Many of our clients who have a WordPress Content Management Systems (CMS) also require a payment gateway for their online store, or a way of making payments for the services they are receiving. Two of the top third-party payment processors are Stripe, and of course PayPal. Both are quite similar, but the details will decide which may be best for you.
Overview of PayPal
PayPal is probably the most widely known payment gateway and has been in existence since 1998. It allows for online credit card payments, or you can apply funds to your PayPal account in advance, for when you want to purchase something later. Basically, a PayPal piggy bank or wallet. For those who aren’t technology lovers, PayPal is considered more user friendly then some of the others.
The installation of PayPal onto a website is relatively simple with the advent of WordPress Plugins, and therefore, only requires a bit of time to set them up properly. All experienced developers will be able to incorporate the plugin with minimal set up time. PayPal is also a well-trusted gateway that allows for refunds with relative ease. As far as fees go, PayPal charges 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. The fees can vary if used internationally though! So be aware of where purchases are being made.
When integrating PayPal into a WordPress website, the checkout process is very simple. It redirects your customers to its own site for payments, so you don’t have to worry about any issues on your website. As a result, most PayPal integrations will result in off-site payments through the PayPal website.
Overview of Stripe
Stripe is a fairly new contender in online payment gateways, having been founded in 2010. It has grown in popularly because of its flexibility to be integrated into a customized online storefront or complex platform. Instead of taking you off-site, Stripe can be integrated so that your customers pay for their products on-site, and just enter their credit card information. That way, it gives them a unique and customized shopping experience.
The cost of the service is the same with a 2.9% fee plus a 30 cent charge per transaction. Refunds are free, but there is a $15 fee for charge-backs. Overall, compared to PayPal, Stripe’s fees are generally more favourable per transaction, whether the transaction is domestic or international. However, integration costs for Stripe can sometimes be a bit more, since web developers are required to help code and build something custom. If you’re using WooCommerce, Stripe is quite easy to set up and install as well. However, the fact that it has numerous merchant tools and extensions means that when more customization is required, it will be more expensive to set things up.
Do I Have to Choose? Why Not Get Both?
To be honest, most people may think that if there’s such a huge debate between PayPal and Stripe, why not use both? Well, you can. However, you also need to understand that if you’re using two different systems, you have to potentially deal with twice as many problems. And that’s when we take a look at the support system for both PayPal and Stripe. PayPal has had numerous issues in their technical support department, in that it cannot keep up with the influx of tickets they receive and are not always available. Meanwhile, Stripe has 24/7 customer service support and usually responds to ticket requests and complaints fairly soon. In terms of support, Stripe has a slight advantage.
So, if you’re okay with dealing with both companies for technical support, having two separate payment gateways could make your website more convenient to shoppers. If you have a smaller shop and don’t want to deal with too many companies for payment issues, then you’ll have to pick between the two.
The Final Verdict
PayPal has its advantages, and Stripe has its advantages. So, picking the best payment gateway for your website really depends on what you want out of your store, and what your needs are.
If you’re looking at a bunch of microtransactions (small payments) and a subscription service, then PayPal would be the easiest and most convenient choice. This is because it allows for more currencies, and has a better system for recurring charges and refunds that doesn’t require too much web development.
For everything else, we would recommend Stripe. Once you go with Stripe, you’re looking at integrating an on-site payment gateway onto your website, which allows you to connect with and further integrate this gateway with other apps and databases.