Stripe vs PayPal vs Square – Head to Head Comparison

No matter what type of business you own, having a reliable and low-cost payment processor is all you might want. And when choosing the right online payment platform, Stripe, PayPal, and Square are the common names.  

Determining Stripe vs PayPal vs Square makes too much sense, as the payment platforms are used by millions of businesses worldwide. They differ in pricing, security measures, features, ease of use, customization, and more. In some ways, there are similarities as well.

But what should you look for in an online payment platform? And how do you compare Stripe, PayPal, and Square? Let’s know!

Stripe vs PayPal vs Square

Stripe, PayPal, and Square are widely known online payment processors, allowing customers and businesses to ensure easy transactions with complete safety.

Stripe vs PayPal vs Square

All three online payment platforms have pros and cons, which you should consider before choosing one. In addition, you should select the payment processor based on your business’s needs and requirements.

Comparison FactsStripePayPalSquare
Monthly FeeFreeFreeFree
Payment MethodsDebit and credit cards, bank redirect, digital wallet, Apple Play, Klarna, Link, Cash App pay, and more.Venmo, bank account, debit and credit card, bank redirects, and PayPal Zettle.Debit and credit cards, bank redirect, digital wallet, Invoices, Square Point of Sale, and more.
Customer Support24/7 customer support via email, phone, and chat.24/7 customer support via email, phone, and chat.24/7 customer support via email, phone, and chat.
CompatibilityUS companies, Non-profit organizations, and small businesses.E-commerce businesses, brick-and-mortar businesses, small businesses, and non-profit organizations.Small, service, brick-and-mortar, restaurants, and e-commerce businesses.
Developer ToolsWorkbench, SKDs, Stripe CLI, advanced API, and morePayPal Sandbox, SKDs, basic API, and more.SKDs, basic API, Square Sandbox, Postman, and more.
Security and Fraud ProtectionStripe Radar’s machine learning, Dynamic 3D Security.24/7 to help prevent fraud, robust security model.Advanced machine learning technology and 24/7 fraud protection features.
Global Reach45 Countries200 Countries8 Countries
Additional  FeaturesACH payment processing, API, Mobile access, multi-currency, Point of Sale, and sales service.Customized checkout, accounting integration software, IC+ Pricing, Apple Pay, and more.Virtual terminal,  IC+ Pricing, POS features, real-time account updater, and more.
PCI ComplianceYesYesYes
International SupportYesYesYes
Recurring PaymentAvailableAvailableAvailable

An Overview of Stripe

Stripe was launched back in 2011 as an online payment processor platform. And after a few years of arrival, it started to get a massive response from e-commerce and other businesses.

Stripe, a US-based company, now operates in 45 countries worldwide. The software and API of Stripe are equally popular in other countries. Besides, E-commerce giants like Amazon, Shopify, and more use the only payment platform.

Moreover, 90% of US adults often make purchases using Stripe. The pricing is standard, which attracts customers and businesses at the same time. In addition, Stripe provides a custom UI toolkit that helps businesses to enhance their brand images.

Stripe offers a wide range of features. You can perform in-person payment, online payment, subscription payment, requiring payment, and more. Thus, Stripe can be a decent payment option for small-sized businesses.


  • High customization options.
  • Availability of Offline payment.
  • A good number of Payment Methods.
  • Massive collection of liberties and SDKs.
  • Excellent customer support.
  • Radar for fraud and risk management.
  • Smooth integration system.


  • Delayed payout time.
  • No tax support.
  • Complex customization for non-developers.

An Overview of PayPal

PayPal is the most popular online payment platform, having operations in 200 countries and regions. Even though the platform is highly popular among freelancers when receiving payment, all sizes of businesses make the best use of it due to global reach and security measures.

Especially if you have a company that has to deal with international customers more often, PayPal can be a decent option. With an integrated payment processing system and easy access, customers worldwide like to pay with PayPal.

An Overview of PayPal

PayPal offers 4 payment acceptance features. These are online payment, installment payment, invoicing, and POS.  You can also get multiple payment options with PayPal, like debit and credit cards, bank accounts, and more.

PayPal also comes with buyer protection features, making the payment processor even more reliable. With these features’ help, customers can ask for refunds within 180 days of payment.


  • Super easy to access.
  • Standard transaction fees.
  • Collaboration with giant e-commerce platforms.
  • Impressive payout time (within 1 day)
  • Has a global reach.
  • Comes with impressive seller protection features.
  • Allows the social payment service Venmo.


  • High transaction fees compared to Stripe.
  • Charges currency conversion fee.
  • Lack of standard customization features.

An Overview of Square

The online payment platform and financial company came to light in 2009. Although Square doesn’t have that much global reach compared to PayPal or Stripe, the company is well known for its Point of Sale (POS) system. And that’s why millions of businesses have trust in them.

Like PayPal and Stripe, Square has security features like end-to-end payment authentication, two-step verifications, and many other impressive hacker detection techniques. In addition, Square follows Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliance.

In addition, you can have more customized features when it comes to designing the payment checkout section.

And thanks to the hardware of the online payment processor platform, which makes it intuitive for every user. Plus, built-in inventory management tools make the platform even more convenient for businesses.


  • Impressive customer support.
  • Trusted by millions of businesses around the world.
  • Comes with a bunch of products.
  • Comparatively low transaction fees.
  • Super easy to access.
  • Allows customized checkout experience features.
  • Decent for a brick-and-mortar business.


  • Limited international availability.
  • Lack of payment transparency.
  • Not decent in the case of high-volume transactions.

The Difference in Pricing and Transaction Fees

There are slight differences in pricing and transaction fees regarding the three online payment processors, Stripe, PayPal, and Square. And as a business owner, you should definitely want to go with the most cost-effective one.

Now based on the transactions and payment methods, the pricing and transaction fees of the three online payment channels can vary.

Types of FeesStripePayPalSquare
Chargeback Fees0.4%$20No
Transaction Fees2.9% + 30 cents (Online Transaction)2.6% + 10 cents (in-person transactions)2.99% + 49 cents (Online Transaction) 2.29% + 49 cents (in-person transaction)2.6% + 10 cents (Online Transaction)2.9% + 30 cents (in-person transaction)
International Fees1.5%1.5%Free of cost
Invoice2.9% + $0.303.49% + $0.493.3% + $0.30
Monthly FeesNoNoNo ($29 Plus)
Kayed-in Payment2.9% + $0.303.49% + $0.092.9% + $0.30 3.5% + 15 cents
Account OpeningFreeFreeFree


Now you have a pretty decent idea regarding the pricing and fees. So, if you are asked to choose between having a look at the table, what will be your take on it?

As you can see, the chargeback fees of PayPal are high compared to Stripe and Square. In addition, if you also look at the fees regarding both online transactions, PayPal charges high. But, regarding in-person payment, PayPal is always a decent choice.

Takeaway fees of PayPal

Here, if you emphasize pricing and transaction fees more, you would like to go with Stripe, even if you compare the international payment.

And in the case of Square, even if the platform charges higher transaction fees, nothing charges as chargeback fees. The same goes for international fees, though the payment processor platforms don’t have that global reach.

If your business has to deal with in-person transactions a lot, then you should go with PayPal. Regarding frequent online transactions, Square can always be a better choice.

The difference in Hardware Options

You should always use the payment processor that allows more advanced hardware options. And fortunately, PayPal and Square are quite up to the mark in delivering some fascinating hardware options. Stripe doesn’t offer any hardware options.

PayPal Hardware Options and Charges

PayPal is one of the top most popular Payment processor platforms and companies. And they can make things happen by delivering some key features, and hardware plays a huge role in that case.

Hardware OptionsPricing
Cash drawer$121.49
Card reader$29
Subsequent card reader$79
Zettle Stand 360$160
Barcode scanner$229
Zettle terminal$199
PayPal Hardware Options and Charges

Square Hardware Options and Charges

Similar to PayPal, your business can also have several hardware options from Square that enhance the business’s payment procedures. And credit should go to advanced POS software for making this happen. So, you can create a verified stripe account, which makes too much sense.

Square Hardware Options and Charges
Hardware OptionsPricing
Square Terminal$229
Reader for contactless and chip$69
Square Stand$199
Square Register$599
Square Reader$19
Square Stand Mount9 or $14/mo over 12 months*


If you think your business can make the most out of hardware features, then Stripe is unsuitable. You can go with either PayPal or Square in this case. But the pricing of Square’s hardware is more affordable than PayPal.

The Difference in Payment Settlement Period

As a business owner, you never want to see delays in payment settlement. And that’s why you should choose an online payment processor, which is super efficient for fast payment settlement. Square is faster than Stripe and PayPal in this case.

CompaniesPayment Settlement Period
Stripe2 business days
PayPal2-3 business days
Square1-2 business days.

Differences in Customization and Branding Options

If you run an ecommerce business, you should definitely want a customized payment gateway. Through this, you can ensure a smooth payment experience for your customers and enhance the brand identity.

Stripe Customization Options

Compared to PayPal and Square, you can have more customization checkout features with Stripe. The payment processor platform allows you to have several customization features like customized payment gateway, customized invoice, customized elements appearance, and more.

However, if you compare the complexity of customization, then Stripe is well ahead. Unless you are a developer, you’ll find it hard to have Stripe customization features.

PayPal Customization Options

Unfortunately, even if PayPal has more global reach, the platform doesn’t allow you to have that level of customization and branding options. However, you can still go with the limited customization features of PayPal, which is also not bad. You can have the following;

Square Customization Options

You can also have many customization features with Square. But the features are not that standard compared to Stripe, as you can have limited checkout customization options. In the case of reporting, the scenario remains the same. But basic customization is always there.

What Businesses Should Choose Stripe?

Stripe will be super helpful if you run a small or medium-sized online business. But, large-sized businesses can also go with the payment platform, like businesses that want to have more customization options for branding.

According to a survey, professional service businesses mostly use Stripe as their payment option, and that is 27.4%.  In addition, businesses related to leisure and hospitality also choose Stripe as a payment platform in most cases.

If you have a health care, manufacturing, or subscription-based business, you can find Stripe a decent payment option.

What Businesses Should Choose PayPal?

It doesn’t really matter what type of business you own; in the case of international payment, PayPal can be hugely effective. But, you can have more advantages if you run an ecommerce business with global operations.

Plus, Payment can be equally suitable if you run a small physical business where you mostly receive card payments. If your business has a POS system, you can access the payment from a digital wallet, which can be more beneficial for your customers.

Moreover, PayPal should be the first choice for retail businesses out there. Do you own a non-profit organization? Then you can also go with PayPal, as there are no donation fees.

What Businesses Should Choose Square?

Square will be a decent choice for local businesses as the company doesn’t have that global reach. In addition, thanks to the Point of Sale hardware device that makes the in-person transaction even more accessible.

So, if you have a small business or startup and mostly perform in-personal sales, Square can be a suitable option. Square can also be handy for several subscription-based, brick-and-mortar, and catering businesses,  due as it comes with many payment options like Google Play, Apple Play, etc.

Do you own a large-sized business? No worries! With the help of the full suite integrated tool, Square is a payment platform that makes it easy to receive payment.

What Are the Most Fascinating Facts about Stripe, PayPal, and Square?

All three companies are well capable of serving businesses around the world with their payment features. Sometimes, we can’t determine any significant difference and point out why the companies are highly accepted.

Impressive Customer Support

When choosing any online payment platform, it must be ensured that it offers decent customer support.

And in such a case, Stripe, PayPal, and Square are similarly up to the mark, allowing customers and businesses to have 24/7 customer support via several channels like email, phone, and chat.

Wide Ranges of Payment Methods

Yes, you can have far more payment options with Stripe, PayPal, and Square than any online payment processor. And that’s the key reason why you should choose one of them.

Along with the most popular online transactions, in-person transactions, and invoices, the company also offers payment methods like Apple Pay, Cash App Pay, Google Pay, pay with rewards, remote payment, and more.

No Monthly Fee

As a merchandise or e-commerce owner, you don’t need to pay any fee as a monthly charge to Stripe, PayPal, and Square. And this can save a good amount of money, to be very honest.

Online payment processor companies only charge you based on transactions. However, you must pay monthly fees if you use the PayPal Pro plan.


You can rely on reputed companies. And PayPal, Stripe, and Square are examples of reputed ones. All three online payment companies have global reach plus a reputation.

Moreover, big e-commerce brands around the world collaborate with payment processors on a regular basis.

Besides, the companies have been around there with their operations for a long while. And ultimately, they have been able to create value for both customers and businesses in the long run.

What Are the Common Demerits of Stripe, PayPal, and Square?

There is no confusion about the reliability and payment efficiency of Stripe, PayPal, and Square. But from a business perspective, there is always room for improvement. And you should know the facts before integrating one into your business.

Transaction Fees

There is no high difference in the case of transaction fees of three. But, the fees could be less for both online and in-person payments.

But yes, it makes sense that the companies have operations worldwide. And they provide decent services to customers and businesses, which ultimately causes higher transaction fees

Moreover, the high processing fees might be troublesome for businesses that have a high volume of transactions. But then again, compared to what the payment processors offer, fair enough!

Accounts on Freeze or Hold

Like any other online payment processor platform, you might also have issues with account stability. This is true for customer and merchandise accounts at the same time.

The issues with account stability mainly occur if any transaction processor goes beyond the regulation of the companies. Among the three, PayPal is more strict in safety, so you should have more issues with accounts if something goes very wrong.

Technical Glitches

Yes, this is very true according to good users of all three payment processor platforms. You might often experience technical issues that might take some time to resolve.

Back in 2020, one of the users of PayPal claimed that he lost all the money from his account due to technical glitches. That type of claim we also hear from many businesses that use Stripe and Square. And that’s the reason why the platforms often have impressive customer support service.

Where to Buy a Verified Stripe Account?

You’ll find some random Stripe account sellers on the internet. But those sellers can’t ensure the safety of your Stripe account. So, when you think you need to create a verified Stripe account, you should go with a reliable service provider.

We recommend you go with Marchantta, one of the most reliable verified stripe account sellers. The seller is always up to the mark in delivering the verified stripe account, which allows you to have a bunch of features with 100% customer satisfaction.

Besides, you will also get a money-back guarantee if something goes wrong with your Stripe account. Sounds impressive?

Frequently Asked Questions

Businesses are deeply interested in the differences between Stripe, PayPal, and Square. And that’s why we often see queries regarding the three online payment processors. Here, we let you know some of those answers.

Is Stripe Better Than PayPal?

PayPal has a broad global reach compared to Stripe. But, if you are looking for a more cost-effective digital payment processor, Stripe is better than PayPal. Additionally, you can have more features with Stripe.

Which One Is Better, Stripe or Square?

Choosing one from Stripe or Square can vary based on the type of business. But Stripe has more customization options than Stripe. Stripe is better for online payment, but Square is for in-person payment. But you can have hardware features with Square, not with Stripe.

Do Big Companies Use Stripe?

Yes, giant companies worldwide use Stripe as a payment processor platform. Companies and organizations like Amazon, Google, Shopify, Figma,, Unicef, and Active Network, LLC have used Stripe for a long time.


Here you go; you have all the valuable information to choose one suitable payment processor for your business. Therefore, make sure the features, pricing, hardware options, and customer support of the particular payment platform suit your business or not.

Once the characteristics of the payment platform match your business purpose and operations, you should go with the particular ones. In addition, you should consider your business’s technical expertise before choosing a payment platform.

Leave a Comment