Most Stripe alternatives fall into one of two categories: (1) payment processors, or (2) a billing solution that covers payment processing and other aspects of billing such as fraud detection, checkout, and more.
For SaaS companies, the easiest way to manage all aspects of billing is to choose a solution that acts as your Merchant of Record (MoR). A billing solution that acts as your MoR gives you access to multiple payment processors (which lets you accept more payment methods and is useful when accepting payments globally, as we explain below) while taking on the liability of all transactions for you. A MoR also takes the lead on chargebacks, tax audits, legal compliance, and more.
When selling physical goods and services (online or in person), various Stripe alternatives built for physical goods payments (like Amazon pay, Square, etc.) can provide payment processing, order fulfillment, financing options, and more. (It’s worth noting that most of these solutions can also be used by SaaS companies, however, none of them is a complete payment solution.)
In this guide, we compare eight of the best Stripe alternatives in each of these categories. Since our expertise is in providing MoR services to SaaS companies, we’ll start with an in-depth review of our solution, FastSpring.
Table of Contents
- MoRs for SaaS Companies
- FastSpring: International Payment Solution for SaaS
- Paddle: Payment Infrastructure Platform
- Verifone: Formerly 2checkout
- Billing Software for Selling Physical Goods and Services
- Square: Popular Payment Platform for Startups
- PayPal for Business: Available on Major eCommerce Platforms
- Authorize.net: For Merchants and Small Businesses
- Adyen: Robust Financial Technology Platform
- Amazon: Payment Service and Order Fulfillment
All-in-one Payment Solutions for SaaS Companies (MoRs)
Most companies using Stripe (or something similar to Stripe) know that Stripe does much more than just payment processing but that there are challenges to making the system work for you. It can require tons of add-ons and additional fees, and some of the features are limited.
For example, Stripe advertises subscription management features, however, many companies end up integrating with another service like Chargebee or Recurly to get the subscription management features they need.
More often than not, SaaS companies end up with a payment tech stack of over a dozen tools for:
- Calculating international taxes.
- More subscription management features.
- Fraud protection.
- Handling chargebacks.
- Getting higher authorization rates in other countries.
- And more.
Making it all work together puts a massive strain on the development team.
Finally, you’ll need to maintain a large team of tax and legal experts to maintain global compliance (because solutions like Stripe don’t help with any legalities). While it’s true that, historically, SaaS and ecommerce companies didn’t always have to pay VAT or sales tax, that’s no longer the case. If you don’t gather and remit the right amount of tax in each jurisdiction that you sell in, you could face hefty fines or get banned from selling in that region in the future.
Choosing a billing solution that also acts as your MoR solves all of these problems.
A MoR takes care of the entire SaaS billing process for you, including collecting and remitting local and international taxes (such as VAT and local sales tax), staying compliant with local laws and regulations, payment processing, chargebacks, and much more.
FastSpring: International Payment Solution for SaaS
FastSpring has been acting as a MoR for global software companies for nearly 20 years, so we know what it takes to expand globally almost overnight. Here are some examples of how FastSpring helped other SaaS companies expand globally and increase revenue:
- Mailbird achieved over 100% growth by switching to FastSpring. They previously experimented with platforms like Stripe and PayPal. Read the Mailbird case study here.
- NotePlan increased conversions by over 60% by switching from Paddle to FastSpring. FastSpring offered several checkout, localization, and coupon features that NotePlan needed. Plus, our team provided personalized recommendations for ways NotePlan could improve their checkout experience to optimize conversions. Read the NotePlan case study here.
- SocialBee doubled its monthly recurring revenue and managed tax compliance by switching from Braintree to FastSpring. Read the SocialBee case study here.
Next, we’ll take a deep dive into a few of FastSpring’s SaaS billing solutions.
Leverage Multiple Payment Processors to Increase Revenue
Many SaaS companies and founding teams initially think they just need one payment processor to accept payments. However, most SaaS companies eventually end up needing more in order to:
- Accept more payment methods: Customers are more likely to complete a purchase if they can use their preferred payment method. However, not every payment processor supports the same list of payment methods. Working with multiple payment processors lets you accept more payment methods and, therefore, increase revenue.
- Increase authorization rates for international transactions: Card networks are more likely to authorize transactions when the payment processor has a legal entity in the same location. Some payment processors will establish a legal entity in multiple locations, however, most companies still need to work with multiple payment processors in order to process all payments locally.
- Accept payments from more countries: Some payment processors only support payments from select countries or regions. Working with multiple payment processors lets you reach customers in more locations.
Working with multiple payment processors can also solve connectivity issues or system failures. If one payment processor is experiencing a network failure, you can reroute the transaction to a payment processor that’s fully operational.
With FastSpring, you’ll be supported by multiple payment processors that specialize in global transactions and accept the most common payment methods around the world — including PayPal and Amazon Pay.
Depending on the location of the buyer, FastSpring automatically directs the transaction to the payment processor with the highest authorization rates in that region. Then, if a transaction fails, we automatically retry the transaction using a secondary processor.
Note: You also have the option to block transactions from certain regions or limit products in each region.
Prevent Fraudulent Transactions without Blocking Valid Transactions
The right fraud protection can help you increase authorization rates, decrease chargebacks, and protect your company from attacks. However, if legitimate transactions get marked as fraud, you’ll lose revenue.
FastSpring partners with Sift for advanced risk analysis and fraud protection. Sift uses machine learning and AI to analyze millions of global transactions each month to identify risky transactions with higher accuracy. This means your fraud protection is constantly evolving to provide better security and improve approval rates.
FastSpring can also block transactions from countries and jurisdictions where companies are currently not allowed to do business.
If one of your customers does initiate a chargeback, or there’s an issue with fraud, FastSpring takes the lead to resolve it for you.
Avoid High Fines and Penalties by Letting FastSpring Handle Local Legal Compliance for You
Even if all legitimate transactions go through, you could face hefty fines or be prevented from transacting in that region if the transactions don’t comply with local laws and regulations. For example, the Reserve Bank of India limits automatic recurring payments to ₹15,000 INR.
Most companies need a full compliance department of legal professionals to keep up to date with all the laws and regulations of each jurisdiction they do business in.
You can also be fined or face penalties if you don’t file consumption tax. SaaS companies didn’t always have to pay tax, but tax regulations for digital sales are changing and being increasingly enforced.
Companies that use Stripe (or another point solution) have to handle tax on their own. While Stripe will help gather sales tax, you’ll need other software to collect VAT, GST, and other forms of consumption tax. Plus, you’ll need a staff of tax experts to remit the tax at the end of each tax period.
FastSpring relieves you of these burdens by:
- Collecting all consumption tax (including GST, VAT, SST, etc.) and remitting it at the appropriate time for you.
- Taking the lead on legal compliance (including audits).
FastSpring is fully compliant with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Additionally, we renew our level one certification — which is the highest level possible — with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) every year.
Manage Everything from Checkout to Subscriptions in One Platform
Instead of needing to build a payment stack of over a dozen different solutions to help you manage subscriptions, checkout experiences, reporting, analytics, and more, FastSpring lets companies manage all aspects of SaaS billing directly from their FastSpring dashboard.
Below is a brief overview of these features. For a complete list of features (including digital invoicing and interactive quotes) visit this page.
Custom, Localized Checkout
FastSpring gives you full control over your checkout process with our Store Builder Library. You can customize any aspect of checkout and our team will offer personalized support along the way. We also offer pre-built experiences. With minimal code, you can embed checkout into a webpage or have a pop-up checkout. Or, if you want to outsource the entire checkout process, you can choose the web storefront option where your customers will be redirected to a FastSpring website to complete the purchase. You can customize the storefront to match the visual branding of your website.
Whichever checkout experience you choose, FastSpring lets you translate checkout into local languages and convert prices to local currencies.
FastSpring lets you create a variety of custom trial and recurring billing models without code. You can also use FastSpring’s API and webhooks library to build more complex subscription logic and integrations.
If you want to see how FastSpring compares to Chargebee, read this article.
FastSpring handles all failed payments and customer notifications for you — simply choose how you want it handled and we take care of the rest. A few options you have are to:
- Send proactive notifications to customers (e.g., ‘your credit card is expiring soon’).
- Send Multiple follow-up notifications (e.g., two, five, seven, fourteen, and twenty-one days after their payment method fails).
- Continue (or pause) the service until the last notification has been sent out.
- Pause (or cancel) the service once all notifications have been sent out and the payment is still getting declined.
With FastSpring, your customers will also have access to an intuitive self-serve portal where they can update payment information and manage their subscription plan.
Reporting and Analytics
Many SaaS companies using Stripe end up adding a reporting and customer analytics tool to give them insight into stats like MRR, churn rate, new customers by product type or geography, and more.
FastSpring, on the other hand, has a robust reporting and analytics tool built into your dashboard where you can view key performance indicators (KPI) for your customer base and your subscription models. You can view reports to understand:
- How each product contributes to your bottom line.
- What coupons or promotions are working.
- Which subscription models generate the most revenue.
- Where your customers are located.
- And much more.
Every report can be customized and saved for easy access later on. You can also export and share reports as a CSV, PNG, or XLSX spreadsheet.
Flat-Rate Fee without Hidden Costs
Most payment processors (like Stripe) typically charge a low processing fee, however, they’ll charge extra for features like subscription management, additional payment method support, and tax collection. Plus, you’ll have to pay for any additional software needed for a complete billing solution and the staff to manage the entire process. For most companies, this ends up being an expensive route to take.
On the other hand, FastSpring manages your entire SaaS billing process for one flat-rate transaction fee. No add-on fees. No transition fees. No charges until a transaction takes place.
Paddle: Payment Infrastructure Platform
Paddle acts as a MoR for SaaS companies focused on B2C transactions with the ability to deliver single-product transactions. Paddle has features such as:
- Secure checkout.
- Recurring billing management.
- A robust payments toolkit.
- Fraud protection.
- Transaction and subscription reporting. (With their recent acquisition of ProfitWell, they look to deliver SaaS reporting integrations in the future.)
- Invoicing. (This feature is still in beta, so it may not be the best choice for B2B companies.)
- And more.
Verifone: Formerly 2checkout
Verifone will act as your MoR or just process payments. This gives them the flexibility to support small to medium-sized companies in different industries (e.g., retail and hospitality) offering both in-person and online goods or services.
Verifone functionalities include:
- Integrated POS.
- Crypto payment processing.
- Device diagnostics.
- Hosted checkout.
- And more.
With nearly 20 years of experience serving international software companies, FastSpring is one of the longest-standing MoRs for SaaS companies. Use our expertise to help grow your business quickly. To learn more, sign up for a free account or request a demo today.
Billing Software for Selling Physical Goods and Services
While SaaS companies can use almost any billing solution to sell their product (although some will be more effective than others), not every solution will be effective for companies selling physical goods or services. Companies selling physical goods and services need solutions that can manage online and in-person sales.
When selling physical goods or services, most companies end up using two or more different software to build a complete billing solution. However, there are ways to minimize how many different software you need and how much it will cost you. The best place to start is to carefully consider your current needs (e.g., are you selling in-person and online?) and plan for your future needs (e.g., will you want to start selling online in the future?).
Then, you can evaluate each billing solution by asking a few key questions:
- How many aspects of billing does the software cover? Is each offering truly sufficient for your current needs (e.g., maybe they offer a subscription billing solution but they don’t support the model you need)? Do the features leave room for your company to grow?
- Will you get all features for one price or will you have to pay extra for the features you need? Will the price be sustainable long-term, as your company grows?
- How easy will it be to integrate the software with other software?
- Is the software user-friendly?
Next, we cover five Stripe competitors for companies selling physical goods and services to help you get started with your search.
Square: Popular Payment Platform for Startups
Square is a popular point-of-sale solution for companies of all sizes. With Square, you can accept payments from your online store, in-person, or via social media. Beyond payment processing, Square also offers solutions for:
- Virtual terminals (so you can accept credit card payments using your computer).
- Organizing customer contacts.
- Banking (including merchant accounts, savings accounts, and loans).
- Staff management (including payroll, time off, etc.).
- And more.
PayPal for Business: Available on Major eCommerce Platforms
PayPal is a well-known ewallet for personal online payments, however, they also offer payment options for businesses of all sizes. PayPal supports debit card and credit card processing in-store or from your online business.
(SaaS companies using FastSpring can also process payments using PayPal.)
PayPal for Business also includes:
- Business financing.
- Donation tools.
- Built-in integrations with major ecommerce shopping carts (e.g., Shopify).
- Chargeback and refund consulting services.
- A mobile app.
- Mass payouts.
- And more.
Note: PayPal also has a payment processor specifically for SaaS called Braintree.
Authorize.net: For Merchants and Small Businesses
Authorize.net (a Visa solution) is a payment service provider that supports mobile payments, phone payments, and ACH. They also provide a card reader for in-person payments and support online purchases.
Other features offered by Authorize.net include:
- 24/7, live customer support.
- Customer management features to improve ease of use.
- Digital invoicing.
- Recurring payment tool.
- Advanced fraud detection suite (AFDS).
- And more.
Adyen: Robust Financial Technology Platform
Adyen is a financial technology platform with a focus on scalable growth. In addition to payment processing, Adyen offers features such as:
- Virtual and physical card creation.
- Tools to optimize traffic in real-time.
- Advanced fraud algorithm.
- Cross-channel sales support.
- Business bank accounts for your users.
- And more.
Amazon Pay: Payment Service and Order Fulfillment
Amazon Pay lets your customers use the payment information already stored in their Amazon account on your website. Amazon Pay can be used as a stand-alone payment solution without becoming an Amazon merchant. Although you can easily use Amazon Pay on your own website and become an Amazon merchant (which gives you the option for fulfillment by Amazon).
Amazon Pay includes:
- Optimized checkouts modeled after Amazon’s own checkout.
- Co-marketing campaigns.
- Self-service reporting dashboard.
- Easy integration tools.
- And more.
Note: With FastSpring, your customers can pay using Amazon Pay and many other payment methods.
FastSpring lets you manage every aspect of global SaaS payment from one platform — without managing tons of different software solutions. We take on taxes, regulation compliance, and much more for you. Sign up for a free account or request a demo today.