eWAY tears a strip off Stripe

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Is Stripe an also-ran? Incumbent payment processor eWAY thinks so.

Payments processor Stripe hung out its shingle in Australia last week, touting benefits including quick setup, the ability to accept payments in more than 100 currencies, and rich integration capabilities.

But Australia-based eWAY has hit back, saying that it already offers many of the features Stripe claims as distinctive.

eWAY founder and CEO Matt Bullock said “a lot of the things they claimed as unique, like their developer-friendly API, end-to-end facilities, easy setup, are all matched or exceeded by eWAY.”

“Setting up eWAY is simple and elegant,” he explained. “We integrate with Xero, Bigcommerce, and hundreds of other platforms, meaning you can just tick a box and get going.”

eWAY gives clients the choice of an all-in-one service that includes everything needed to accept payments on a web site or via Xero invoices, or a payment gateway only service for those that already have an internet merchant account or that want to establish such an account with their bank.

Mr Bullock criticised the way Stripe holds payments for seven days before remitting them to merchants.

“The fact that Stripe holds funds for seven days shows clearly that they don’t understand the needs of Australian businesses.”

Mr Bullock added “Cashflow is king, and Stripe holds and controls the payment for local merchants, only giving it up every seven days. That’s something that any business owner knows just doesn’t cut it.”

In contrast, eWAY provides same-day settlement to NAB settlement accounts and next-day settlement to other accounts.

Stripe’s vetting process is also a problem, he suggested: “You can only do a trickle of business until they trust you with volume. This would be stifling for any business that is actually on a growth trajectory.”

On the other hand, Stripe’s pricing – 1.75% plus 30c for domestic transactions and 2.90% plus 30c for international and American Express transactions – could be cheaper than eWAY’s more complex tariffs which range from 2.9% plus 30c per transaction with no monthly fee (although a $49 setup fee applies) to 1.6% plus 15c per transaction with a $125 monthly fee (but no setup charge). Discounts are offered to clients processing more than $30,000 per month.

And where Stripe claims almost instant setup, a new full-service eWAY account is operational in four to six days

“Last year eWAY merchants processed $3.4B in sales,” said Mr Bullock.

“According to the recent NAB Online Retail Sales Index, Australians spent $15.3B on online retail. This means almost one in every four dollars spent flow through the eWAY transaction processing platform.”