Stripe vs Paypal vs Square: Best Organizational Transaction Platform

Stripe vs Paypal vs Square: Best Organizational Transaction Platform

Stripe vs Paypal vs Square: Best Organizational Transaction Platform

If donations, tickets, and fundraising efforts are the lifeblood of nonprofits, then your payment platform is the mechanism that keeps that blood pumping. And if you don’t have a secure and reliable payment platform in place, then you are holding yourself back from not just donations and ticket sales but membership engagement and long-term growth.

Below we’ll compare three popular transaction platforms – Stripe vs PayPal vs Square – to evaluate which platform is right for you. 

How accepting payments have changed over the years

Traditional fundraising efforts, like holding an event or sending a fundraising update through mail, are still important. You can still appeal to a lot of members and donors by holding fun auctions, fundraising events, dinners, direct mailing campaigns, and more. These events bring people together around a common goal and create a sense of community that is valuable to donors.

What modern and online fundraising strategies offer, however, are simply more ways to engage with and attract younger donors. Online fundraising is faster, simpler, more accessible, and more geographically available. You can diversify your types of sales as opposed to relying on funds solely from in-person events, in-house ticketing, and in-house gift shops. 

Online fundraising platforms allow you to:

  • Reach out to anyone, anywhere in the world
  • Improve your social media and online marketing strategies
  • Make it easier for donors to become members with one click
  • Helps you gain insight and data to your donors and members
  • Caters to younger generations who spend much of their time online
  • Automated functionalities will save you time across the board

One downside with online fundraising and ticketing is security. If you’re using an independent payment platform like PayPal or Stripe, you will still be responsible for your security needs on your own website, which may require you to add an SSL certificate to your website when accepting payments for memberships. 

PayPal as a nonprofit payment processor

Since its conception in 1998, PayPal has quickly become one of the most popular online payment processors out there. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect with PayPal:

  • Transaction fees: The first thing to be aware of is transaction fees. A standard transaction fee is 2.9% with an additional $0.30 per transaction, and if you have PayPal Payment Pro, that goes down to  2.89% with a $0.49 transaction fee. 
  • Subscription fees: If you’re trying to handle credit card transactions directly through your website, you have to upgrade to PayPal Pro, which comes with a monthly subscription fee of $30 per month. If you want to add automated recurring payments for your members, which a lot of nonprofits value, PayPal will ask for an additional $10 per month. 
  • Payout time: Bank transfers from PayPal are available immediately
  • Other considerations: You might be wondering if PayPal Pro is worth the extra cost. Credit card payments are shown to have better conversion rates on PayPal (14% better), which means your guests are more likely to complete a transaction through a credit card payment. Additionally, membership recurring fees are important to nonprofits, and it’s worth it to note that you won’t be able to charge member cards for incidental transactions, which is not the case with Stripe. 

Stripe as a nonprofit payment processor

If you have a large organization or massive fundraising/donor needs, Stripe will often be a better choice over PayPal. Stripe has more customization features that will suit the needs of larger nonprofits and cultural institutions. 

  • Transaction fees: Similar to PayPal, Stripe charges 2.9% with a $0.30 transaction free per transaction. An additional 0.5% fee for billed transactions are also charged, and discounts are provided for Stripe customers in the US who process over $100,00 per month.
  • Subscription fees: There is no monthly subscription fee. 
  • Payout time: The payout time takes two days to access your funds.
  • Other considerations: While Stripe does not have a built-in subscription fee, you can add additional recurring fees on member’s cards for membership you would like to integrate into your payment system. Members also have the ability to adjust their billing schedules and renewal dates for recurring membership costs.

Square as a nonprofit payment processor

While Square is one of the more popular online payment systems, they are more known for their in-person payments and in-house POS systems. Square is more flexible in this sense, and if in-person is right for you, Square has more to offer than Stripe and PayPal. 

  • Transaction fees: Similar to both Stripe and PayPal,  Square charges 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction for online payments. Their credit card fee is an additional 1.75%, and they charge 2.5% for keyed entries. 
  • Subscription fees: Square’s Loyalty Program, essentially a membership feature that allows customers to rack up points on every purchase, is $45 a month. Square also has tiered Loyalty features that can engage more members and offer attractive long-term rewards. 
  • Payout time: Square has a 1-2 day payout time.
  • Other considerations: The biggest thing to consider with Square is, again, how much you will use their in-person POS features. For gift shops and brick-and-mortar stores, Square offers a sleek inventory management system that helps store owners stay on top of their available stock. There are also a plethora of employee management options that help with things like scheduling and timekeeping to performance tracking and advanced reports. 

What ACME’s payment system offers

What ACME offers to nonprofits and cultural institutions is an all-in-one ticketing solution that caters directly to your needs. ACME, like Square, offers a flexible POS system that can be accessed from any tablet or mobile device, which make it easier for employees to sell tickets and offer membership opportunities to guests visiting your venues or events.

ACME’s cloud-based technology can also benefit you in the following ways:

  • Contactless payment system with open APIs
  • Donor marketing and campaign strategies that allow you to reach your target donors with ease
  • Member and membership management features
  • Online, offline, and time ticketing capabilities
  • Partnerships and integrations with industry leaders like Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, and Raiser’s Edge

ACME is an affordable option, starting at $1 per transaction, and caters to all nonprofits and cultural institutions, large or small. 

Click here to learn more about how ACME can help meet your ticketing, donor, fundraising management, and membership needs today. 

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