Square vs Stripe for e-commerce payments

Mikhail Nilov
Square vs Stripe - Man in a grey shirt concentrating on his phone at a desk, glasses in the foreground

The options available to e-commerce entrepreneurs are growing in all areas, providing more tailored solutions and flexibility… but too many choices can lead to confusion so today we are looking at Square vs Stripe for e-commerce stores.

Square and Stripe are options with similar functionality and similarly market-leading reputations which can make it harder to choose between them. Here are the advantages and differences and how to make the right choice for your store.

Why invest in payment processing systems?

Investing in payment processing systems can help e-commerce stores and business owners to enhance the customer experience, increase conversion rates and prevent fraud.

Payment processing systems like Square and Stripe offer a competitive advantage by enabling a seamless and secure payment experience. They also offer insightful analytics and information that can be used to inform business decisions and pricing strategies.

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By investing in a payment processing system, e-commerce businesses can stay ahead of trends, attract customers, mitigate risk, and drive sales in a competitive marketplace.

Square vs Stripe – Ease of use

As a busy entrepreneur, we know you want something simple to use out of the box that fits well with your existing systems. Both Square and Stripe will integrate seamlessly with your Xero account.

Square was designed with simplicity in mind. It is easy for anyone to use and to set up integrations with. It’s accessible on all your devices from laptop to mobile to tablet. It also has a free mobile POS application should you be selling your products offline as well.

Stripe was designed primarily for developers so has a slightly steeper learning curve, but it makes up for it with a more extensive list of features. You can choose to ignore its more advanced functionality if you want to keep things simple – just copy and paste the code into your website to set up quick and easy payments.

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Square vs Stripe – Shopify integration

Stripe is easy to partner with your Shopify store if you don’t wish to use Shopify Payments. Unfortunately, Square currently isn’t available as easily. You will need to use a workaround system, such as Zapier, to connect your Square account to your Shopify store.


Square vs Stripe - man in agrey suit jacket and black tshirt with a woman in a white shirt and ponytail looking at a laptop at a white minimalist desk

Square vs Stripe – Pricing

Here’s the big one for most e-commerce stores – how do these two payment processing options weigh up in terms of cost.

Square also has no monthly fee and charge 1.4% + 25p for a UK card payment or 2.5% + 25p for other card payments. They also charge a reduced 1.75% for in-person transactions and 2.5% for manually keyed-in transactions such as payments taken over the phone. You will also receive a free credit card reader when you open an account allowing you to take your e-com business on the road should you wish.

Square vs Stripe for e-commerce

While Square’s ability to take payments away from the computer could be handy, most e-commerce entrepreneurs aren’t going to make use of it so let’s concentrate on the features you will use. Square bought Weebly and has rolled out a facility to build your e-commerce store directly through them. If you’re not committed to a Shopify store already and would like to try Square, this could be a great way to get your store up and running.

Stripe can be integrated with pretty much everything you could want to merge it with, but some knowledge of coding is often needed. As such, Stripe can give you flexibility that Square can’t match, but it may not be so accessible if your tech knowledge is low.

Square vs Stripe – the bottom line

You may have noticed in our pricing section that Stripe currently charges 20p more per non-European transaction than Square does, and that may be the clincher. While prices do fluctuate, by and large, Stripe will slightly undercut Square on European transactions, while Square will come in cheaper for payments from further afield. If your key demographic is outside of Europe, or you sometimes sell in person, Square is a more profitable and one-size-fits-all solution. If like most UK e-commerce entrepreneurs, the majority of your sales come from European nations through an online store, Stripe’s flexibility is a winner.

Next Steps

Our team knows their Squares from their Stripes! If you are looking for expert advice on how to account for or grow your e-commerce business, we are here to help. Get in touch today for tailored solutions and an expert by your side.

Why choose Unicorn Accounting?

Ensure you keep on top of your finances and tax obligations by outsourcing to an accountant. This means that you don’t need to worry about your end of year accounts, payroll, or bookkeeping requirements.

At Unicorn Accounting we are e-commerce accountants who help make your online business a growing success. We offer e-commerce accounting advice, financial management, bookkeeping, cash flow statement, and tax filing services to support and scale your business.

Our team of accountants and Xero-certified advisors have experience working with both small start-ups and family-run online stores to large-scale, international retail and e-commerce brands.

If you’ve got an online store, we have the best solution for you. Providing you with a financial arm to your business through our sector experience, and skills with innovative technologies. To see how we can help you maximise the scalability of your e-commerce brand all year roundget in touch with Unicorn Accounting today. Or click here to get a free quote.

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