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Top 3 alternatives to Stripe for small businesses

Consider your coding skills and monthly sales when sizing up these payment processors.

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Stripe is a coder’s playground with its sprawling suite of sophisticated developer tools. But you’ll need the technical know-how to take advantage of all Stripe has to offer. These three Stripe competitors offer website hosting for your online store, competitive pricing, and point-of-sale (POS) software that you don’t have to build yourself.

3 alternatives to Stripe

Stripe offers clear-cut pricing, 24/7 customer support and extensive software integration. Its competition offers similar features — and even a few extra.

Square

  • Best for businesses without technical coding experience.
  • Pricing: Free to $72 monthly
  • Free trial: 30 days

Like Stripe, Square is another big name in the payment processing industry. It also offers in-person and e-commerce solutions with a heap of integration options. But it sets itself apart with its user-friendly interface. Stripe might be an attractive option for developers, but Square is the way to go for those who aren’t tech-savvy.

Pros

  • Free e-commerce solution. Square hosts your online store and has an intuitive website building tool with premade templates.
  • Competitive pricing. Square’s in-person processing fee is cheaper than Stripe for purchases $50+.
  • POS system. Get point-of-sale hardware and software for your brick and mortar store.

Cons

  • Limited support. Unless you’re on Square’s Restaurant Plus Plan, customer service is only available by email, live chat or by phone on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT.
  • Payout delays. Square can hold your money if it considers a transaction risky. It’s “rolling reserve” policy says it can freeze the funds for as long as the provider feels is reasonable.

Fattmerchant

  • Best for businesses that have over $10,000 in monthly credit card sales.
  • Pricing: $99 to $199 monthly
  • Free trial: Not available

Like Stripe, Fattmerchant has round-the-clock customer support. But Fattmerchant upstages Stripe if you bring in more than $10,000 a month.

Instead of a flat-rate fee, Fattmerchant charges an interchange fee, which is what credit card providers charge businesses to accept their cards. And since they don’t pad the processing fee, you might end up paying less than Stripe’s flat rate — even with Fattmerchant’s monthly fees. Plus, Fattmerchant issues merchant accounts, which generally means more account stability and fewer transaction holds.

Pros

  • Markup-free interchange. Fattmerchant doesn’t charge a margin to its interchange fee, which is unusual in the payment processing industry.
  • 24/7 support. Continuous tech support by email, live chat and phone.
  • No cancellation fee. Uses month-to-month plans with no termination fee. Its cancellation policy requires 30 days’ written notice.

Cons

  • Expensive for some businesses. Monthly subscriptions start at $99, and it charges a processing fee on each sale. For online and over-the-phone transactions, you’ll also need to pay a monthly fee for a virtual terminal and its shopping cart plug-in.
  • Third-party hardware. Uses Dejavoo terminals and Chipper mobile card reads to process in-person sales. Third-party equipment could leave you hopping between providers if you need help.

Paypal Here

  • Best for businesses that want an integrated POS and an e-commerce check-out solution.
  • Pricing: Free to $30 monthly
  • Free trial: Not available

Like Stripe, PayPal is well-known in e-commerce as a secure middleman between merchants and buyers. Both platforms now offer point-of-sale systems and unify your sales channels onto one dashboard. But PayPal’s POS system comes with its own software — with Stripe you build your own or choose from one of its partners.

Pros

  • No startup or termination fee. Sign up for free and leave anytime without penalty.
  • Transparent pricing. Like Stripe, PayPal publishes its rates and fees on its website.
  • POS system. For brick-and-mortar stores, PayPal’s point-of-sale system lets you process in-person sales and manage inventory from your PayPal app. The PayPal-integrated hardware costs extra.
  • E-commerce payment processing. Customers can checkout using a PayPal account or credit or debit card.

Cons

  • Monthly fee on Payments Pro plan. If you want to keep the buyer on your site throughout the entire checkout process like Stripe, you’ll need to upgrade and pay $30 monthly plus the standard transaction fee.
  • No website hosting. You’ll need to set up your online shop before adding PayPal as a payment gateway.

Compare other alternatives to Stripe

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Monthly fees start at Processing fees start at Processing time High-risk merchants accepted?
Chase Merchant Services
None
2.6% + 10¢ per swiped credit card
Next day when you deposit into a Chase business checking account
No
Accept, process and deposit customer payments in your store, online or on-the-go.
Fattmerchant
$99/month
$0.08 + interchange per transaction
Next day for qualified businesses
No
Businesses that process more than $10,000 monthly can save with Fattmerchant's interchange+ pricing.
Square
None
2.9% + 10¢
Next day
No
Square is a one-stop shop with both e-commerce and in-person solutions.
Helcim
$20/month
1.92% + $0.08 per transaction
Two business days
No
Conveniently packaged into three service tiers for in-person and online sales.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

These Stripe alternatives are armed with features that Stripe lacks, such as POS software, web hosting and competitive pricing. The best payment processor comes down to your business needs and your monthly sales.

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