What Are the Best Stripe Alternatives?

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Written By SmarterrMoney.org

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Over the last decade, Stripe has rapidly risen to the head of the pack as the payment processing solution of choice for businesses all over the globe. However, it’s important to bear in mind that Stripe’s functionality as a payment gateway won’t be a perfect fit for every business out there — particularly for subscription businesses.

Stripe does a splendid job at processing payments, sure. But if you want your business to grow, scale its subscription base, and be able to effortlessly handle the complex recurring billing use cases that are often faced by subscription businesses, your team will need something more. 

Although it often makes sense for early-stage businesses to get started with Stripe to manage payments and recurring billing, it doesn’t take long for start-ups to outgrow Stripe Billing’s fairly modest capabilities. Even regular businesses that want to accept and process online payments can find cheaper and easier-to-use Stripe alternatives out there. 

Plus, Stripe might not be the best fit if you’re looking for a payment gateway that offers native point-of-sale (POS) functionality or you’re operating in a location where Stripe isn’t active or popular.

This guide explains what you should look for in Stripe alternatives and the top eight Stripe alternatives available on the market today.

Table of contents:

4 Things To Look Out for in Stripe Alternatives

Before we launch into the best Stripe alternatives available on the market right now, let’s take a step back and talk about why ambitious companies are looking beyond Stripe.

Of key importance is knowing the specific features your business needs in a Stripe alternative so you can make an informed decision about what might work best.

Why Teams Are Looking for Stripe Alternatives

There are a few key disadvantages a lot of businesses run into when they’re using Stripe as a payment gateway.

1. Stripe Requires a Lot of Maintenance

Stripe requires a lot of maintenance for your team. 

One of the big advantages Stripe promotes is that you can customize it to your exact business needs using Stripe API. That might be ok if you have a big team of web developers with loads of time on their hands. 

But most early-stage SaaS businesses and start-ups simply don’t have the resources to let developers devote all their time to doing maintenance, integrating, and performing upkeep on all the extra tools you’ve had to tack onto Stripe to make it get the job done. 

By “extra tools,” we’re specifically talking about analytics plugins that can generate SaaS metrics, perform dynamic invoices, manage subscriptions, and take care of tax accounting and compliance.

2. International Tax Compliance Is a Worry

Unfortunately, that brings us to yet another key drawback businesses face when using Stripe: its tax integrations aren’t the best. 

A global, out-of-box solution like Stripe simply can’t (and doesn’t) account for the diverse range of tax rules many businesses have to deal with. 

If you’re a SaaS business with customers in different states or countries, tax reporting and compliance isn’t going to be the most straightforward job in the world.

3. Not Robust for Subscription Management and Recurring Billing

Finally, there’s Stripe Billing’s lackluster functionality. Although Stripe Billing does offer small businesses a way to manage simple and relatively small-scale recurring billing operations, it’s not particularly flexible.

Stripe Billing doesn’t give you the opportunity to create multiple products, service plans, or add-ons under the same banner. 

4. Stripe Doesn’t Integrate With PayPal

Another major issue with Stripe is that it doesn’t let you accept other payment methods like PayPal. This is an issue because PayPal and subsidiary Braintree are among the most popular and user-friendly payment services out there. 

That means that if your business opts for Stripe, you’re going to be stuck with Stripe as your only payment gateway — potentially losing you customers.

What To Look For in Stripe Alternatives

Now that we’ve covered why your business could benefit from a Stripe alternative let’s take a look at the functionality you’ll need.

1. Customization

First and foremost, you need a solution that’s fully customizable. 

The Stripe API is a big part of the reason that Stripe has grown so rapidly. A lot of businesses love how they can slice and dice Stripe to fit into their existing tech stacks. But as we’ve already pointed out, not all teams have the resources to continuously maintain those customizations. Any Stripe alternative you discover should also empower you with the ability to customize your experience. 

Fortunately, a range of payment solutions can be easily customized or integrated alongside your other tools without spending a lot of time constantly updating or maintaining code.

2. Global Reach

Next, you should look for Stripe alternatives with a global reach. E-commerce is all about selling beyond your own borders, right? Well, that means the Stripe alternative you ultimately select needs to be able to support a wide range of foreign currencies and power cross-border transactions.

3. Clear Pricing Structure

Every payment service provider (PSP) or payment platform has its own unique pricing structure, and some of those structures are better than others. Make sure you find a Stripe alternative with a clear and transparent fee structure that’s competitively priced and won’t hit you with any hidden fees. 

The good news is that a lot of PSPs offer flat rates that are simple and easy to understand. You’ve just got to know what price points are appropriate when you start searching for a new payment provider.

4. Robust Tax Engine

Any SaaS business that has customers in multiple states or countries needs a payments solution that knows and understands how to handle various tax jurisdictions.

To make sure your team maintains tax compliance in foreign marketplaces, your organization will need a payments or billing solution capable of applying local tax rules to localized sales so that your team can rest easy knowing your figures are always up-to-date and tax-compliant — no matter where in the world you’re selling.

8 Stripe Alternatives To Consider

If Stripe is unable to meet the needs of your business (or you simply want to explore what else is out there), you’re in luck. There is a wide range of Stripe alternatives available — although it’s important to note that some of those alternatives are better than others.

To help you get started in your search, let’s take a look at the top eight Stripe alternatives.

1. PayPal

Let’s face it: PayPal has been around for a long time, and it’s one of the most well-known online PSPs in the world. 

With a PayPal business account, it’s fast and easy for businesses to accept and process debit card payments, credit card payments, and online payments. PayPal also supports transactions in 25 different currencies from over 200 countries.

PayPal doesn’t always require customers to have a PayPal account to make a purchase, and can support shopping carts for guest shoppers. Between this functionality and the fact that PayPal accepts such a wide range of payment methods, it’s without doubt one of the easiest payment solutions from a customer’s point-of-view.


  • PayPal is easier than Stripe for accepting in-person payments
  • PayPal supports guest shopping, which reduces friction points for customers
  • PayPal sponsors special discounts for select retailers


  • Paypal’s chargeback fee is higher than Stripe and a lot of other Stripe alternatives
  • PayPal charges a higher fee for receiving online business payments than a lot of other Stripe alternatives
  • PayPal accepts less currencies than Stripe


PayPal charges a fixed processing fee and a fee determined by the payment method:

  • Online payments: 2.99% + a fixed fee (depending on the countries transacting)
  • In-store payments: 2.70% + a fixed fee
  • QR code transactions: 2.40% (if under $10) or 1.9% (if over $10) + a fixed fee

How Does it Compare to Stripe?

PayPal is a simple payment gateway that gives you all the functionality a small business is going to need. It lets you create a hosted checkout page, and you can use PayPal Here to support in-person payments.

In terms of how it compares to Stripe, PayPal’s fees are about the same — but it’s worth noting that Stripe supports more international currencies. That means you could have less friction with Stripe if you’re selling in less popular overseas markets.

2. Ayden

Adyen is an increasingly popular Stripe alternative that offers business merchants a wide range of ways to accept payments using one platform. 

Ayden works as a payments gateway for online payments, offers point-of-sale (POS) terminals to support in-person transactions, and can integrate with a number of other PSPs to support mobile apps or mobile payments. 


  • Ayden has a quick and simple onboarding system
  • Ayden doesn’t have monthly fees or setup fees
  • Ayden offers an easy refund process for customers


  • Tech support for merchants can be less responsive than other Stripe alternatives
  • Ayden’s APIs aren’t as dynamic as Stripe, which means customization is trickier
  • Ayden doesn’t support as many currencies as Stripe


Ayden charges a fixed processing fee and a fee determined by the payment method:

  • Visa and Mastercard transactions: “interchange plus” pricing model.
  • Wallet payments and ACH: Fees are specific to each payment method.
  • Ayden uses the interchange-plus pricing system — a model that credit card processors use to determine merchant per-transaction costs.

How Does it Compare to Stripe?

Ayden is a good Stripe alternative for big businesses that are managing high transaction volumes because of Ayden’s interchange-plus pricing system.

Interchange-plus pricing has two components: 

  • The ‘interchange’ – the fee charged by the card network
  • The ‘plus’ – a markup charged by the processor above the interchange fee

Ayden isn’t the only PSP out there that uses the interchange-plus system — and because it requires minimum invoice amounts, it might not be as good of a fit for small businesses or start-ups.

That being said, its merchant account offers customizable online payments with a focus on fraud detection and omnichannel sales. Ayden also supports tax-free shopping, which enables international travelers to claim back value-added tax (VAT) or local sales tax on purchases from designated tax-free shopping providers. 

3. Checkout.com

Checkout.com is a PSP that specializes in processing international payments. It supports payments in 159 different currencies and enables businesses to set up merchant accounts and accept 18 different payment methods from customers. 

This includes digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Wallet.


  • Checkout.com offers a free trial period.
  • Checkout.com accepts more currencies than Stipe alternatives like PayPal and Ayden.


  • Checkout.com has a list of prohibited business types that can’t set up merchant accounts.
  • Checkout.com’s screening process and pricing make setting up harder for small businesses.


Checkout.com uses a tailored pricing structure — which means that each merchant will get their own bespoke, flat rate. To get a quote, you must fill out a form on Checkout.com’s pricing page.

Checkout.com uses the interchange-plus method to decide its rates.

How Does it Compare to Stripe?

Businesses that choose Checkout.com as a Stripe alternative tend to do so because Checkout.com offers fast processing speeds and is customizable and reliable.

Checkout.com can also process more currencies than Stripe, which means you can accept transactions from more markets.

That being said, the set-up process with Checkout.com is a bit more tedious than setting up with Stripe. It’s also worth noting that certain businesses aren’t allowed to set up merchant accounts with Checkout.com — so you’ve got to do your homework to make sure you can even use Checkout.com.

4. Helcim

While Checkout.com is ideal for big businesses, Helcim is a payment gateway that offers a merchant account and specializes in small businesses that are processing relatively large amounts of money.

Helcim caters to smaller businesses by offering flexible contract terms, a transparent pricing system that’s built around interchange plus, and almost no additional or hidden fees.


  • Helcim is essentially an all-in-one solution that offers a merchant account, credit card processing, point-of-sale system, hosted payment pages, invoicing, and business management tools
  • Helcim has no long-term contracts or monthly fees
  • Helcim’s processing costs go down as your transaction volumes increase


  • Helcim’s pricing structure isn’t cost-effective for businesses that process low monthly volumes
  • Helcim doesn’t support all business types (like telemarketing companies, discount travel clubs, airline companies, drop shipping companies, and more)


Helcim offers a fixed processing fee plus an additional fee based on your sales volume. 

For example, if your monthly credit card volume is between $0 and $25,000, you can expect to pay 1.99% plus 8 cents per transaction for in-person payments. Online payments would then be priced at 2.5% plus 25 cents per transaction.

These rates then decrease as your sales volumes increase.

The company also uses interchange-plus pricing.

How Does it Compare to Stripe?

Helcim’s feature set isn’t quite as wide as competitors like Stripe or PayPal. Helcim does offer international support and accepts a far wider range of currencies. It can also help you set up an online store, and you can customize it with APIs.

The choice to integrate Helcim is really going to revolve around your transaction volumes. If you’re doing less than $25,000 per month, cheaper alternatives are available. But if you’re regularly bringing in large payments, Helcim’s pricing structure can be more competitive than Stripe.

5. Authorize.net

Authorize.net is a payment gateway owned by the global payments giant Visa. Authorize.net is designed to help small businesses accept card payments, contactless payments, and eChecks.

That being said, it also offers a number of integrations with third-party business, ecommerce platforms, and billing solutions so that business owners can build Authorize.net into their existing tech stacks. 

It’s important to note that while Authorize.net can set you up with a merchant account if you don’t already have one, your new account will be offered through a third-party payment processor like Payment Depot and CDGcommerce.


  • Authorize.net lets you customize email notifications for both individual transactions and end-of-day reports
  • Authorize.net supports recurring payments in all of its plans
  • Authorize.net has fairly in-depth reporting tools built in so you can monitor your transactions


  • Authorize.net accounts must be set to one currency only
  • Because Authorize.net relies on integrations and third parties to get the job done, there’s a lack of data portability
  • Authorize.net merchant accounts need to be supported using a third party


Authorize.net charges 2.9%+ 30 cents per transaction and a flat-rate monthly gateway fee of $25.

How Does it Compare to Stripe?

Authorize.net facilitates payments, but it doesn’t actually provide the merchant account your business needs to accept those payments. Instead, Authorize.net users have to set up a third-party account. That adds a bit more friction and a reliance on multiple services, which you’re not going to experience with Stripe.

Authorize.net makes up for that friction by offering a huge amount of account flexibility with very low fees.

6. GoCardless

GoCardless is a UK-based PSP that’s designed primarily for recurring payments. Although it was designed with UK merchants in mind, it’s ideal for businesses in multiple countries that collect repeating payments like subscriptions, memberships, and installments.

One of the major selling points for GoCardless is that it offers more than 200 integrations to bolster its existing set of functionality — including Shopify, accounting software like Xero, or billing software like Chargebee. 

From an invoicing perspective, it removes the need for customers to view, approve, and action invoices you send.


  • GoCardless offers more than 200 integrations with other software tools
  • GoCardless doesn’t have any setup fees and includes a freemium pay-per-transaction account


  • Unlike many Stripe alternatives, GoCardless includes a monthly fee
  • You won’t get a free trial of either of the GoCardless paid plans
  • GoCardless doesn’t provide instant, real-time clearing — it can take several days to receive payment


GoCardless is a UK-based company for UK merchants. It charges 1% + £/€0.20 per transaction for the UK and the eurozone (capped at £/€ 4), and an additional fee of 0.3% for transactions above £/€ 2,000. For example, if a customer makes a purchase of £/€ 2,000, they’d need to pay the max fee of £/€ 4 plus 0.3%. International transactions are 2% + £0.20 per transaction.

GoCardless offers three plans: Standard (No monthly fee), Plus (£50 per month), and Pro (£200 per month).

How Does it Compare to Stripe?

GoCardless is better than Stripe when it comes to functions like the ability to automate invoicing and recurring billing. 

Meanwhile, Stripe takes instant payments from the customer’s account, which makes it more efficient at processing one-off payments.

That’s because GoCardless takes one-off payments as a direct debit. Direct debits are a slightly slower way of debiting money from a customer’s account, and so it can take several days after a customer has made a purchase for your money to appear in your business bank account.

7. Stax

Stax is a Stripe alternative designed for businesses of all shapes and sizes — from SMB to enterprise-level. 

Stax offers an all-in-one API that lets you manage your payment ecosystem, analyze customer and transaction data, and utilize dozens of integrations to customize your payment offerings.

With Stax, you can get both handheld POS devices as well as a merchant account to accept payments.


  • Stax offers a free trial period
  • Stax offers greater flexibility. While Stripe has its own payment gateway, Stax works with providers like Authorize.net, NMI, Priority, and more, so you can choose your own gateway


  • Stax offers fewer integrations than Stripe and some other Stripe alternatives.


Unlike most Stripe alternatives, Stax doesn’t use a pay-per-transaction or interchange plus pricing model. They have a subscription model.

  • Stax’s growth plan: $99 per month 
  • Stax’s Pro plan: $159 per month
  • Stax’s Ultimate Plan: $199 per month

If you process more than $500,000 per year, Stax can work with you to create your own bespoke solution.

How Does it Compare to Stripe?

Stax is great if you need an all-in-one platform with in-person capabilities. But if you’re processing very low transaction levels (under $5,000 per month), Stax’s monthly fee might not be great value for money.

If you run an online-only business and have your own team of developers, Stripe is probably better than Stax because it allows for a customizable online checkout solution your team can integrate with your existing stack.

8. Payanywhere

Payanywhere is another Stripe alternative that enables businesses to accept card transactions in-store, online, and on mobile.

Payanywhere is particularly suited to merchants that need mobile POS terminals. That’s because Payanywhere offers a simple pricing structure, and it’s pretty affordable to order additional POS terminals.


  • Payanywhere uses a simple, flat-rate pricing model
  • Payanywhere can offer you free next-day funding and same-day funding in some cases


  • Payanywhere has fewer integrations than Stripe
  • Payanywhere includes termination fees and inactivity fees


  • Pay per transaction fee based on payment method
  • In-person transactions: a flat-rate fee of 2.69%
  • Card-not-present payment: 3.49% plus 19 cents per transaction. 
  • Inactivity fee: $3.99 per month (if you don’t process a transaction for a year).

How Does it Compare to Stripe?

If you’re a small seller consistently processing under $5,000 per month — or your average transaction volumes are under $20, Payanywhere’s pricing structure is more affordable than Stripe and some Stripe alternatives.

But if you’re pushing higher volumes of sales or want free POS systems, Stripe or other alternatives like Square might offer you better value for money.


Stripe is a great tool, but it isn’t perfect. 

You need to know what you’re getting into before you build an entire tech stack around this single tool — and although it could make sense to get started with Stripe as an early-stage business trying to manage recurring billing, you’ll be terribly surprised how quickly you might outgrow Stripe’s billing feature.

The truth is that there are a lot of cheaper and easier-to-use Stripe competitors available out there in the marketplace. You’ll also be able to find quite a few payment gateways that offer better native POS functionality. But the top reason growing businesses need to look beyond Stripe is Stripe Billing.