we looked closely at how Stripe and PayPal performed.
Click through the tabs below for our overall online payment processor evaluation criteria:
20% of Overall Score
We graded based on monthly fees, online rates, chargebacks, and whether or not you could get volume discounts.
Both Stripe and PayPal scored 3.38 out of 5 in this category, getting excellent scores for not having any contract or monthly fees. Despite PayPal having a more complex pricing schedule, their processing rates are both competitive enough to put them on equal footing in this category.
30% of Overall Score
Online payments are more than website checkouts. We looked for invoices, recurring billing, and virtual terminals. We also gave points for stored payments and Level 2 and 3 processing for B2B sales.
Stripe had a clear lead with 4.63, while PayPal only received 3.88, mainly because of the monthly fees it charges for its virtual terminal and recurring payments.
25% of Overall Score
This score considered sales tools like customer management features, BNPL, fraud prevention, and developer tools for customizations. We also considered deposit speed, giving the most points for same-day processing and customer service.
Stripe again took the lead with 4.63 out of 5, while Paypal lagged with 3.63. Among the criteria that Stripe did better than PayPal are customer support, fraud prevention, and developer tools.
25% of Overall Score
Here, we scored based on our own experience of ease of use, plus research into account stability. The number and ease of integrations contributed to this score. Finally, we gave some weight to the input of real-world users as recorded in third-party user review sites like Capterra.
Stripe earned a slightly higher score of 4.69 out of 5, while PayPal earned 4.38 because Stripe has a slightly more straightforward set of fees.
Stripe vs PayPal Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Stripe is known for its ability to provide a range of customization options for different types of payment methods. While it does support simple hosted payment links, Stripe stands out for its level of customization, including payment security and fraud detection features. This is made possible through higher-level coding, which Stripe makes available through APIs.
PayPal and Stripe are outstanding choices for online payment processing. However, PayPal is ideal for low-volume, seasonal, small businesses. It charges cheaper in-person transaction fees and supports peer-to-peer payments like Venmo. Stripe is the better option for merchants with regular monthly sales, especially for B2Bs.
Stripe is cheaper than PayPal for processing international payments and accepting online transactions, which makes it the best option for B2Bs.
There is no clear winner in the debate of PayPal vs Stripe. Both are excellent options when choosing an online payment processor. While Stripe scored higher overall, PayPal still makes a good addition because it is a trusted service, expands your payment processing capabilities, and has no additional fees if it’s not used regularly. Even if you have your own payment processing service or choose to go with Stripe, PayPal is still good to include as an alternative.