Context - small business, using PayPal for almost five years, large transaction values, small transaction volumes, global dispersion of customers, multiple currencies.
1. PayPal works (mostly) without issue for customers from a wide geographic region (my customers are from many countries all over the world).
2. The exchange rates offered via PayPal are TERRIBLE. Several percentage points, on top of the several percentage points initial processing fee. Either the business, or the customer, is paying for these bad exchange rates (dependent upon the source/destination of funds). This can be an additional five percent.
3. Customer service from PayPal is lacking, but in the case of disputes, things have worked out in the way I would logically expect, around 99% of the time. In the other 1%, PayPal refunded the money, I have never lost anything (neither have my customers) due to disputes.
4. STRIPE has categorized my business as high-risk, and therefore won't offer me their services. I won't specify my business type here - I can safely guess there is nobody on this planet that would consider my business type "high-risk".
Some of the categories of what constitutes a high-risk business are obvious - gambling, porn, etc etc, other categories make no sense at all. (I have never had a single disputed charge in four years of operation)
Semi-regularly, I search and compare cc-processing alternatives. Mostly, due to the currency exchange fees, poor customer service, and stories of PayPal accounts being frozen/locked due to spurious reasons.
I consider PayPal the best of the worst choices.
We had a seasonal business that processed sales of $1 million+ revenue in a week, once a year. Around 60% of sales were international. This combination was like kryptonite to card processors. We finally got accepted by one, the fees weren't much better than PayPal. It was amusing seeing TFA describe PayPal's API as "a horrible experience" after having implemented that traditional processor's API.
We ended up going back to PayPal after one season.
Although in the end, our decade-old business was killed by relying on PayPal's fraud detection. We got hit by a flood of China IP-sourced carders and the chargebacks ruined us. This can happen with any traditional card processor as well, it was really on us for being too naive (and being spared from fraud in the past decade)
You don't have to be able to outrun a bear. You only need to outrun the slowest hiker in your group.
PayPal has done as well as it has because their competition has been pretty awful for a long time.
(BTW, the Stripe categorization lists differ from one country to another).
A processor just doing cross currency and settling in a few countries is much easier to do.
This is why Bitcoin is not such a bad choice after all. People on HN tend to criticize the Bitcoin option for international payments, saying the combined overhead of the buyer converting his local currency to bitcoins + the overhead of the seller converting the bitcoins to his local currency is too high. But the reality is that this is still less overhead than the next best option (Paypal).
1-2% + $0.26 + 1-2% + FOREX risk + 1 week + forefeiture risk is strictly worse than even PayPal.
Most Bitcoin exchanges have fees that are a fraction of a percent. Not 1-2%. Paypal has international fees approaching 5%(!)
It doesn't take days to buy some BTC. Buying or selling is instantaneous (once you have an account at an exchange, which is a one-time thing to setup, certainly not a step to go through for every transaction as you seem to imply!)
Volatility has been declining over the last few years. Besides, volatility has an overall net-zero effect on your transactions: half the time you make a bit of extra money, half the time you lose a bit of money, so it averages to zero gains/losses.
Finally, use a trustworthy exchange. These are really not hard to find: Coinbase, Gemini, etc.
What would you say Adyen's biggest advantages are over Stripe and PayPal?