Stripe Canada

What is Stripe Payment? Review and Alternatives

Stripe is an online solution for all your eCommerce payment needs.  They have grown in popularity over the last few years and now serve millions of businesses of all sizes all over the world.

They are particularly loved for their API and integration capabilities that make them very flexible when it comes to blending perfectly with your branding.

They do also offer in-person payment solutions too, and a lot more than that besides.

Let’s dive into what Stripe can offer and our review…

Stripe Features

While at first glance the features that Stripe offer may seem fairly basic the power and flexibility behind them means you are getting a lot more than you think.  In particular, Stripes integrations with other apps and platforms are second to none, and they are one of the go-to payment processors for online retailers.

Payment Processing

Stripe is a third-party payment processing solution that is very similar to Paypal or Square meaning you will almost certainly get approved fairly instantly, which is great for new businesses.

Payments

Stipe can be used for nothing more than a simple payment option in your online store’s shopping cart if that’s what you are looking for.  But if you look under the hood a little deeper you realize that there are an awful lot of options they offer for simply taking payments.

  • You can accept payments through online stores, mobile apps, and in-person transactions.
  • You can accept credit cards and debit cards
  • Have mobile wallets
  • Store payment methods in a secure vault
  • Accept payment in currencies from around the world
  • Easily embed prebuild checkouts into your site, or build them from scratch for full customization
  • No PCI compliance charges
  • It even includes financial reconciliation tools

Billing

Stripe also lets you send invoices both as one-offs or ongoing. 

You can also set up subscriptions for your customers that are completely customizable and you can create plans that charge as often as you like, are based on the number of users, flat fees, usage volume, and basically any other metric you would want to base subscriptions on.

You can even create marketing tools like free trials through Stripe.

eCommerce

Stript is one of the go-to payment options for many of the world’s top eCommerce platforms including Shopify, Wix.com, and Squarespace.  In fact, in most cases, the integration of Stripe as your eCommerce payment option is automatic and doesn’t require any additional effort or coding from you.

If you do want to go more independent, however, there is the Stripe Checkout option that they have already written code for, or as we’ve mentioned, you can develop your own.

Security

Stript uses Radar for its eCommerce fraud security, which uses machine learning to stop credit card fraud. Radar uses a huge amount of data to determine if a transaction is fraudulent or not.

On top of that Stripe also uses standard tools like AVS and CVV.

Payouts

Stript makes sending mass payouts to sellers and freelancers an absolute breeze with its automation tools.

Stripe Dashboard

The dashboard is your space to see all your payment activity in real-time.  It has great reporting built-in and integrates and syncs easily with most if not all accounting software, making your company finances a dream to deal with.

Stripe API

As we’ve mentioned a lot already, Stripe’s API is fantastic on one of its primary selling features.  They pride themselves on being the developer’s choice for payment solutions because of this.

That’s not to say that you couldn’t integrate Stripe payments into your company’s online store without having to write a single line of code, but the fully customizable design of their platform is a real draw to many.

They also have a great database of already built code that you can plugin as a quick start if you’re not the most proficient of web developers.

Their API testing is robust and you can use different keys for test and live codes so you can’t get confused and accidentally change something where you shouldn’t.  You can even get some fake credit card numbers from them to test out your system’s workflow.

Here are some of our favorite features for developers:

  • Connect – Connect is Stript’s toolset for designing marketplaces and platforms, like Kickstarter for example.  Connect can also be used to verify international sellers, create custom payment schedules, and add text to credit card statements so customers can see who they’ve bought from, to name a few features.
  • Relay – Relay is your solution to creating mobile marketplaces (like eBay for example) for mobile apps.  So merchants can connect their online catalogs with your app, create buy buttons, and then get all of the sales information.

Terminal

While Stripe is predominantly eCommerce focused, they do have some excellent options for in-person transactions, and their terminals are actually very reasonably priced.

It is possible to customize their POS and mPOS apps too, and many developers have developed in-person solutions powered by Stripe.

Financial Tools

Stripe has started to follow suit with many other payment platforms and is now offering financing options to help your company out financially if required.

Their unique insight into the day-to-day of your companies finances means they can quickly make a decision about whether or not they can support you.

Here are some of their additional services:

Loans/Advances – You can get financing in the form of short-term loans and merchant cash advances from Stripe.  It is a very quick process to find out if you qualify by logging into your dashboard.

The funds are usually deposited the next day if you qualify, and Stripe will take a percentage of your sales made through their platform until the loan is paid off.

Corporate Credit Card – Stripe also now offers a credit card for its corporate customers.  There are additional perks to having the card including $50,000 worth of free payment processing if you spend $5,000 on the credit card.

Additional physical and virtual cards

Stripe also offers the ability to generate additional cards both physical and virtual.  This is great for companies that use expense accounts for employees for example.

Stripe Pricing

Stripe’s pricing is actually pretty clear and straightforward.  It’s also pretty competitive.

There are no monthly fees or minimum contract length, which is great too.

Their transaction fees for credit cards and ACH are a flat rate:

  • Credit Cards – 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction
  • International Transactions – 3.9% plus 30 cents per transaction
  • ACH – 0.8% and capped at $5
  • Chargebacks – $15

There are discounts available for not-for-profit companies too.

One drawback is that Stript won’t refund its fees in the event of you needing to issue refunds to customers.  This should be taken into account in your company’s return policy.

Supported payments

There is a near endless list of supported payment options across the 135 countries if facilitates.  They have a great guide on how to choose the right payment method for your business here.

Customer Service

Stript have been putting a lot of effort into increasing their customer support capabilities, and have made some dramatic changes in recent years.  Most notably the addition of 24/7 live chat and phone support for its customers.

This has made a big difference, and any of the earlier negative gripes you will have heard from customers about Stript being difficult to get hold of in real-time are quickly fading away.

Our thoughts

Stripe has an awful lot going for it.  It has great features, its pricing is great, and its developer integration capabilities are second to none.  It’s no surprise that they are becoming a leader in their field.

That’s not to say they aren’t without their drawbacks, and their stability issues are something to take note of.  The same can be said for many of their rivals, however, like Paypal, Square, and Authorize.Net.  The issue is that they are a third-party processor that aggregates accounts rather than opening an individual merchant account.

Pros

  • Clear flat-rate pricing
  • Fantastic developer tools and API
  • Incredible international reach and multicurrency support

Cons

  • Some account stability issues as with all third party payment solutions
  • If you’re not an experienced developer then you won’t be able to take full advantage of their features.

Alternatives

The two most obvious alternatives to Stripe are PayPal and Square, but there are some great options too like Braintree, who have been making waves in the industry and are famously the payment processor for companies like Airbnb and Uber.

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