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Stripe Competitors and Alternatives: Who Stacks Up Against this Payment Processor?

Brent Davis - June 11, 2021

Stripe Competitors

Stripe was founded by two Irish brothers, Patrick and John Collison in 2009. Originally the company was based in Palo Alto, California, and is now headquartered in San Francisco, California, and Dublin, Ireland.

The company became a part of the Ycombinator program under the name /dev/payments.

By 2011 the company had received investments from venture capitalist firms SV Angel, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, and PayPal founders Elon Musk and Peter Thiel.

Stripe provides APIs to web developers that they can use to integrate a payment processing system into their website. The company is privately owned and has become one of the most successful online payment processors in the world.

They serve many countries around the world including the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Oceania. The company has over 2,500 employees working for it and reported total revenue of $7.4 billion in 2020.

In 2013 the company acquired another tech startup called Kickoff which is a task management application.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest Stripe Competitors!

Stripe Competitors

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Stripe Biggest Competitors

In March 2021 the company was able to raise an additional $600 million in funding which brought its market valuation up to $95 billion. The focus of this funding is to expand their European operations.

Following this Stripe acquired a cloud-based tax service called TaxJar in April 2021. The company brings in its revenue through its payment processing services that it provides to businesses.

Businesses can manage subscription revenue and invoices through Stripe. They also develop anti-fraud tools under its brand Radar which helps to block fraudulent transactions.

Since 2019 the company has offered a physical point of sale service under the brand name Terminal. This is only available for U.S businesses and acts as a card reader that’s integrated with Stripe’s payment system.

The company launched a new service in 2016 called Atlas that helps other companies register as corporations in the U.S. 

Stripe expanded in 2019 to offer loans and credit cards to businesses based in the U.S. Its loans are approved automatically using machine learning. 

Stripe is rumored to be planning an IPO. If this happens investors will be able to buy stripe stock!

Now let’s take a look at some of Stripe’s competitors and alternatives.

  • Square – A digital payments company that offers financial services
  • Adyen – A Dutch company that offers payment solutions for eCommerce, mobile, and point-of-sale payments.
  • PayPal – An industry-leading online provider of financial services.

Stripe Competitors: Square

Stripe Competitors

Square is an American company that offers digital payments and financial services. The company is based out of San Francisco, California, and operates in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

The company was founded in 2009 by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Amrita Ahuja and Jim McKelvey. It offers a range of products and services including the peer-to-peer money transfer app CashApp.

The first product introduced by Square was the Square Reader which enables credit card payments by mobile phones. The company has been a publicly-traded company since 2015 when it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company has the ticker symbol SQ and a market cap of over $100 billion. Total revenues for the business were reported to be $9.49 billion in 2020 with a $45.18 million operating income for the same period.

In 2021 the company acquired music streaming platform TIDAL and Jay-Z joined the companies board of directors.

Stripe Competitors: Adyen

Stripe Competitors

Adyen is a Dutch company that provides businesses with payment solutions for point-of-sale, mobile, and eCommerce transactions.

The company was created in 2006 by Arnout Schuijff and Pieter van der Does who used to work for payment company Bibit. Adyen is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands with offices in 23 counties.

2,000 people work for Adyen at their offices including locations in San Francisco, Mexico City, Milan, Shanghai, and London.The company is listed on the Euronext N.V. stock exchange and trades under the ticker symbol ADYEN.

In 2020 the company had revenues of $3.641 billion with an operating income of $373.730 million. Adyen became the sixth largest European unicorn startup in 2015 with a valuation of $2.3 billion.

In 2020 the company achieved 27% year-on-year growth because the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digitization of many businesses.

Stripe Competitors: PayPal

Stripe Competitors

PayPal is the industry-leading online payments system and is available in most countries around the world. The company was initially founded as Confinity in 1998 by Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Max Levchin, Yu Pan, Ken Howrey, and Luke Nosek.

PayPal became the brand name in 2001 shortly before the company’s initial public offering in 2002. The company was then acquired by eBay in 2002 before being spun out in 2015. 

It is a publicly-traded company on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol PYPL. It is included in both the Nasdaq-100 component and the S and P 100 component stock market indexes.

The company had revenue of $17.772 billion in 2020 and an operating income of $2.719 billion. There are over 20,000 people working for PayPal at offices around the world.

Stripe’s Advantage

Stripe’s advantage is the ease at which it can be used. Unlike other payment provides like PayPal, Stripe lets users stay on your site to make a payment. With PayPal users are redirected to their site and then back to the merchant again.

This can cause some problems when things bug out. Stripe avoids this and has created a more fluid transaction that benefits the merchant and the customer.

By focusing on creating a product that targeted developers rather than owners, Stripe has solved a problem with online payments.

Developers are the ones responsible for integrating payment and Stripe came up with a simpler product than PayPal and other alternatives.

Stripe Competitors and Alternatives: Final Thoughts

Digital payments are a growing industry that has seen significant growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More businesses were forced online and they needed digital payment solutions to help process payments.

Stripe and its competitors are one of the few industries that benefited from the pandemic. They have made themselves one of the most attractive payment providers thanks to the ease at which their software can be used.


Brent Davis has been writing about the financial markets for 10 years and worked in research for the last five years at a Fortune 500 company. Brent's investing strategy is to buy high-quality companies and then let compounding do its thing.