Square vs Stripe: Which should you use?

I've compiled a summary of the differences I've learned about both Stripe and Square. Connecting Stripe or Square to your listing allows travelers to book and pay like they would on Airbnb and Vrbo. Houfy does not have "instant book" so you always have the ability to accept/decline the Pending Direct Booking.

Be sure to visit the Square and Stripe websites directly for the latest updates and information. Be sure to contact them directly for questions about your account.

You can sign up for Square directly here through this referral link if you are in the U.S. For Stripe go to Manage Listings > Connected Payments.

Square vs Stripe: Which should you use?

1) What is the cost to signup?

Both Stripe and Square have no contract signup fees or termination fees. If you don't like them, cancel any time. Credit card processing fees are similar to what you pay Airbnb, Vrbo, and PayPal to accept credit cards from travelers. Traveler payments land directly in your bank account as they never pass through Houfy.

2) How quickly will I receive payments?

Right away! Well, technically as soon as Square and Stripe deposit the funds into your bank account. You receive payments directly from the customer at the time of booking. This is the payout schedule for both companies:

SQUARE: Within 1-2 business days, no matter which country the payment is coming from. This schedule applies to all Square account holders.

STRIPE: Unless your business is considered to be a "high risk" industry, below are the general payout times. Note: the first payment may take between 7-10 business days.

  • Australia and U.S.: 2 business days
  • New Zealand: 4 days
  • Japan: once a week, day of your choice
  • Most other countries: 7 days. 

Read more here about Stripe's payout schedules, and even how to customize your payout time. 

Square vs Stripe: Which should you use?

3) In which countries are Stripe and Square available?

STRIPE: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. Sign up here to receive notifications as new countries are added, or request an invite.

SQUARE: U.S., United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, and Australia. (Note: U.S. territories are excluded).

4) How much are the credit card fees? 

If you process over $250,000 annually, contact each company's sales dept. for a quote. Both companies accept all major credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB, and UnionPay.


  • Online domestic invoices, Apple Pay, Google Pay: 2.9% plus .30 cents per transaction
  • International invoices: Same as above plus an additional 1% conversion fee, and a 1% international card fee may apply. Read about ways to avoid conversion fees. And read more details about other U.S. non-credit card payment methods.
  • European Cards: 1.4% plus .30 cents per transaction


  • Online invoices (including international): 2.9% plus .30 cents per transaction. Your customer may pay a conversion fee to their bank.  
  • Read more details about in-person card payments and rates.
Square vs Stripe: Which should you use?

5) But I only accept payment by checks.

Some Houfy members have the guest make a small credit card deposit at the time of booking, then collect the balance by check or transfer. This keeps fees to a minimum. It also prevents a guest from blocking your calendar while that check never arrives in the mail. And the guest has now put some $$$ down to secure the reservation.

Square vs Stripe: Which should you use?

6) What about chargebacks?   

Hopefully you'll never have a chargeback. But just in case, here is a quick overview:

STRIPE: Chargeback fee is $15. If you win the dispute, you are reimbursed the chargeback fee.   

SQUARE: No fee if a customer files a chargeback, even if you lose the dispute. For those of you who receive a lot of transactions equaling $250 or less, you may benefit from their free chargeback protection program. Many home shares and one night stays will qualify. Transactions amounts over $250 do not qualify.

The protection program does come with some limitations. As long as the amount in dispute is no more than $250, you've followed Square's payment "best practices," and responded to the dispute sufficiently... you'll be covered up to $250 a month, even if the dispute is not ruled in your favor. This is not a month to month carry forward policy. Read more details about this program.

Square vs Stripe: Which should you use?

7) Willl traveling abroad affect my ability to accept payments?

As long as you have Square or Stripe connected to Houfy, you are good to go. If you aren't connected, then you MUST read the section below about Square.

STRIPE: You can generate invoices from any location.

SQUARE: You can only process payments when you are physically located in the country where you activated your account. For in-person card payments using the Square app, your location is tracked by GPS. If you are sending invoices through your Square dashboard, then location is tracked by your IP address. When you connect to Houfy there shouldn't be any issues, as the cardholder entering payment info is considered to be generating the invoice rather than you.

Square vs Stripe: Which should you use?

8) How will refunds affect my cancellation policy?  

It's crucial to consider your cancellation policy when choosing a processor. For those who have a NO refund policy, this likely won't affect you. However, the rest of you keep reading...especially if you offer guests a cancellation window!

SQUARE: Processing fees are reimbursed back to you when refunding guests through your online dashboard. Note: It's against Square's terms of service to use them for refundable damage deposits.

Time frames: Refunds processed via your online Square dashboard must take place within one year of the original transaction date. Refunds processed via a mobile device must take place within 120 days of the original transaction date. Outside of that time frame, you will need to process refunds outside of Square.

STRIPE: Processing fees are not reimbursed back to you when refunding guests. There is no time limit on applying a refund back to a guest's credit card; however, the more time that passes, the likelihood the card has expired, etc. Stripe recommends first contacting the guest (to see if anything has changed) if at least 6 months have passed. Payments that underwent currency conversion will be converted back during the refund process.

Square vs Stripe: Which should you use?

9) How do i sign up for Stripe or Square?

You can sign up for Square directly here through this referral link. For Stripe go to Manage Listings > Connected Payments.

Square vs Stripe: Which should you use?

10) What if I need customer support?

Both companies offer online and phone support; however, you will need to sign up for a free account before you can receive phone customer support from either company. No worries! You are not obligated to use them just because you created an account.

When you call Square you will hear a recording asking for you to enter your customer code in order to access a phone representative. Log in to your Square dashboard and click here. You will now see your customer code and it will always remain the same. Keep it in a safe place as it identifies your account. 

SQUARE: Phone: 1-855-700-6000

STRIPE: No listed phone number. They will call you immediately, but you first need to log into your dashboard to request a phone call. Hours: 24/7

After you create a free Stripe account, click on the "open book" icon in the top right corner. There will be a drop down menu to select support. Scroll to the bottom and click on "contact us." From there you can choose to have a rep. call you. Fill out the short info and you will be presented 2 codes. One code is what the rep will repeat when they call you. The other code is for you to repeat back to the rep. It's usually very fast. I called 3x within the past few days and Stripe called me in about one minute.

11) How do I connect my Stripe or Square account to Houfy?

Log into Houfy. Go to Manage Listings > Connected Payments.

12) How do I show I accept credit cards?

Go to Manage Listings > Edit > Settings > Payment Information. Check off the cards you accept.

Note: You will not see anything that says "Stripe" or "Square" because it wouldn't make sense for your listing to show the payment processor you use. Travelers just want to see the credit cards you accept. Saying you "accept Stripe and Square" may just confuse travelers since they aren't credit cards.

Square vs Stripe: Which should you use?
How to view and update payment method policies
Log in>Menu>Manage Listings>Edit>Settings>Payment information.

Square vs Stripe: Which should you use?
Is your Houfy listing "Google Search" bookable?
A traveler is ready to book your property on Airbnb. But first-recalling advice to always perform a "google search," enters your property's name into google. Voila! Booking on Houfy will save $500 in service fees. The traveler excitedly agrees to the house rules, cancellation policy, rental agreement, writes a message to describe the group, and clicks SUBMIT.