Stripe fees in Europe

I use Braintree for credit card processing, and over the years I’ve been frustrated by lots of things there. I thought I’d migrate to Stripe, which supposedly was way better.

Well, I just shelved this project.

It turned out that payouts in EUR are fine, but payouts in USD are only possible to a USD account… in the United States. And it’s not possible to have a bank account in the US without having presence there. My SaaS offers pricing in EUR, USD and PLN and I really wanted to process those three currencies, like I do with Braintree today.

But, I thought to myself, I could perhaps live with a conversion from USD to EUR… and then I looked at the fee structure. There is an additional 2% charge for currency conversion, so overall the fees would be: 2.9% international payments, 2% currency conversion, 0.5% Stripe billing. I’m not sure how these percentages are calculated, but they add up to about 5.4% of posted prices!

I checked my last statement, and Braintree currently charges me nearly 3.1% on USD transactions. I don’t know why it’s 3.1% and not 2.9% which they advertise, but I guess that’s how things go.

I tried to find a justification for paying 5.4% and I couldn’t. Sure, I have a lot of problems with Braintree, but I guess I can live with the inconvenience for that much money. Also, most of Stripe “value added” features in Billing are useless for me anyway (invoices are issued in US-centric “speculative” way before the customer is successfully charged, no SAF-T export, insistence on phone numbers in all E-mails, forced formatting of E-mails).

I’d be interested to hear what others in the EU think — if you have a SaaS business, do you use Stripe? Do you just accept a 5.4% commission?

Would using a Transferwise account in USD help with that perhaps? We are based in EU and our Transferwise USD balance is on a US (intermediary) bank account AFAIK. We only used to to make payments but it seems possible to receive Stripe’s balance, and Transferwise’s conversation fees are pretty reasonable.

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These kind of fees make look very good, as you don’t need to take care of VAT.

I’m in The Netherlands and switched to Paddle a few months ago (just before Brexit). So far it works well and it means a lot less work regarding VAT.


Paddle makes things very simple, because they become the intermediary. But that’s also a big disadvantage.

What is their pricing for B2B SaaS subscriptions? I tried to find out from their web pages, but all I got to was a “Get your Quote” button…

I was wondering the same last week and asked Paddle for a quote. Here is the reply:

Once you’re up and running, there isn’t a monthly fee or minimum commitment: we charge 5% + $0.50 per transaction which includes all payment methods, subscription billing, licensing, sales taxes etc.

Didn’t try to see if they offer volume discounts after a certain revenue threshold.


Where do you live? I used transferwise to take stripe deposits. Now I have a euro and dollar account with starling bank in the U.K.

Ok, to summarize my current situation and thinking:

  • I do not want an intermediary. In other words, I don’t want my customers to get invoices from Paddle, 2Checkout, or any other company.

  • I might be willing to pay >5%, but only for a solution that would completely solve all the issues of: credit card processing, recurring billing, and invoicing.

  • There is no solution out there that does all of the above. Most fail at invoicing: I am in the EU (Poland) and I need dual-language invoicing with compliant (and maintained) SAF-T export for auditing.

  • Stripe gets many things right, but their requirement for USD accounts to be in the US is problematic. Perhaps TransferWise is a solution, but that complicates things even more. Also, Stripe’s idea of invoicing is very US-centric, and the automatic E-mails they provide are a non-starter for me because they can’t be modified (phone number required, seriously? In 2021?).

I’m currently processing with Braintree. They have a number of problems (for example, their recurring billing is unable to switch from a monthly plan to an annual one), and I thought I’d be switching, but it seems I won’t. My current thinking is to stick with them for CC processing and implement recurring billing myself. Invoicing is something I have to do myself anyway, it seems.

The situation would be a bit different if I had B2C sales, but I don’t plan to. It’s B2B only, so I don’t have to deal with the terrible VAT MOSS system.