Evaluating the Strengths and Weaknesses of Stripe for Businesses of All Sizes
Payment gateways are required for every eCommerce and online business, which make up considerable number of websites from around the world. Payment gateways, such as Stripe, are tools with the built-in technology to determine whether a specific credit card payment is processed and approved. It is also the technology that catches and declines transactions for insufficient funds or other flaws. Essentially, Stripe is an alternative business' payment method that is strongly recommended for eCommerce success.
It has been lauded as one of the best technologies available today. However, many merchants are unaware of the benefits and disadvantages of choosing Stripe or any particular payment application. They’re also unaware of the crucial factors that must be considered when selecting a tool to enhance your website development.
What Does Stripe Do for You?
Regardless of what you are selling online, whether it is services, software as a service (SaaS), or a tangible, physical product, it is necessary to use a technology like Stripe to process payments. The technology that makes this happen is called a payment gateway, which allows you to process payment without repeated programming. Before payment gateways like Stripe, the process of accepting and approving online payments was arduous and complicated. It required a lot of correspondence with banks and came with a number of error messages. From the onset, payment methods like these have vastly improved transactions for eCommerce businesses.
Stripe was one of the first Silicon Valley startups to take payment systems a step further. The company grew out of recognizing difficulties with early payment applications, including how the collection of payments was integrated with larger programming. Stripe became a darling of mobile payment processing and is now considered one of the bigger disrupters to eCommerce in recent years. You do not need a merchant account to operate Stripe; it is simple to setup and it integrates easily with other aspects of your eCommerce technology.
The Good, the Bad, the In-Between of Stripe
Some of the factors that make Stripe one of the most attractive options as a payment gateway is that it does not use outside servers to process payments. Instead, data and other customer information are stored inside Stripe’s servers. This allows the company to have more control over the data and customers know who is directly responsible for sensitive payment information. It also offers technological advantages; Stripe can be integrated with six different coding languages. In turn, developers and customers have more flexibility in building and managing their website.
The processes and procedures needed to accept credit card payments are built into Stripe’s technology as well. Developers love this and merchants should also recognize that it is valuable for their businesses. The technology makes it possible to build your payment forms on your website, and the software works entirely on the back-end of your website. Unlike other payment methods, Stripe provides instantaneous acceptance of credit card payment, which allows merchants to recognize and reconcile these payments sooner.
Stripe is particularly attractive as a payment method if your website is built with an eCommerce platform that can integrates directly with it. For example, it’s offered as an extension, already compatible and integrated, with the WooCommerce subscription extension. A website built with WooCommerce can accept a wide range of payment options through Stripe, including recurring payments. Then, your inventory and tracking systems will be easily and quickly updated to reflect the payment. Developers consider integration between the payment gateway and an eCommerce platform one of the top priorities when deciding on the technology.
One downside of Stripe is there are higher fees, relative to the cost of other payment system. This is due to their payment structure; instead of charging a monthly fee, Stripe takes 2.9% upfront and then assesses $0.30 per transaction. Another downside is Stripe’s customer service; the process for reaching and communicating with customer service representatives is entirely email-based. Lastly, Stripe has not gained significant traction in foreign markets, which can make setup outside the United States and Canada frustrating.
Stripe and Other Payment Gateways
As the industry of eCommerce continues to expand, there are reasons to have more than one payment method. The biggest eCommerce companies implemented multiple payment methods long ago to sell internationally and process a high volume of simultaneous payments. However, most merchants will still swap one piece of technology for another to find the right fit. Perhaps, there is something to be learned from big business, and even small merchants could benefit from using Stripe in conjunction with another payment application.
First, if your company is reaching customers outside North America and Europe, Stripe could prevent certain purchasers from submitting payments. Currently, Stripe is accepted in the United States, Canada, Australia, and certain European and South American countries. Unfortunately, there are a few revenue-driven countries where the platform isn’t applicable. Many merchants try to solve this problem by dropping Stripe for a different payment gateway, but it is usually ineffective.
It is really difficult to find a payment method that supports every currency and country where your business wants to sell. Instead, the best strategy is utilizing Stripe and another payment method with similar, global reaches, such as Braintree or cenPOS. If you have questions regarding the use of payment gateways or which one is right for your business, it can be helpful to speak with the knowledgeable professionals a web development agency, such as Nixa.