Stripe vs Square: 2021 Review of Two Powerful and Efficient Payment Processors

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Two of the most well-established payment methods in the market are Stripe and Square. Both offer easy ways to process payments made online, plenty of e-commerce tools, and leading technology to make things simple than ever for e-commerce store owners trying to run a business and make money. So let’s take some time to compare Stripe vs Square to discover which is best for your growing online store.

A visual of Stripe vs Square: Stripe Payments

Stripe Payment Processing

Stripe is a digital payment processor built to create custom online payment solutions to ease the developers. The company operates in more than 25 countries and allows large & small businesses and private individuals to accept payments over the internet.

How It Works

Stripe provides friendly Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that allow businesses to manage payments using a mobile app. 

They don’t need customers to open an account or set up a credit card payment gateway. Credit card processing is based on enabling the app to intake in-app payments and purchases from credit cards through a form.

Stripe is well known for its simplicity and ease of use. Their multi-sided platform supports new tools such as Apple Pay, and they have a better payment system flow on the web and mobile. 

Stripe Overview

If you ever made a payment online, odds are you have made that payment through a stripe payment method. You might not have realized it. Stripe is a white-label online payment service, so it means to manage and create your desired checkout experience. Stripe gives you a way to integrate online payments into your business’s website.

Stripe Features

One of the most important features of the Stripe App is its universal payment options. Other features include:

  • Stripe Billing: Send request payment and custom invoices from customers. Stripe billing also allows its plan holders to create tiered, recurring, usage-based, scheduled, and promotional prices.
  • Stripe Sources: The source API allows business owners to accept payment methods across the world with a single integration. Some of the supported payment methods are Alipay, Giropay, and Bancontact.
  • Stripe Connect: Stripe is a payment platform for significant e-commerce marketplaces.
  • Stripe Atlas: In the United States, this is a toolkit for setting up an internet business.
  • Stripe Relay: Stripe relay is an API to power mobile in-app purchases.


A customer paying with Stripe Payments

Square Payment Processing

The Square app markets to small businesses that want a digital payment method similar to their larger competitors without the monthly or transaction fees. Square is known for its simple and straightforward pricing and design. Its mission is to provide easy ways to process online payment methods using advanced technology.

How Square Works

 The square card reader plugs into your tablet or smartphone, allowing you to generate a mobile POS all-in-one solution with your honest reader. Using your tablet or smartphone, you can download the free square app and create an online storefront.

As a Square customer, they also allow you to sell online on their website. You can sell with third-party-e-commerce sites. Until your items are embedded on your website, your customers do not have to leave to complete their transactions.

Square Overview

 In 2009, Square made its debut with in-person payment solutions and changed the game with an iPad POS system. Chances are good; you have paid through their hardware if you shop at a small business. In 2016, Square came out with its online payment solution. Since then, the Square vs stripe dilemma has only grown for business owners.

Square Features

Square online payments come with many features like:

  • Payments: Square accepts every way your customers want to pay.
  • Checkout: Customize your checkout to keep your line moving and make your customer happy.
  • POS Hardware: Square offers payment solutions for every stage of business.
  • Operations: Square keeps track of your sales, locations, and inventory, all in one system.
  • Customization: Square picks and chooses tools to grow your business.

Pros vs Cons


  • Transparent, flat-rate, and competitive pricing
  • Global scalability and reach
  • No monthly contracts
  • Completely customizable checkout solution
  • Full PCI compliance
  • Developer-friendly
  • Accepts more payment methods


  • Slow email response times and customer support issues
  • Not suitable for high-risk businesses
  • The steep learning curve for people with limited technical knowledge
  • If you lose the dispute, chargebacks are not settled by Stripe and will most likely cost you money

What’s Included in Both?

  1. Allow businesses to accept online payments
  2. Provide top-rated merchant services and user-friendly solutions 
  3. Offer an average but not the lowest transaction fees
  4. Don’t offer the stability of a traditional merchant account
  5. These two different apps will automatically process transactions to your bank account via
  6. Visa, Maestro, MasterCard, American Express, Google Pay, or Apple Pay.

Integration with Your Website


On your business’s website, setting up a stripe checkout experience can range from simple to intricate. It depends on what you need from your payment platform. If you do not have a technical professional, you can copy and paste JavaScript to your business’s website to install the Stripe embeddable checkout. If you have a developer, you can have the stripe custom UI toolkit to generate your payment platform called stripe elements. 

Moreover, if you are selling through a platform like Shopware or WordPress, you need to install the open-source Stripe plugin offered by e-commerce platforms. Stripe settles transactions in your bank account within two weeks. The first settlement takes two weeks, and then it takes almost a week or more.


On the developer side, the setup of square payments works much like Stripe with less effort For example, Square provides e-commerce plugins on many of the same technology as Stripe does. Furthermore, they offer an embeddable checkout option with a customizable online payments API. One upside to Square’s setup is their Weebly offering. In 2018, the courts acquired the e-commerce platform Weebly to allow its customers to set up their online store independently. 

Now, whether you set up your store through Weebly or square online, you can access your payment platform and website all in one place. Square settles transactions in your bank account within 1-2 days after each transaction. Square also offers instant transfers. This feature is great because you can receive the payout within a few hours in your bank account. Talk about a fun payday!

Stripe vs Square: Pros vs Cons


  • User-friendly
  • Best for those who look for an omnichannel payment solution
  • Ideal for low-volume merchants
  • Competitive pricing, including chargeback protection
  • Unique e-commerce solutions
  • POS solution
  • Online store setup option


  • Lots of complaints about terminated accounts without any notice
  • Lack of features, specifically subscription tools
  • Not suitable for high-risk businesses
  • Pricey for large companies running a lot of business

Customer Support and Community

Let’s face it, with everything online, you are bound to run into some unfortunate tech issues with the software. With both of these systems, you can get help with your questions and learn more ways to grow.


Stripe customer service is 24/7. You can contact their customer support team by either email, chat, or phone on any day and any hour in the week!

To start off on the right foot, Stripe offers a total ‘Getting Started’ guide complete with a number of resources for newbie Stripe users. They also feature a robust resource and guide section to learn from and connect with other Stripe users who may be encountering the same issues you are.


Meanwhile, Square payments certainly do not slack in this department either. You can contact their support team via phone, email, live chat, and even social media when you need to go a bit more public. If you can’t find the information you need, the extensive Seller Community will more than likely cover that answer.

Stripe vs Square Category Winner: Stripe!

Stripe vs Square - visual of payment methods

Accepted Payment Types

The great news is that Stripe and Square both offer a variety of different payment methods.


Stripe is easy to use, so businesses don’t have to deal with additional accounts. Following are the types of payment you can accept which is easy for you in your online shop with Stripe:

  1. Credit cards
  2. Debit cards
  3. International cards
  4. ACG direct debit and credit
  5. Wire transfers

Stripe also supports over 135 different currencies. So accessing an international customer base is not going to be a problem.


Square has expanded its services to meet all the needs of companies running their business in-person and online. Square processes all major credit cards online:

  1. Visa
  2. MasterCard
  3. Discover
  4. American Express

 It also accepts Android pay, Apple Pay, and eWallet payments.

Stripe vs Square Base Pricing

Both Square and Stripe are essentially free to use. There is no setup or monthly fee. You have only to pay when you make payment.

Online card transactions2.9% + 30 cents2.9% + 30 cents
In-person card transactions2.7% + 5 cents2.6% + 10 cents
ACH debit transactions0.8% ($5 cap)N/A
Recurring / card-on-file transactions2.9% + 30 cents3.5% + 15 cents

Stripe and Square both tie for pricing on ecommerce transactions. Additionally, they both have no startup or monthly cancellation fees. You have to pay per transaction, and any contracts are month-to-month.

Stripe vs Square Category Winner: It’s a Tie!

Stripe vs Square - how do you choose?

Final Decisions

So in the battle of Stripe vs Square, which do you choose?

The payment gateways of both methods are so similar so, it is difficult to call out a clear winner. By keeping in view above mentioned features, we can say that:

Square was built for the merchant who wants a complete and user-friendly system that users can manage easily without extensive knowledge. If you want the flexibility to sell online and in-person, Square is better with its omnichannel features.

Stripe is built for the tech-savvy, online business that needs a unique payment system adapted to their business model. If you want just an online method that can scale globally or a standalone payment/invoice collection solution, then stripe is the number one choice for you.


Choosing between Square vs Stripe depends a lot on your business model, resources, and tools required.  Make sure that you are selecting the correct online payment method that can fit your business’s and customer’s needs.


Have you heard of the Opencart app? Or are you aware of the debate of ShopInspect vs Niche Scraper in the efforts to determine which is best for efficient eCommerce product research?

Justin Woll, founder and CEO of BeyondSixFigures

When the choices between eCommerce apps and payment processors such as Stripe vs Square get too difficult, it may be time to turn to an experienced Ecommerce Mentor. Justin Woll with BeyondSixFigures boasts years of experience in the eCommerce industry. His BeyondSixFigures Personal Mastermind Experience provides beginner online store owners with all the tools they need to succeed in this growing industry.

Are you ready to take your business plan to the next level? Book your FREE consultation call with Justin Woll to learn about how he can assist you in your eCommerce journey.

Click here to schedule your call today!

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