Payment processors are the backbone of ecommerce. Without them, companies couldn’t accept payments for goods online. Two of the biggest names in payment processing are Stripe and Adyen. 

Stripe, founded in 2010, is one of the largest payment processors, second only to PayPal. Adyen has been around a bit longer, but it is still a relatively small company. Both boast great customer service reputations and a host of features along with “simple” payment processing.

So, how do you choose? Here's a side-by-side comparison of Stripe vs. Adyen so you can see how they stack up. Whichever you choose, know that Baremetrics can provide powerful data analytics for both platforms. 


What is a payment processor?

Before we jump into this head-to-head Stripe vs. Adyen comparison, you need to have a basic understanding about how payments are processed online. While this section reviews all the needed terminology, we encourage you to take a look at our dedicated article on payment processors for a complete understanding of this process.

First, there are three main entities involved in every transaction online:

  1. A payment gateway is the intermediary between the credit card company and the payment processor as well as between the merchant and the credit card company.
  2. A merchant account is a special account that can accept credit card payments.
  3. A payment processor is a third-party company chosen by a merchant to handle transactions from payment channels, such as credit cards and debit cards.

The payment processor essentially coordinates everything between the buyer and seller. When you buy something online, it might seem like your money is just sent to the shop but that is far from the case. Since fraud is rampant, product returns happen, and companies and consumers are located around the globe, there are a dozen interactions that take place within a few milliseconds.

These interactions help prove that the credit card holder is legitimate and can afford the product, the seller is legitimate and has the product to sell, the merchant and sending banks are allowed to work together, and so much more. 

At a fundamental level, the payment processor is tasked with not only making ecommerce possible but also fast, safe, seamless, and simple. That’s what is at stake when you are considering Stripe vs. Adyen for your business.


Stripe vs. Adyen: At a glance

Before we dig into the specifics of what both these service providers offer, let’s take a quick look at each brand and its core focus.

Stripe: A third-party payment processor

With industry-leading tools that developers love, it didn't take long for Stripe to make a name for itself. Interestingly, Stripe has also taken the approach of being an all-in-one ecommerce solution, which means they have a lot of features for marketplace and subscription payments. 

One drawback of Stripe is that its analytics platform is limited. If you are focused on growth, you’ll need a separate growth metrics dashboard.

Adyen: A dedicated merchant account provider

Like Stripe, Adyen also strives to be an all-in-one solution. Unlike Stripe, Adyen isn't a third-party payment processor but rather a merchant account provider. This means you'll face extra sign-up steps in order to start using the platform because they're actually giving you a dedicated merchant account. Compare this to Stripe, which accepts payments on your behalf and then transfers them into your accounts elsewhere.

Adyen allows you to accept all types of debit and credit cards along with ACH, electronic payments, Google Pay, Apple Pay, local payments, and international payments. Adyen doesn’t need to transfer the money to an outside merchant account. Instead, the money goes directly into your Adyen merchant account where you can access and manage it. 


Features

Comparing the features of these services side-by-side is important in making your decision. Here are summary lists of the features offered by Stripe vs. Adyen.

Stripe Features

  • Online payments
  • Pre-built payment page
  • Customizable payments UIs
  • No-code payments
  • Payments for platforms
  • Online invoices
  • Subscription management
  • In-person payments
  • Card creation
  • Fraud and risk management
  • Custom reports
  • Startup incorporation
  • Carbon removal 
  • Sales tax and VAT automation
  • Online identify verification
  • Accounting automation

Furthermore, Stripe users enjoy the following benefits: 

  • Get started quickly with a simple sign-up process.
  • Easily connect to other business services.
  • Developers favor Stripe for its usability and APIs.
  • Three types of 24/7 support and a user forum.
  • Service that goes beyond payments, with multiple integrations.

Adyen Features

  • Global acquiring, or in other words, local payment connections and payment methods around the world
  • Risk management
  • Revenue optimization
  • Customer insights
  • Authentication 

In addition to these feature, Adyen offers these highlights: 

  • The interchange++ pricing model can save you money.
  • A core focus on processing payments.
  • Secure and fast payment processing with omnichannel options.
  • Better for a seamless, reliable payment system across platforms.
  • Risk management and optimization tools.


Pricing

When you're dealing with money, knowing exactly what fees you're responsible for is extremely important. Fortunately, unlike a lot of merchant account providers, Stripe and Adyen are very transparent.

Stripe Fees

Stripe charges per payment, and it is usually a combination of a nominal fee plus a percentage.

  • Cards and wallets: 2.9% and $0.30 per debit and credit card transactions (add 1% for international cards and an extra 1% if the currency needs to be converted)
  • Bank debit and transfers: 0.8% to a maximum of $5.
  • Additional payment methods: Starting at $0.80. 
  • 3D Secure authentication: Included or $0.03 per update for accounts with custom pricing.
  • Card account updater: Included or $0.25 per update for accounts with custom pricing.
  • Adaptive acceptance: 0.08% per successful card charge.
  • Instant payouts: 1% of the instant payout volume with a minimum $0.50 fee.

In addition to their per-payment charges, Stripe offers many other services that come with their own fees. For example, Stripe can perform your revenue recognition functions or allow you to issue credit cards.

Adyen Fees

Adyen’s fee structure is quite different from that of Stripe. First, there is a minimum monthly invoice of $120, which makes it less budget friendly to smaller companies. Second, they split their fee into a processing fee, currently $0.12 for all payment methods in America, and a payment method fee, which varies by the payment method. Here are a couple examples:

  • ACH Direct Debit: $0.25 (and $0.20 for refunds).
  • American Express 3.3% + $0.10.
  • Apple Pay: Varies by the card used.
  • Mastercard: Interchange++ (see the explanation below).
  • Zip: 4.99% + $0.30

Interchange++ is Adyen’s attempt to save customers money at the expense of making pricing a bit more complicated. Basically, different companies and different situations charge different amounts for each transaction. Most payment processors level these fees by charging a different amount for each transaction. 

For example, if three situations have total fees of 1.5%, 1%, and 1.8%, most payment processors would add 1%, 1.5%, and 0.7%, respectively, to make all transactions cost 2.5% in total. Adyen doesn’t do this. For a full explanation, please take a look at their explanation.


Stripe vs. Adyen: User reviews 

Stripe has an overall 4.7/5 on Capterra, while Adyen has a 5/5. However, Stripe has received over 2000 reviews whereas Adyen has only 6.

Stripe user reviews

Customer reviews for Stripe are overwhelmingly positive. 

Customers are most positive about how easy Stripe is to use, how quickly it can be deployed, and how mobile-friendly the service is. Here are some highlights from the reviews: 

I like that the system is easy to use on your mobile device” - Capterra user

It is easy to use. Fast to set up and you can start receiving payments right away.” - Capterra user

One common and legitimate complaint is about the price. However, payment processors have been charging more and more for years, so keep in mind that this issue isn’t Stripe-specific.

It’s expensive. The fees are just too expensive for my organizations. I used the software with give lively which is free but the Stripe fee was not worth it.” - Capterra user


Adyen user reviews

Reviews for Adyen are also mostly positive. 

I have been using Adyen for a while now and I am very happy with their performance. It is ideal for international merchants as it support transactions in multiple payments (hosted payments, local card etc) and it is easy to personalize the platform by setting your own rules.” - Capterra user

The downside of Adyen is its minimum monthly charge. If you do not manage a lot of transactions, or your transactions are small, then you will likely be overpaying for their service at $120/month.

It is not convenient for businesses that do not manage a big number of transactions as it can be expensive.” - Capterra user

Another issue that Adyen shares with Stripe is that its analytics are not sufficient for a modern, growth-oriented company.

The reporting tools are not very developed and it would be nice to have more options to personalize the reports or gather the necessary information without struggles.” - Capterra user


Which solution is right for your business?

Stripe and Adyen both deserve your consideration if you're looking for a payment processor to handle your online transactions. Let’s review some key takeaways for each. 

Stripe is recommended for companies of all sizes, especially smaller companies looking for a quick set-up process and sell mostly in North America, Europe, and Asia. Stripe is also very developer-friendly, which may be challenging for people with non-technical backgrounds. 

Adyen, on the other hand, is built for larger companies in specific regions. They do not offer self-service onboarding, and is only available in North America, Europe, Australia, and Singapore. 

Both platforms excel as payment processors. However, the analytics capabilities these platforms provide simply don't cut it for many growing startups.


Understand business performance with Baremetrics

Baremetrics is the leading subscription analytics solution for Stripe and Adyen users. 

Our platform integrates with payment processors and calculates the most important SaaS metrics and trends to support smarter growth. 

Sign up for Baremetrics today to get actionable insights out of your subscription data, faster.