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Stripe Payments Review 2023: Features and Pricing

Last updated on August 14, 2023
Edited bySally Lauckner
Fact checked and reviewed

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Our Take

The bottom line:

Stripe Payments is a powerful payment processor for online sales. It can accept dozens of payment methods and more than 135 currencies. Its open API and advanced developer tools allow you to create a checkout flow that feels custom, provided you know how to use the tools and implement code.
Full review

Stripe Payments

Payment processing fees
2.7% + 5¢ in-person; 2.9% + 30¢ online.
Monthly fee
$0
Learn more

on Stripe's website

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Highly customizable.
  • Competitive pricing.

Cons

  • Prioritizes online merchants.
  • Requires developer experience.

Full Review

Stripe Payments is Stripe’s online payment processing solution that accepts dozens of payment methods in a wealth of different currencies, making it a strong fit for online retailers that sell in multiple countries.
Stripe users can accept in-person payments by integrating Stripe Terminal. But if you do most of your business in person, there are better options. For example, other payment processors, such as Square, offer specific restaurant and retail features like end-of-day reports and inventory tracking.
That said, Stripe’s flat-rate pricing is easy to understand and there are no monthly fees. In addition, you can cancel at any time if it isn’t a good fit.

Stripe Payments is best for businesses that:

  • Have customers around the world. Stripe can accept payments in more than 135 currencies. It also supports various other payment methods, including Alipay and WeChat Pay (digital wallets widely used in China); several buy now, pay later providers; and bank debit systems with customers worldwide.
  • Make most of their sales online. Stripe Terminal can integrate with your point-of-sale software to enable in-person payment processing. But most of Stripe’s unique features — like its open application programming interface and ability to accept so many currencies — are primarily relevant to online sales.
  • Have a software developer on their team. Stripe allows users to fully customize their checkout flow — provided you know how to code. Of course, you can still use Stripe Payments if you don’t have a software background, but you won’t be able to take advantage of all of its customization options.

Deciding factors

Payment processing model
Flat rate.
Payment processing fees
  • 2.7% plus 5 cents for in-person transactions.
  • 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions.
  • 3.4% plus 30 cents for manually keyed transactions.
  • 4.4% plus 30 cents for international card transactions.
Monthly fee
  • $0 for standard Stripe Connect.
  • $2 per account for Stripe Express (for marketplaces) or Stripe Custom (the white-label option that allows businesses to customize the checkout process).
Hardware cost
  • $0 for Square magstripe-only card reader ($10 for each additional reader) or if using Tap to Pay for iPhone (iPhone not included).
  • $49 for Square Reader contactless and chip card reader.
  • $149 for Square Stand iPad POS or Square Stand Mount (iPad not included).
  • $299 for Square Terminal mobile card reader with built-in printer.
  • $799 for Square Register two-screen system.
  • $659-$1,479 for various bundles of stands, cash drawers, printers and card readers.
Contract length
No set contract length. You can close your Stripe account at any time, as long as you complete any pending transactions.
Customer support
24/7 customer support via email, live chat and phone.

Where Stripe Payments stands out

Accepts a variety of payment methods and currencies

Although it’s fairly standard by this point for payment processors to accept all major credit cards in addition to digital wallets and ACH transfers, Stripe really shines here with the breadth of payment types it supports. Stripe enables you to meet your customers’ payment needs by supporting PayPal and Cash App Pay, allowing numerous methods for conducting bank redirects and transfers, and integrating buy now, pay later solutions like Klarna and Afterpay. And because Stripe accepts payments in more than 135 different currencies, your customer base can expand across borders.

Easy to set up

You can begin the process of creating a Stripe account with just your name and email address. You’ll then need to provide some additional personal identification information and details related to your business, customer support and bank account. After completing the onboarding process, you can start customizing your checkout flow and sending payment links and invoices to customers. But you won’t be able to collect your first payout until seven days after you’ve taken your first payment. You may have to wait as long as 14 days, depending on your industry.

Highly customizable

With Stripe’s open APIs and software development kits, businesses can fully customize the payment experience, from a branded payment page that maintains the look and feel of your business website to streamlined invoicing and various uses of payment links. Stripe also provides support documents on its website as well as access to a developer community to help you make the most of these tools.

Where Stripe Payments falls short

Customization options are limited without coding

The customization options that Stripe makes available to merchants are a real asset, but many of those options require some coding comfort and knowledge. A developer is not something every small business has at its disposal, so if you’re hoping to make use of Stripe’s open API and all its capabilities, then you’ll want to be sure you have someone on your team with the necessary expertise.

🤓 Nerdy Tip

If you don’t have a developer, it’s possible to hire one as a freelancer. Stripe has a directory of expert partners that can help business owners make the most of its developer tools, like Toptal, which matches them with freelancer developers to customize Stripe for their businesses, or Square 1 Software, which also assists with Stripe integration.

Tailored to online sales and payments

Stripe Payments is primarily intended for online retailers and marketplaces. It supports selling and accepting payments across multiple online channels, including marketplaces, e-commerce shops and subscription-model businesses. If some of your sales happen in person, you’ll need to make use of Stripe Terminal, an integration that enables you to accept card-present transactions. If you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer that does most or all of your transactions in person, then you’ll likely want to choose a different processor.

Alternatives to Stripe Payments

Square

Monthly fee:
  • $0 for Square POS, Restaurant, Retail and Appointments Free plans.
  • $29 for Square Appointments Plus plan.
  • $60 for Square Restaurant and Retail Plus plans.
  • $69 for Square Appointments Premium plan.
Payment processing fees:
  • 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions.
  • 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions.
  • 3.5% plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions.
  • 3.3% plus 30 cents for invoices.
Hardware:
  • $0 for Square magstripe-only card reader ($10 for each additional reader) or if using Tap to Pay for iPhone (iPhone not included).
  • $49 and up for Square Reader contactless and chip card reader.
  • $149 for Square Stand iPad POS or Square Stand Mount (iPad not included).
  • $299 for Square Terminal mobile card reader with built-in printer.
  • $799 for Square Register two-screen system.
Why we like it: Generally, Square is for in-person transactions, and Stripe is for online ones. Square offers several point-of-sale hardware options, including a free magnetic stripe reader that users can plug into an iOS or Android phone. Square also offers Tap to Pay on iPhone, which lets merchants accept card payments using only a regular iPhone with the Square POS app. Customers hold their cards or their own iPhone wallets near the merchant's phone to pay. Through Square POS, you can manage inventory and offer retail perks like gift cards. You can even build an online store through Square Online.
In addition, with upgraded plans, Square’s services designed specifically for retail and restaurants come with the ability to accept returns and exchanges; the seat management feature, for restaurants, specifies which person at a table ordered which dish.

PayPal

Monthly fee:
  • $0 for standard service.
  • $5 for PayPal Payments Advanced.
  • $10 for Advanced Fraud Protection service, buyer authentication service or recurring billing service.
  • $19.95 for account monitoring service.
  • $30 for Payments Pro, Payments Pro Payflow, Virtual Terminal or recurring payment tool.
Payment processing fees:
  • 1.9% plus 10 cents for PayPal or Venmo QR code payments over $10.
  • 2.29% plus 9 cents for in-person credit and debit card payments.
  • 2.59% plus 49 cents for online credit and debit card payments.
  • 3.49% plus 49 cents for PayPal Payments transactions (PayPal, Pay Later, Pay with Rewards, Venmo).
Hardware:
  • $29 for first card reader; additional readers cost $79. Price includes USB cable.
  • $249 for Store Kit Mini (screen terminal with card reader).
  • $339 for Store Kit Portable kit with mobile card reader and printer.
  • $499 for Store Kit Standard (adds printer).
  • $699 for Store Kit Plus (adds barcode scanner).
Why we like it: If you’re overwhelmed by Stripe’s breadth of options and want a more straightforward solution, PayPal may be a good option. PayPal Checkout offers the simple choice of copying and pasting a code into your website to accept payments. But, of course, the more coding skills you have, the more you can customize the checkout flow.
Like Stripe and Square, PayPal sells point-of-sale hardware designed to work with its software. In-person sellers can accept credit and debit cards, mobile wallets and payments via Venmo, which PayPal owns. You can also take a credit card number over the phone and enter it manually.

Compare payment processors

To compare payment processing options, check out NerdWallet’s list of payment processing companies that are best for small-business owners. Our recommendations are based on the provider’s pricing and transparency, software and hardware options, system functionality, customer support, software integrations and contract requirements.

Learn more

on Stripe's website

Methodology

NerdWallet’s ratings of payment processing providers rewards companies whose products and services are priced well and work in a variety of payment scenarios, among other criteria.
Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including overall cost, hardware and software options, system capabilities, customer service, contract requirements and integrations. Learn more about how we rate payment processing providers.
These ratings are a guide, but fees, hardware, software and contract requirements can vary widely from business to business and provider to provider. We encourage you to shop around and compare several providers.
NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.