The Ultimate Payment War: Stripe vs PayPal vs vs Adyen

Businesses tend to evolve. There has been a gradual rise and fall of a certain niche of business. SaaS businesses have been on the rise in the last decade and will continue to rise. It started as a million-dollar industry which then evolved into a billion-dollar industry and is now on the verge of becoming a trillion-dollar industry.

In the same way, payment gateways and payment processors have become an integral part of every industry. No matter what business you are running, you will be using payment gateways and payment processors one way or another.

So, it’s time to decide which payment system should you opt for, for your business. We’ll do a thorough run of all 4 software: Stripe, PayPal,, and Adyen. We’ll discuss their pricing, structures, integrations, ease of use as well as the maturity of the product.

Let’s dive right into the ultimate payment war with a little preview of payment systems!

What Is The Main Difference Between Payment Gateways And Payment Processors?

By definition,

Payment processors are companies that function as a mediator between merchants, customers, and financial institutions that process transactions. They are entities that synchronize non-cash transactions by validating all information and also distribute funds to the merchant, once a sale is completed.

Payment processing services include authorization, funding, and settling of a transaction.

On the other hand,

A payment gateway is a technology used by merchants to accept debit or credit card purchases from customers. The term includes not only the physical card-reading devices found in brick-and-mortar retail stores but also the payment processing portals found in online stores.

Here’s how payment gateways usually work:

  • Customer enters card information, online or in-person
  • The data is encrypted by the payment gateway
  • A payment merchant sends the data to the acquirer
  • The payment gets passed through a credit card network to the cardholder’s issuing bank
  • The transaction gets approved or denied by the issuing bank
  • This information is passed from the issuing bank through the card network to the acquirer, then through the gateway to the customer – in the form of a message of payment acceptance or decline

Why Go for A Payment Gateway?

You might be wondering why a payment gateway is important for your business. Well, e-payments were on the rise even before COVID hit and since 2020 they have skyrocketed. Online transactions, tap-to-pay transactions, mobile banking have crossed the 150% margin and are still on the rise. The traffic for these payments is insanely huge.

There is still some skepticism surrounding e-payments. But in this digital age, skepticism is not going to last very long. There have been significant milestones achieved and digital security has been at its best.

If you want to have an online presence, or go digital with your business, you need to have a secure yet good payment gateway in your basket. You need to accommodate your clients with all types of purchases they make and their preferred payment mode whether it be Venmo, Apple Pay, or a credit card transaction. Payment Gateways are going to make your life and business easier.

What are Stripe, PayPal,, and Adyen?

Let’s take an overlook based on all mentioned payment systems:


Stripe was founded in 2011 in the heart of San Francisco. Stripe was designed keeping future technologies in mind. Stripe’s mission is to build an economic infrastructure for the internet. They commit to increasing the GDP of the internet. And for this purpose, Stripe has worked hard to maintain and upgrade its systems.

Stripe is available globally which is a part of its bigger mission. Stripe is currently being used on over 142,000 websites. Big e-commerce names like WooCommerce, Magneto are partners with Stripe.

The two primary products it offers are:

Stripe Connect

It is a customizable version for small businesses. Pre-made user interfaces are available but you can customize them according to your business needs. It works in more than 30 countries with over 135 currencies.

Stripe Checkout

It mostly handles mobile checkout with the desktop version available as well. Its supports over 25 languages.


PayPal was founded in 1998. It is one of the oldest payment systems available in the market and can be used for both personal and business purposes. PayPal is being used on a global scale. Major companies including Hulu, Spotify Premium, and Wix use PayPal as a payment gateway.

PayPal’s mission is to democratize financial services to ensure that everyone, regardless of background or economic standing, has access to affordable, convenient, and secure products and services to take control of their financial lives.

PayPal also offers two products:

PayPal Payments Standard:

This is the easiest version for business owners. If you don’t have any developer or coding experience you can simply copy-paste the code or install a plug-in catering to your cart needs, all accomplished within 15 minutes.

PayPal Payments Pro:

This is the customizable option. You can customize your checkout, and get access to a virtual terminal. You’ll be able to accept phone payments as well. was founded in 1996 and acquired by Visa Inc. in 2010. The goal of was to expand into the e-commerce market, improve data security, and prevent online fraud. It offers multiple services including mobile payments, e-check, billing, and mobile card readers.

They accept multiple transactions including Visa, Visa Click to Pay, PayPal, AmEx, Mastercard, Discover, etc. It supports currencies region-wise and integrates with big names like Magneto, Big Commerce, etc. They offer POS systems for virtual sales as well. offers two plans for payment processing:


It is useful for small businesses who only want a payment gateway system and a merchant account with limited services and no multiple add-ons. It gives you the option to automate recurring billing. E-check payments processing costs extra.

Payment Gateway Only

Small businesses that already have merchant accounts can get a payment gateway facility as well. The payments are processed this way in batches from transactions lasting up to the previous 24 hours. Automated recurring billing is included in the plan while extra is charged for e-check payments processing.


Adyen, a Dutch company was founded in 2006 that works as both a payment service provider and payment gateway. It has dominated the European market for close to two decades now. The Adyen platform enables businesses to accept payments, protect revenue, and control their finances in a single system

As per an official statement, the philosophy of Adyen is to support merchants in growing their business while reducing payment complexity. If merchants want to embrace a new payment technology Adyen will support these while aiming to keep it simple for the merchants.

For brick-and-mortar businesses, Adyen might not be the best choice. It works best for high-volume merchants. Adyen has the status of an acquiring bank in Europe (European banking status). Adyen is being used by MANGO, Etsy, Uber, McDonald’s, etc.

Adyen acts as a payment gateway, payment service provider, POS for in-point transactions and offers risk management and local acquiring. It also has integration abilities for in-app or mobile payments.

04 Key components of Stripe, PayPal,, and Adyen

  1. Pricing

The make or break for any business is its pricing. If I wanted to choose between any of the payment systems, the first thing to look at would be the price.

The basic fee per transaction for all is 2.9% + 30c per transaction.

PayPal: structures the fees based on:

  • Transaction region (the U.S or international)
  • Payment scale (large or micro)
  • Payment Version (mobile, online, or in-store)
  • Checkout category (hosted, embedded, customized)
  • Currency conversion
  • Chargebacks or Refunds
  • Recurring Billing
  • AmEx Payments
  • Mobile card reader transactions

Stripe: has more simple structures in place. For in-person payments, the fee is 2.7% + 5c per transaction. You are charged a 3.9% base fee per international transaction as well as refunds, chargebacks, currency conversions, invoicing services, and disputes. charges you a monthly fee of $25. With a merchant account, you need to pay a fee of 2.9% + 30c per transaction. If you are only using a payment gateway there is a daily fee of 10c and also a 10c daily batch fee. ACH transactions cost extra and so does e-check processing.

Adyen: processing fee is region-based. Adyen charges a processing fee plus payment method fee per transaction. For instance, credit card fees for Mastercard and Visa transactions are based on an interchange ++ pricing model. There are no monthly fees, setup fees, closure fees, or integration fees with Adyen. For ACH and wallet payments, fees are specific to the respective payment method.

  1. Payment Methods

PayPal: Acceptable PayPal payment methods are as follows:

  • PayPal Credit, Cash and Cash Plus
  • Credit and/or Debit cards
  • Phone payments

Not all payment types are readily available. It all depends on the payment solution or tier you have chosen as your go-to solution.

Stripe: acceptable Stripe payment methods are as follows:

  • Google Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • AliPay
  • AmEx Checkout
  • Visa Checkout
  • Credit and/or debit cards
  • WeChat Pay
  • ACH transactions
  • EPS
  • FPX
  • International cards and many more only supports:

  • Visa
  • AmEx
  • Discover
  • Mastercard
  • PayPal
  • Apple Pay
  • JCB
  • Visa Click to Pay
  • E-check payments

Adyen allows customization of payment solutions meaning you get to accept and process payment in a way that is most suitable to your business. You can integrate your checkout by a pre-made interface and create your payment form, payment flow, etc. Adyen accepts multiple payment methods based on the region including but not limited to

  • Boleto
  • Elo
  • Google Pay
  • AmEx
  • Apple Pay
  • Maestro
  • Oxxo
  • PayPal
  • UnionPay
  • V-Pay
  1. Currencies, Countries, and Regions

PayPal accepts payments from users in over 200 countries and can process up to 25 currencies.

Stripe is available in 47 countries and can process over 135 currencies. can only accept transactions from merchants located in the USA, Canada, and Australia. It accepts 3 different currencies for Australian transactions, 2 for USA and Canada, and 8 currencies for UK and Europe.

Adyen dominates the European and North American markets. Adyen is a leading provider of omnichannel payment solutions with over 250 payment methods and 187 transaction currencies.

  1. Core Features

Stripe offers a whole plethora of features including Authorization, Dispute Handling, Financial Reporting, Clean Canvas, Invoice, Open-Source Plugin, Payment Options, Mobile Customer Interface, Embeddable Checkout, Multicurrency Payouts, Roles and Permissions, Accounting Integrations, Unified Payout, Payout Timing, Consolidated Reports, Custom UI Toolkit, and Collaboration Notes. offers a limited set of features. Most of the times companies run into as the gateway for a payment processor for other companies but you can directly sign up with as well. The merchant account needs to be bought separately and isn’t in-house. It also offers a virtual POS that allows you to add card information manually.

Automated recurring billing is also one of the main features that markets. As advanced or additional features, includes free Advanced Fraud Detection Suite, e-check processing, and Customer Information Management.

PayPal also offers a range of features including but not limited to Reporting/Analytics, Data Import/Export, Order Management, Access Controls/Permissions, Shopping Cart, Multiple Payment Options, and Compliance Management.

Adyen possesses various features including API, Third-Party Integrations, Customizable Branding, Reporting/Analytics, Compliance Management, Multi-Currency, Electronic Signature, and Debit/Credit Card Processing.

The Ultimate Winner!

The ultimate winner is going to be the one you decide on! Depending on the size of your business, the requirements of your business, and how you want to proceed with payments is going to decide the ultimate winner for you.

We have given you a thorough run of all 4 payment systems so that you can make the best possible choice, that is not going to be convenient but is going to help you grow as well.

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