In today’s digital age, payment processing has become the backbone of any successful business. As more transactions shift towards online and digital channels, choosing the right payment processing platform is crucial for ensuring seamless and secure transactions. Among the myriad of options available, two giants stand out: Stripe and Square.
Below, we delve into a detailed comparison of Stripe and Square, two leading payment processing platforms that cater to businesses of all sizes. From fees and plans to integrations, ease of use, and customer support, we explore the key factors differentiating these platforms to help you make an informed decision for your business.
|Pricing||Check Price||Check Price|
|Transaction fees||2.9% + $0.30 for swipe, chip, and manually keyed payments + 1% for international transactions|
Additional 1% if currency conversion is required
|2.6% + $0.10 for in-person payments|
3.5% + $0.15 for manually keyed payments
|Payment methods||Supports all major credit and debit cards in over 135 different currencies as well as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal||Supports all major credit and debit cards, as well as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal|
|Customer support||Offers customer support via phone, email, and chat||Offers customer support via phone, email, and chat|
|API support||Extensive API documentation and developer tools||Robust APIs and SDKs for integration|
At A Glance: Stripe vs Square
Founded in 2010 by Irish entrepreneurs John and Patrick Collison, Stripe has emerged as a global leader in the payment processing industry. Recognized for its robust suite of developer tools and extensive API documentation, Stripe has established itself as a go-to platform for businesses seeking flexible and customizable payment solutions.
With headquarters in San Francisco, California, Stripe has expanded its reach to over 40 countries, making it an attractive option for businesses with international operations.
Square, founded in 2009 by Jack Dorsey, is renowned for revolutionizing the way small businesses accept payments. Initially focused on providing a convenient mobile payment solution, Square has grown into a comprehensive ecosystem of products and services. Its flagship product, the Square Reader, allows businesses to accept card payments on smartphones and tablets.
Square has also developed a robust point-of-sale (POS) system that caters to brick-and-mortar businesses. Over the years, Square has expanded its offerings to include e-commerce tools, inventory management, and invoicing solutions, making it a versatile choice for businesses of all types and sizes.
Integrations and Payment Options
When it comes to integrations and payment options, both Stripe and Square offer a wide range of choices to meet the diverse needs of businesses.
Stripe boasts strong partnerships with various software, platform, and cloud providers, allowing businesses to seamlessly integrate their solutions or easily connect with Stripe for deployment. Notably, Stripe offers robust integrations with popular platforms like Shopify, Ecwid, WooCommerce, WordPress, Wix, and many more.
With over 100 e-commerce tools, Stripe facilitates analytics, payments, taxes, shopping carts, and other essential functionalities.
One of Stripe’s key advantages is its extensive range of payment options, providing businesses with a flexible checkout experience. It supports major credit card networks, digital wallets, and money transfer services globally. Additionally, Stripe enables transactions in over 130 currencies, making it an excellent choice for e-commerce businesses, recurring subscriptions, and invoicing.
Whether you prioritize a wide range of integrations or seek specific in-person payment features, both Stripe and Square offer valuable options tailored to different business requirements.
On the other hand, Square supports major credit card networks, wallets, and NFC service providers to accommodate both online and in-person transactions. While availability may vary by country, Square does not charge additional fees for international transactions.
Square integrates seamlessly with popular software solutions such as Acuity Scheduling, GoDaddy Websites and Marketing, Wix, WooCommerce, JotForm, and more, expanding its capabilities for businesses.
Square’s standout feature lies in its solid in-person payment features and the availability of payment processing hardware, including card readers, POS terminals, registers, and more. Moreover, Square offers a range of business tools à la carte, such as text marketing, email marketing, invoicing, payroll, and customer directory, providing businesses with additional resources to enhance their operations.
Pricing and Plans
Both Stripe and Square adopt a pay-as-you-go pricing model as their entry-level option, ensuring that businesses are charged only when they process payments.
|Stripe Pricing||Square Pricing|
|Integrated: 2.9% + 30¢ per successful card charge|
Customized: Custom package for business
|Free: $0/mo. + processing fees|
Plus: Starts at $29/mo. + processing fees
Premium: Custom pricing + processing fees
For companies with unique business models, complex operations, and higher sales volumes, both Stripe and Square offer customized pricing options to cater to specific needs. Square, in addition to its pay-as-you-go model, provides a Plus Plan tailored to advanced features specifically designed for businesses in the restaurant, retail, or appointment-based industries.
Both Stripe and Square offer a range of software integrations and business tools, which are available for an additional fee, allowing businesses to tailor their payment processing experience to their requirements.
Stripe provides over 100 features as part of its per-transaction pricing package, including tools for optimized checkout, support for global payments, and robust data security and encryption, among others.
For in-person transactions and brick-and-mortar stores, Stripe offers Stripe Terminal to help businesses build their point of sale and create a customized checkout experience, including personalized email receipts and reader splash screens.
In contrast, Square’s additional tools can be selected à la carte, enabling businesses to mix and match depending on their specific needs. Moreover, Square offers a wide range of point-of-sale (POS) hardware options, ensuring businesses can select the most suitable hardware setup for their operations.
Stripe charges a standard rate of 2.9% plus $0.30 per successful card charge, which is on par with Square’s in-person transaction fee. However, Stripe does impose additional charges in certain cases. For manually entered cards, an extra 0.5% is applied, making it important to consider the nature of your business and the likelihood of manually entering card details.
Moreover, Stripe adds a 1.5% charge for international cards and an additional 1% if currency conversion is required. These fees should be considered if your business operates globally or deals with international customers.
Alternatively, if you frequently process ACH Direct Debit transactions, Stripe offers a rate of 0.8% per transaction with a $5 cap, making it an attractive option for businesses that primarily rely on this payment method. For invoicing, Stripe charges 0.4% per paid invoice with a $2 cap per invoice, providing a cost-effective solution for businesses that generate invoices regularly.
On the other hand, Square’s standard processing fee is slightly lower than Stripe’s, at 2.6% plus $0.10 for contactless payments, swiped or inserted chip cards, and swiped magstripe cards. This makes Square a compelling choice for businesses that handle a significant number of in-person transactions.
However, Square’s fees increase for certain scenarios. Payments that are manually keyed-in, processed using Card on File, or manually entered using Virtual Terminal incur a fee of 3.5% plus $0.15. Meanwhile, invoices processed through Square cost 2.9% plus $0.30.
Ease of Use
When it comes to the ease of use, both Stripe and Square offer unique advantages, catering to different user preferences and technical expertise.
Stripe, while relatively user-friendly, requires some initial effort to set up due to its reliance on third-party tools. However, where Stripe truly shines is in its developer tools. Business owners with coding knowledge or in-house developers can leverage Stripe’s branded and custom UI toolkit, allowing for a tailored payment experience.
This level of customization is ideal for businesses seeking a seamless integration of payment processing into their existing platforms. On the downside, for those without coding expertise, setting up the platform may be more challenging and might necessitate seeking technical support.
On the other hand, Square stands out as an easy-to-use payment solution, providing a user-friendly experience for all. Whether you need to create a website from scratch or integrate payment processing into your retail storefront, Square allows you to get up and running swiftly.
The all-in-one nature of Square’s POS tools further enhances its ease of use, accepting various payment types without hassle. This accessibility makes Square a fantastic choice for small businesses or individuals who may not possess extensive technical knowledge or have dedicated developers.
Ultimately, the decision between Stripe and Square based on ease of use will depend on your business’s technical capabilities and your comfort level with the degree of customization needed. While Stripe offers powerful customization for businesses with coding resources, Square caters to a broader audience, making it a top pick for simplicity and convenience.
Stripe and Square offer various channels to assist their users.
Stripe provides 24/7 customer support to its users. Customers can expect a response to their queries via email within 24 hours. Additionally, chat and phone call support are available in English and Japanese, with an average wait time of 3 minutes.
For large businesses that require expedited support, Stripe offers support plans starting at $1,800 per month, ensuring faster response times and dedicated assistance.
Developers can also benefit from Stripe’s live chat support for technical questions through their developer chat platform. Furthermore, Stripe offers a comprehensive knowledge base with informative articles and topics to help users find answers to common questions.
On the other hand, Square offers phone and live chat support in both English and Spanish. However, it’s important to note that these channels are only available during regular business hours. In addition to phone and live chat, Square provides support through email and various social media platforms.
Moreover, Square offers resources such as forums and a Slack community channel specifically designed to assist developers in configuring Square’s payment APIs.
Stripe holds the upper hand in terms of availability across different countries and its robust support for international payments. With its wide range of partnerships across major credit cards, Stripe offers a seamless experience for businesses operating globally.
On the other hand, Square excels in providing versatile point-of-sale (POS) systems, making it an ideal choice for businesses that require flexible and efficient in-person transactions. Square’s dedicated plans for specific industries further enhance its appeal, ensuring tailored solutions for businesses in various sectors. Moreover, Square boasts lower in-person transaction fees compared to Stripe.
When it comes to making a decision between Stripe and Square, it ultimately boils down to your specific business requirements. Consider the nature of your transactions, the proportion of international customers you serve, and your preferred payment methods. Carefully evaluate the fee structures and features offered by both platforms to determine which one aligns best with your business needs.