GoCardless vs PayPal vs Stripe

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GoCardless vs PayPal vs Stripe: What are the differences?


In this analysis, we will compare and outline the key differences between GoCardless, PayPal, and Stripe. These three payment gateway providers offer different services and have various features that cater to diverse business requirements. By understanding their differences, businesses can better assess which platform aligns with their needs and goals.

  1. Integration: GoCardless stands out for its direct debit payment platform, enabling businesses to collect recurring payments easily. PayPal primarily focuses on facilitating online payments and transactions, while Stripe emphasizes its robust API and developer-friendly features, making it great for e-commerce websites and businesses looking for customization options.

  2. International Reach: PayPal has a widespread global presence, supporting businesses in over 200 countries and offering a multitude of currencies. Stripe, though also available in many countries, has a more limited international reach compared to PayPal. GoCardless, on the other hand, concentrates mainly on the European market, providing services in 32 European countries and supporting Euros, British Pounds, and Swedish Krona.

  3. Payment Methods: PayPal allows customers to choose from a variety of payment methods, including credit and debit cards, bank transfers, and PayPal balance. Stripe offers similar options, allowing businesses to accept payments from major cards and digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay. GoCardless, as a direct debit provider, specializes in bank-to-bank transfers and recurring payments.

  4. Pricing and Transaction Fees: Each platform has its own pricing structure and transaction fees. GoCardless offers a fixed fee per transaction and tailored pricing for high-volume businesses. PayPal has a tiered pricing system, charging different rates based on transaction volume. Stripe, on the other hand, has a simplified pricing model, with one flat fee for all transactions without any setup or monthly fees.

  5. Integration and Developer Tools: Stripe stands out for its developer-centric approach, offering a powerful API, extensive documentation, and developer tools that allow seamless integration and customization. PayPal and GoCardless also provide integration options, but they may not offer the same level of flexibility or developer-focused resources as Stripe.

  6. Additional Services: While all three platforms focus on payments, they offer additional services to varying degrees. PayPal offers services like invoicing, PayPal Credit, and One Touch checkout for a more comprehensive payment experience. Stripe, apart from payments, provides tools for subscription management, fraud prevention, and global tax compliance. GoCardless mainly focuses on direct debit payments and recurring billing, offering automated payment collection and reconciliation.

In summary, GoCardless specializes in direct debit payments, PayPal offers a wide range of international payment options, and Stripe focuses on developer-friendly customization and integration. Each platform has its unique strengths that cater to different business needs and industries.

Advice on GoCardless, PayPal, and Stripe
Needs advice

We're looking for a payment gateway with a robust and dependable API. We will be accepting recurring payments for premium plans on our website, preferably in as many regions as possible.

While looking for Stripe alternatives, we found Adyen, which seemed like a viable option - we would love to hear your thoughts!

I appreciate your time reading this message and hope to hear back from you about your experiences with payment gateways!

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Replies (2)
Stripe BillingStripe Billing

I would recommend Stripe because it has a feature called Billing which is built for Premium plans. While adyen has more Payment Options, Stripe has lesser charging rates per transaction. But this also depends if your product is available worldwide or to specific nations. If you want to go worldwide, I would recommend Adyen as It is scalable. If you want to go for some specific nations Stripe will be better and easier to integrate but Stripe will also be great if you are worldwide.

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H.F. Kane
Managing Member at FCC Merchant Services · | 3 upvotes · 21.5K views

Question for you: Where will you be running the transactions through? Will they be done in each country separately or done domestically? The reason I ask, Payfacs (i.e.: stripe, braintree, square, etc) charge two extra transactions if the processing is done domestically. The first being on an international card 1% and the second being in a currency other than your home country's currency 1%.

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Vincenzo Belpiede
CEO at StellarTalents.com · | 7 upvotes · 112.3K views
Needs advice

Stripe or Paddle for payment processing for SaaS?

we used Stripe + Chargebee once and will NEVER use them again (they charge too much (300usd/month while offering way fewer integrations than Stripe)

Furthermore, Chargebee doesn't support managing disputes. We still need to go to stripe for that.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts

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Replies (1)
Julien DeFrance
Principal Software Engineer at Tophatter · | 4 upvotes · 33.4K views

I'd recommend you check out Recurly. They are one of the leading solutions in the recurring billing space, but also support one-off orders. Recurly answers most common e-commerce use cases, will also give, out of the box, rich plan/subscription management functionalities to all the teams within your organization. They also come with great documentation, and SDKs, which from an Engineering standpoint, made it a very enjoyable pilot to work on, at the time. You'll also get great visibility/BI/analytics for free, allowing you to monitor the health of your business. Your Finance team will also get all of the data that they want. Without having you write any line of code. As you did touch upon integrations, they integrate with major payment gateways, including their own, support webhooks, integrate with Segment and therefore any tool that integrates with Segment, which makes this solution one of the most extensible one you'll find. Eg. Triggerring some Email Marketing "journey" (workflow) in AutoPilotHQ based on certain events.

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Team Showwcase
Product Team at Showwcase · | 6 upvotes · 61.5K views
Needs advice

Hi Folks,

I represent Showwcase, which is a network built for coders.

We're introducing a paywall for content creators on the platform to start accepting payments from their Followers for premium and unique content over and above the general free content. We are internally considering either Stripe or PayPal to handle this for us.

If we take the pricing out of the debate, what's the go-to choice when choosing which to integrate? Our current standpoint is that Paypal has wider consumer adoption, and since most creators are individuals, it makes sense to just use Paypal because they already have an account. However, our business uses Stripe, and so it makes it easier if both the platform (Showwcase) and creators to be on the Stripe platform. That being said, if creators don't already have an account, they will need to sign up with Stripe on the spot, which is a friction point.

I would like to hear the pros and cons in developer environments as well as any other things we might not know.

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Replies (3)
Les Brown
Developer at Blue Sky iSolutions · | 5 upvotes · 49K views

I prefer Stripe for developers' ease of integration and PayPal for providing the simplest user experience (i.e., improved revenue.) In my experience, neither platform requires a user register to pay via credit card. However, as noted, many people have a PayPal account, which allows quick and easy payments through a "more" trusted name.

I used Stripe and Paypal and settled on Paypal for the customer. However, the PayPal web hook back end is a complete mess (at least in PHP). Unless they have improved very recently, PayPal web hook integration is poorly documented and barely supported with bits and pieces of important code on GitHub and elsewhere. I can't speak for other languages. But given the popularity of Paypal (i.e., improved revenue), I decided to keep using Paypal after I got the web hook integration worked out.

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Arthur Sparks

PayPal is a dinosaur and a nightmare to work with, both in terms of API as well as on the business side. We support both because our A/B tests showed a material increase in conversions by offering both, but I would drop PayPal in a heartbeat if I could. Stripe is a joy to work with.

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Pamela Pierce
President at Learn About Green LLC · | 2 upvotes · 44.9K views

Stripe is strong because of their security. It is difficult for the programmer to install it, and in my case was impossible since my hosting provider did not have up-to-date software that it requires. I had to use another program on top of it as the shopping cart instead of using Stripe's shopping cart. But Stripe integrates with everything if you can get it to install, and is stable.

The big reason to go with PayPal is the 6 months same as cash or multiple payments over weeks for your clients. Some clients need this and you will lose them without PayPal. PayPal may change their policies, so in my opinion, PayPal is not as stable as Stripe. Some clients refuse or can't use PayPal, where Stripe is available to everyone with a credit card.

In summary, I set up both for my clients. And I used Zoho for everything else - shopping cart, accounting, CRM, banking, etc. It integrates with both Stripe and PayPal and pretty much anything else you use.

Be sure to read the Terms of both Stripe and PayPal, and I think that will help you with your decision.

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Decisions about GoCardless, PayPal, and Stripe
Francesco Boffa

After the initial investigation on which platform to use to process our payments, Stripe was a total no brainer.

We are heavy users of Stripe Connect, which allows us to collect payments on behalf of our client restaurants. Connect makes it super easy to collect, payout and manage any fee structure.

At the time that the platform was written it was also the only platform that was working flawlessly with Google Pay and Apple Pay on the Web.

Today we also give out to our clients Terminals from Stripe, allowing us to process all payments under a single unified interface.

We are looking forward to further integrations, like with AliPay and other local payment methods.

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James Bender
Lead Application Architect at TekPartners · | 11 upvotes · 58.9K views

I used (tried to use) PayPal on one project and it was a total nightmare. At the time there was no cohesive "one" web-based product, you had to choose between three and the lines between them were very muddled. We reached out to developer support several times and they were no help at all. The documentation was old (incorrect) and confusing. Granted this was several years ago, but the pain remains. Given a choice of using PayPal and sticking hot needles in my eyes, I would first ask "How big and hot are these needles we're talking about?" Stripe is SO much easier!

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Kilian Stallinger
Backend-Engineer at Findustrial · | 4 upvotes · 69.4K views

Stripe is very well known for its developer experience and great documentation. We considered Recurly and other tools because of the easy tax-automations and subscription handling.

But lately Stripe introduces its own tax-handling feature, and it was just a perfect match for our usecase. Also we are migrating some of our billing to a Pay-per-Use system, wich Stripe supports very well.

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Lucas Litton
Founder & CEO at Macombey · | 4 upvotes · 271.1K views

We use GoCardless to simplify the way clients and partners pay for our services. What intrigued us is the quick and easy ACH feature that gives our clients the option to log in with their bank account and shoot the funds directly to our account. The fee, compared to Stripe is less. Stripe and PayPal charge 2.9% + 30c and Stripe also forces the client to enter in all of their payment details manually and then if the payment doesn't work, the client has to try all over again. GoCardless charges 1% + 25c which is much more reasonable dealing with the large projects that we are currently working on.

We integrate GoCardless with Xero to easily send out quick invoices, receive the funds and track all revenue in one place.

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With COVID-19 looming over us, businesses are, more than ever, looking for ways to set up online payments.

And having recently gone through implementing both Stripe and GoCardless to get monthly subscriptions set up and automated on my company website, I felt there was no better time to write this blog post!

If you're currently looking at working with a Payment Gateway provider API, or you're currently working with one but are not a fan, are looking to automate things a bit more, or are just generally thinking about changing, then you should have a read of my latest blog post where I compare Stripe and GoCardless.

I compare APIs in depth, specifically the subscription checkout flow that both offer (they're very similar, with some BIG differences).

There are plenty of code examples on how to set it up in a Node.js environment and right at the end, I rate each API based on the following factors:

  • API ease of use
  • API documentation
  • Payment pages
  • Costs / fees
  • Security
  • Developer appeal
  • Customer experience
  • Free Trial

So feel free to check it out, and I hope you like it. Please leave any feedback as it is very helpful. Thanks!

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Stripe was made with developers in mind first so the extensibility of it is great! This makes it very easy for us to integrate and automate as much as we need with its APIs and SDK. It allows a lot of customization of exactly what we need to build our applications. They also manage all of our customers from a tax and accounting perspective which makes it easy from a business standpoint.

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Pros of GoCardless
Pros of PayPal
Pros of Stripe
    Be the first to leave a pro
    • 195
      Most known service
    • 135
      Consumers know it
    • 113
      It's available for many countries
    • 70
    • 54
      Best way to get paid outside US
    • 35
      Most widely used payment processor
    • 25
      Express Checkout
    • 16
      Consumers trust it
    • 15
      Flexible and secure
    • 6
      Digital Goods for Express Checkout
    • 302
      Easy setup
    • 292
      Developer friendly
    • 248
      Well-designed api
    • 191
      Great documentation
    • 169
      Clear pricing
    • 75
    • 74
    • 63
      Full integration with webhooks
    • 43
      Amazing api
    • 38
      Great customer support
    • 11
    • 6
      Credit cards never hit your server - no pci worries
    • 5
      Recurring billing
    • 4
      No merchant account/gateway required
    • 3
    • 3
      Easy to integrate
    • 2
      Support for SCA (Strong Customer Authentication)
    • 2
      Fast UI
    • 2
      Great app
    • 1
    • 1
      Payments without own backend (using Stripe Products)
    • 1
    • 1
    • 1
      Great UI
    • 1
      So easy to use

    Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

    Cons of GoCardless
    Cons of PayPal
    Cons of Stripe
      Be the first to leave a con
      • 1
        Not well written recurring payment api
      • 1
        Less countries supported
      • 1
        Harder to get started with
      • 4
      • 2
        CANNOT withdraw USD to a Canadian Bank Account
      • 2
        Does NOT have a currency conversion option like Paypal
      • 2
        They keep 25% of the income for 60 days

      Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

      What is GoCardless?

      GoCardless makes it super simple for businesses to take regular payments online direct from their customers' bank accounts, perfect for invoicing and recurring subscriptions.

      What is PayPal?

      PayPal is an online payments and money transfer service that allows you to send money via email, phone, text message or Skype. They offer products to both individuals and businesses alike, including online vendors, auction sites and corporate users. PayPal connects effortlessly to bank accounts and credit cards. PayPal Mobile is one of PayPal’s newest products. It allows you to send payments by text message or by using PayPal’s mobile browser.

      What is Stripe?

      Stripe makes it easy for developers to accept credit cards on the web.

      Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

      What companies use GoCardless?
      What companies use PayPal?
      What companies use Stripe?

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      What tools integrate with GoCardless?
      What tools integrate with PayPal?
      What tools integrate with Stripe?

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      Blog Posts

      Sep 29 2020 at 7:36PM


      PythonSlackG Suite+17
      Jun 19 2015 at 6:37AM


      What are some alternatives to GoCardless, PayPal, and Stripe?
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      Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.
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