Adyen vs Airwallex: compare on fees, features and benefits

5 minutes
Adyen vs Airwallex: compare on fees, features and benefits
In this article

What is Adyen? 

Adyen is a global payments platform that allows businesses to accept payments online, on mobile, and at the point of sale. The company was founded in 2006 in Amsterdam by a team of entrepreneurs, including current CEO Pieter van der Does and incumbent CTO Arnout Schuijff. 

The initial focus was providing advanced analytics tools to help businesses optimise their payment processes. However, Adyen soon recognised an opportunity to build a full-stack payment platform from the ground up, leveraging modern technology to overcome the limitations of legacy systems.

Over the years, Adyen has expanded its product suite and geographical footprint, obtaining licenses to operate as a payment institution across Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific.

Key aspects include:

Online payments

Accept major card schemes, mobile wallets, and local payment methods in a single integration.

Unified commerce

Capture payments across online, in-app, and in-store channels with centralised reporting and management.

Revenue optimisation

Access data-driven tools to enhance authorisation rates, prevent fraud, and reduce chargebacks.

Embedded financial products

Offers financial products, such as lending and issuing, to its merchants.

Global reach

Payout globally, to bank accounts and cards in 190+ countries, including North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. Local payouts can be activated in over 40 countries1.

What is Airwallex?

Founded in 2015, Airwallex streamlines complex international treasury management for growth-stage businesses across multiple geographies. It is a fintech platform enabling businesses to seamlessly manage cross-border payments, collections, and finances. 

Purpose-built for digital businesses, Airwallex’s end-to-end financial stack helps companies scale globally across commerce, payouts, spend management and more. Core elements include:

Global accounts

Create accounts in multiple currencies and countries. Collect, hold and send in 23 currencies with local bank details, such as GBP, USD, EUR, AUD, CAD, CNY and many more. Every currency account is assigned unique account details for local and international payments.

Online payments

Accept payments from 180+ countries in 180+ currencies. Integrate via hosted checkout, API, payment links, or partner plugins.

International transfers & FX conversions 

Make rapid, no-fee payments to more than 110 countries through local payment rails and avoid costly cross-border fees. Send 11 major currencies (USD, HKD, CNY, AUD, EUR, GBP, CAD, SGD, CHF, NZD, JPY) at the interbank rate + 0.5%, and all other currencies at the interbank rate + 1.0%. Customers can send money to 150+ countries, 85 of which are same-day payouts, and 65 of which are instant payouts.

Multi-currency cards

Issue Visa corporate cards with custom spend controls. Use Airwallex’s borderless cards in-store or online and settle directly in 10+ currencies without conversion fees. 

Bills and accounts payable

Send invoices across entities, currencies, and countries. Attach payment links to collect funds faster. Airwallex can automate batch payments of up to 1,000 across currencies and countries.


Sync data in real-time with Xero, NetSuite, WooCommerce and other ecosystem tools.

Adyen features and fees explained

Adyen offers two primary pricing plans:

Interchange++ model

  • Charges a fixed processing fee and interchange and scheme fees for each transaction

  • Separate pricing applies for alternative payment methods 

  • Offers greater transparency into cost drivers

Blended pricing

  • An all-inclusive fee as a fixed percentage per transaction

  • Rates vary by card brand, business model, and geography

  • More straightforward to manage but tends to be more expensive  

Here are some representative Adyen fees2:

  • Visa/Mastercard: Interchange + €0.11 per transaction + 0.60% (acquirer markup)

  • American Express: 3.95% + €0.11 per transaction

Adyen merchants can receive payouts in various major settlement currencies. And while Adyen supports 190+ transaction currencies, it charges 0.9% on top of exchange rates for major foreign currency settlements and 1.8% for exotic currencies.

Adyen provides point-of-sale (POS) terminals for in-store payments that support contactless, chip and PIN, and swipe cards. These terminals have upfront and/or rental costs in addition to transaction fees.

Adyen also offers issuing capabilities like physical/virtual cards (to enterprise customers) and “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) options through Klarna. However, pricing is opaque, and limited public data is available.

Airwallex features and fees explained

Airwallex uses a simple blended pricing model or interchange++ for card acceptance3:

  • 1.3% + £0.20 for UK/EU cards  

  • 3.15% + £0.20 for international cards

This covers all major card networks like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. 

For alternative payment methods across 180+ countries, Airwallex charges a flat 1% fee. Airwallex also offers more transparent and affordable FX pricing than Adyen. Businesses can:

  • Collect and hold funds in 23 currencies with unique local bank details at no extra cost

  • Access interbank FX rates + a 0.5% margin to convert between 11 major currencies  

  • Make no-fee global transfers to 180+ countries via local payment rails

This unified multi-currency infrastructure means companies can avoid unnecessary conversions as money flows across borders.

On the spend management side, Airwallex offers physical and virtual multi-currency Visa employee cards to control team expenses. The first five UK cards are free, then it’s £5/user per month. Monthly card spending limits are configurable per user between £100 – £25,000.  

Adyen vs Airwallex additional capabilities

Beyond core payments, Adyen and Airwallex provide supplementary tools to help companies transact globally:

APIs and integrations

  • Adyen offers API endpoints and plugins for leading eCommerce platforms, ERP and POS systems4

  • Airwallex supports direct integrations with Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, Xero, NetSuite and more

Risk management

  • Adyen’s RevenueProtect tool leverages data across its network to block fraud and minimise chargebacks in real-time

  • Airwallex allows setting velocity limits, blocklists and purchase restrictions to catch suspicious activity early


  • Adyen enables automatically splitting transaction settlements between multiple parties or supplier accounts. This is reserved for enterprise businesses via Adyen for Platforms.

  • Airwallex offers flexible mass payouts for enterprise customers in 180+ countries via API or batch uploads  


  • Adyen users can email hosted PayByLinks for one-off invoice collections

  • Airwallex supports creating professional invoices across entities, currencies and payment terms


  • Adyen follows a premium onboarding and technical account management model for enterprise clients

  • Airwallex offers customer support to all customers and dedicated account managers to eligible customers

Final thoughts

Adyen delivers a powerful solution for a small number of enterprise companies processing massive payment volumes across in-store and digital channels. Its single platform for unified commerce and embedded financial products is attractive to high-GMV (gross merchandise volume) brands.  

However, for small and medium businesses rapidly expanding worldwide, Airwallex offers more flexible and affordable global payment capabilities.

These include:

  • Local collection methods in 180+ countries settle directly into multi-currency digital wallets

  • Convert and payout at superior FX rates via local payment rails

  • Manage international AP/AR, spend and accounting from an integrated platform 

By bundling payment acceptance with cross-border money movement, FX and finance automation, Airwallex empowers digital businesses to scale internationally with fewer constraints. 

Transparent usage-based pricing with minimal upfront investment means predictable costs even as transaction volumes fluctuate. So while Adyen remains a compelling enterprise-grade payments provider, Airwallex is uniquely positioned to help digital-first businesses grow globally without friction.


For more information on Airwallex, visit Airwallex Business Account and Airwallex pricing.






Disclaimer: We wrote this article in Q2 2024. The information was based on our own online research and we needed help to manually test each tool or provider. The information is provided for educational purposes only and a reader should consider the specific requirements of their business when evaluating providers. This research is reviewed every six months. If you want an update, please contact us at [email protected].

Back to blog


Subscribe for our latest news and updates

Related Posts

Payment gateways: What are they and how do they work?

Payment gateways: What are they and how do they work?

5 minutes

What is a virtual card? How do they work?

What is a virtual card? How do they work?

4 minutes

Digital Payments: What are they and how do they work?
David Beach

6 minutes