What Is Stripe & Is Stripe Safe for Payments?

As a business owner, you want to provide your customers with an easy way to make online credit card payments. That said, you also don’t want to pay exorbitant fees for this service. Fortunately, Stripe gives business owners an affordable option for online payments that are easy to use.

Before jumping on board with Stripe, you want to make sure that it’s the right service for your business. We are here to help you determine if Stripe makes the best financial sense for your needs and if it’s safe to use.

Who Is Stripe For?

Online businesses that consist of staff developers will likely enjoy Stripe’s benefits the most. Thanks to its extensive customization and affordability, Stripe is an excellent companion for developers. It’s packed with robust services that internet-only businesses will appreciate. 

In fact, Stripe is responsible for powering many online stores and services, giving developers the ability to build a custom product that’s unique to their business.

Although Stripe might look like a simple tool, it has a litany of benefits that make it a powerful resource when used to its fullest potential. For example, developers can take advantage of its API (Application Programming Interface) to use as a payment platform, customize their online storefront, and bill their customers.

Best of all, Stripe is a breeze to use. However, you will need a fair amount of experience with developer tools. And although Stripe works well as a credit card processor, it’s secondary to the powerful options this service provides.

With that, let’s take a closer look at who Stripe is best suited for. 

Businesses With Developers

In order to take full advantage of Stripe’s features, you’re going to need developers or an on-staff developer who has experience with developer tools. While you can certainly use one of Stripe’s many third-party partners to handle your API customization, it is not worth it when you factor in the additional cost.

Global Commerce Merchants

Since Stripe provides currency conversion, you can effectively accept payments from other countries. At present, Stripe lets you accept payments from 25 countries. However, the companies in those countries can accept any currency as payment.

Low-Risk Businesses

Stripe can automatically approve business accounts for many companies since it’s also a third-party processing service. Businesses that have a high risk for fraud are at risk of potential account cancelation. As such, low-risk businesses are better suited for Stripe. 

Pros

Stripe is an excellent investment for many reasons, but it also has some downsides. Let’s take a moment to explore Stripe’s pros and cons so you can make the best decision for your online business.

Online Checkout

As a business owner, you can directly embed a payment form on your website. This allows you to avoid using an external link to another payment site. What’s more, you can customize these forms to improve the accessibility of the payment flow.

Pay Using Multiple Devices

By using Stripe, you’re giving your customers the option to pay from any device. This includes smartphones and tablets, where they can use a simple one-tap option. It’s a convenience factor that securely saves your customers’ payment data while streamlining future purchases.

Support for Major Credit Cards

Your online storefront will be able to accept major credit cards when using Stripe as your payment service. This also includes Apple Pay and contactless payments. By offering such robust card features, you can give your customers a convenient way to pay without the hassles of lesser services.

Straightforward Pricing Plan

Stripe’s pricing structure is simple and straightforward, without any hidden fees or extra costs to start service. All prices are listed on Stripe’s website, so you know exactly what you’ll be charged before you ever sign up with Stripe.

No Termination Fee

Some companies and services charge you if you cancel service early. Not so with Stripe. If you find that you don’t like what’s offered, you can cancel your service at any time. Stripe takes things a step further with their customer support and will help you export your saved data for use elsewhere.

Customizable API

The complete customization of Stripe lets you get the most from your company’s eCommerce needs. Best of all, it’s not necessary to sync with additional third-party apps, and you don’t have to pay monthly fees to use this service.

Collect Recurring Payments

You are free to offer as many subscription options as you like at no additional fee. If a client changes their plan or service, Stripe automatically recalculates the cost. As such, customers can easily change their information without assistance from you. Everything is ready to use, as it is saved in the system.

Comprehensive Security

Stripe is Level 1-certified, ensuring that both your customer’s data and your company stay secure. You will also have the option to take advantage of two-factor authentication if you require additional security. In doing so, you can look forward to deeper fraud prevention.

Cons

Might Be Too Complex for Small Businesses

Basic websites that offer few products or only have occasional payments will likely find Stripe to be complex and overwhelming. Because Stripe is designed with robust features and services, larger companies will benefit the most. 

If your business operates on a simplistic model and you have little need for customization, you’re probably better off finding a basic card processor.

You Lack Developer Skills

Due to Stripe’s comprehensive customization options, you’re going to need a fair level of experience with developer tools. And if you don’t plan on using Stripe’s rich resources, you’re wasting your money. You should also take into account that even if you have a third-party developer to handle your customization, it’s probably going to end up costing you more than it should.

You Don’t Have a Virtual Terminal

Stripe shouldn’t be used as a manual-entry card processor. You can certainly use Stripe for phone orders from customers, but you’re not going to get the same high level of protection that’s offered online. For this reason, Stripe advises that you don’t use it for such purposes. 

Pricing

Outside of the customization options, one of Stripe’s most appealing features is that you only pay for processed payments. What’s more, there aren’t any setup or monthly subscription fees, nor do you have a minimum quota that you have to meet.

Each credit and debit card transaction costs $0.30, plus 2.9% of the total transaction. If you process an international payment, there’s an additional 1% for currency conversion and 1% for processing.

Stripe also gives you the ability to accept ACH Credit payments at $1 each. Furthermore, Stripe charges a $7 fee when there’s a successful payment following a reconciled ACH Credit payment to any outstanding invoice. And lastly, all ACH direct debit payments cost 0.8% of the total transaction. However, this fee is capped at $5, so you’ll never pay more than that.

WeChat Pay and Alipay are also supported, with each transaction costing $0.30, plus 2.9% of the total transaction.

In the event that there are any disputed charges or chargebacks, Stripe will charge a $15 fee. However, if the dispute is found to be in your favor, you will be refunded the $15 charge. 

Summary

If we had one major complaint with Stripe, it’s that they don’t offer the best customer service and support. If you need any kind of support from them, you’ll have to be a customer before you are able to get the help you need.

And if you’re a fan of phone support and talking to someone live, you might as well forget about it. At present, Stripe offers no kind of phone support whatsoever. That said, you can find a lot of support via their online knowledge page.

But aside from that one caveat, the company excels in just about everything else. As long as you are capable of utilizing Stripe’s robust developer tools, it’s well worth the investment for your business. If you lack in this area or your business simply doesn’t have a need for such tools, you’re better off saving your money and going with a simpler service.

If you’re interested in learning more about improving your business, we urge you to head on over to our blog page for more in-depth articles. We cover a wide range of subjects that are designed to give business owners the tools and resources needed to succeed.

And if you have any questions that we can help you with, please feel free to contact us. We specialize in securing the funding small business owners need to see their business ventures become a reality. To date, we have successfully helped fund over $400 million. 

If you need a loan, whether it’s for personal or business purposes, our loan experts will be happy to help. We work hard to make sure that you get the best rates and terms for your financial needs. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Sources

https://www.mulesoft.com/resources/api/what-is-an-api

https://stripe.com/pricing

https://www.pay.gov/WebHelp/HTML/payments_ach_credit.html

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