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What's The Difference Between Stripe and Paypal?

Thinkific has native integrations with both Stripe and PayPal; so, what's the difference between these two methods? 


Stripe is the easiest way to accept credit cards on Thinkific and is seamless for the purchaser. It's likely that you've already encountered Stripe in an online purchase and didn't even know it - you can find a list of some well-known companies who use Stripe for their payments at https://stripe.com/gallery. Additionally, instructors can also choose to connect PayPal for payments. To add PayPal payments, simply head to the Integrations page of your admin dashboard.

A few main differences:

  • The checkout process. When checking out with Stripe as a payment method, your customer isn't redirected to an external URL. They simply need to enter their credit card details into the form, as below:This differs from PayPal, where the customer is redirected to the PayPal site and prompted to checkout either with their pre-configured PayPal details, or with another payment method. Once this is completed, they are redirected back to your Thinkific site.
  • Recurring (subscription) payments and payment plans. These payment methods are only offered through our Stripe integration. PayPal currently only allows for one-time payments (unless you've configured a custom workaround).
  • Payouts. When a customer purchases your course, the funds are treated differently depending on the payment method used. PayPal funds are stored in your PayPal account and not paid out directly to your bank account. However, after the first Stripe transaction, revenue will transfer directly to your bank account after a purchase is made. You can learn more about Stripe's payout schedule here.


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