GoCardless vs Stripe – Comparing payment processing providers

Last updated on 19 December 2023

In the ever-evolving world of online payments, businesses in the UK are increasingly looking for efficient, reliable, and cost-effective payment processing solutions. Two major players in this arena are GoCardless vs Stripe.

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This comprehensive comparison aims to explain the differences between these two platforms, helping UK businesses make informed decisions.

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GoCardless vs Stripe

Feature / Fee CategoryGoCardlessStripe
Primary FocusDirect Debit payments, especially for recurring billingDiverse payment options including card payments, bank transfers, and mobile wallets
Ideal forSubscription-based models, regular invoicingE-commerce, platforms requiring complex payment solutions, international transactions
IntegrationStraightforward with popular accounting software; API availableDeveloper-friendly API; extensive integration options with e-commerce platforms
Transaction Fees1% per transaction + 20p, capped at £41.4% + 20p for European cards, 2.9% + 20p for non-European cards
Subscription BillingSupported, ideal for fixed regular paymentsSupported, highly customizable
International PaymentsSupports payments in several currencies, focus on UK and EuropeSupports over 135 currencies and various international payment methods
Currencies SupportedLimited range, focused on GBP and EURExtensive, supports multiple currencies
Security and ComplianceDirect Debit Guarantee, standard compliancePCI DSS compliance, advanced security features
Payment Processing TimeTypically 3-5 days for Direct DebitVaries, often quicker for card payments
RefundsSupported, subject to Direct Debit rulesSupported, with options for partial and full refunds
Customer SupportEmail, phone support, and comprehensive help center24/7 support through email, chat, and phone; extensive documentation
User InterfaceUser-friendly, straightforward dashboardHighly customizable, suitable for tech-savvy users
Setup CostsNo setup feeNo setup fee
Monthly FeesNo monthly fees; charges per transactionNo monthly fees; charges per transaction, additional fees for optional services
ChargebacksLow risk due to the nature of Direct DebitStandard chargeback fees apply for card payments
Additional ChargesCharges for failed payments, chargebacksAdditional fees for currency conversion, advanced fraud protection, and other premium features
GoCardless vs Stripe

This table provides a comparative snapshot of the fees and features of GoCardless vs Stripe. It’s essential for businesses to consider these details in the context of their specific payment processing needs and transaction volumes.

Overview of Gocardless vs Stripe


GoCardless, a UK-based company, specialises in Direct Debit payments. It’s particularly favoured by businesses for recurring billing models. GoCardless offers a straightforward platform for managing Direct Debit collections, making it easier for businesses to handle regular payments like subscriptions, invoices, and instalments.


Stripe, on the other hand, is a global payment processing company known for its versatility in handling a wide range of payment methods, including card payments, mobile wallets, and bank transfers. Stripe’s platform is designed to cater to a variety of business models, from ecommerce stores to platforms that require complex payment solutions.

Payment processing capabilities


GoCardless’s strength lies in its focus on Direct Debit. Direct Debit payments through GoCardless are ideal for regular, fixed payments, reducing the risk of late or failed payments. This method is particularly beneficial for subscription-based models or regular invoicing.


Stripe offers a more diverse range of payment processing capabilities. It can handle various types of transactions, including one-off payments, subscriptions, and even international payments in multiple currencies. Stripe’s API is highly customisable, allowing businesses to create a tailored payment experience for their customers.

Ease of integration


Integration with GoCardless is relatively straightforward. They provide integration options for popular accounting software and offer an API for custom integrations. This makes it easy for businesses to integrate GoCardless into their existing systems.


Stripe is renowned for its developer-friendly tools. Its robust API and extensive documentation make it a favourite among developers for custom integrations. Stripe also offers pre-built integrations with numerous ecommerce platforms and other business tools.

Transaction fees and pricing models


GoCardless charges a transaction fee based on a percentage of the transaction amount plus a fixed fee.

Specifically, the fee is 1% per transaction + 20p, with a cap at £4. This pricing model is particularly transparent, as there are no hidden costs. However, additional charges may apply for failed payments and chargebacks.

This cost structure can be especially beneficial for businesses with a high volume of regular, predictable payments, as the capped fee offers cost efficiency for larger transactions.


Stripe’s pricing is more variable, depending on the type of transaction. For card payments, Stripe charges 1.4% + 20p for European cards and 2.9% + 20p for non-European cards.

These fees are applied per transaction and can add up, particularly for businesses with a high volume of international transactions. In addition to these fees, Stripe may charge additional fees for currency conversion, advanced fraud protection, and other premium features.

While Stripe offers versatility in payment options, this can come at a higher cost for businesses processing a wide variety of payment types.

Both GoCardless and Stripe offer transparent pricing models, but the choice between them may hinge on the specific nature of a business’s transactions. GoCardless is more cost-effective for regular, larger Direct Debit payments, while Stripe’s model may be better suited for businesses requiring a broader range of payment options, including international transactions.

International payments


While GoCardless supports international Direct Debit payments in several currencies, its focus is predominantly on the UK and Europe. This makes it an ideal choice for businesses whose clientele is primarily in these regions.


Stripe excels in its support for international payments. It accepts over 135 currencies and various payment methods, making it a go-to choice for businesses with a global customer base.

Security and compliance

Both GoCardless and Stripe are compliant with the necessary financial regulations and offer robust security measures. GoCardless adheres to the Direct Debit Guarantee scheme, providing added security for transactions. Stripe, being a global platform, meets various international security standards, including PCI DSS compliance.

GoCardless vs Stripe – The verdict

Choosing between Stripe vs GoCardless depends largely on the specific needs of a business.

GoCardless is ideal for UK businesses focused on regular, fixed payments through Direct Debit, offering simplicity and efficiency in this domain.

Stripe, with its versatile payment options and global reach, is better suited for businesses that require a broader range of payment solutions, particularly those operating on an international scale.

In conclusion, both platforms offer strong capabilities in their respective areas. The decision should be based on the unique payment processing requirements of your business, considering factors such as transaction types, customer base, and integration needs.

FAQ for Stripe vs GoCardless

Is GoCardless better than Stripe for small businesses?

GoCardless is often preferred by small businesses for regular, fixed payments, especially Direct Debit, whereas Stripe offers a broader range of payment options, making it suitable for businesses that need more versatility.

Can GoCardless handle international payments as efficiently as Stripe?

GoCardless supports international payments in several currencies but is primarily focused on the UK and Europe, while Stripe excels with its support for over 135 currencies and various international payment methods.

Do GoCardless and Stripe both offer subscription billing options?

Yes, both GoCardless and Stripe offer subscription billing options. GoCardless is ideal for fixed regular payments, while Stripe provides more customisable options for various billing models.

How do GoCardless and Stripe compare in terms of transaction fees?

GoCardless charges a transaction fee of 1% + 20p, capped at £4, which is cost-effective for Direct Debit payments. Stripe’s fees are 1.4% + 20p for European cards and 2.9% + 20p for non-European cards, which may add up, especially for international transactions.

Are GoCardless and Stripe equally user-friendly for non-technical users?

GoCardless offers a user-friendly and straightforward dashboard, making it accessible for non-technical users. Stripe, while user-friendly, is highly customisable and may require a bit more technical expertise to fully leverage its features.

Do GoCardless and Stripe provide similar levels of customer support?

Both GoCardless and Stripe provide robust customer support. GoCardless offers email and phone support along with a comprehensive help centre, while Stripe provides 24/7 support through email, chat, and phone, along with extensive documentation.

Which is more secure, GoCardless or Stripe, for processing payments?

Both GoCardless and Stripe are secure and comply with necessary financial regulations. GoCardless adheres to the Direct Debit Guarantee scheme, while Stripe meets various international security standards, including PCI DSS compliance.

Can GoCardless handle one-off payments as effectively as Stripe?

GoCardless is primarily designed for recurring payments through Direct Debit, while Stripe is more versatile in handling both recurring and one-off payments, including card payments and bank transfers.

Is GoCardless more cost-effective than Stripe for a business with a high volume of transactions?

GoCardless can be more cost-effective for businesses with a high volume of regular, larger Direct Debit payments due to its capped transaction fees. Stripe’s fees per transaction could add up, especially with a high volume of diverse payment types.

How do GoCardless and Stripe compare in terms of setup costs?

Both GoCardless and Stripe do not charge any setup fees, making them accessible for businesses of all sizes.

Do GoCardless and Stripe both offer mobile payment options?

Stripe offers a wide range of payment options including mobile payments, whereas GoCardless is more focused on Direct Debit and does not specifically cater to mobile payments.

How quickly can funds be accessed with GoCardless compared to Stripe?

Payment processing time with GoCardless typically takes 3-5 days for Direct Debit, whereas Stripe’s processing time can vary, often being quicker for card payments.

Are refunds easier to process with GoCardless or Stripe?

Both GoCardless and Stripe support refunds, but the process may be quicker and more flexible with Stripe, which offers options for partial and full refunds.

Can GoCardless and Stripe integrate with e-commerce platforms?

Stripe is known for its extensive integration options with various e-commerce platforms, while GoCardless offers integration mainly through its API and some popular accounting software.

How do GoCardless and Stripe compare in their approach to chargebacks?

GoCardless has a low risk of chargebacks due to the nature of Direct Debit, whereas Stripe applies standard chargeback fees for card payments.

Are GoCardless and Stripe suitable for non-profit organisations?

Both GoCardless and Stripe can be suitable for non-profit organisations, but GoCardless may be more advantageous for regular, fixed donations, while Stripe offers more flexibility in payment methods.

Do GoCardless and Stripe both offer invoice payment solutions?

Yes, both GoCardless and Stripe offer solutions for businesses to accept invoice payments, though GoCardless is more focused on regular invoice payments through Direct Debit.

Can GoCardless and Stripe be used by freelancers and independent contractors?

Yes, both GoCardless and Stripe are suitable for freelancers and independent contractors, with GoCardless being ideal for regular client payments and Stripe offering more diverse payment options.

Do GoCardless and Stripe provide similar data analytics and reporting tools?

Stripe offers comprehensive data analytics and reporting tools, whereas GoCardless provides basic reporting features, suitable for tracking Direct Debit transactions.

How do GoCardless and Stripe handle currency conversions for international payments?

Stripe handles currency conversions for its extensive range of supported currencies, often including additional fees. GoCardless also supports several currencies for international payments but is more focused on the UK and European market.

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Reviewed by , Managing Director


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