Tag Archives: Online Payments

PayPal vs Stripe? Which payment gateway is better?

20 August 2018 openplay Leave a comment Booking System, Technology

PayPal and Stripe are two programmes that process online payments. It sounds pretty straightforward, but there is a heap of other products, such as financing services, mobile payments and dashboard reviews. These tag onto their systems, making the booking process cleaner and more effective.

These two are by no means the only payment gateways out there- nor are they the cheapest- but PayPal and Stripe are far superior to anything else in the market. Before getting stuck into comparisons, it is important to know that both companies adhere to strict international laws and are highly secure. There is no need to worry about the security of your transactions, as both of these systems are completely trustworthy and reliable.

Founded in 1998, PayPal is a globally recognised brand, trusted by even the most novice of consumers. It is reliable, hardy and functional. But just because the brand is long established does not mean it is superior.

Stripe came about in 2010, co-founded by the Collison brothers- aged just 19 and 21. But don’t let the company’s youth turn you off. Stripe bulldozed its way to multi-billion dollar success, making John Collison the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. Companies like Facebook, Under Armour, Deliveroo and Shopify all rely on Stripe’s service.

We, at OpenPlay, have years of experience dealing with payment gateways. Some have clumsy integration, others self-promote, many are unreliable. With our knowledge, and from listening to feedback from clients, there are two that stand out amongst the pack. And then, between PayPal and Stripe, there is one very clear winner.

1) Speed and efficiency

PayPal makes consumers complete 10 steps en route to payment. The longer and more complicated a booking form takes to complete, the more likely your customers will get frustrated and abandon their shopping cart.

The Stripe journey requires only three steps, meaning payment- the boring, but most important part of a purchase- is speedy and successful.

PayPal: 0

Stripe: 1

2) The sign-up process

PayPal encourages customers to sign up to its system. This means that PayPal is prioritising its own service over that of the market website. A lengthy sign-up distracts your customer, leaving the potential for basket abandonment.

Stripe keeps its eye on the prize, focusing on getting your customers to enter their card details.

PayPal: 0

Stripe: 2

3) Appearance

Online payment gateways can be on-site or off-site. As the name suggests, on-site keeps the transaction on your website. Customers will enter their payment details into an inline or pop-up. Off-site takes customers off your website to that of the payment gateway. This is a messy and unnecessary step that drags focus away from your business.

PayPal works as an offsite payment vendor and can be a distracting re-direction for your customers.

Stripe’s pop up window appears on your website, fading the booking page behind it to grey. This is a much slicker experience for the consumer, making the process more streamlined.

PayPal: 0

Stripe: 3

Is your business in Aus? Check out Australia’s best payment gateways


4) Customer focus

Part of PayPal’s fame is because it markets itself as both business and consumer-focused. When a customer buys from your website they will be aware of both your brand and PayPal’s. For a business owner, there is a definite sense that PayPal’s loyalties are split.

On the other hand, Stripe is much more under the radar and your average consumer may not have heard of the multi-billion dollar company. Stripe works behind the scenes, ensuring that the payment process is as smooth and effective as possible- then it lets you take the credit.

PayPal: 0

Stripe: 4

5) Fees

Within the United States, they charge the same base fee and fee per transaction: 2.9% plus $0.30. But Stripe undercuts PayPal’s margins when entering the European market. Stripe’s European prices are significantly cheaper: 1.4% plus 25c in Euro or 20p in G.B.P. PayPal sticks close to its U.S. fees, charging the same 2.9%, plus 35c in Euro or 20p in G.B.P.

Paypal’s pricing structure is more complicated than Stripe’s, with prices varying for international cards, large or micropayments, online, mobile, or in-store, profit or non-profit etc.

Stripe keeps its charging structure more simple. It charges extra for international card payments, converting currencies, payment disputes, billing services and refunds.

Stripe’s fees are less of a headache. If you are also worried about returns and chargebacks, then Stripe is going to be the better option.

PayPal: 0

Stripe: 5

6) Innovation

Stripe is miles ahead of the game in terms of features. They roll out new and innovative developments all the time. The service has the ability to save data, allowing for recurred billing (e.g. monthly memberships) and speedy repeat purchases. Refunds can be made at the click of a button, eliminating the lengthy refund process of PayPal and other services. Stripe is also the most efficient mobile payment system.

PayPal: 0

Stripe: 6

7) Brand recognition

So, this all depends on individual customers. As PayPal is known across the globe, many people already have PayPal accounts. The brand has already won the trust of consumers- this familiarity is both comforting and handy.

However, Stripe, as said before, keeps a low profile when on your website, allowing you to shine. If Stripe were to market to your customers, it would detract from your own branding.

PayPal: 1

Stripe: 6

OpenPlay is not affiliated with Stripe in any way, but we do recommend the service to all of our clients- because it is the best. Stripe is in a league of its own- it is slick but also reliable. PayPal is by no means a bad service, but it lags behind Stripe, whose success seems to be on a sharp upward trajectory. If you are choosing a payment gateway for your business, we cannot recommend Stripe highly enough.

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Sports coaches- Is admin keeping you off the pitch?

9 June 2018 openplay Leave a comment Booking System, Operations, Technology

Most sports coaches enter the profession because they have a passion for the game they play. It is the smell of the grass, the feel of a ball, a glove, a racquet in their hands and the joy of passing on their enthusiasm to fresh faces. Despite this idealistic vision, many find themselves stuck inside beneath a mountain of forms, blurry-eyed from excel spreadsheets, ears ringing from relentless calls. Admin comes with the territory, but not to the extent that the majority of coaches find themselves. You can make just one simple change that eliminates up to 95% of your admin, improves the service you provide, and gets you back onto the pitch.

Switch to an online booking system

Face-to-face and telephone bookings are drawn out, expensive and much less efficient than online reservations. Someone needs to be “on call” or in the office to process bookings. Bookings not only need to be online, but they need to suit both desktop and mobile. At OpenPlay, we provide bespoke booking systems that not only increase your sales and revenue but also a detailed back-end management system featuring a host of time-saving features.

Keep track of payments

The OpenPlay system flags any unpaid invoices, so you can quickly send payment reminders. Customer fees will be processed through payment gateways such as Stripe. We integrate with world-renowned services, which are safe and secure. With less cash on site, the risk of accidental or intentional loss of funds is virtually eradicated. Online payments also sync immediately with your OpenPlay venue management system, so you no longer have to log transactions manually.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

OpenPlay’s CRM system keeps track of your interactions with clients. Each time you converse with a client, you can be confident that your information on them is up-to-date, relevant and tailored specifically to the individual. CRM adds a personal touch that clients love. It makes such a difference when you can recall your last phone call with them and immediately reference their previous queries. It lets customers know that you value them.

The OpenPlay Pocket mobile app

Even with all the technology in the world, you cannot escape admin entirely. With the OpenPlay Pocket mobile app, you can at least take this small bit of work out onto the pitch. Take payments directly through your OpenPlay Pocket mobile app. Manage your coaches and employees via the app and only grant them access to their classes. Each coach receives their own registers, so they can tick off attendees and instantly see any essential health conditions. An important safety feature OpenPlay has devised and implemented is the unique pickup code for children. When parents cannot collect their child, they digitally sign the coach’s app, granting access to another adult.

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Payment Gateways in the Middle East and Gulf Region

17 March 2018 openplay Leave a comment Booking System

The Middle East is one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the world, according to BMI research. This year’s sale figures are expected to double by 2020. The biggest trend in the e-commerce market, is mobile payments. It seems that the region went from offline and shot straight to mobile, almost bypassing online altogether. The online payment options in the Middle East are quite different to other areas of the world. A payment gateway is an e-commerce application that authorises online payments. It is the online version of a card machine that you would find at a shop till. All sales websites must choose a programme that is safe and reliable, as it will store sensitive customer data and will deal with any payment disputes and refunds.


PayFort, an Amazon company, is renowned as the most trusted payment gateway in the Middle East. Amazon has been making its presence increasingly known throughout the region and is expected to remain a key player. PayFort has low set-up fees, making it a popular choice for small to medium businesses. It offers a “Redirection” gateway (often referred to as off-site), meaning your customers will be automatically redirected to the PayFort site to complete the transaction. This process is somewhat lengthy and can lead to customers dropping off without completing their transaction. The other option is to choose a “Merchant Page” setting, where the customer stays on the website and a small PayFort inline frame (which stays in keeping with your website) to process the transaction. This is often the better choice as it feels like a straightforward and trustworthy transaction. Keeping transactions on-site leads to a higher rate of completed purchases. It offers auto-schedule online payments for recurring bookings (such as monthly subscriptions). Payfort also offers add-ons, such as fraud protection schemes at an additional cost.


Paypal is recognised and trusted throughout the world. It is currently in six countries in the Middle East and Gulf regions. Paypal allows international online payments, accepting 25 different currencies. Unlike Payfort, where fraud protection is purchased as an add-on, Paypal provides it built in already. They offer options for small businesses which has a templated checkout process. This accepts both card and Paypal accounts. Their medium business alternative is exclusively for Paypal online payments and results in fewer clicks at the checkout.

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