March 6, 2024

Top 6 Stripe Alternatives 2024

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At TechnologyAdvice, we assess a wide range of factors before selecting our top choices for a given category. To make our selections, we rely on our extensive research, product information, vendor websites, competitor research, and first-hand experience. We then consider what makes a solution best for customer-specific needs. 

By defining business needs, we can determine the essential features organizations in various sectors require, and select platforms that will cover all bases. For this list, we considered what would be essential for ecommerce businesses and online entrepreneurs. Reputable providers known for their ease of use and customer satisfaction are added to our compilation list for further analysis. We then evaluate each solution on the list based on the features they offer, considering the platform’s usability, integration capabilities, customization options, mobile access, and any other relevant functionalities. 

Price plans, hidden fees, customer reviews, and customer support are also assessed in the selection process. TechnologyAdvice writers will often take advantage of free trials and demos to get a first-hand user experience of available solutions. Finally, we curate a comprehensive list based on the previously stated factors, ensuring readers have the necessary tools to make an informed decision.

We rely on an internal algorithm to calculate star ratings, which are based on many factors.  

My research focused on your top-of-mind concerns for digital businesses like price, core and advanced features, security, ease of use, and user experience. Below is a breakdown of the categories I used to grade each platform. Each category also includes my expert score, which contributes to its overall score.

​​As the market changes, we reevaluate our choices so you always receive the best insight for your purchasing decision.

Pricing

Providers with no setup costs, transparent pricing, and low processing fees received the highest scores. I also considered ongoing costs and hardware costs, which may matter for businesses looking for an omnichannel solution.

Hardware

Although I mainly evaluated these providers for ecommerce businesses and online entrepreneurs, I also looked at hardware options for each provider since some of these businesses looking for Stripe alternatives do so for easier in-person payment processing with their online payment solution. Among the factors I considered are durability, ease of setup, and design of the devices.

Features

Some of the important features of an online payment processor that I considered in my rating are the availability of different payment methods, ecommerce integrations, chargeback management, and developer tools. 

Support and Reliability

Customer support is a crucial consideration when choosing an online payment processor especially for online businesses. I also looked at security and system reliability which is equally important when running a digital business.

User Experience

The ease of user experience, from signup and onboarding to growing their ecommerce business, is an important consideration when choosing a payment solutions partner. I looked at the application process, contract terms, ease of use, and scalability.

User Reviews

User reviews from third-party software platforms Capterra, G2, and Software Advice were included in the overall score. These review sites offer real-world experience from actual users and they were significant in bridging the gap between what providers present and what was delivered to their clients.

Stripe is a popular online payment processor because of its ability to accept a wide range of payment methods, its top-notch security features, and its customizability. However, online businesses looking for an ecommerce payment processor may look for Stripe alternatives that are easy to use, are competitively priced, and offer seamless in-person payment processing.

Our team compiled a list of some of the top Stripe alternatives for ecommerce businesses and looked at their pricing, features, ease of integration, security, and customer support quality. Here are our top 6 picks: 

Top alternatives to Stripe in 2024

Although Stripe is an excellent payment processor for online businesses, it may not be the best option for those needing a “plug-and-play” option or an easy-to-use point-of-sale (POS) system. Here are some of our top Stripe alternatives:

Provider Starting Price per Month Online Transaction Fee Ecommerce Tools Customer Support Learn More
Square $0 2.9% + 30 cents Website builder, payment links, ecommerce platform integrations, virtual terminal Extended business hours
Visit Square
Shopify Payments $5 2.9% + 30 cents Shopify store 24/7 chat, email, phone
Visit
Shopify Payments
Helcim $0 Interchange plus 0.15% + 15 cents to 0.50% + 25 cents Website builder, payment links, ecommerce platform integrations, virtual terminal Extended business hours
Visit Helcim
PayPal $0 2.99% + 49 cents PayPal Checkout integration, one-click integrations, virtual terminal Extended business hours
Visit PayPal
Payment Cloud $10 2% to 4.3% Ecommerce platform integration, payment links, virtual terminal Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time
Visit
Payment Cloud
CardX $29 Credit card: 0% Debit card: Starts at 2.91% Website integration Business hours
Visit CardX

Square: Best overall Stripe alternative


Pros

  • No monthly fees
  • Omnichannel payment processing tools
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Does not support high-risk merchants
  • Available only to merchants in limited countries
  • Can be costly for high-volume businesses
Square logo.

Our Rating: 4.28/5

  • Seamless omnichannel payment solution: Square’s strongest feature is its omnichannel capability, which makes it easy and convenient for businesses that sell online and at physical locations. Both online and in-store systems sync, making it easy to track sales, inventories, and transactions.
  • Free basic plan: Whether you need an online payment solution or a physical POS system, you can start and use Square with zero costs. The Square Online website builder is free to use, there is a free magstripe reader, and it supports Tap to Pay on iPhone and Android devices. These inclusions mean you can start accepting payments without upfront payment.
  • Add-on tools to scale up: While Square makes it easy for startups and small businesses to start accepting payments, it also provides growing businesses with various tools and options for scaling up. Aside from the free POS software and website builder, it also comes with free invoicing, a virtual terminal, social selling, and a team management system. Businesses may also create a loyalty program for their customers, offer subscription plans, and sell gift cards.

Square Online PlansFree PlanPlus PlanPremium Plan
Monthly Fee$0$29$79
Online Transaction Fee2.9% + 30 cents2.9% + 30 cents2.6% + 30 cents
Keyed-in Transaction Fee3.5% + 15 cents3.5% + 15 cents3.5% + 15 cents
In-person Transaction Fee2.6% + 10 cents2.6% + 10 cents2.6% + 10 cents

Square stands out for its ability to effortlessly integrate online and in-store payment processing, letting businesses manage transactions and inventory across multiple channels. This comprehensive approach ensures a smooth and unified customer experience, regardless of where the purchases take place.

Square’s pricing structure, with no monthly fees for basic services and free essential tools like the Square Online website builder, appeals to businesses of all sizes, particularly startups and small enterprises. With customizable solutions such as invoicing and social selling, Square caters to the evolving needs of growing businesses.

In addition to its user-friendly setup and integration process, Square’s intuitive interface makes it accessible to businesses with limited technical expertise. Businesses can easily adopt Square’s payment solutions and begin accepting payments. 

Square Online is an excellent option for startups that need an easy and quick website, and bigger ecommerce businesses may also use Square for their websites hosted on other platforms such as WooCommerce, Ecwid, BigCommerce, and Magento. Overall, Square’s omnichannel capabilities, transparent pricing, scalability, and ease of use make it an outstanding choice for ecommerce businesses seeking a reliable alternative to Stripe.

Pricing: 4.25/5

Hardware: 4.5/5

Features: 4.17/5

Support and reliability: 3.75/5

User experience: 4.38/5

User scores: 4.67/5

Square Payments is a complete payment processing platform that enables businesses to accept various forms of payments through several channels—inperson, online, and mobile. Square provides hardware like card readers and terminals, as well as software solutions for POS systems and online payment processing. Square’s zero initial cost makes it a viable and attractive option even for startups, and it also offers easy integration with many popular ecommerce platforms for larger online businesses. 

As a Stripe alternative, Square Payments offers several comparable features and functionalities. Both platforms let businesses accept payments easily and securely, with transparent pricing structures and straightforward setup processes. Square Payments may appeal to businesses seeking a simple all-in-one solution, as it integrates hardware and software seamlessly. Online businesses that also need in-person payment processing capabilities will find Square’s user-friendly POS systems highly suitable. Moreover, Square Payments is designed to adapt and grow alongside businesses, providing scalability and flexibility to accommodate changing demands.

Shopify Payments: Best for Shopify websites


Pros

  • Full integration with Shopify platform
  • No Shopify Payments transaction fee for higher Shopify plans (card transaction fee still applies)
  • Powered by Stripe

Cons

  • Only available on Shopify
  • Requires at least a Shopify Basic plan for waived transaction fee
  • Reports of frozen and held funds
Shopify Payments logo.

Our Rating: 4.16/5

  • Waived transaction fees: If you are already using Shopify as your ecommerce platform, switching to Shopify Payments gives you the advantage of waived transaction fees (which range from 0.5% to 2% when using third-party payment processors). Powered by Stripe, Shopify Payments gives you the same reliability and security—without the additional cost. 
  • Hardware for in-person selling: Like Square, Shopify Payments offers seamless omnichannel selling through its available POS devices. 
  • 24/7 customer support: Among Shopify’s strongest features is its 24/7 customer support, which extends to any issues or concerns specific to Shopify Payments.

Shopify PlanStarterBasicShopifyAdvanced
Monthly Fee$5$39$105$399
Online Transaction Fee2.9% + 30 cents2.9% + 30 cents2.6% + 30 cents2.4% + 30 cents
In-Person Transaction FeeN/A2.7%2.5%2.4%
Waived Shopify Transaction FeeN/A2%1%0.5%

We chose Shopify Payments as the top choice for Shopify websites due to its seamless integration with the platform and cost-effectiveness. Its full integration simplifies operations, eliminating the need for third-party processors and ensuring compatibility with other Shopify tools. 

Additionally, with no additional transaction fees for most Shopify plans and the elimination of Shopify’s add-on fees, businesses can save on processing costs while benefiting from Stripe’s reliable infrastructure. The availability of 24/7 customer support makes it even more suitable as a Stripe alternative for Shopify websites.

Pricing: 3.5/5

Hardware: 4.25/5

Features: 4.17/5

Support and reliability: 4.17/5

User experience: 4.38/5

User scores: 4.50/5

Shopify Payments is an integrated payment processing solution offered by the ecommerce platform Shopify. Businesses can accept credit card payments directly through their Shopify stores without needing to set up a separate payment gateway. With Shopify Payments, sellers can manage their entire online business, from product listings to order management and payment processing, all within the Shopify dashboard.

As a Stripe alternative, Shopify Payments offers several advantages. Firstly, it provides a seamless integration with Shopify’s platform, eliminating the need for third-party plugins or additional setup. This reduces complexity and potential technical issues throughout the process. 

Additionally, Shopify Payments offers competitive pricing, often matching or even undercutting Stripe’s fees, especially for users who are already leveraging Shopify’s services. Moreover, Shopify Payments provides unified support and assistance, letting sellers resolve payment-related issues without having to coordinate between multiple service providers.

Overall, Shopify Payments presents a robust and user-friendly alternative to Stripe for merchants operating within the Shopify ecosystem. Its simplicity, and competitive pricing make it an attractive option for businesses looking for a hassle-free payment processing solution tightly integrated with their Shopify ecommerce operations.

Helcim: Best for interchange pricing


Pros

  • Interchange-plus pricing
  • Automatic volume discount
  • No monthly fees and minimum contract length

Cons

  • Limited integrations
  • Higher fee for AMEX cards

Our Rating: 4.13/5

  • Interchange-plus rates with automatic volume discounts: Helcim’s processing rates are among the cheapest processing rates on this list. Besides offering interchange-plus rates instead of flat rates, it also offers automatic volume discounts depending on your monthly transaction volume.
  • Option to pass on credit card fees to customers: The Helcim Fee Saver is a feature that Helcim merchants can choose to turn on. This tool lets merchants pass on the credit card fees to their customers, a practice called surcharging.
  • Customer management portal: Helcim’s customer management portal is robust and does not incur any additional fees. It helps to effectively manage customer lists and track profiles and transaction history.

Monthly Transaction VolumeOnline and Keyed-In Transaction RatesIn-Person Transaction Rates
$0–$50,000+ 0.50% + 25 cents+ 0.40% + 8 cents
$50,001–$100,000+ 0.45% + 25 cents+ 0.35% + 8 cents
$100,001–$500,000+ 0.35% + 25 cents+ 0.25% + 8 cents
$500,001–$1,000,000+ 0.25% + 25 cents+ 0.20% + 8 cents
$1,000,001 up+ 0.15% + 25 cents+ 0.15% + 8 cents

We chose Helcim as a Stripe alternative due to its competitive rates and transparent features. Its interchange-plus pricing model offers direct pass-through of fees without markups, while automatic volume discounts further optimize costs as businesses grow. 

Helcim matches Stripe when it comes to the number of different ways ecommerce businesses can accept payments. Online businesses may key in payment information on a virtual terminal, create a hosted payment page, add a buy button to their checkout page simply by pasting a code, send an invoice with a “Pay Now” button, or set up recurring payment plans. 

Additionally, Helcim’s Fee Saver facilitates surcharging, potentially reducing processing costs. With a robust customer management portal included at no extra cost, Helcim provides effective tools for tracking transactions and managing customer profiles. Despite limitations in integrations and potential higher costs for low-volume or AMEX transactions, Helcim is a solid Stripe alternative for businesses prioritizing cost-effectiveness and transparency.

Pricing: 4.75/5

Hardware: 4/5

Features: 3.75/5

Support and reliability: 3.75/5

User experience: 4.38/5

User scores: 4.17/5

Helcim offers a robust payment processing solution for all kinds of businesses. It provides a range of features including payment gateways, virtual terminals, and POS solutions. Helcim distinguishes itself by offering transparent pricing with interchange-plus pricing models and automatic volume discounts, meaning businesses pay the actual interchange fees set by card networks plus a small markup rather than flat rates. This can potentially result in lower costs for businesses processing a high volume of transactions.

Compared to Stripe, Helcim offers similar functionalities but with focus on a more competitive pricing structure. While Stripe is widely popular for its developer-friendly APIs and extensive integrations, Helcim appeals to businesses looking for straightforward payment solutions with lower processing fees.

Like Stripe, Helcim is known for its strong commitment to security and compliance, offering features like tokenization and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance to ensure the safety of transactions. Overall, businesses considering Helcim as a Stripe alternative may find its cost-efficiency and simplicity in their payment processing solutions appealing.

PayPal: Best for easy integration


Pros

  • Widely available and easy online checkout integration
  • Well-known and trusted by consumers
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Complicated pricing structure
  • Extra fee for virtual terminal
  • Account holds
PayPal logo.

Our Rating: 4.12/5

  • Wide and easy integration: PayPal is simple and easy to use, and the best part is it provides integration with almost any online platform. Many ecommerce platforms already offer a one-click PayPal integration—with this feature, you only need to provide your PayPal account details and toggle it on to make it an available payment method on your website. 
  • Cryptocurrency payment processing: PayPal is one of two providers on this list that offers cryptocurrency payment processing. Online businesses that want to accept cryptocurrencies will find PayPal an easy and suitable payment processor option.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options: PayPal is the only provider on this list that offers a native buy now, pay later option. The other providers that have this option, including Stripe, partner with BNPL apps.

  • Online transaction fee: 2.99% + 49 cents
  • PayPal Checkout transaction fee: 3.49% + 49 cents
  • In-person transaction fee: 2.29% + 9 cents   

Find the complete list of PayPal business fees.

PayPal comes out as a top alternative to Stripe in our evaluation for its unmatched ease of integration and widespread consumer trust. Its seamless online checkout integration simplifies the payment process across various platforms, making it appealing for both merchants and customers. PayPal’s popularity instills confidence in buyers, driving higher conversion rates and increased sales. 

Despite its complex pricing structure and additional fees for services like virtual terminals, PayPal offers unique features such as cryptocurrency payment processing and BNPL options, enhancing flexibility for businesses. PayPal’s simplicity, consumer trust, and innovative features make it an excellent choice for businesses seeking a reliable Stripe alternative.

Pricing: 4.25/5

Hardware: 4/5

Features: 4.17/5

Support and reliability: 3.33/5

User experience: 4.38/5

User scores: 4.60/5

PayPal is a digital payment platform that allows users to send and receive money securely online. It helps businesses manage their finances, accept payments, and facilitate transactions. 

It offers various features such as invoicing, payment processing, customizable checkout options, and business analytics. With PayPal Business, merchants can accept payments from customers globally through multiple channels, including credit/debit cards, PayPal accounts, and more.

As a Stripe alternative, PayPal Business provides similar functionalities in terms of payment processing and online transactions. Both platforms offer easy integration into websites and applications, allowing businesses to accept payments seamlessly. However, PayPal is more widely recognized, which may provide a sense of trust and familiarity to customers.

PaymentCloud: Best for high-risk merchants


Pros

  • Accepts high-risk merchants
  • High approval rate
  • Offers cryptocurrency payment processing

Cons

  • Longer application and approval process
  • Extra fee for virtual terminal
  • Pricing is not publicly disclosed
PaymentCloud logo.

Our Rating: 3.31/5

  • High-risk merchant support: PaymentCloud is one of the top payment service providers for high-risk merchants. If your business is in the medium- and high-risk industries, you will not be accepted by most payment processors, including Stripe. PaymentCloud, on the other hand, supports businesses in these industries with a high approval rate.
  • Cryptocurrency payment processing: Aside from supporting high-risk merchants, another uncommon feature with PaymentCloud is its cryptocurrency payment processing. Businesses that would like a Bitcoin checkout option for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Tether, and XRP will find PaymentCloud a suitable option. 
  • Chargeback and fraud protection: PaymentCloud puts heavy importance on chargeback and fraud protection, especially since it caters to high-risk businesses. It has partnered with a specialized chargeback protection provider to help detect, track, and resolve disputes.

PaymentCloud rates depend on the risk assessment of your business. High-risk merchants are assigned higher rates than mid- and low-risk businesses.

  • Monthly fee: $10–$45
  • Low-risk transaction fee: 2%–3.1%
  • Mid-risk transaction fee: 2.3%–3.4%
  • High-risk transaction fee: 2.7%–4.3%
  • Virtual terminal fee: $15–$45 per month

For high-risk merchants looking for a Stripe alternative, PaymentCloud is a suitable choice. With its high approval rate for businesses in medium- and high-risk industries, PaymentCloud offers a lifeline where other processors, including Stripe, may decline. 

It offers flexible payment processing with its wide array of payment methods, including its support for cryptocurrency payment processing. PaymentCloud’s commitment to chargeback and fraud protection further solidifies its reliability for high-risk merchants, making it the preferred choice despite a longer application process and undisclosed pricing.

Pricing: 3.75/5

Hardware: 3.5/5

Features: 3.54/5

Support and reliability: 3.75/5

User experience: 3.75/5

User scores: 1.57/5

PaymentCloud is a payment processing solution designed for high-risk businesses, offering services like credit card processing, ACH processing, and e-check processing. It caters to industries such as CBD, vape, adult entertainment, and other businesses typically considered high-risk by traditional payment processors. PaymentCloud provides specialized solutions tailored to the needs of these industries, including fraud prevention tools and chargeback management.

As a Stripe alternative, PaymentCloud distinguishes itself primarily by its willingness to work with high-risk businesses that may struggle to get approved by Stripe or to secure payment processing services elsewhere. 

While Stripe is a popular choice for many businesses due to its user-friendly interface, extensive features, and wide range of integrations, it may not be suitable for industries considered high-risk. PaymentCloud fills this gap by offering reliable payment processing solutions with an emphasis on industries facing challenges in obtaining payment services.

CardX: Best for zero credit card processing


Pros

  • Auto surcharging
  • Fully compliant credit surcharging
  • Auto-detection of debit and credit cards

Cons

  • Limited POS integrations
  • Does not accept cross-border payments
  • Underwriting requires at least $5,000 in monthly sales
CardX logo.

Our Rating: 3.27/5

  • Auto surcharging: CardX offers auto surcharging, which allows businesses to pass on the transaction fees for credit card payments to their customers, in 48 states and the District of Columbia. 
  • Fully compliant with federal and local regulations: Businesses will need to register with card brands and comply with requirements set by these brands to pass on fees. CardX makes surcharging easy for businesses completing the registration on behalf of businesses and making sure their payment solution is compliant with relevant rules and regulations.
  • Merchant training: Since surcharging is different from the usual card payment processing, CardX offers a merchant training session to make sure you and your employees learn the system as well as the required protocols for surcharging.

  • Virtual terminal+Online credit card processing: Starts at $29/month
  • In-person credit card processing: Starts at $35/month
  • Debit card processing: Starts at 2.91%/transaction

If you’re looking to save on credit card processing fees, consider passing on the fees to your customers. We selected CardX as a Stripe alternative for businesses seeking zero credit card processing due to its innovative features and compliance with surcharging regulations. 

It offers auto surcharging and is fully compliant with federal and local regulations, enabling merchants to pass on credit card transaction fees seamlessly. Unlike Stripe, which does not have a compliant surcharging capability, CardX prioritizes compliance and offers streamlined registration processes. Comparatively, Helcim also offers surcharging but it is not a fully compliant out-of-the-box surcharging solution. Helcim leaves some requirements such as proper disclosures and signage up to the merchant. 

Businesses using CardX may accept payments through a virtual terminal, on their website through a Lightbox integration, or in-store using Dejavoo card readers. Additionally, CardX provides merchant training sessions for smooth implementation. 

Despite limitations in POS integrations and cross-border payments, Helcim’s focus on zero credit card processing and compliance makes it a suitable choice for online businesses looking to save on transaction fees.

Pricing: 4.25/5

Hardware: 3/5

Features: 4.17/5

Support and reliability: 4.17/5

User experience: 4.06/5

User scores: 0/5 (There are no user reviews for CardX on the review sites we considered.)

CardX is a payment processing solution designed to help businesses accept credit card payments and pass on credit card processing fees to customers. This approach aims to help businesses save on processing costs by shifting the burden of fees to the cardholder. Additionally, CardX emphasizes compliance with regulations surrounding credit card surcharging, ensuring that businesses can implement surcharges legally and transparently.

Compared to Stripe, CardX offers a distinct approach to pricing and fee management. While Stripe typically charges businesses a percentage of each transaction along with a flat fee, CardX’s model allows businesses to potentially save on processing costs by passing fees directly to customers.

Its range of payment processing solutions includes in-person payment processing for accepting card payments at physical locations, use of a virtual terminal for processing payments over the phone or mail, and online for integrating a payment solution into ecommerce platforms or websites.

Still not seeing the right solution for your business? Check out our full Retail POS Software Buyer’s Guide for more solutions.

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FAQ

Based on a Statista report, as of December 2023, PayPal has the biggest market share of online payment processing worldwide with 40.52%, followed by Stripe with 20.52%.

Stripe is often favored by developers for its flexibility and robust API, making it a preferred choice for businesses seeking customization and integration options. PayPal, on the other hand, offers a user-friendly interface and broader consumer recognition, making it easier for non-technical users to set up. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on your specific needs, technical expertise, and preference for ease of use versus customization.

Both PayPal and Stripe prioritize security and offer robust measures such as encryption, fraud detection, and compliance with industry standards. Both platforms are generally considered secure and trusted by many businesses worldwide.


Andrea Herrera Avatar

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