I’ve just spent some time comparing payment providers in an attempt to

  1. Get a better deal than I currently get from the bank
  2. reduce the ongoing costs from the bank

Just to be clear, I’ve been using Xero for some time to do all of my invoicing (I moved over from Lightspeed because they started removing features from the software and tried to move me to their cloud hosted product which would have doubled my yearly spend)

Obviously making it easy for your clients to pay your invoices has a lot of benefits for both you and your customers. And Xero has a function where it will accept many different processing providers, so I endeavoured to find the one that was best for my business.

Let’s have a look at the table comparing Paypal, Stripe and Square-

Feature Stripe Square ANZ EFTPOS PayPal
Monthly $0.00 $0.00 $78.95 $0.00
Per Trans 1.75% + 30c 1.9% 1.95%
ecommerce/ Keyed in/ Invoices ? 2.2% ? 2.6% + 30c
over the phone 2.2% 3.6% + 30c
Amex yes- no extra yes- no extra yes- extra= 2.75% yes- no extra
Apple Pay yes- no extra yes- no extra yes
Xero integration yes yes yes yes
Bank Acc deposit time initially 10 days, then 2 1-2 business days overnight
Chargebacks $25.00 $0.00 ? ?
EFT No No yes yes


Now, I needed to check out the features in relation to my own business, and these are the considerations-
1. My transactions are often $1-5k
2. Zero chargebacks in last 10 years
3. Some months have zero Credit Card transactions

Then I needed to consider the company reputation and look at how their policies would affect my transaction fees-

Square- looks like most of my transactions would not be in person or through their app, so they would attract a 2.2% fee

Stripe- info easy to find on website, not worried about chargeback fees because it happens so rarely. Lots of complaints about Stripe online, but these seem to be mostly from merchants who have little idea about business and how credit cards work.
Paypal- did not seriously consider because they have a reputation for taking the customers side in disputes and costing merchants $ thousands even when the merchant is right. This is similar to Stripe, but Paypal also have the added reputation of being difficult to contact.
In the end I did this- I submitted a couple of questions to Stripe through their contact form. They responded to both by close of business the same day. My biggest question was about the fees- Square charge extra for processing cards online, but Stripe only has 2 different fees- domestic cards or overseas cards. They confirmed that if my account is in Australia that Australian cards are processed at the ‘domestic’ rate.
In a nutshell, Stripe won. I opened an account, had it configured and connected to Xero in 5 minutes (not exaggerating), then made an invoice in my name and tested the payment gateway using my Amex card.
It went seamlessly and I’m happy to recommend Stripe- I’ll be saving nearly $1000 per year, my Visa/ master card costs will be about the same, my Amex costs will be lower, and customers can pay their invoices direct from the Xero portal. I’m not fully happy that the processing times will go up a bit, but overall we are winning!