Stripe vs PayPal

Stripe vs PayPal – Which One Is Better? (Pros and Cons)

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Are you comparing Stripe vs PayPal to decide which platform to use to collect payments or donations on your website?

Since Stripe and PayPal are the most popular online payment gateways, your decision to pick a payment provider for your site probably comes down to these two options.

And I can help guide you through the decision.

In this post, I’ll compare the pros and cons of both payment gateways, so you can decide if it’s Stripe or if it’s PayPal that works best for you to accept online payments for your business.

Accept Stripe + PayPal on Your Forms Now

Stripe vs PayPal – Which One Is Better? (Pros and Cons)

Stripe and PayPal stand out as leading payment solutions, as both allow seamless online money collection.

Who Are These Comparisons For?

Collecting payments on your website is easy with WPForms for many types of businesses, including:

  • Freelancers
  • Brick-and-mortar shops who want to also sell online
  • Nonprofits collecting donations
  • eCommerce companies
  • Agencies
  • Online marketplaces
  • Entrepreneurs
  • And more

Stripe vs PayPal at a Glance

Before getting into the specifics of each payment gateway, let’s compare the basics.

Service Stripe PayPal
Fee per Transaction* 2.9% + 30¢** 2.9% + 49¢
Nonprofit Discount* 2.2% + 35¢*** 1.99% + 49¢
Setup Costs or Monthly Fees No No
Contract Required No No
Micropayments (<$10) 5% + 10¢*** 4.9% + .09¢
Recurring Billing 0.5%+ No
Chargeback Fee $15 $20
Refunds No Fees Returned No Fees Returned
Customer Support Email, Help Center, 24/7 Phone & Chat Email, Help Center, Phone & Chat
Ease of Use Easy Easy
Ease of Setup Moderate Easy
PCI Compliance Yes Yes
Countries Available 32+ 200+
Access to Funds Times Instant Instant
Data Portability Yes No
Online Invoicing Paid Free
In-Person Card Readers Paid Free & Paid
Payments Handled 100% on Your Site Yes No
*US-based only. Fees vary by country.

**In Lite to Plus versions of WPForms, there’s a 3% charge + Stripe fee per transaction. The 3% charge is removed for Pro and above users.

***Includes RADAR fee. See below for more info.

WPForms integrates with Stripe, Authorize.Net, Square, and PayPal for accepting payments. The Stripe integration is available in both free and paid versions of WPForms, while PayPal is for Pro and above only.

Be sure to take a look at our documentation to learn how to use Stripe with WPForms Lite.

About Stripe

Navigating the Stripe website homepage

Stripe is an online payment platform that lets people accept and send money over the internet, and its popularity is growing in the eCommerce world.

Stripe is especially liked by code-savvy people or teams with in-house programmers because of its customizable development tools.

Stripe Pros and Cons

Using Stripe comes with a handful of pros and cons, which we’ll go over here.

Stripe Pros

  • Flat, predictable rates
  • Easy for your customers to use
  • Keep and move your customer data
  • Funds are available immediately in your account
  • Nonprofit discounts
  • No contract required
  • Lower chargeback fee ($15)
  • 24/7 support
  • Multiple support options (help center, phone, live chat, and email)
  • Developer live chat support for complex issues
  • PCI Compliant

Stripe Cons

  • Isn’t as user-friendly to set up
  • Not as well-known or a household name like PayPal
  • No fees returned with refunds
  • Inconsistent support quality
  • Available in fewer countries than PayPal
  • Online invoicing isn’t free

About PayPal

Navigating the PayPal website homepage

PayPal is a payment solution that lets users make and receive payments online, and it’s very popular. PayPal claims to have over 346 million customer accounts in over 200 markets.

Nearly everyone has a PayPal account these days, and it’s easily one of the most recognizable names in the eCommerce payments industry.

PayPal Pros and Cons

Like any payment platform, PayPal comes with its own set of pros and cons.

PayPal Pros

  • Flat, predictable rates
  • Easy to set up an account
  • Easy for your customers to use
  • Integrations with some POS systems if you want to sell in-person
  • Customers are familiar with and trust PayPal
  • Funds are available immediately in your PayPal account
  • Nonprofit discounts
  • No contract required
  • Multiple support options (help center, phone, live chat and email)
  • PCI Compliant
  • Available in 200+ countries
  • Free online invoicing
  • Free card readers for your storefront

PayPal Cons

  • Can’t move all your customer data to another payment processor
  • Higher chargeback fee ($20)
  • Inconsistent support quality
  • No fees returned with refunds

Further Details of Stripe vs PayPal

Let’s take a look at the closer details and further comparisons of these two online payment options.

Cost: Stripe Fees vs PayPal Fees

Both Stripe and PayPal are very transparent about their fees, which is one of the reasons why they’re leaders in the online payments industry. Both offer plans with no setup costs, basic monthly fees, or contracts.

Navigating the Stripe pricing page

Plus, with both Stripe and PayPal, your business is eligible for lower pricing if you hit a certain number in monthly sales.

And with Stripe, you can customize your pricing based on your sales volume and business model. As for PayPal, discounted pricing happens at a much lower sales volume of $3,000 per month.

Navigating the PayPal pricing page

Both companies offer nonprofit discounts, which makes them a great choice if you’re trying to build nonprofit donation forms for WordPress.

Here’s a further breakdown of additional fees:

  • Stripe RADAR Fees: Stripe also charges a RADAR fee of .05¢ for every transaction attempted. The RADAR fee will be charged even if the payment fails. For example, if a user enters the wrong expiry date, you will be charged a RADAR fee for that attempt. If they then try again, you’ll be charged a second RADAR fee, and so on. This fee is waived on Standard accounts. But if you are a nonprofit, you will be charged RADAR fees.
  • Micropayments: If you’re processing transactions of less than $10, you’ll be charged a different rate. PayPal’s micropayment rates are 4.9% + .09¢ per transaction. At Stripe, you will be charged the micropayment rate of 5% + .05¢, plus a .05¢ RADAR fee per attempt on top.
  • Chargebacks/Refunds: A chargeback is a charge reversal that happens when somebody contacts their bank and reports a transaction on their card that they don’t agree with or think is fraud. They exist to protect cardholders, but are sometimes over-utilized which can be frustrating since your business will pay a fee for each chargeback that happens. Stripe has a chargeback fee of $15, while PayPal’s chargeback fee is $20. Also, if your customer gets a refund, you won’t get your processing fees back from Stripe or PayPal.


Both Stripe and PayPal are known for being super easy to use. Both companies have made it really simple for customers to pay online.

Seeking answers for Stripe features in the documentation

Stripe has several ways to get in touch when you have questions including a help center, social media, and chat support channels (with support reps or developers), plus phone and email support.

PayPal has multiple ways to get answers to your questions from their customer support team like a community forum, a help center, and social media, plus email, live chat and phone support.

Seeking answers in the PayPal help center

Even with all these ways to get your questions answered, users still say that the quality of customer service from both Stripe and PayPal can vary from good to poor and is frustrating at times.

However, Stripe recently added 24/7 access to both phone and chat support while PayPal’s support still goes dark at some hours of the day.

Take a look at this list of additional usability features found with each platform:

  • Ease of Setup: Stripe is more customizable over PayPal. However,  to embed a feature like a “Pay With Card” button on your site, Stripe requires a bit more development knowledge and can sometimes be tricky for non-technical users.  WPForms is the best Stripe plugin for WordPress, so integrating with Stripe and PayPal is a breeze. They’re both available in our pre-built form templates with the Stripe and PayPal Commerce addons.
  • Availability: PayPal is available in many more countries than Stripe. Currently, PayPal is offered in 200+ countries while Stripe has just 46 countries (and growing).
  • Access to Funds: Both payment platforms allow you to access your funds anytime, and you can withdraw your funds or transfer them to your account instantly. However, both Stipe and PayPal come with a charge of 1.5 % of the amount transferred.
  • Compatibility: You can use both Stripe and PayPal with WordPress, and both products are integrated with WPForms. Check out our list of PayPal integrations for more information.
  • Online Invoicing: Stripe and PayPal both have customizable online invoicing. This is free with PayPal, but a paid service with Stripe.
  • Card Readers: If you’re a brick-and-mortar store adding an online presence and want to use the same payment processor for your storefront and your website, you can do just that with both Stripe and PayPal.

PayPal has integrations into many popular Point of Sale systems, and both Stripe and PayPal offer their own physical card readers. PayPal will give you free card readers and also has paid card readers you can buy, while Stripe only offers paid card readers.

Peace of Mind

Stripe and PayPal offer a couple of different ways to provide you with peace of mind.

  • Security: Both Stripe and PayPal’s services are PCI Complaint. In other words, they meet the strict standards of the Payment Card Industry and your cardholder data is stored securely.
  • Data Portability:  At some point, you may want to move all your data to another payment processor that is not Stripe or PayPal. This is known as Data Portability. Stripe values Data Portability, so they’ll help you move your credit card data in a PCI Compliant way. PayPal won’t give you this data if you try to switch processors, which can be a headache. For some people, it’s important to have the choice to be able to move their payment data if they want.

Migrating billing data in Stripe processing

When it comes to security for money, data, and private information, these features are incredibly important in a payment processor.

Stripe vs PayPal – My Verdict

So which online payment gateway should you use?

The answer depends on your business’ individual needs including your industry, the type of customers you have, and what you’re selling. One type of merchant may prefer to go with one payment solution over another.

If you’re an eCommerce business and consistently processing credit card transactions, then the flexibility and support offered by Stripe might be for you. On the other hand, your business may require the online and in-person capabilities of PayPal, or you might prefer the more popular brand.

It’s important to note that with WPForms, you don’t have to select just one payment solution to accept payments on your website. If you’d like to utilize both payment gateways, you can.

And there you have it! You can now make an educated decision about whether Stripe vs PayPal will be a better fit for your business to collect payments or donations online, based on their individual pros and cons.

Accept Stripe + PayPal on Your Site Forms Now


We get a lot of questions about Stripe and PayPal from customers who want to accept payments from their forms. Check out some of our most commonly asked questions below.

Is Stripe or PayPal better for online payments?

If you’re a business owner, you know that you need a reliable payment gateway. Either payment gateway is a good choice. PayPal is better known to consumers. Stripe, on the other hand, has a simpler pricing structure. Stripe’s tools and reporting are also stronger than PayPal’s.

Can I use Stripe and PayPal together?

Yes, you can use Stripe and PayPal on your site at the same time. Businesses often use both payment gateways to give their customers more options.

Is Stripe or PayPal better for recurring payments and subscriptions?

If you want to offer subscriptions or the ability to make recurring payments or donations, you probably want to go with Stripe. This functionality is where Stripe shines, as it offers tools like customer and payment reports.

Do Stripe and PayPal have invoicing?

Both payment options have invoicing, but Stripe is the better option. Its built-in features let you easily bill customers and track invoices.

How soon can I expect to receive funds?

With both Stripe and PayPal, you can typically expect to see funds arrive in 2-5 business days. Or, you can pay an additional fee for instant payouts.

Next, Collect Payments With Stripe

Now that you know all about collecting payments with Stripe and PayPal, it’s time to add a payment processor to your small business website.

Take a look at our helpful tutorial on how to accept payments with Stripe to get started!

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