Payment SaaS Comparison: Paddle vs Spreedly vs Digital River

A comprehensive look at a few of the most popular payments SaaS.
Payment SaaS Comparison: Paddle vs Spreedly vs Digital River

When your company wins more customers in more countries, your payments software becomes critical to smooth financial management and accelerate your growth.

Digital payment acceptance and cross-border payouts can have a real impact on your accounting processes, tax bills, and cart and checkout abandonment rates. 

Not to mention your topline financials, like recurring revenue, cash runway, and average revenue per account (ARPA). 

That’s why it’s important to choose the right payments software; one that aligns well with your accounts payable and accounts receivable demands, support revenue growth and minimize churn. 

What’s covered:

  • What payments SaaS does
  • Why CFOs need payments Saas
  • Comparing Paddle, Spreedly, and Digital River

What payments SaaS does

In the simplest terms:

  • Payments software manages the transactions between your bank and your customers’ banks, credit cards, and mobile wallets, so you can accept and send funds. 
  • Payments software usually integrate with your accounting software, to help the accounting team recognize revenue, match transactions, and record expenses and transactions in the relevant ledgers. 

Why CFOs need payments SaaS 

Cledara research shows only 35% of startups put responsibility for software with finance, but when it comes to payments software spending, CFOs and their accounting colleagues need to play a shared (and active) role in the software evaluation and selection process. 

  • Increasingly, CFOs see payments software as a lever to support revenue and growth goals, while also limiting customer churn.
  • This is particularly true for SaaS businesses that sell into different countries, each with their own currencies, sales tax needs, and local payment method preferences.
  • Payments software are a central pillar of financial operations (FinOps), as they can either hinder or help businesses to manage their finances well, as they scale. 

When we aggregated and anonymized the spending of startups and scale-ups with 10-100 employees, we discovered payments SaaS make up just a fraction of overall software spending. But that finding belies how central payments are to financial performance. 

The reality is payments touch on almost every part of the business and they can be either a driver or drag on efficiency. 

Comparing payments SaaS: Paddle, Spreedly, and Digital River

At Cledara, we know CFOs can choose from a wide field of payments SaaS providers today.  For simplicity’s sake, we’ve chosen to highlight the three most popular payment tools among Cledara’s customers:

Paddle, Spreedly, and Digital River.

Here is a breakdown of their features — and each solution’s strengths and current limitations.   

Paddle

Let’s start with Paddle. They provide payment infrastructure for software companies. Acting as a merchant of record (MOR), Paddle takes care of everything from checkouts to sales tax compliance.

Paddle describes itself as ‘a revenue delivery platform’ and service provider exclusively for SaaS businesses designed to simplify and improve how software is sold around the globe. With Paddle, businesses can:

  • Create a brandable checkout that supports a variety of different payment methods
  • Localize checkouts by currency, language and price point to configure pricing plans or introduce new pricing models, and 
  • Manage customer subscriptions with features designed to counter churn, including smart payment routing, cancellation flows, and dunning emails (i.e. payment reminders).

Unlike other revenue platforms, Paddle helps businesses offload sales tax liability as Paddle’s tax team takes over the responsibility of calculating, filing and remitting sales taxes.

Paddle’s features at a glance
Highest rated on G2 for Subscription billing
Lowest rated on G2 for Revenue recognition
Other notable features Payment reminders
Plan changes
Dispute management
Pricing 5% plus 50¢ per transaction
Website https://www.paddle.com/

In their own words: “Paddle offers SaaS companies a completely different approach to their payments infrastructure. Instead of assembling and maintaining a complex stack of payments-related apps and services, we’re a merchant of record for our customers, taking away 100% of the pain of payments fragmentation.” 

Paddle’s Feature Ratings

According to G2, paddle scores highly on the following features: 

  • Recurring payments ideal for SaaS business models
  • Simple branded checkouts
  • Devoted customer support

On the other hand, some features that were rated less favorable include:

  • Revenue recognition
  • Reporting capabilities 
  • Limited ability to import pre-existing customer invoice data

Spreedly 

Spreedly is a “Payment Orchestration” platform and ecosystem, built for merchants, merchant aggregators and fintech companies.

  • Spreedly provides a secure credit card vault to customers, to help them maintain payment data security and PCI compliance.
  • Spreedly has integrations to hundreds of payment gateways and third-party APIs
  • Spreedly’s rapid development environment also promises to help businesses add new partners, customers, markets, and geographies.
Spreedly’s features at a glance
Highest rated on G2 for PCI compliance and API integrations
Lowest rated on G2 for Real-time payments
Other notable features Access to logistics and freight networks
Pricing Starts at $200 per month.
Website https://www.spreedly.com/

In their own words: “Tens of thousands of global businesses depend on our robust orchestration platform, diverse ecosystem of services, and unmatched market perspective to optimize digital growth.”

Spreedly’s Feature Ratings

According to G2, Spreedly scores highly on the following features: 

  • Easy to set up payment gateways
  • PCI-compliant ‘vault’ and payment infrastructure
  • Single API for hundreds of payment services

On the other hand, some features that were rated less favorable include:

  • Limited dashboard for large SaaS businesses
  • Payment gateway customization
  • Requires more technical and development knowledge than some competitors 

Digital River

Digital River enables online sales via their payment processing platform and helps companies maximize conversions by localizing the checkout experience. This payments SaaS allows you:

  • Use local payment processing right away with a simple API integration
  • Plug into existing commerce technology local selling entities, acquirers, and more than 70 payment methods. 

Digital River claims it can help businesses open new markets in six weeks or less and increase revenue by as much as 30% and reduce operational costs by 20-30%, with a solution that simplifies global payments, fraud, tax, and compliance challenges.

Digital River’s features at a glance
Highest rated on G2 for Ecommerce platform performance and reliability
Lowest rated on G2 for Mobile ecommerce
Other notable features Multi-site management
Reporting and analytics
Test-to-product migration
Pricing Not listed
Website https://www.digitalriver.com/

In their own words: “Established and fast-growing brands rely on our flexible, API-powered solutions to sell directly to their customers, whether they live around the corner or around the world.”

Digital River’s Feature Ratings

According to G2, Digital River scores highly on the following features: 

  • Ideal for complex global ecommerce businesses
  • Strong fraud protections to safeguard transactions
  • Access to preferred freight rates

On the other hand, some features that were rated less favorable include:

  • Limited product catalog search and filtering
  • Low ratings on G2 for mobile commerce and social commerce
  • May only suit ecommerce businesses, not those with a SaaS model

The recap: Paddle vs. Spreedly vs. Digital River

While most payments SaaS share similar feature-sets and benefits, pricing models differ based on your usage, business model, and customer billing arrangements. Your specific type of business and stage of growth will determine whether one solution is a better fit than another.

We see Paddle as a good fit for SaaS businesses who need a purpose-fit way to bill their subscribers. Spreedly knows fintechs and merchant aggregators like the back of their hand, and Digital River has impressive ecoommerce industry capabilities.

Spreedly Digital River Paddle
Payments Solutions ● Accept customer payments and route payments

● Secure your payment methods and comply with regulations
● Report on payments
● Connect payment services
● Maximize conversions with global payment processing platform
● Protect business from global tax liability
● Fight online fraud and recover revenue
● Comply with
data privacy, export rules and regulations
● High-converting checkouts
● Flexible recurring billing
● Tax, compliance and reporting
● Fraud protection
● Real-time subscription data
● Upsell insights
Use cases Merchants
Merchant aggregators
Fintechs
Brand protection
Global expansion
Revenue growth
Starting selling
Launch your SaaS
Sell SaaS globally
Introduce self-service
Get investment ready
Partners PayPal, Stripe, WorldPay, Worldline PayPal, Klarna, AliPay, American Chargify
Fees Not listed. Not listed. 5% plus 50¢ per transaction
Entry pricing $200 per month. Not listed. Not listed.

We hope this overview of these top payment SaaS used by Cledara customers proves helpful in your evaluation. 

If you’re like most companies, you use dozens of software to run your business Cledara can help you see those subscriptions in one place, track usage and cost over time, and make more informed software decisions. 

Manage all your software in one place. Book a 15 min Cledara demo today!

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Jenny Liu
Head of Finance @ Marshmallow