In eight short years, Stripe has developed from a fledgeling startup to an industry standard, used by hundreds of thousands of organisations in 25 different countries.
However, just being successful isn’t really enough to go on so we’ve put together this in-depth review, covering everything from functionality to fees. Hopefully, it will help you make up your mind when you’re looking for your next payment processor.
What is Stripe?
Stripe has a couple of different products but the main one we’re talking about is Stripe Payments. Stripe Payments is a super clever payment gateway designed and built specifically for use in digital businesses. (For more information on what a payment gateway is and how it works, check out our blog here.)
In terms of functionality, Stripe will do pretty much whatever you want it to.
You want a way to take payments in an app? Stripe can do that. You want to take payments on an eCommerce website? Yeah, Stripe can do that too. You want to set up some crazy complicated payment system in an online application? That’s no problem for Stripe.
Stripe provides merchants with both the payment gateway and merchant account components required for processing payments. (If you’re new to payment processing, check out this article for some background on how it all works.)
Since Stripe provides an all-in-one product, it can quote an all-in-one fee. Here’s how much they charge:
Let’s say you sell furniture. If a customer buys a new armchair for £200 using a Visa debit card, Stripe charges £2.80 plus an additional 20p, making for a total payment processing charge of £3.00.
That’s not a particularly competitive rate (especially at low transaction volumes) but Stripe’s main selling point is its flexibility and not its pricing.
If you’re technically minded and want to learn more about the features that make Stripe an outstanding payment gateway, this is the section for you!
If, however, you’re just looking for a reputable payment gateway for your website, you can probably just miss this section out.
Okay, preamble over. Here’s a quick tour of Stripe’s best features:
- User-friendly API: Stripe’s API and related documentation is probably the best in the market. It’s powerful, flexible and super easy to understand and use.
- Customisable checkout: The in-built checkout is immensely customisable.
- Mobile payments: Stripe supports mobile payment integrations from services like Google Pay and Apple Pay.
- International support: Stripe operates in 25 different countries and supports virtually all mainstream payment options.
- Accounting integration: Like all good payment gateways, Stripe will integrate with your existing accounting system for stress-free bookkeeping.
- Security: Stripe meets the PCI-DSS requirements, including two-factor authorisation and that takes a whole load of responsibility off you.
Rightly or wrongly, Stripe is usually compared to PayPal. Which has better support? Which is more flexible? Which is cheaper? Basically, which one is best.
We’ve actually got a whole article on the subject — see here — but here’s a quick snapshot of the differences in pricing.
|Transaction Fees||1.4% + 20p||1.9% + 20p|
|Example £10 Transaction||£0.34||£0.39|
|Example £100 Transaction||£1.60||£2.10|
Now, there’s obviously more to both PayPal and Stripe than just the pricing so I recommend you read the article I linked above for a fuller discussion.
If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to read the full thing, here is a quick summary of the pros and cons of Stripe.
- Very flexible service
- Outstanding documentation
- Transparent and fixed pricing
- Relatively high payment processing fees
- Credit and debit cards charged at the same rate
- Strict terms and conditions
- Swift account cancellation policy
By now, you should have a good feel for what we think of Stripe. So, to introduce some impartiality, we’ve also rounded up some independent reviews for Stripe to give you a better feel for how good it really is.
- Trustpilot — 4/5 (914 reviews)
- Capterra — 4.5/5 (222 reviews)
- GetApp — 4.64/5 (222 reviews)
- TrustRadius — 4.45/5 (27 reviews)
And that gives an average score of 4.40/5, which is pretty respectable if you ask us!
Find Your Next Payment Gateway
While Stripe is a really great payment gateway, we always recommend merchants review the market and see what’s actually on offer before they decide on a provider.