When setting up your business, it’s important to choose a third-party payment processor that is easy to work with and has developed a product that you can rely on. I know that I’ve chosen companies simply based on processing fees in the past, and that really hasn’t helped me get the perfect fit for my business.
To decide if a payment processor is a right fit for your business, things like software, hardware, fees, international transactions, customer support, and more need to be top of mind. With Stripe and Square being the two giant companies they are, let’s break this down a little and see which one is for you.
In-Person Payment Processing
2.6% + $0.10
$2.7% + $0.10
Online Payment Processing
2.9% + $0.30
$2.9% + $0.30
Good for In-Person Business
Good For Online Business
Ease Of Use
Merchants who mostly sell eCommerce and have trouble with technical features of complicated systems
Merchants who sell online only
Stripe: Overview and key features
The Stripe payment processing system is much newer than Square, and it certainly has some features that are both highly technical and helpful for your business. One of the things that you will notice right away about Stripe is that it’s a brilliant choice for eCommerce businesses.
Stripe is best known for its eCommerce features, but it’s starting to offer some help for businesses that have in-person transactions. The Stripe system is trusted among developers. They have a great support system for developers who can implement the Stripe system on an eCommerce website.
Truthfully, even if you aren’t that great at the back end of your website, your developer may be glad to hear that you’re willing to work with Stripe. The developer tools, reports, international features, and the multiple currencies that it accepts can make Stripe a great solution.
Stripe pros and cons
Square: Overview and key features
Square has been around since 2009, and when they first came to the market, they hit the ground running. Square has always been looked at as a business solutions company, offering more than just payment processing for its customers.
One of the things that Square is most famous for is its ease of use. Although you will have to learn all of the features and functionality, most people will have no issues working with Square.
Square has excellent POS systems and can help customers that need to integrate in-person and online sales. The downside of Square payment processing is that you won’t be able to use it internationally.
Although Square and Stripe have very similar payment structures, the chip readers and feature set of Square are affordable and quite comprehensive. If you’re a small business looking for a great solution, Square will have everything you need.
Square pros and cons
Square vs. Stripe: Which should I use?
As you can see, there are quite a few similarities between the Square and the Stripe system. It makes sense to understand which one of these would be best for your business.
If you own a small retail shop or even a medium-sized brick and mortar business, you’ll want to choose Square. As great as I think Stripe can be in some situations, it doesn’t support brick and mortar stores well. With no POS system, you’ll find yourself looking for multiple solutions as opposed to an all-in-one.
Another reason to choose Square is if you don’t want to deal with programming, development, software, and more. Square assumes you know nothing about developing software, and that’s a positive.
I also like Square if you need something to get up and running in a short period. The customer support is strong, and you will have tons of tools to help with invoicing, customer management, and more.
Think of Square as an all-in-one business solution.
As great as I think Square is, it certainly has its limitations. There are problems with Square that must be addressed, and one of those is the fact that it won’t work internationally. If you do any kind of business internationally, you’ll need Stripe for your business.
In addition, for businesses that are only operating online and have a very simple sales process (like a subscription), then Stripe is a perfect solution. Online transactions are a breeze when using Stripe.
Just like Square, Stripe also has impressive customer support. The only thing is they expect you to have a bit more of an understanding of the back end of your website. If you are good with development, coding, and computer systems, Stripe is a perfect solution for your business.
Hopefully, you now feel like you can make a more clear decision between the Square and Stripe systems. Accepting online payments with Square is simple and can be set up by any business owner in a matter of a few minutes. The Stripe system is geared more towards the experienced developer who needs to put together an eCommerce payment process for business being conducted anywhere globally.
I can’t say that Square or Stripe is better; it all depends on the specific needs of your business. However, I will tell you that the overall features that Square has to offer will very likely prove to be more comprehensive. In other words, I would start with Square and see if it checks all the boxes.
Stripe does have a mobile card reader; however, it’s still not the system that is most widely accepted to be used for in-store purchases. The Square POS system seems to be an all-around better solution than the Stripe mobile car reader.
Accepting online payments with Square is absolutely a possibility. You can use Square both in-person and online. However, the Stripe system does seem to work a little easier with businesses that are only online. If you have a mix of online and brick and mortar go with Square.
Square is a payment processor. The customer’s information will stay within the Square system the entire time. You can consider Square to be a safe payment processor.
Stripe and Square are priced at almost the exact same amount. This is why I mentioned that you don’t want to choose a payment processor based on the pricing alone. However, I will say that if you own a mid to large size business, these fees add up quickly. Square and Stripe tend to be the best choice for small businesses.