Fastspring vs Paddle: payment integration to handle all the sales taxes worldwide

I’m currently looking into Fastspring or Paddle for my EU-based SaaS business.

From your experience, which one is more trustable? Looking into Paddle I found some things that worry me, like: “As Merchant of Record, Paddle shall have the right to set the price or licence fee at which the Products are offered for sale to Customers on the Paddle website.”

Integration-wise, does anyone know how much you can customize the checkout experience for customers when using Fastspring or Paddle in terms of design?

I’m also worried that customers might jump off because suddenly there is a form of a 3rd party payment provider… What’s your experience on this?

I really wanted to use Stripe, but more and more countries/states are introducing sales taxes and thus having a service that remits the tax for me is becoming essential.

Or is there maybe any service that remits the taxes for you and works on top of Stripe?

Thank you in advance for any input you might have!


Both FastSpring and Paddle are great options for an EU-based SaaS. Both are used with success by tons of existing companies, including very small ones and large ones. As a concrete example @jitbit runs an EU SaaS that uses FastSpring.

Using either is a sensible decision.

My own experience with both:

  • FastSpring has been proven by time but is a little bit dated. FastSpring is a stable, profitable company.
  • Paddle is newer, with more modern UI options, but is going through the pains of hypergrowth. They’re not yet profitable, but they say that’s because they’ve chosen to keep growing and expanding what they offer.

Both offer APIs and allow you various degrees of customisation. I’d recommend starting with their standard checkouts, but once you are happy with them, then try customising things a bit more.

A plus for Paddle for you as EU-based is that Paddle allows you to denominate your account in EUR; FastSpring only allows USD. But that’s a marginal consideration.

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When I started I was more worried that customers wouldn’t want to leave credit card data to a small anonymous vendor. I felt that a payment processor has a better brand and is more reputable for handling that sensitive part of purchase process. Thus, I never even adjusted styling of checkout pages, it’s very clear that you’re now on some other site. Of course, it’s also explained on “buy” pages.

Another point to consider. If there’s some problem with a purchase, wrong payment info, whatever, it’s beneficial that customer knows there is a third party involved there, that some things have to be communicated with them, and that you can’t solve that kind of issues.

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We use Paddle since 2+ years to sell, specifically because of that VAT nightmare.
Their checkout is easy to integrate, they have a basic API (compared to Stripe) which is enough for some automation — e.g. we used it for a special upgrade offer where customers could set their own price. And the best of all, we don’t have to deal with VAT at all.

The nice thing is that they embed major payment options, like cards, PayPal and Apple Pay.

However we’ve recently been hit with numerous fraudulent purchases, which is a pain as they incur a chargeback fee ($15 / €20), and you can’t do anything once the dispute is ongoing.
Paddle’s support team has been friendly and reactive in answering our questions — but so far they couldn’t fix the situation as these fraudulent transactions are all coming through PayPal, which they say they can’t do anything about it.

So, a few weeks in, we’ve been forced to build our own “fraud alert” dashboard, and manually refund transactions before a dispute is created.

Overall, we’ve been quite happy with Paddle, but this fraud thing is not a great experience.


I use FastSpring for one of the projects. Most of the time it’s OK, but sometimes there are, I don’t know how to call it, waves of denied payments. All of a sudden, legitimate customers, who had paid every month, starting to get “payment can not be completed” sort of messages. This usually resolves by itself, or after contacting support. This almost never happens for USA or EU. It could be their risk analysis (that is very good btw) considers orders from Russia, Colombia, Ukraine and some other countries as suspicious (and in most cases I suppose they are right, as there are too few fraud orders coming through).

I recommend using them.

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