Stripe Competitors: FastSpring as an Alternative

Brian Deignan
Estimated read time: 4 minutes, 47 seconds

FastSpring vs. Stripe

In today’s fast-paced digital marketplace, it’s vital to adjust as consumer needs shift.  Your team needs to carefully consider which offering would best serve your dynamic business requirements: a payments-only solution like Stripe or an end-to-end digital commerce solution like FastSpring?

Making the right decision is easy when you understand the differences between the way in which the two solutions help digital businesses like yours to monetize and distribute their products.


“Stripe first, ask questions later?”

Stripe is a fantastic product, with an incredible reputation in the marketplace, especially among developers, and a heady valuation to match.  If you want payments only, and you want to build the supporting commerce infrastructure yourself (think product catalog, pricing plans, promotions, fulfillment, and much, much more), then Stripe is a good place to start.

As an added benefit, you’ll get no push-back from your developers.  But we have to ask: shouldn’t your devs be working on your product, rather than on the plumbing behind the Buy Button?

“Uh oh!” moments.

Your site is up, you’re taking payments, you’re killing it.

Then you discover that you have to collect and remit sales taxes in the US, as well as various transaction and VAT taxes abroad.  And, even worse, that it’s a constantly shifting regulatory landscape … state-by-state in the US, country-by-country abroad.

Then your buyers start contacting you with support questions.  “Why can’t I get this to work?” “Where’s my license key?”  “What’s this charge on my credit card statement?”  You get the idea.

Then some of your buyers start “returning” your product, asking for a refund or “chargeback”.  These incur a fee of $15 each and require manual effort on your part to verify and process, unless you just want to eat the fraudulent ones (and there will be fraudulent ones).

Many digital merchants experience these moments for the first time only after deploying a payments-centered commerce solution.  And that’s a bad thing.


Much more than just payments

FastSpring doesn’t just offer payment solutions; we offer a complete range of capabilities to grow your digital business.  Our full-stack offering covers all the value-generating bases, with built-in capabilities for:

  • Customer Acquisition, Growth, and Retention
  • On-line, Mobile, and In-app Commerce
  • Subscription Management & Billing
  • Global Payments & Settlement
  • Back-office Operations

You can build a similar capability stack on top of Stripe by integrating individual third-party components, but it’s on you to coordinate, operate, and maintain them all.  And manage multiple vendors.  And pay for features that you may not need as you look to extend Stripe’s basic capabilities.


FastSpring, on the other hand, brings it all together with a single integration.  Plus, our Store Builder Library and APIs/WebHooks give you the flexibility to own as much or as little of your commerce experience as you’d like.  This feature, unique in the market, enables compelling UX/CX differentiation on your site, as well as the operational flexibility to push tasks to us that you don’t want to do yourself.


Commerce:  FastSpring provides a full-service online checkout with easy promotions, discounts, and cross-sells/up-sells.  The customizable interface also allows for extensive UI/UX options, from cart to in-context, enabling elegant and efficient buying experiences for your customers.

Subscriptions:  FastSpring specializes in handling recurring revenue business models related to selling subscription-based services and SaaS.  Our capability has evolved with our customer’s needs to the point where 30% of our volume now comes from subscription-related transactions.

Payments:  FastSpring enables global payments out-of-the-box, with a large set of currencies and methods supported.  Our payments engine was built to be multi-currency / multi-method from the start, rather than the usual USD / Credit Card default.  Over 50% of our sellers, and over 50% of our seller’s buyers, are outside the US.

Back-office: FastSpring handles important and but tedious back office tasks like chargebacks, taxes, and customer support (to name just a few), freeing up your time to focus on growing your business.

Customer Acquisition: FastSpring integrates with multiple services to help grow your business via increased reach (e.g., Affiliate sales) and improved conversions (e.g., abandoned cart re-marketing).

Beyond payments, Stripe offers none of these capabilities at the level FastSpring does out-of-the-box.  For some, you need to integrate Stripe with another third-party component.  For others, Stripe’s business model does not allow them to offer these services on the merchant’s behalf.  FastSpring takes care of everything with a single integration and allows for easy scalability, additional capability, and extended reach as your digital business grows.

Speed to market

You can build amazing commerce experiences utilizing Stripe, but therein lies the rub: you’ve got to build them.  We can have you selling today.  Without distracting your devs.  And that’s a good thing.


Stripe’s rack-rate is 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, with up-charges for things like international transactions, chargebacks, etc.  FastSpring’s rack-rate is 5.9% + $0.95 per transaction with payments and everything else included.  You will find that the 3.0% + $0.65 difference is more than eaten up by integrations with other point solutions, as well as internal time and effort.  Although it looks like a big difference in favor of Stripe, we know that – on an apples-to-apples basis – the business case is a no-brainer.


Stripe offers an incredible payment processing platform, but that’s only one piece of the digital commerce puzzle.  FastSpring’s full-stack offering provides support for a broad array of services that you’d have to integrate with Stripe to deliver comparable capabilities.

FastSpring’s all-inclusive offering simply offers more value, expanded business capability, and increased customer experience flexibility for your company. If you’re ready to add the best full-stack digital commerce solution to your business, then contact us today and let’s get started.

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