Michael Herrmann, author of fman (a dual-pane file manager for Mac, Windows, and Linux, if you're in the market for something like that) has an interesting take on choosing between PayPal and Stripe in a consumer-facing business: don't.

Despite these difficulties, it turns out that offering PayPal was a good decision: Even though Stripe is the default option, two thirds of fman purchases are now made with PayPal. From feedback, I know that some people simply can't pay by credit card. Thus, offering PayPal significantly increases fman's (small) revenue.

PayPal, despite the pain of working with its arcane and archaic API and backend, offers consumers real advantages that Stripe and other merchant services don't:

  • Easier to type an email and password than all the required credit card information.
  • No need to trust the merchant with control of the subscription - you can cancel any PayPal-based subscription from PayPal's UI.
  • PayPal works in a lot of countries where credit cards are hard to come by.

If your business targets consumers, it is very likely worthwhile to take the hit and spend the one-off cost to add PayPal as an option to your checkout.  For B2B, it's much less of a slam-dunk, since any serious business (and you should be targeting serious businesses) will have access to a credit card they can use for serious purchases.