Stripe vs Paypal: Which Is Best for WordPress?

stripe vs paypal

Deciding between Stripe vs PayPal for your WordPress site can be a daunting task. They both bring many features to the table, and it can be challenging to set up a good comparison of the two.

If you’re running a business, you need the best option for you right now. No one wants to try them both before deciding. After all, you’ve got a business to run and money to make.

That’s why in this article we’re going to compare Stripe to PayPal for you to help you find the best option for your needs.

What Does Stripe Do?

Stripe is a service that accepts payments online. It lets you receive and send money online. Stripe shines in the world of software engineers and tech companies. While a lot of smaller businesses use Stripe, a lot of large companies do too, such as Lyft and Blue Apron.

What Does PayPal Do?

PayPal is also an online payment service. It’s by far the more well known of the two. PayPal has been around since 1998 and has over 290 million customer accounts. Until Stripe came along, PayPal had little competition. 

Can You Use Both Stripe and PayPal?

Using both Stripe and PayPal is an option, if it’s viable for your business. Most eCommerce platforms allow you to use both such as the popular WooCommerce platform or even Shopify.

That said, most online businesses won’t need two payment services. So, if you’d like to stick with or start with one, this guide is excellent in helping you decide which is right for you.

So, let’s get started.

1. Security

A significant factor for using a third party for payment processing is so you don’t have to worry about security issues. Whichever third party option you got with – either Stripe or PayPal – you can expect there will always be great security measures in place. 

In fact, security is often online payment service’s best selling points. Plus, security is how companies maintain their credibility. If Stripe were more secure than PayPal or vice versa, then the less secure option would go out of business.

Winner: Tie

Another way to ensure the security of your site and your customers’ sensitive information is to know when to switch web hosts. This can not only further secure your site but speed it up also.

2. Transaction Fees

One of the first things to consider when deciding between Stripe vs PayPal is the transaction fees for each. Transaction fees are fees that you pay every time someone makes a purchase. Though transaction fees are typically low, they can add up quickly over time.

So how much will it cost to run Stripe or PayPal for your business?

PayPal transaction fees

Both online payment services are free to use, which makes them very appealing. All you have to do is sign up and you’re ready to start accepting payments on your site.

That said, they still have set transaction fees you’ll need to look out for.

Stripe transaction fees

Standard Fees for Stripe and PayPal

Both PayPal and Stripe charge the same transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. Not that this is only the price for purchases made from within the United States. International fees will vary for each service depending on the service and location of the purchase.

Winner: Tie

3. Micropayments

Micropayments are those that come in under $10. In our Stripe vs PayPal showdown, PayPal wipes the floor with Stripe when it comes to micropayments.

Let’s take a look:


2.9% + 30¢ per micropayment transaction


5% + 5¢ per micropayment transaction

As you can see, it is much more cost effective to process small purchase transactions on your eCommerce site and make money online using PayPal.

Winner: PayPal

4. Set Up and Ease of Use

Both Stripe and PayPal are easy to use once set up.

That said, Stripe is known for being more customizable than PayPal. And, with extended customization, you can expect Stripe to be a bit more tricky to use. For example, to embed a Pay With Card button on your WordPress site, Stripe requires development knowledge, making it tough for non-technical users.

Winner for Developers: Stripe

Winner for Non-Developers: PayPal

5. Customer Support

It’s crucial to have quality support when you’re running a business. So, when it comes to Stripe vs PayPal, which online payment service is going to win?

Stripe now offers 24/7 live chat and phone support, which they’ve only recently begun doing. If it weren’t for this, Stripe surely would have lost in this category to PayPal. This is a huge step up for these services as they’ve never offered anything similar before.

Stripe email support ticket

PayPal, on the other hand, isn’t anywhere close to Stripe’s new level. All they offer is phone support (restricted to specific hours), email tickets, and forums. There is no live chat support available, which is important when you need help right away and can’t call in.

PayPal call service hours

While having forums is nice since it allows the community to chime in and help others, it’s not nearly as good as having actual live support. There have been recent talks from PayPal to up their customer support game to match that of Stripe soon.

Winner: Stripe

6. Transaction Checkout

Potential customers are directly affected by their checkout experience on any website.

Don’t believe us? Check out these surprising cart abandonment statistics and stop wasting opportunities to convert more customers and generate more sales.

With Stripe, the cart checkout process is highly customizable; however, if you go with the default set up, it’s simple. All your customers have to do is enter their payment information and view a page thanking them for their purchase. 

In face, with Stripe, you can customize what happens at every step in the checkout process.

PayPal, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated. As a customer wanting to finalize a purchase using PayPal, your customer first goes to your online shop’s checkout page.

PayPal button example

Then they have to click the “PayPal” button on the checkout page, which is going to launch a popup window for PayPal. From there, your customer must finalize their payment through the PayPal modal popup window that appears.

When the payment is made, your customer then returns to your website.

This is problematic for many reasons:

  • There are many places to click and one error may result in non-payment
  • Directing customers away from your eCommerce shop may cause them to abandon their shopping cart
  • Any time there’s an error, glitch, or a slowdown, your customer may become frustrated and not finalize a purchase

It’s essential to have a streamlined process from the time a customer begins the checkout process on your site until the end when they see a ‘thank you’ message.

Winner: Stripe

7. Third-Party Plugins

Software developers love Stripe because it was made with developers in mind. More specifically, it was built with integration and customization in mind. This means that WordPress plugin authors have a hay day writing plugins for Stripe.

It also means online business owners have more choice when it comes to adding Stripe to their WordPress websites.

stripe wordpress plugins

PayPal is a lot more static and challenging to create plugins for. If you only need your plugins to do the bare minimum, then PayPal’s limited integrations might be a viable option. Otherwise, Stripe is the go-to in this category.

Winner: Stripe

8. Getting Paid

Another essential factor for everyone running a business is how money from purchases will be received.

Neither Stripe nor PayPal require a merchant account to use. They both work on their own just fine. All you need to use either option is an active bank account on record. Then, when a payment is made through your eCommerce shop, the money is directly transferred to you.

Stripe sends business owners their money in two business days, while PayPal does it in just one business day. This makes PayPal a bit better than Stripe when it comes to getting paid.

Winner: PayPal

9. International Business

This applies not only to businesses that deal directly with other businesses outside the US, but also to businesses with clients outside the US.

Where are Stripe and PayPal supported?

Stripe is currently only available in 34 countries as of right now.

PayPal, on the other hand, is available in over 200 countries around the world.

You can use Stripe Atlas as a workaround for Stripe’s unavailability in many countries. And while this still isn’t as good as PayPal’s coverage, it is a step in the right direction.

While PayPal is accepted in more countries, Stripe accepts more forms of currency. They support over 135 different currencies, while PayPal only supports 25.

Though Stripe accepts more currencies, availability is more important in growing your business across the globe.

Winner: PayPal

If your site does a lot of international business, having a good translation plugin for WordPress could help your customers from other countries navigate your site, no matter which online payment service you choose to use.

You Decide: Stripe vs PayPal, Which is Better?

Both Stripe and PayPal have their place in eCommerce for now. Both options are good, and the one you choose you might only hinge on answers to a few questions:

  • Are you processing mostly micropayments? If so, then PayPal is an excellent fit for you.
  • Do you want to take the extra time to set up Stripe? If not, then PayPal might be the right move.
  • Will I need any plugins? If so, Stripe is the way to go.

All in all, both can be viable, and if you can’t bring yourself to decide on just one of the two, then maybe both is a good option.

The good news is that Stripe and PayPal are working to make their platforms the definitive superior. They’re in a constant battle back and forth to push the boundaries. This is amazing for for online business owners and customers alike because each online payment service is continually strive to outdo the other.

Are you struggling to increase sales despite using a high-quality online payment service like Stripe or PayPal? If so, be sure to check out these tips for creating a highly converting landing page and start generating more revenue than ever before.

Which online payment service – Stripe or PayPal – do you use to process transactions on your eCommerce shop? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

WPHacks Editorial
Disclosure: This post may contains affiliate links. This means we make a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

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