WePay vs. Stripe: Which Is Right for Your Business?

Updated on February 24, 2020
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As a small business owner, the intricacies of merchant services can be a bit of a mystery. It can be especially difficult setting up an online payment system for your small business website. With so many payment service providers, how do you choose which one is the right provider for you?

You may be looking for a white-label payment service provider because they allow you to use your own branding for guest checkout, rather than the branding of the third-party provider. In your intensive research for the best white-label payment service provider, you may have stumbled across two leading names: WePay vs. Stripe. If you’ve narrowed your search down to these two providers, you’re probably wondering which one offers superior services and prices.

Our goal here is to help you choose a victor in the WePay vs. Stripe debate. We’ll be exploring each provider’s services, and comparing their features, pricing, and more. Most importantly, we’ll be helping you make a sound decision regarding your online payment provider, so that you can finally start your business.

What Are Payment Gateways and Payment Service Providers?

Before we dive into the details, we want to equip you with some basic knowledge regarding payment gateways and payment service providers (PSPs). Understanding these concepts will help you make an informed decision when choosing the best online payments solution to serve your specific business needs.

If you run an online store on an ecommerce platform, like Shopify or Squarespace, or one you host yourself, then you’ll need a way to accept payments online. Payment service providers, like WePay and Stripe, provide small businesses with payment gateways, which enable your site to accept electronic payments. Payment gateways act as a bridge between your business and the consumer to ensure your online transactions are completed and, more importantly, that the payment information is secure.

Note that WePay and Stripe are processing aggregators. Some merchant service providers, like Square and Dharma, offer you a dedicated merchant account. That means that your small business would have its own type of holding account to accept online payments. 

However, aggregate payment service providers, like WePay and Stripe, pool all of their clients into a single merchant account. While these services are often more convenient in the short-term than applying for a dedicated merchant account, aggregators do take on unique financial risks, especially with suspicious account activity and fraud.

WePay Overview

WePay is an online payments service based in the United States and is now affiliated with Chase Merchant Services. WePay offers payment solutions for platform businesses, including crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe.

WePay accepts payments from all major credit card companies and banks. You have the option of either embedding pre-written code into your site to accept payments or using WePay’s API to fully customize your checkout experience. If using a Chase bank account, you’ll receive same-day deposits from WePay. 

WePay’s site notes that processing fees start at 2.9% + $0.25, but it is unclear if there are additional fees for different plans.

WePay Features

Below, we will describe the three products that WePay offers: Link, Clear, and Core.

WePay Link

WePay Link functions as a basic payment processor. Once you integrate your account, merchants on your platform can accept credit, debit, and echeck payments within the United States, the U.K., and Canada. Fortunately, WePay Link features instant onboarding, which means that you can set up your account within minutes. There is a 2.9% + $0.25 processing fee when completing credit card payments. However, note that WePay’s Terms of Service list a slightly different price. 

WePay Clear

WePay advertises Clear as “a white-label solution to power your payments business.” WePay Clear helps to create a seamless branding and shopping experience. However, while you can use your own branding visuals, the term “Powered by WePay” will be visible to customers. The fees for this plan aren’t listed.

WePay Core

For platform operators who want total control over the transaction process, this can be achieved with WePay Core. Integrating directly into Chase’s core infrastructure allows you to manage merchant accounts, offer support, and handle risk and compliance directly on the merchant platform. WePay does not post pricing for this product, meaning that you’ll need to contact them directly to request a quote.

WePay Pros

Depending on which WePay products you commit to, you gain some enticing advantages:

Customization

Merchants have greater control over customization options for the signup and checkout processes, and even emailing customers.

With other PSPs, like PayPal, you see their branding during the checkout process. White-label payments, however, allow for you to input your own branding at the checkout screen, offering customers a seamless shopping experience with your store.

Ease of Use

WePay offers instant onboarding, meaning the signup process is quick and easy—something customers frequently point to as a pro. Users report that they didn’t need any technical knowledge to be able to start using WePay right away.

Compatible With Chase Bank Accounts

In addition, WePay delivers same-day deposits to your account if you use a Chase account, which means you won’t need to wait days to transfer the funds from your merchant account to your bank account. This should be especially attractive to businesses that already use Chase, as account freezes are something business owners may need to plan for with these kinds of aggregate payment service providers.

WePay Cons

Transparency With Pricing

From their website, we only know the payment processing rates for WePay Link. If you’re interested in buying WePay Clear or WePay Core, you would need to contact a WePay sales representative to receive a quote. Also, WePay’s Terms of Service list a slightly different fee: 2.9% + $0.30, as opposed to the 2.9% + $0.25 fee listed on their product pricing page.

Lack of Customer Support

WePay offers tons of customization options with their products, but it’s unfortunate that they lack customer phone support. If you have any questions or run into problems, you would need to submit a support ticket. Ticket support is only available during weekdays, so it may take days to receive a response if you submit a ticket on Thursday or Friday.

Stripe Overview

Stripe has risen to the top as one of the most commonly-used payment service providers—you’ve probably used them at some point to make a payment online or through an app. Stripe has served some prominent business names like Kickstarter, Shopify, Slack, and Pinterest. 

With Stripe, you can manage all of your business transactions, including accepting payments and resolving payment disputes. They offer a wide range of ways to implement their various products with your ecommerce site because they’ve built everything with developers in mind. 

They accept payments from major credit card companies, mobile wallets, ACH payments, and more. A convenient feature of Stripe is that they also offer a payment terminal for in-person card transactions if you have a brick-and-mortar store.

Stripe charges a flat fee of 2.9% + $0.30 for each online transaction.

Stripe Features

Stripe Connect

Stripe Connect is targeted toward larger payment platforms, like Kickstarter. With Stripe Connect, you can process over 100 types of currencies and complete transactions in over 30 different countries. Connect offers a highly customizable experience for your customers, where you can control signup and onboarding, payout timing, and get financial reporting. You can choose from pre-made user interface components, or customize everything yourself with access to the Stripe API.

The Standard version of Stripe Connect has no platform-specific fees, but a custom version starts at $2 per account per month, with .25% charge on payout volume and $0.25 charge per payout.

Stripe Sigma

Stripe is known for its built-in reporting features through Stripe Sigma. Sigma can generate in-depth reports, and is fully customizable if you can write in the programming language SQL. Sigma will cost $0.02 per transaction.

Stripe Relay

Stripe Relay streamlines the checkout process on mobile phones for your customers. With Stripe Relay, merchants can use this API to list products to sell on mobile or link their ecommerce sites. Relay can even allow instant purchases on third-party sites like Twitter. Relay is free to Stripe customers.

Stripe Pros

Here are the advantages for Stripe users:

Transparent Pricing

Research is easier for small business owners when companies post their pricing online, and Stripe is very clear that their credit card processing fee is a flat 2.9% + $0.30 for online transactions. They also list add-on prices for other features, like Stripe Sigma. Pricing is quote-based for their custom Connect plan, but aside from that Stripe pricing is clearly laid out. 

Flexibility

It’s important that your payments solution is as accessible as possible, and Stripe gives you the flexibility to offer that in several ways. Stripe’s services makes the payment process a seamless experience across all devices, including desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. They accept a wide range of currencies and alternate types of payment. Finally, they have a number of tools that they frequently update specifically to help you create a highly customized checkout experience for your customers.

Stripe Cons

Developer-Focused

Though Stripe allows for a decent amount of customization and flexibility with their products, it should be noted that Stripe designs with developers in mind. That means that if you’re not the most tech-savvy business owner, there might be limitations to how you’ll be able to use Stripe’s API and subsequent tools. 

Frozen Accounts

There have been a myriad of instances where merchants discovered their accounts were canceled or frozen. Unfortunately, this can happen with third-party payment service providers, where merchants can instantly be onboarded. If you sign up with Stripe and months later, Stripe deems your account high-risk, they can withhold your funds with little notice.

On websites like the Better Business Bureau, there are similar complaints for WePay, but perhaps because WePay serves fewer companies, most complaints about frozen accounts are directed at Stripe.

WePay vs. Stripe: Fees and Pricing

Stripe’s pricing structure is transparent and straightforward. Stripe’s pricing rate is 2.9% + $0.30 per successful charge for all online credit and debit card payments. Any disputed charges incur a $15 fee, an industry standard that WePay shares.

Stripe also allows you to design a custom package for your business. According to Stripe’s website, your rate may vary depending on volume discounts, multi-product discounts, and country-specific rates, though they do list starting rates.

WePay actually offers a baseline rate starting at 2.9% + $0.25 for transaction processing with WePay Link. However, they do disclose in their Terms of Service that certain platforms and products would carry additional charges, and they also note a slightly higher fee. 

Unfortunately, they’ve only disclosed their rates for Link, one of their three products. To gain a more accurate quote specific to your own business, you would need to contact the company for more information. 

WePay vs. Stripe: Customer Support

Both WePay and Stripe offer support by way of email, live support, and tickets. However, Stripe wins by a landslide in this category because they offer 24/7 live chat and phone support. WePay’s customer support is only available on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, and they usually respond through customer tickets.

Many business owners enjoy speaking with a live representative on the phone. This is attractive for small business owners who want phone support to help address concerns in real time. Moreover, Stripe offers training support to help their new clients get familiar with their tools.

WePay vs. Stripe: Currencies and Service

Stripe absolutely outranks WePay in this category. WePay’s tools are only available to the United States and Canada. This makes it inaccessible for other countries to use WePay’s services.

Stripe, in contrast, supports a variety of customers from different countries and can process over 135 currencies. Languages that Stripe supports include: Chinese, Spanish, French, Dutch, and Italian. If you are starting your business in the United States but hope to expand overseas, then Stripe’s additional language support will greatly serve you.

WePay vs. Stripe: Which Should You Choose?

When deciding between WePay vs. Stripe, here are some scenarios where one of these two white-label solutions might come out on top for you.

When to Use WePay

You may want to use WePay if any of the following applies to you:

  • You’re a crowdfunding or software as a service (SaaS) company: These are the companies that WePay advertises as its core demographic. Their developer tools and online customer service hubs have content specifically dedicated to guiding owners and developers through the process of using WePay to collect payments for these types of companies.
  • You use a Chase business bank account: Since WePay is a property of Chase, merchants who use Chase as their business bank receive perks like same-day deposits. In addition, for their Core product, WePay says that Chase offers “aggressive, relationship-based pricing,” which might bode well for you.
  • You don’t have much developer knowledge: Between WePay vs. Stripe, WePay is certainly the friendlier alternative to business owners who don’t have much time to get into the intricacies of coding.

When to Use Stripe

On the other hand, you may want to use Stripe in the following scenarios:

  • You do business internationally: Stripe is able to accept payments online from over 30 countries worldwide, and accepts a variety of payment types. Additionally, customer service will be available to you 24/7, so you can serve customers from any time zone.
  • You have a brick-and-mortar store: Stripe offers a terminal to integrate your online store with your brick-and-mortar store and can provide you with credit card readers while hosting all your data on cloud-based storage.
  • You need a more robust payments solution: Stripe is constantly updating its features to provide you with increased customization and flexibility. If you value streamlining the payment process for your customers on mobile and desktop, Stripe may be the option you’re looking for.

Top Alternatives to WePay and Stripe

While WePay and Stripe both have certain advantages, there are other excellent online payment processing solutions to consider. As a small business owner, you want to choose the payment gateway that is right for your specific business.

Square

Square is one of Stripe’s main competitors, and for good reason. Square can offer the same services, like accepting payments on mobile and desktop, as well as in person. 

Square’s rates also start at 2.9% + $0.30 for ecommerce transactions, like Stripe—and Square also accepts a wide variety of payments. Square has a host of partners in the Square App Marketplace that may be helpful to you if you use an online builder like Wix or ecommerce platform like WooCommerce. 

However, because of their extensive credit card processing options, like their free mobile reader, Square may be better suited for brick-and-mortar companies.

PayPal

Everybody knows PayPal as a pioneer in delivering digital payment options to the consumers. No matter what company you shop with, with every online transaction you make, paying via PayPal always seems to be an option. 

Also the signup process is fairly straightforward. To gain access to PayPal’s payment gateway, all you need to do is sign up for a free business account and purchase Payflow.

Payflow accepts all major credit cards, and has the added bonus of also accepting a wide variety of foreign payment methods. However, Payflow does have a higher rate, starting at $25 per month plus 2.9% + $0.30 for every online transaction.

Still, with the wide usage of PayPal’s services as a trusted brand, it could encourage more buyers to purchase from your online store.

WePay vs. Stripe: The Verdict

Unfortunately, it’s hard to compare pricing when WePay does not post firm quotes directly on their website. It’s worth consulting with their sales team to determine which payment service provider offers superior rates.

However, Stripe does offer superior customer support, caters to a global customer base, and has designed an API with mobile shoppers in mind. WePay, on the other hand, offers a white-label payment system that is easier to integrate into your store, which might be important to your branding strategy. 

However, one thing to note is that WePay targets large platform operators, rather than individual merchants. It’s a detail worth considering as a small business owner.

Ultimately, the choice rests in your hands. However, do remember that your options aren’t limited to WePay vs. Stripe, or even the alternatives we suggested. There are many options for payment service providers, so be sure to continue your search if you’re not completely sold on the services we discussed here.

Christine Aebischer

Christine Aebischer is an editor at Fundera. Previously, she was an editor at the financial planning startup LearnVest and its parent company, Northwestern Mutual. She has written for print and online on topics ranging from personal finance and insurance to luxury real estate and interior design. She has a degree in journalism and English from The College of New Jersey. Email: christine.aebischer@fundera.com.
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