Stripe vs Airwallex: compare on fees, features and benefits

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

If you run an eCommerce business, you'll need an online payment gateway in order to accept credit and debit card payments from customers. Both Stripe and Airwallex offer payment gateways that plug into your eCommerce store, but which solution is right for your business? Read on to find out how Airwallex compares against Stripe on price, features and benefits. 

Top tip: From 1st July 2022, Stripe will increase their European card transaction fees to 2.5% + £0.20. Airwallex offers a cheaper rate of 1.8% + £0.20 for European card transactions. Our currency conversion fees are also more than 50% cheaper than Stripe’s, making Airwallex the best option for UK businesses with international customers.   

What is Stripe?

First things first — what is Stripe?

Stripe is a payments-technology company that provides businesses with a platform to accept payments from customers.

Stripe offers a point-of-sale (POS) system for brick-and-mortar retailers to accept in-person payments, and a payment gateway for eCommerce businesses to accept credit and debit card payments online. Mobile wallet payments and “buy now, pay later” services are also available through Stripe.

What is Airwallex?

Airwallex is a one-stop solution for cheaper and more efficient money management.

The Airwallex payment gateway integrates seamlessly with Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento, and offers cheaper transaction fees and better FX rates than Stripe.

Airwallex enables eCommerce businesses to settle in multiple currencies directly into a Foreign Currency Account. In practice, this means your business can collect online payments from domestic and international customers in multiple currencies, hold funds in your Airwallex account, and use those funds to pay out to suppliers, all whilst avoiding conversion fees.

Airwallex also offers virtual cards, end-to-end expense management, and fast money transfers to over 130 countries.

Compare Stripe with Airwallex 

Use our comparison table to see how Stripe measures up against Airwallex on fees, features and benefits:

Airwallex vs Stripe UK comparison table. Compare on fees, features and benefits.

Stripe fees explained

Stripe charges a fee for each successful credit or debit card transaction.

Stripe fees vary depending on whether the card your customer uses to pay is domestic, non-domestic but within the EEA (European Economic Area), or international (outside the EEA). 

In addition to their transaction fees, Stripe charges a 2% FX fee if you wish to convert foreign currencies to GBP. 

Stripe price update for European cards

From 1st July 2022, Stripe will increase their EEA card transaction fees to 2.5% + £0.20 (the previous fee was 1.4% + £0.20). According to a statement from Stripe, this price change is due to Brexit and additional card network costs.  

Airwallex charges 1.8% + £0.20 for European card transactions, making us the cheapest option for UK businesses with customers in the EU.

A table displaying Stripe's card transaction fees in the UK

Airwallex fees explained

Like Stripe, Airwallex charges a per transaction fee for successful credit and debit card payments. But Airwallex is cheaper than Stripe for domestic and European card transactions, and our competitive FX rates make processing international payments more cost-effective.   

How much does Airwallex charge per transaction?

See the table below for a breakdown of Airwallex Online Payment fees. 

A table showing Airwallex UK online payment gateway card transaction fees

Airwallex international fees explained

Airwallex charges 1.8% for European card transactions, that’s 0.7% cheaper than Stripe. 

For other international transactions, Airwallex fees are in line with Stripe. However, our FX fees are more than 50% cheaper, at just 0.5 - 1%. 

This means that you can accept payment from international customers in their local currency and convert your funds back to GBP without excessive fees. Allowing you to tap into new markets and grow your business internationally without narrowing your profit margins.   

Airwallex Global Accounts explained

Airwallex Global Accounts allow you to settle in multiple currencies without converting funds to your home currency. 

For example, if your business has US customers, you can collect payment in dollars, hold those dollars in your account, then use them to pay for expenses (such as SaaS subscriptions and supply chain costs) without being subject to FX fees. 

You can transfer funds from your account to over 130 countries, or pay out using your borderless debit cards.

Use Airwallex as a Stripe alternative for cheaper payment acceptance

The Airwallex online payment processing makes accepting domestic and international payments easier and more affordable than Stripe. 

Airwallex's plug-and-play extension integrates seamlessly with eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento. Once set up, you can accept customer payments in 170+ currencies directly into your Global Account. 

Airwallex multi-currency settlement allows you to accept foreign currency payments without auto-converting to your home currency, saving you 2% on each international transaction vs Stripe. If you do wish to convert your funds, you can take advantage of Airwallex’s low FX rates.

The benefits of Airwallex's online payment gateway include:

  • Pay less for domestic payment acceptance vs Stripe.

  • Save 0.7% on European card transactions vs Stripe.

  • Accept card and alternative payment methods in over 170 currencies.

  • Settle payments in 11 major international currencies directly into your Business Account. Avoid double conversions and hedge against currency fluctuations.  

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

  • Enjoy competitive FX rates — just 0.5 - 1% above the interbank exchange rate — as well as zero foreign transaction fees.

  • Choose from our flexible integration methods, ranging from a simple plug-and-play solution to fully customisable APIs.

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

  • Enjoy the benefits of Airwallex’s full product suite, including end-to-end expense management and faster and cheaper transfers. 

Final thoughts

UK eCommerce companies can save money while growing their businesses at home and abroad by signing up for a free Airwallex business account.

Sign up today, or click below to watch a 3-minute demo.

Related article: Airwallex vs Payoneer: compare on price, FX rate and benefits

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Tilly Michell
Content Marketing Manager

Tilly manages the content strategy for Airwallex. She specialises in content that supports businesses in their growth trajectory.

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