A relative newcomer to the world of online payment processing, Stripe has made substantial inroads into the industry since the company’s launch in 2011. With over a hundred features at the user’s disposal, Stripe promises to solve just about any problem that an internet business might encounter. What’s more, the platform is a highly customizable developer’s dream, with APIs that enable lots of tweaking.
A closer look at Stripe’s features:
Debit and Credit Card Processing
Stripe offers comprehensive card processing services, accepting all major credit cards— Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express—as well as smaller players JCB and Diners Club.
Website and App Integration
Stripe allows seamless integration of payment solutions within websites and apps. And while competitors, including PayPal, require navigation to a new page for payment processing, Stripe gives the customer more convenience by allowing them to complete the payment on the same page.
The trade-off that comes with this high degree of customization is a slightly steeper learning curve and a feature list that can be somewhat overwhelming. For companies that need this functionality, however, the investment of effort is well worth the payoff.
Simple Cost Structure
With no setup fees, recurring monthly charges, or other hidden costs, Stripe offers users a clear and honest breakdown of charges: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, regardless of card type or location.
This basic cost structure makes Stripe a simpler choice than competitor PayPal, which starts with the same 2.9% + $0.30 base fee, but complicates matters with a variety of service fees and a higher transaction fee for American Express cards on certain plans.
Where Stripe becomes less appealing than PayPal is when monthly volume reaches into the mid-to-high five figures. PayPal Pro boasts total monthly costs that are several hundred dollars lower than Stripe’s at monthly volumes of $50,000 and above. Businesses will have to weigh the volume of their monthly online revenue, as well as the features they need for their application, when deciding which service to choose.
Flexible Billing Options
Stripe makes it easy for developers to enable subscription-based payments and other recurring transactions. Stripe’s guide to setting up subscription services demonstrates the fine level of control that developers have in tailoring custom solutions. Combined with seamless integration across desktop and mobile, Stripe can help businesses create a robust and effortless payment experience for their customers.
Security and Fraud Detection
Integrated fraud protection services—powered by machine learning algorithms—make Stripe a safe choice for online payment processing. However, there have been some complaints from merchants concerning over-sensitivity on Stripe’s part, with some businesses’ transactions halted for no apparent reason. Individual users will have to investigate their particular use-case and decide if the protection is too much, or just enough, for their needs.
The Bottom Line
Stripe is a great choice for online payment processing, especially for smaller businesses that need custom solutions.