Technology Blog


Stripe Vs Wave (Full Review) – What’s the difference

Online payment solutions are now a must-have for many small businesses. Stripe and Wave are two premier solutions you can use for accounting, invoicing, record-keeping and payment processing for your business. 

Today, we’ll compare these two platforms and tell you more about how they work and what to expect when you use them.

Stripe vs Wave Compared:

Here is a short primer of these two applications:


Wave is a web-based accounting platform designed in particular for small businesses. It helps business owners manage payments, invoices, bookkeeping, payroll, income and expenses. 

Wave is not a payment processor and has no accounts, so all payments go straight into your bank account. 


Stripe is one of the world’s largest platforms which primarily offers payment processing software and APIs for eCommerce websites and mobile apps.

This web app helps you send and accept payments as you manage your business online.

So how do these two services compare to each other?

Processing Time

If you’re using Wave to process a credit card payment, you’ll receive your money within 2 business days, which is pretty standard in the market.

All payments you make from your bank will also take a period of between 2-7 business days.  

When you start out with Stripe, your first payout will take anywhere between 7 to 14 days. In some countries or in high-risk businesses, it might take longer before your money hits your account.

Fortunately, for subsequent payouts, your payments will last for a maximum of 2 days.


While it may take longer for your first transactions to go through with Stripe, you’ll get your payouts no less than within two days thereafter.

With Wave, you’ll receive your money within two days of your payment.

There’s no big difference between these two apps here.

Transaction Charges

Both Wave and Stripe are transparent in the fee rates of their transactions. Stripe charges a fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents for every credit card transaction.

For every in-person payment, Stripe charges about 2.9% plus 5 cents. 

Besides these charges, you may pay more charges like: 

  • Bank Cheques, $5 per cheque received, 
  • $1 per ACH credit payment 
  • $8 per wire transfer

In contrast, Wave charges you a similar fee of about 2.9% plus 30 cents for every successful credit card payment.

For American Express, Wave will charge you an outrageous fee of 3.4% plus 30 cents.Transactions that involve bank payments have a 1% fee charge.


Except for AMEX on Wave, you’ll pay pretty standard charges on both Wave and Stripe. Wave also features other charges for bank transfers, ACH and wire transfers.

Unlike Stripe, which offers discounts on bank transactions, Wave won’t save your costs.

Stripe wins, but ever so slightly.

Also read Stripe vs Wise.


Every time an individual carries out an online transaction, the on their mind is; is my financial data safe? This is how Wave and Stripe address it:

Wave has 256-bit SSL encryption technology that protects communication between you, Wave, and your bank or credit card company.

Also, they use read-only security that prevents individuals from accessing the money in your account without authorization.

On the other hand, Stripe is already certified to PCI service provider Level 1 by a PCI-certified auditor.

Which means it has the highest level of security tools and practices to keep all your transactions and payments secure.


Both platforms have security systems that protect your transactions, your money and your data.

Customer support 

Both platforms have remarkable customer support. You can contact them via multiple systems, including phones, social media, live chat, and email.

If you’re a Wave user and run into a problem, you can contact their customer support via chat 24/7.

This is the fastest way to get your issue solved. Meanwhile Stripe also has these features, as well as 24/7 phone support.


Even though customers complain about the long hours, these companies take before addressing their issues, Stripe still wins because of their live chat. 

We wrote an article comparing Stripe to Revolut. We think you may want to have a look.

Does Wave Use Stripe?

Yes, it does. 

You can get direct payments from your customers when you connect your Stripe account to your Wave account. Using your metrics, you’ll view your income in your accounting records.

There’s only one catch to this, however. Wave doesn’t support United States Stripe accounts.

How Do I Set Up Payments On Wave?

To send invoices and manage your accounts on Wave, you must create an account on their website.

The payment application setup on Wave only applies to businesses in the United States and Canada. 

Read Stripe vs PayPal For International Payments.

Here’s how to open your account:

  • Sign Up on the Wave website, then go to the Wave payments page.
  • Click the Accept Payment button on the bottom left corner of your screen.
  • It will take you to the Payment setup, 
  • Click Turn on Payments after the setup. 

When setting up your payments, Wave will collect information on you, your business, and where you want to collect and deposit your money.

This may include filling in your bank and contact details. After completing this process, you are now eligible to process payments and send invoices to your customers.

Wave has two sets of options for customers to make payments to your business:

  • First, you can send your invoice directly to your customers. Here they’ll feed in their credit card or bank payment details and process the payment through the form that appears on the invoice.
  • If you hold the customer’s credit card credentials, you can receive payments faster. You won’t have to send them the invoice. You can process their payment on your own by following the steps below.
  • Under the Get Paid section of their invoice,
  • Click Charge a Credit Card.
  • Enters the customer’s credit cards details
  • Submit the payment

Here’s something essential to note:

Wave only allows you to use customers’ details when charging them through credit cards. Wave is quite cautious with bank payments and your customers may have to make payments on their own.

Receiving your deposit into your Account

This is the most essential part, where you set up how your money goes into your bank account.

  • Click Sales, then select the Payment tab on the left side menu.
  • Click Turn on Payments
  • Complete your application by following the 6 steps in the Payment setup

Once you submit your application, your account will be ready to receive deposits. 

Is Wave Free?

Yes, Wave is 100% free.

Their software is completely free, with no monthly subscriptions. Wave also doesn’t restrict the number of customers you can have or your invoices and transactions. These features make it one of the leading free financial apps online.

Also, you can access their optional services to help you grow your small business. These services, besides standard transaction charges, come with additional costs.

Let’s check out each service and its fees. 

Wave Advisors 

Wave has many financial experts who can teach you financial literacy and offer you support. Some of their key responsibilities are tax filing, bookkeeping, and accounting. 

Here’s the breakdown:

Bookkeeping and Payroll Support – $79 a month

You’ll get a personal accounting coach to assist you in managing your account. Also, you’ll access a 30-minute live interaction with your coach every month, and enjoy e-mail support.

Accounting and Payroll Coaching – $229

Wave will give you an accounting coach for your finances. This coach helps you correct and migrate and set up your Wave account.

Within the month, you also get a one-hour live interaction with your coach to discuss your account status. 

Tax Service–$1,500 annually

Wave experts take care of your annual taxes. They can also represent you with the IRS, quarterly reviews, insights, and planning.


Wave gives you two options of payroll: tax service payroll and self-service payroll.

Self-service Payroll: Their Self-service is within 36 states in the United states. It cost $20 a month plus $6 a month per employee or independent contractor.

Tax services payroll: They manage your payroll and payroll taxes for you. The cost fee is $35 a month plus $6 a month per employee or contractor.

Is Stripe or Wave Better?

While Stripe is a payment processor, Wave is an accounting software, so none is really better than the other. 

You can use both in tandem, or with other apps or use one which solves your exact needs. If, as a business owner, you’re only interested in sending out invoices to their customers, you might prefer Wave to Stripe.

If you need a payment collection point, Stripe’s your best bet.In addition, you can use Stripe to pay recurring bills, charity, rent, or goods and services from other online businesses.

Interestingly, both apps are popular around the world. Business owners and customers benefit from using these platforms, as they make business processes easier and more efficient. 

Final Verdict

By now, you have a rough idea about how these payment processors solve the transaction and accounting issues for businesses and customers.

If you have both Wave and Stripe, you probably enjoy a rewarding experience from both apps.

However, we think Wave is better than Stripe. Unlike Stripe, which is only available in just 46 countries, Wave is available in over 100 countries worldwide.

This makes it an excellent option for businesses that transact with customers across all regions.