Skip to content
Back to blog 5 min read

Airwallex vs Stripe: Choosing the Best Payment Processor for Your Business

Written by Ryan Terrey
blog feature image

Airwallex vs Stripe: Choosing the Best Payment Processor for Your Business

When it comes to selecting a payment processor for your business, the options can be overwhelming. Among the leading contenders are Airwallex and Stripe, two powerful platforms offering robust solutions for online payments. Whether you're running an e-commerce store, a subscription service, or any business that requires seamless transaction handling, choosing the right payment processor is crucial. In this comprehensive comparison, we'll explore the features, pricing, advantages, and potential drawbacks of Airwallex and Stripe to help you make an informed decision.

What is Airwallex?

Airwallex is a global payments and financial platform designed to support businesses of all sizes. Established in 2015, Airwallex has quickly gained a reputation for providing a wide range of financial services, including multi-currency accounts, borderless cards, and international payments. The platform aims to simplify global finance by offering cost-effective solutions for cross-border transactions.

What is Stripe?

Stripe, founded in 2010, is one of the most popular payment processors in the world. Known for its developer-friendly API and extensive documentation, Stripe has become the go-to choice for startups and large enterprises alike. Stripe offers a comprehensive suite of payment solutions, including payment processing, subscription management, and fraud prevention, making it a versatile choice for various business models.

Features Comparison

1. Payment Processing

Airwallex: Airwallex specializes in cross-border payments and supports over 130 currencies. The platform allows businesses to collect payments through various methods, including bank transfers, cards, and local payment methods. Airwallex also provides real-time exchange rates, which can be beneficial for businesses dealing with international clients.

Stripe: Stripe offers a wide range of payment options, including credit and debit cards, ACH transfers, and local payment methods in over 135 currencies. Stripe's payment processing is known for its reliability and speed, with features like instant payouts and smart routing to optimize transaction success rates.

2. Global Reach

Airwallex: Airwallex has a strong focus on enabling businesses to operate globally. With its multi-currency accounts and international payment capabilities, Airwallex makes it easy for businesses to manage their finances across borders. The platform also offers borderless cards that can be used for global expenses.

Stripe: Stripe is available in over 40 countries and supports payments in more than 135 currencies. Stripe's global reach is complemented by its extensive network of local payment methods, which allows businesses to offer region-specific payment options to their customers.

3. Integration and Developer Tools

Airwallex: Airwallex provides a range of integration options, including APIs and SDKs, to help businesses seamlessly integrate the platform into their existing systems. The platform also offers a robust suite of developer tools, including detailed documentation and sandbox environments for testing.

Stripe: Stripe is renowned for its developer-friendly approach. The platform offers a comprehensive API and extensive documentation, making it easy for developers to integrate Stripe into their applications. Stripe also provides pre-built solutions like Stripe Checkout and Stripe Elements, which simplify the payment integration process.

4. Security and Compliance

Airwallex: Security is a top priority for Airwallex. The platform is PCI DSS compliant and employs advanced encryption and fraud detection measures to protect sensitive data. Airwallex also adheres to local regulatory requirements, ensuring compliance with financial regulations in different regions.

Stripe: Stripe takes security very seriously and is PCI DSS Level 1 certified. The platform uses advanced encryption and tokenization to protect payment information. Stripe also offers a range of fraud prevention tools, including machine learning models that analyze transaction data to identify potential fraud.

Pricing Comparison

Airwallex: Airwallex offers competitive pricing with a focus on cost-effective cross-border transactions. The platform charges a 0.3% to 0.6% fee for international payments, depending on the currency. Airwallex also offers volume-based discounts for larger businesses, making it an attractive option for companies with high transaction volumes.

Stripe: Stripe's pricing is straightforward, with a 2.9% + 30¢ fee for card payments in the US. International payments incur an additional 1% fee, and currency conversion adds another 1%. Stripe also offers custom pricing for businesses with large transaction volumes or unique business models.

Advantages and Drawbacks

Airwallex Advantages:

  1. Cost-Effective Cross-Border Payments: Airwallex's competitive fees and real-time exchange rates make it an excellent choice for businesses dealing with international clients.
  2. Multi-Currency Accounts: The ability to hold and manage funds in multiple currencies simplifies international financial operations.
  3. Global Expense Management: Borderless cards enable businesses to manage global expenses efficiently.

Airwallex Drawbacks:

  1. Limited Availability: While Airwallex has a strong global presence, it is not available in as many countries as Stripe.
  2. Less Established: As a newer player in the market, Airwallex may not have the same level of brand recognition and trust as Stripe.

Stripe Advantages:

  1. Developer-Friendly: Stripe's robust API and extensive documentation make it easy for developers to integrate and customize payment solutions.
  2. Wide Range of Payment Options: Stripe supports a vast array of payment methods and currencies, making it suitable for businesses with diverse customer bases.
  3. Strong Security: Stripe's advanced security measures and fraud prevention tools provide peace of mind for businesses and their customers.

Stripe Drawbacks:

  1. Higher Fees for International Payments: Stripe's fees for international transactions and currency conversions can add up, making it less cost-effective for businesses with significant cross-border operations.
  2. Complex Pricing Structure: Stripe's pricing can be complex, especially for businesses with unique needs or high transaction volumes.

Use Cases: Which One is Right for Your Business?

Airwallex is ideal for businesses that:

  • Have a significant portion of their revenue from international clients.
  • Need to manage multi-currency accounts and global expenses.
  • Require cost-effective cross-border payment solutions.

Stripe is a better fit for businesses that:

  • Operate primarily in domestic markets but also need the flexibility to handle international payments.
  • Have a strong development team that can leverage Stripe's API for customized payment solutions.
  • Require a wide range of payment options and advanced fraud prevention tools.


Choosing between Airwallex and Stripe ultimately depends on your business's specific needs and priorities. If your business relies heavily on international transactions and you need a cost-effective solution for cross-border payments, Airwallex might be the better choice. On the other hand, if you need a versatile payment processor with extensive developer tools and a broad range of payment options, Stripe is likely the better fit.

Both Airwallex and Stripe offer powerful features and robust security, making them excellent choices for businesses looking to streamline their payment processes. By carefully evaluating your business's requirements and comparing the features and pricing of these two platforms, you can make an informed decision that will support your growth and success in the long term.

Whether you choose Airwallex or Stripe, integrating a reliable payment processor is a crucial step in providing a seamless and secure payment experience for your customers. Take the time to assess your options and select the platform that best aligns with your business goals and operational needs.

Join the movement.

Your Entourage journey starts here. Join Australia's largest community of over 500,000 business owners and entrepreneurs, and receive instant access to exclusive content and updates delivered straight to your inbox.