Stripe vs Airwallex: compare on fees, features and benefits

Shermaine Tan5 minutes
E-commerceBusiness tipsStart-ups
Stripe vs Airwallex: compare on fees, features and benefits
In this article

If your business sells products or services online, you'll need a way to accept payments and create a smooth checkout experience for customers. In Singapore, Stripe and Airwallex offer payment gateways that easily integrate with eCommerce platforms. But which solution is right for your business? 

Keep reading to find out how Airwallex compares to Stripe in terms of features, benefits, and price.

What is Stripe?

First things first — what is Stripe?

Stripe is a payment processing company that lets businesses accept single and recurring payments from customers. They offer a point-of-sale (POS) terminal for accepting in-person payments, and a payment gateway for eCommerce businesses. Stripe supports various payment methods, including card payments, mobile wallets, buy-now-pay-later, and bank deposits.

What is Airwallex?

Airwallex is a financial platform that simplifies international payments for global businesses. Its Payment Gateway allows eCommerce businesses to settle multiple currencies directly into their Airwallex multi-currency account, without automatically converting them to SGD.  

This is called like-for-like settlement, and it lets you avoid unnecessary conversion fees when you collect payments in USD, GBP, and 9 other leading currencies. You can hold these funds in your Airwallex account, and use those funds to pay out to international suppliers in the same currency using Airwallex Borderless Cards and high-speed Transfers, all whilst avoiding costly currency conversions. If you do wish to convert currencies, you'll benefit from near-interbank exchange rates.

Compare Stripe with Airwallex in Singapore

Here’s a quick overview of the features, benefits, and pricing for Stripe and Airwallex. 

Note that both firms offer two pricing models: Interchange ++ pricing and Blended pricing. Interchange ++ pricing is made of 3 components: an interchange fee for the card issuer, a scheme fee for the card network, and a markup for the payment gateway. This means that the total cost of a transaction may vary, as the interchange fee is determined by multiple factors, including the type of card used (credit or debit) or the region where the transaction occurs. With blended pricing, each transaction is charged a fixed fee that covers all processing costs. No matter how the transaction is processed, you'll always pay this fee.

The table below compares blended pricing. Use our comparison table to see how Stripe measures up against Airwallex on fees, features and benefits:

Sources: Stripe, Airwallex as of 1 April 2024

Stripe in Singapore: Features and benefits

 The Stripe payment gateway comes with the following features:

  • Show prices in 135 different currencies and receive the funds in SGD.

  • Create your preferred checkout experience using pre-built payment forms, modular UI elements, or APIs.

  • Stripe lets you create customisable invoices for one-off or recurring payments. Customers can pay through cards or bank transfers.

  • Fraud protection on every payment using Stripe’s machine learning and data from millions of businesses.

  • Like-for-like settlement in USD if you connect a USD bank account to your Stripe account

Stripe transaction fees and international fees

Stripe charges a per-transaction fee for each successful payment. Fees vary depending on the payment method, and whether the customer’s card is domestic (issued in Singapore) or international (issued overseas). 

Stripe’s domestic fees explained

When customers use domestic cards, Stripe will charge 3.4% plus an SGD 0.50 fixed fee per successful payment. The fees are the same for all cards and networks.

For PayNow payments, Stripe charges 1.3% per successful transfer.

For GrabPay payments, Stripe charges 3.3% per successful payment.

Stripe’s international fees explained

Stripe charges 3.9% plus SGD 0.50 per successful transaction from international cards. 

If you choose to display prices in your customer’s local currency, Stripe will automatically convert the payment to SGD if your linked bank account can only accept SGD. When this happens, this incurs a 2% currency conversion fee.

There’s also an additional 1% plus SGD 0.50 per card charge settled in USD. This fee will only kick in when you have a linked USD bank account.

💰 Money-saving tip: Reduce unnecessary conversions and fees on transactions with the option to collect and settle in the same currency using Airwallex’s payment gateway.  

Stripe’s payment method fees explained

Stripe supports popular local payment methods from around the world, such as SEPA Direct Debits in the EU. Each payment method has its own fee, which ranges from 0.80% to 2.2%. You also get charged 1.5% per successful transaction using international payment methods plus the 2% currency conversion fee.

Digital wallets like AliPay and ApplePay have their own fees, which range from 2.2% - 3.4%. There’s an additional 0.50% charge if the payment is completed with an international card. A 2% currency conversion fee will also apply if customers pay in local currency

Do Stripe fees have GST?

For Stripe users in Singapore, Goods and Services Tax (GST) will apply to certain Stripe products like Connect and Radar.

For payments, Stripe calculates taxes depending on where your customer is located. Taxes will be collected upon checkout, and are automatically added to invoices.

Airwallex Payment Gateway: Features and benefits

Airwallex is a financial platform that simplifies international payments for global businesses. Its Payment Gateway allows eCommerce businesses to settle multiple currencies directly into their Airwallex multi-currency account, without forcing conversion to SGD.  

This is called like-for-like settlement, and it lets you avoid unnecessary conversion fees when you collect payments in USD, GBP, and 9 other leading currencies. You can hold these funds in your Airwallex account, and use those funds to pay out to suppliers in the same currency.

Airwallex’s payment gateway comes with the following features:

  • Accept payment from 180+ countries and regions via 160+ payment methods.

  • Payout to suppliers and staff in multiple currencies directly from your Global Account. 

  • Market-leading foreign exchange fees

  • Seamless integration with Shopify, WooCommerce and other leading eCommerce platforms.

  • Choose from flexible integration options, ranging from a simple plug-and-play solution to a fully customisable checkout.

  • Reduce chargebacks and improve payment acceptance rates with our pre-chargeback program and smart retry logic.  

  • Protect your funds and data with our 3DS fraud engine. 

Airwallex also offers an all-in-one Business Account with everything you need to run a global business, such as Global Accounts, FX & Transfers, and Borderless Visa cards.

How does Airwallex charge fees?

Like Stripe, Airwallex charges a per-transaction fee for each successful payment. Each payment method has its own fee, while card payment fees vary depending where the card was issued (domestic or international).  

Airwallex domestic fees explained

Airwallex charges 3.3% plus SGD 0.50 gateway fee per domestic card payment. The fees are the same for all cards and networks.

For PayNow payments, Airwallex charges 1% per successful transfer.

For GrabPay payments from Singapore, Airwallex charges 2.80% per successful payment.

Airwallex international fees explained

Airwallex charges 3.6% plus SGD 0.50 gateway fee per transaction from international cards. If the currency is supported by a like-for-like settlement, you can receive these funds in your Airwallex Global Accounts without unnecessary conversion into SGD.

Airwallex Global Accounts explained

Airwallex Global Accounts allow you to settle in multiple currencies without converting funds to SGD. For example, if your business has US customers, you can collect payment in USD, hold those USD in your account, then use the USD to pay for expenses (such as SaaS subscriptions and Google adverts) without being subject to foreign exchange fees. 

You can transfer funds from your account to 150+ countries, or make payments with the Borderless Visa debit card.

Airwallex payment method fees explained

Airwallex supports 160+ local payment methods in APAC, Europe, the USA, and LATAM. Fees vary according to the payment method.

The same international fees apply for local payment methods, plus a 2% currency conversion fee for converting currencies that aren’t supported by like-for-like settlement. 

Use Airwallex for cost-effective global payment acceptance

Stripe can be a good option for eCommerce brands that sell locally and have a brick-and-mortar location. If you also want to sell to overseas markets, Airwallex’s Payment Gateway makes payments easier and more affordable. 

Our domestic and international fees are lower compared to Stripe, and you save even more with Airwallex’s multi-currency settlement. You can accept foreign currency payments without auto-converting to SGD, saving you cost from unnecessary currency conversion fees as well as an additional 1% on each international transaction versus Stripe. 

If you do wish to convert your funds to SGD, you can take advantage of Airwallex’s market-leading FX rates. Airwallex also integrates seamlessly with eCommerce platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce, allowing you to build a frictionless global checkout fast. Once set up, you can accept customer payments in multiple currencies directly into your Global Account. 

Singapore eCommerce companies can save money while growing their businesses at home and abroad by signing up for a free Airwallex Business Account. That translates to better profit margins for your business, and thousands of dollars back in your pocket.

Sign up free today to learn more.

***Note: This publication does not constitute legal, tax, or professional advice from Airwallex nor substitute seeking such advice, and makes no express or implied representations/warranties/guarantees regarding content accuracy, completeness, or currency.

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Shermaine Tan
Manager, Growth Marketing

Shermaine leads the development and execution of content for businesses in Singapore and the SEA region.

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