Stripe vs. Authorize.net: Which Is Right for Your Business?

Stripe and Authorize.net vary in monthly fee and international capabilities, but other differences stand out, too.
Apr 7, 2022

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Stripe and Authorize.net are payment service providers, or PSPs, that help small businesses take payments in person and online. Stripe may be better for small businesses with an international customer base, but small businesses that don’t want to deal with multiple add-ons and customizations may prefer Authorize.net.

Here's how the two companies compare.

What to look for in a PSP

Payment service providers offer a way for small businesses to take online payments through a payment gateway and a merchant account. Here’s what to think about as you shop for a PSP:

  • What kind of pricing structure do you want: interchange-plus, flat rate or tiered? Your industry, revenue and priorities will influence your answer.

  • Do you need an integrated POS system? If you’re selling online, this may be less important.

  • What industry are you in? This could affect pricing and features.

Stripe pros and cons

Pros

  • Price transparency. Flat-rate pricing; no monthly fees; no fees for setup or cancellation. Businesses with large payments volume can get a custom quote.

  • International. Supports several payment methods and currencies (135 plus).

  • Flexible. Can customize the checkout flow.

  • Customer support. 24/7 customer support through phone, email and live chat.

Cons

  • Complicated. Stripe has a lot of add-ons and products — many with their own fees, integrations and customization capabilities. Small-business owners may not have time to sift through it all.

  • Developer-focused. Non-tech-savvy business owners may not get the most out of Stripe's API and tools.

Authorize.net pros and cons

Pros

  • Price transparency. Flat-rate pricing if you have a merchant account and no setup fees (but there’s a monthly gateway fee).

  • Customer support. 24/7 phone support (excluding holidays), online ticketing system and live chat. It also has an online knowledge base.

  • Recurring billing included. You can set up recurring payments in all plans, which may be valuable for subscription-based businesses.

Cons

  • Relatively limited international capabilities. For U.S. and Canadian businesses, Authorize.net only supports U.S. and Canadian currency. For U.K. and European businesses, it supports eight currencies, and it supports three currencies for Australian businesses.

  • Monthly added costs. The $25 monthly fee could wash away any savings you may get in other places depending on your monthly sales volume.

Stripe features overview

Stripe

Stripe
Shop Now

on Stripe's website

Stripe Payments is a well-known payment processor. It accepts dozens of payment methods and currencies, and its developer tools let users customize their checkout flows — if they're knowledgeable and confident enough to use the tools. Stripe also accepts payments through Stripe Terminal if you do business in person.

With flat-rate pricing and no monthly surcharges, Stripe’s fees are straightforward. In addition, you can cancel at any time. There are two primary payment processing products:

Stripe Connect

Stripe Connect can process over 135 currencies and can handle transactions in 30-plus countries. Connect is customizable, and small businesses can change sign-up, onboarding and payout timing and get financial reporting. There are pre-made user-interface components, but you can also customize things using the Stripe API.

Stripe Checkout

Stripe Checkout handles mobile checkout with an API that creates a Stripe-hosted payment page. It works on desktop and mobile, as well as with Apple Pay and Google Pay. Buttons and background color are customizable, and it supports discounts, sales tax and email receipts. Also, it works in over 30 languages.

Authorize.net features overview

Visa owns Authorize.net. It offers payment options for e-commerce, point of sale, mobile payments and over-the-phone payments. It also offers billing, e-check and mobile card readers. The company can process Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, JCB, PayPal, Visa Click to Pay, Apple Pay and ACH transactions.

For U.S. and Canadian businesses, Authorize.net only supports U.S. and Canadian currency. For U.K. and European businesses, it supports eight currencies, and it supports three currencies for Australian businesses.

Authorize.net integrates with Shift4Shop, BigCommerce, Magento and about 140 other platforms. The company also sells card readers and has virtual point-of-sale software that can turn computers into POS systems.

There are two plans for payment processing.

All-in-One

This plan is for small businesses that want a merchant account and a payment gateway. It includes automated recurring billing, which can be useful if you sell subscriptions. Processing e-check payments (through ACH) costs extra.

Payment Gateway Only

This plan is for small businesses that already have merchant accounts. Essentially, you pay the company to aggregate your transactions from the previous 24 hours into a batch that goes to the processing networks. This plan also includes automated recurring billing, and processing e-check payments (through ACH) still costs extra.

Pricing: Stripe vs. Authorize.net

Both providers have various fees. Here’s how they compare.

Authorize.net

Stripe

Monthly fees

  • $25.

  • $0.

Transaction fees

  • 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction with merchant account.

  • 10 cents per transaction and 10 cents daily batch fee if you only want to use the payment gateway.

  • For online payments, 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction.

  • For in-person payments, 2.7% plus 5 cents per transaction.

Other fees

  • Custom pricing available for businesses that process more than $500,000 per year.

  • The Authorize.net payment gateway does not have a contract or early termination fees.

  • E-check processing is 0.75% of the transaction price.

  • 1% plus 30 cents for international payments.

  • 1% if currency conversion is required.

  • For an ACH direct debit transaction, Stripe charges 0.8% with a cap of $5.

  • If you have a customized-pricing account, Stripe may tack on additional fees, including 25 cents each to update expired or renewed card information for customers and 3 cents per attempt to use 3D Secure — a customer identity verification tool. There is also 1% for instant payouts, which lets you immediately transfer funds to a debit card.

Stripe vs. Authorize.net: Which PSP is right for your business?

Authorize.net may be your best option if you want a relatively simple setup. But if international capabilities are more important, you may want to go with Stripe.