I’ve compared Stripe and Square, two of the largest payment processing platforms in the world, in a detailed head-to-head review. My goal is to help you make an informed choice about which is the better choice for your needs.

Is Stripe or Square Better?

The main difference between Square and Stripe is that while Square does offer website payment processing it remains primarily focussed on the card reader and POS market while offering online payments as a secondary benefit for those customers. 

Stripe has the opposite focus: it is very focused on online payments and offers card readers as a secondary option.

Square might be better if

✅ You want the cheapest card reader on the market at just £19

✅ Your primary business is in-person, such as retail or hospitality

✅ You want more POS hardware options that are easy to scale as your business grows

✅ You want more comprehensive features like inventory management and marketing

✅ You want cheaper per-transaction processing fees on your website (1.4% + 25p for UK cards)

✅ You don’t want to pay £20 for a chargeback

Stripe might be better if

✅ You primarily accept payments online

✅ You’re a larger or enterprise online business with complex requirements

✅ You need lesser-known payment options (such as JCB, Diners Club, Union Pay)

✅ You need to accept payment in multiple currencies

✅ You have complex API integration requirements

✅ You don’t need POS functionality such as team management

Stripe vs Square Comparison

Stripe vs Square: Payments

Accepted PaymentsVisa, Mastercard, Amex, Apple Pay, Google PayVisa, Mastercard, Maestro, Amex, Discover, JCB, Diner’s Club, Union Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay & more
In-Person UK Cards1.75%1.4% + 10p
In-Person International Cards1.75%EEA Cards: 1.4% + 10p for EEAOther International Cards: 2.9% + 10p
Online UK Cards1.4% + 25pStandard UK Cards: 1.5% + 20pPremium UK Cards: 1.9% + 20p
Online International Cards2.5% + 25pEEA Cards: 2.5% + 20pOther International Cards: 3.25% + 20p
Chargeback Fees£0£20 per dispute
Recurring PaymentsNormal transaction feeTransaction fee + 0.5%
Instant Payouts1%1%
Tap To PayTransaction feeTransaction fee + 10p per authorisation
Bespoke Rates


Both Stripe and Square have a pay-by-use pricing structure, without long-term contracts. 

Square charge 1.4% per online transaction + 10p, while Stripe charge 1.75%.

Stripe’s in-person transaction rate is cheaper than Square for most cards, but not all. 

Stripes 2.9% + 10p transaction rate for international cards is much higher than Square’s 1.75%

Stripe supports more payment methods, including Discover, Diner’s Club, and Union Pay, allowing you to adapt to your customer’s preferences.

Square is generally more cost-effective than Stripe for online payments. However, it is 5p more expensive if your customers use a card issued within the EEA. 

Hidden Fees

Aside from processing rates, the other key difference between Stripe and Square is the hidden fees. 

Unlike Square, Stripe charges for chargebacks, recurring payments and using their Tap to Pay software, increasing your costs.

Multiple Currencies

Stripe also supports payments in over 135 currencies, making it ideal for businesses with an international reach. In contrast, Square only lets you accept payments in the currency used in the country where your account is registered.

If you operate in more than one country, you could open separate accounts to handle each currency, but this would be inconvenient. 

Stripe vs Square: POS

Order ManagementThrough 3rd party integrations
Inventory ManagementThrough 3rd party integrations
Team Management
MarketingThrough 3rd party integrations
Loyalty ProgrammesThrough 3rd party integrations
Specialised SystemsRestaurants & Retail
eCommerce Support
Multi-Location Support

Square offers more far comprehensive Point of Sale (POS) capabilities than Stripe as this is its primary area of focus. From simple card readers to till systems, printers and multi-location support, they aim to be a one-stop shop for businesses needing to take physical payments.

Stripe’s POS solutions, on the other hand are very limited and not something you’re likely to choose if you’re using a POS system as a major part of your business. They do offer third-party software integrations but their readers are rudimentary by comparison.

Stripe vs Square: Hardware

Card Readers£19 + VATBBPOS WisePad 3 – £49BBPOS WisePOS E –  £179
Terminals£149 + VAT
Register£599 + VAT
AccessoriesFrom £29 + VAT
Hardware KitsFrom £339 + VAT

Square offers far more hardware options than Stripe, making it more suitable for businesses that frequently accept in-person payments.

The Square Reader is one of the most affordable and portable card readers on the market.  Square’s Terminal and Register combines payments and POS for more advanced countertop solutions.  Hardware bundles and accessories such as docks and printers are also available, making Square more convenient. 

In contrast, Stripe’s hardware is limited to two card readers.

Stripe’s card readers are more expensive and less portable than Square’s, but they can connect to your system via server-driven integration, React Native, and JavaScript.  No terminals, registers, accessories or hardware kits are available, making Stripe less convenient and scalable for growing businesses.

Stripe vs Square: User Experience

Trustpilot Rating⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.1)⭐⭐⭐ (2.6)
Capterra Rating⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.7)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.6)
Technical ExperienceBest for beginnersBest for developers
Mobile AppAndroid Apps: POS, Team, Appointments, Invoices, Dashboard, KDS, RestaurantsiOS Apps: POS, Photo Studio, Team, Appointments, Invoices, Dashboard, RetailStripe Dashboard
Apple Store Rating⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.8)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.7)
Google Play Store Rating⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.8)⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.3)

Both Square and Stripe offer a reliable user experience. However, there are some key differences.

Square is extremely user-friendly, and you won’t need technical experience or resources to get the most out of your system. 

In contrast, Stripe is better for developers or businesses with technical resources. Its system is highly customisable but more complex than Square’s and will overwhelm smaller businesses.

Based on average ratings on Trustpilot and Capterra, Square has a more consistent score, indicating customers are more satisfied with their experience. 

Both providers have mobile apps compatible with iOS and Android operating systems. Their average ratings are pretty similar, with Square coming out just ahead. 

Stripe vs Square: Integrations

Integration PartnerSquareStripe
AccountingXero, Quickbooks, Sage and moreZero, QuickBooks, Bookkeep Accounting Sync and more
eCommerceWooCommerce, Ecwid, BigCommerce and moreAdobe Commerce, Salesforce B2C Commerce, SendOwl and more
InventoryDEAR Systems, Thrive, Yellow Dog and moreStockify and Synder
LoyaltyDigital Loyalty, TapMango, Subport and moreRewardful and Pangea Labs
MarketingMailchimp, Chaty, Trustpilot Reviews and moreHubSpot Data Sync, MailerBuddy for ConvertKit, Prospero and more
POSTouchBistro, Goodtill, Magestore POS and more
Team ManagementDeputy and Staffology Payroll

Both Square and Stripe have App Marketplaces that allow you to integrate popular 3rd party software with your system. 

Square has a better choice of integrations, including accounting, eCommerce and marketing software such as Xero, WooCommerce and Mailchimp.

There are even specialist apps for food, restaurants and healthcare businesses, making Square suitable for many businesses. 

Although Stripe also has a lot of integrations, its marketplace isn’t as extensive as Square’s. 

For example, you won’t find any POS or team management apps, which could be inconvenient if you want to manage your business from one centralised location. 

However, you can develop your own app, which is available for the public or your team. This would help you to tailor and optimise your system for a more bespoke solution.

Stripe vs Square: Security

Security FeatureSquareStripe
PCI ComplianceLevel 1 PCI DSS compliance and encryption includedPCI-certified point-to-point encryption for 4p per authorisation
Chargeback ProtectionNot needed0.4% per transaction
DisputesManagement tools includedManagement tools included
Fraud ProtectionMachine learning to monitor for suspicious transactionsMachine learning through Stripe Radar for 4p per screened transaction

Both Stripe and Square have a range of security measures to protect your business’s and customer’s information.

However, to access Stripe’s security tools, you’ll need to pay a fee per transaction, which could be a drawback if you have a high transaction volume. 

While Square includes Level 1 PCI DSS compliance and encryption as a standard, you’ll be charged 4p per authorisation for point-to-point encryption through Stripe.

Similarly, Square uses machine learning to monitor suspicious transactions and reduce fraud. However, machine learning through Stripe Rader will cost an additional 4p per screen transaction. 

If you experience a lot of chargebacks, you might find Stripe’s chargeback protection cost-effective, but this service will incur a 0.4% fee per transaction. Square doesn’t offer a chargeback protection service as it doesn’t charge for these in the first place.

While these costs seem small, they could quickly add up and reduce your profit, depending on your transaction volume. 

Stripe vs Square: Support

Support OptionSquareStripe
PhoneAvailable 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday24/7. Call request service only. 
EmailAfter raising  a ticketResponse within 24 hours
Live ChatApp & websiteAvailable 24/7
Developer SupportForum, online form, SlackDiscord
Paid Support Plans
ResourcesSeller Community, Support Centre, YouTube Tutorials, In-App SupportGuides and Support Centre

Stripe’s customer support is more comprehensive than Square’s, with customers able to contact their team 24/7.

However, Stripe doesn’t have an inbound phone line, so you can only get telephone support if you request a callback. This could be inconvenient and potentially lead to system downtime. 

Other support channels offered by Stripe include e-mail, live chat and a Discord channel for developers. 

There are also troubleshooting guides and tutorials on the Support Centre, which can be accessed on the Stripe website.

In contrast, Square’s support is only available on weekdays between 9 am and 5 pm, which could be a problem if you experience an issue outside these hours.

There’s no e-mail support, but you can talk to an agency through the app and website.

Like Stripe, Square has a dedicated support channel for developers through Slack.

Other resources include a Seller Community, a Support Centre and video tutorials. 

Both providers also offer paid support plans to help minimise interruptions to your service. 

Square’s paid support plan gives you access to 24/7 support, whereas Stripe has three packages, which are ideal for businesses with high transaction volumes.