PayPal vs. Stripe vs. Worldpay – Selecting the Best Payment Gateway


Today we’re going to compare the pros and cons of popular payment processors in the industry.

If you have found this article it is likely that you are in the process of choosing a payment gateway for your online store. Maybe you are already processing with one of the above but are dissatisfied with the service so you are looking for a better solution.

Whatever your situation, if you want to find out which payment gateway is the right fit for your business then you have come to the right place.


Before we talk about the dedicated payment gateway operators, let us take a look at what the banks have to offer. If you have a relatively high turnover or particularly sophisticated payment needs, then getting a merchant account with a bank might be the right fit for your business.

However, when working with a bank, it can take a long time to get set up. Banks take a long time to make a decision… even a decision to decline your application can take several months. A bank will want to know a great deal about your business and require a large amount of documentation and jumping through hoops in support of your application.

Unless you are processing very high volumes we would recommend staying well clear of the banks. If you are a small business they can charge expensive fees and will more often than not decline your application. It is expensive for banks to run accounts for small businesses so they will reduce their costs by taking on less business and charging higher fees.

Banks can provide a great payment solution for your website, but it is worth building your turnover with a dedicated online payment solution before approaching a bank as you will find that a good trading history can significantly speed up a bank’s ability to process applications.

Fortunately, there are many payment processors out there providing great value and taking the stress out of accepting card payments online.

The Payment Gateways

There are a plethora of payment gateway operators claiming to offer the best solution for your business. Few are completely transparent and many will oblige you to sign up to a long-term contract with a limited window of opportunity for getting out.

Choosing the right one is like navigating a minefield.

Here we compare the major pros and cons of our following friends:


PayPal is one of the most commonly used processors worldwide. The success of parent company eBay and prominent position in online superstore Amazon has helped make PayPal a household name.

The Pros

Contrary to popular belief, PayPal can be used for more than paying via a PayPal account. It can also be used to process credit and debit card payments.

One advantage to PayPal is it is very easy to set up; account authorisation can be completed almost instantly. It is a simple and secure method that anyone can use.

If you have customers that use a personal PayPal account then this provides a quick method for them to make a payment. Some of our merchants will provide this option to increase the variety of options by which shoppers can pay.

The Cons

PayPal is buyer’s friend and sellers need to be careful about who they sell to. You may have read horror stories of the Californian company closing accounts and freezing funds with little to no explanation. This is probably because the easy set up process makes it a popular target for fraudulent sellers so they are extra cautious around disputes and suspicious activity.

It is easier for them to side with buyers and provide a refund than investigate every dispute. Unlocking an account can be stressful as their customer support team have been known to be unhelpful and difficult to engage in times of trouble.

A common complaint of PayPal merchants is that buyers are pushed to sign-up to a PayPal account. This can be unpopular with consumers and adds an unwelcome extra layer to the payment process.


Worldpay is another huge American figure in the payment industry. Based out of Atlanta, Georgia, like PayPal they are a name that is synonymous with online payments.

The Pros

Worldpay are fully PCI DSS compliant and provide 3D secure so your customer’s card details are safe when they pay using Worldpay. They also partake in fraud screening in order to protect you from fraudulent payments.

Prices can go down with high volumes so if you are a big business they can help you out with a cheaper deal.

The Cons

There can be a large transfer delay when trying to access your money. WorldPay promise a quick turnaround but has been known to take over 4 weeks to give you access to your money.

WorldPay charge a monthly fee and has other fees such as the £29.99 annual PCI compliance management fee and £15 minimum monthly trading volume that make things difficult for small businesses. In tough times these fees can be a nuisance.

Their prices can differ for businesses in different industries and they have been known to renegotiate rates to favour the most successful merchants. It is worth checking out their full terms and conditions if you want to know what the true cost of using their service is.

Worldpay recently attracted criticism for using a Visa interchange fee change to cover up a secret price increase that went over above the corresponding cost increase.


Stripe is a great disruptor company. It burst onto the U.S market in 2010 and gave PayPal a serious run for its money. Stripe made payments cool. For a company that has been trading for a relatively short amount of time, Stripe has really made a name for itself. In just five years it has established itself as one of the biggest names in the industry and is available in 18 different countries.

The Pros

If you are a technical whizz then you can do some really cool things with Stripe. It markets itself as being built for developers and in the right hands can be used to do great things. For example, ride-sharing app Lyft use Stripe for their innovative mobile app.

The development opportunities with Stripe make it ideal if you are technically minded and want the ability to play around with every tiny detail of your payment gateway and make changes to it.

The Cons

Stripe does not provide 3D secure, so you are at higher risk to fraudulent payments. The most common reason that Nochex merchants have given for migrating from Stripe is that they were the victims of fraudulent chargebacks.

PCI DSS is a stringent set of rules that all companies who handle sensitive cardholder information must adhere to. If you are using Stripe then you need to carry out a self-assessment to ensure you are PCI complaint. With other solutions the payment gateway will take care of everything so you do not have to worry about it.

If developers like it then it will likely cost you more! Your developer can spend hours, at your expense, adjusting the functionalities of Stripe. Sometimes simpler is better and is certainly cheaper. If you do not have an advanced knowledge of coding and do not want to spend lots of money hiring a developer to do it for you, then it might be easier to go with a simpler solution.

1 thought on “PayPal vs. Stripe vs. Worldpay – Selecting the Best Payment Gateway”

  1. Yes! thank you so much! Your advice was very welcome and informative, much appreciated. My only disappointment was that whilst indulging in your opinion, I noticed that you state that Stripe had ‘burst onto the U.S market in 2010’ and later and furthermore you quote ‘Stripe has really made a name for itself in just five years’ Therefore unless I’m wrong; this dates your article as 2015. Ouch! that’s disappointing!

    In a wonderful world of advancing technology you too need to bring this article up to date. I’d just made my decision to go with Stripe now I have second thoughts… Hmm!


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