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PayPal vs Stripe vs Authorize.net vs Amazon Pay – Which Is Best for Your Site?

TL;DR: In this post, we’re taking a closer look at payment gateways. This includes comparing the industry’s main players, plus we’ll be calculating the most cost-effective service. Here’s who the winner is between: PayPal vs Stripe vs Authorize.net vs Amazon Pay.

These days, practically anyone can run an online business – all that you need, really, is a website.

The barriers to entry are coming down constantly, making now as good a time as any to break free from your cubicle and brave it on your own.

PayPal vs Stripe vs Authorize vs Amazon Pay
Before you jump in, however, you have one other important consideration to make. Businesses need money to survive, but collecting money from your website doesn’t happen by magic. To collect customer payments directly via your website, you need to choose and install a payment gateway.

Are you looking to make the correct payment gateway decision for your business? Then read on!

Table of Contents
What is a Payment Gateway? |  PayPal Payments  | Stripe |  Authorize.net  | Amazon Pay |  Which Payment Gateway Should You Choose? 

What is a Payment Gateway?

So before we start the comparisons, what actually is a payment gateway?

Simply put, payment gateways are used by online businesses to authorize and process customer transactions. In other words, without a payment gateway, a business doesn’t get paid.

Now, even if you’ve never set up a payment gateway yourself, we’ve all used them before from a customer’s perspective – if you’ve ever bought anything online, that is, which should be everyone!

Every time you make a purchase with Amazon, your payment goes through Amazon’s payment gateway. PayPal is another instantly recognizable payment gateway that you’ve probably used before.

Today, we’re not looking at payment gateways from a customer’s perspective, though; we’re looking at it from the other side – from a business owner’s perspective, aka the merchant.

 Every business needs a payment gateway in order to handle payments from their website . Not all payment gateways are created equally, however. There are a few important things to weigh up when choosing a payment gateway, including:
Compatibility:
Does the payment gateway integrate with your chosen ecommerce platform?
Accessibility:
Is the payment gateway available in your country?
Usability:
What is the checkout process like for your customers?
Cost:
How much does the service cost?
Cash out duration:
How quickly can you access your funds?
These are all the factors we’ll be considering in today’s post. Now, though,  it’s time to introduce four of the most popular payment gateways available . Coincidentally, these are also the four most popular payment gateways for WooCommerce.

Let’s get on with it, here’s the comparison:

PayPal vs Stripe vs Authorize.net vs Amazon Pay

PayPal Payments

PayPal Payments
We all have PayPal accounts, right? This is why PayPal Payments is one of the most popular payment gateways of all.

A big reason for this: PayPal Payments is perhaps the easiest payment gateway to configure. Regular users will know that customers are redirected to the PayPal website to make their payment. As such, there are no processing, authorization, and security issues for you to worry about at your end – simply add a Pay with PayPal button on your website, and let PayPal handle the rest.

 
This checkout procedure is a downside, however, as many ecommerce business owners dislike redirecting customers away to the external PayPal website – you’re effectively relinquishing control of the checkout experience. Handling all payments on-site is a far more streamlined checkout procedure, which, unfortunately, isn’t supported by PayPal Payments.

But with no setup costs or monthly fees to worry about, plus a free, seamless integration with WooCommerce, PayPal Payments is ideal for small business owners just starting out.

A few key points to consider:

  • PayPal Payments is available in over 200 countries.
  • US fees start at 2.29% + $0.09 per transaction for in-person payments.
  • Online payments start at 2.59% + $0.49 per transaction for credit cards.
  • If a customer wants to pay you online using their PayPal account, the prices start at 3.49% + $0.49 per transaction.
  • No startup costs or monthly fees.
  • Customers can pay with any major credit card, their PayPal account, digital wallet, via installment payments (or Venmo for US-only).
  • PayPal is a well-known, trusted brand. (PayPal wins here vs Authorize.net or vs Sripe)
  • Funds transferred to your bank account in 3-4 days.

If you happen to be a WordPress user, you can integrate PayPal Payments with your site by using the Gravity Forms PayPal Checkout Add-On.

Stripe

Stripe
Next up we have Stripe, arguably the most popular PayPal alternative available.

Why is Stripe so popular? Because it gives you the opportunity to take on-site payments without the monthly fee. If you’re a WooCommerce user wanting to integrate Stripe using the official extension, you are in luck because the extension is free.

 
Stripe is a slightly trickier proposition to configure, especially vs PayPal Payments – after all, Stripe is targeted at developers. If you know what you’re doing, though, or you’re willing to hire someone, then Stripe is one of the best payment gateways for the job.

Stripe also has an effective anti-fraud team on-hand to deal with any dubious transactions. It supports recurring payments out-the-box, too, and is one of the best solutions for international businesses – you can accept over 135 currencies, which are automatically converted to your default currency.

Here is a summary of the all-important key points:

  • Stripe is currently available in 195 countries.
  • 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee – on par vs PayPal.
  • Transactions handled on-site giving you complete control of the checkout process.
  • No setup costs or monthly fees.
  • Customers can pay using any major credit card.
  • Money received is transferred into your bank on a two-day rolling basis – no manual withdrawals required.

For WordPress users, you can integrate Stripe with your site by using the following:

Authorize.net

Authorize.net
Authorize.net is another well-known, well-respected payment gateway. Authorize.net charges a $25 monthly fee in addition to transaction fees. WooCommerce integration will cost you a further $79 with the official extension.

This gets you a high-quality on-site payment gateway, though, allowing you to accept all major credit cards directly from your website (and also PayPal).

 
For the price, you also get an Advanced Fraud Detection Suite, an exceptional support team on-hand to help you out, and quick-sync with QuickBooks to make the accounting-side of your business a little easier. Authorize.net also supports recurring payments.

Here are Authorize.net’s key points for quick comparison:

  • Available in US, Canada, UK, Europe or Australia. (Somewhat limited compared to PayPal and Stripe)
  • 2.9% + $0.30 transaction costs.
  • $25 recurring monthly charge.
  • On-site checkout process.
  • Customers can pay using any major credit card, PayPal, Visa Checkout, Apple Pay, electronic check, or via Authorize.net’s mobile app (mPOS).

If your site is powered by WordPress, then you can integrate Authorize.net with the following:

Amazon Pay

Amazon Pay
Using trusted names is one of the best ways to boost conversions – and few names come with more trust than Amazon. With this in mind, it’s unsurprising that Amazon Pay is quickly growing in popularity.

During the checkout process, your customers will have the option to Pay with Amazon.

 
After logging into their Amazon account, the customer’s Amazon details – including address and payment information – will be passed through to your website for a quick checkout. This simplifies the checkout process from a customer’s perspective, and the Amazon name gives them peace of mind.

Amazon Pay effectively gives your customers the opportunity to make all their online payments using one account – just like PayPal – but allows you to process payments on-site for a more streamlined checkout experience. The order is processed by Amazon, which also gives you access to their highly regarded fraud protection service.

With no setup costs or monthly fees, plus affordable transaction costs, Amazon Pay is one of the best value payment gateways of all. Plus if you use WordPress, the official WooCommerce Amazon Pay extension is completely free, too.

As with the other options, below are the key points:

  • Available in 18 countries (mostly in Europe).
  • Charge of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
  • Cross-border purchases may be subject to an additional fee of 3.9%.
  • No setup, monthly, or WooCommerce costs. (Great, vs Stripe, PayPal, or Authorize.net)
  • Customers never leave your website during the checkout process.
  • Customers can pay using any method supported by Amazon.
  • Amazon is one of the world’s most trusted names.

Which Payment Gateway Should You Choose?

This brings us on to the all-important question: which payment gateway is best?

Of course, this answer is subjective.

What I will say, however, is that payment gateways aren’t mutually exclusive – you can use more than one if you want.

In fact, a restrictive checkout is one of the main reasons for cart abandonment. By giving your customers lots of payment options, you’re more likely to get them over the line.

With this in mind, I recommend choosing multiple payment options for your customers.

Most customers prefer to pay in one place, so I strongly recommend one of the on-site payment gateways, a choice from  Stripe or Authorize.net (you select)  – you only need one of these as they both provide essentially the same service. On-site payment gateways are harder to set up but make the payment process far more straightforward, so the pros easily outweigh the cons.

Personally, I like to give customers lots of choice. I recommend combining your on-site gateway with at least one of the other two options,  PayPal Payments vs Amazon Pay (seems like a good selection) . Both of these services are free to setup and integrate, plus they add a well-respected trust symbol to your checkout in the form of two big-name brands.

Give your customers the option to pay by card or using their PayPal/Amazon account and you’re likely to get more conversions. This makes it more than worth the extra effort of setting up two gateways.

Of course, this is just my opinion, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Which is your favorite payment gateway and why? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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WPShout Editorial

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