Why Stripe Is Arguably The Best Payment Gateway Built To Date

Julian Wallis
16 min read

🔔 This article has been updated with the latest information & developments as of March 2023.

When customers pay for products or services they acquire from your company, they can simply use cash or a cheque in a traditional payment system. Those payments can be directly deposited into your business bank account. But say your customers want to make payments using a credit card or online wallet, you’ll need a payment processor software.

A payment processor — often called a payment gateway — authorises various payment methods during the checkout process, enabling an easy and secure transfer of funds from a customer’s account to the business’s account. Your company can then accept payments from customers’ credit or debit cards, mobile wallets, and buy now, pay later services. But what’s Stripe?

We’ll answer that question and many more in this blog post and walk you through Stripe’s key features and the top reasons for you to choose Stripe for your internet business.

What Is Stripe? 🤔

Stripe logo

Stripe is a payment processor or gateway that allows your customers to safely and efficiently transfer funds from their credit cards or bank accounts in a variety of currencies. It also helps them to make both one-time and subscription-based payments and also offers many other additional services, including billing, invoicing, and sales tax automation.

What’s more interesting is that if your business wants to accept in-person payments, you can do so from a Stripe Terminal, the company’s point-of-sale system. As a result, it is the perfect solution for processing both online and offline payments.

In addition, Stripe’s developer-friendly API is rich and robust, and it has a resource-oriented URL and HTTP to regulate errors in code. Thus, the solution that Stripe.js offers is beneficial to the developers — but more on that later.

The gateway is quick and easy to implement and comes with reasonable pricing — and with its API, you can also build your own e-commerce platform. That’s why more and more companies worldwide — from Google to Zoom — trust Stripe when it comes to managing their payments and subscriptions.

⚙️ How Does Stripe Work?

Stripe handles the steps between a customer providing their card information and acknowledging that their payment has been received and accepted. In addition, the gateway has simplified its service process for business owners, so it’s easy to understand and navigate.

From the developers’ perspective, the gateway takes all the tediousness and hard work out of processing payment systems by providing a solid payment infrastructure through a single, developer-friendly API. Also, the API is easy to integrate and comes with various integrable libraries or documentation — to be integrated into your e-commerce website.

Also, the APIs establish clear expectations for what’s possible and how to get it done. Therefore, instead of learning complex rules around banking, accounting, and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, developers only do what they do best — code.

From the viewpoints of customers and business owners, here’s how Stripe works:

  • Upon creating an account for your business, Stripe will connect to the purchasing page of your e-commerce site. 
  • When your customers are ready to buy the products or services you offer, they will click on the ‘checkout’ option and enter their card details.
  • The financial information your customers provide goes through Stripe’s payment gateway after encryption. It verifies if the required funds are available and serves as a merchant account (with business owners as a sub-merchant).
  • The payment passes through the credit card network (for example, Visa or MasterCard) and then to the bank, which later approves or denies the transaction.
  • Finally, the confirmation gets back to your customers (from the bank to the card network to the payment gateway and eventually to the customer) — and they are notified about the acceptance or denial of the payment.

As a business owner, you will have to pay Stripe a standard transaction fee for facilitating the entire process. Check out the pricing section below for more information.

Should Your Company Use Stripe? 🤷‍♂️

Without a payment gateway, your company will need a substantial technology stack and a separate payment system. That can make the entire process cumbersome to manage.

If yours is a business that needs to do online transactions (via credit or debit cards and mobile wallets), you can choose Stripe, as it’s becoming the backbone of the internet business today. By making the process of moving money easy, borderless, and programmable, this solution has become highly sought after.

Some of the world’s largest companies, like Amazon or Shopify, have chosen Stripe as their trusted payment gateway because of its strong security and availability of the best developmental tools. Whether you are an online retail store, a B2B platform, or a B2C marketplace, this payment gateway is going to help you power your business transactions.

Businessmen discussing using the best payment gateway, Stripe

Here are a few noticeable benefits of using Stripe as your online payment system:

  • Accepts payments without any delays or errors
  • It is easy to set up for recurring (or subscription-based) payments
  • Does not charge any hidden fees from customers or businesses
  • Provides easy-to-use and extensive documentation for developers
  • Works with all types of currencies, banks, credit cards, and wallets
  • Provides informative UI with graphs and charts for customers
  • Gives an overall seamless checkout experience for customers.

Setting Up Your Stripe Account 🛠️

Whether you’re a small business owner or a developer looking to accept payments online, setting up a Stripe account is a crucial step in getting started. Here’s an easy step-by-step guide.

🗃️ 1. Sign Up

The first step is to sign up for a Stripe account. You will need to provide your email address and create a password.

✅ 2. Verify Your Email Address

After signing up for an account, you will receive an email with instructions on how to verify your email address. Click on the link in the email to verify your email address and complete the sign-up process.

📝 3. Provide Your Business Information

Once you’ve verified your email address, you’ll need to provide your business information. This includes your business name, address, and tax ID number. You’ll also need to provide your banking information so that they can deposit payments into your account.

🏗️ 4. Customise Your Account Settings

After you’ve provided your business information, you can customise your account settings to meet your specific needs. This includes setting up your payment settings, including your currency, payment methods, and checkout options. You can also configure your account settings, including your email notifications, fraud prevention settings, and more.

🔧 5. Integrate Stripe With Your Website Or App

To start accepting payments through Stripe, you’ll need to integrate it with your website or app. The gateway provides a variety of integration options, including APIs, plugins, and more. Depending on your integration method, you may need to provide some additional information, such as your website or app’s API key.

🧪 6. Test Your Integration

Before you start accepting payments from customers, it’s important to test your integration to ensure that everything is working correctly. The gateway provides a variety of test tools, including test cards and a test mode, to help you ensure that your integration is working correctly.

🤝 7. Start Accepting Payments

Once you’ve completed testing and your integration is working correctly, you can start accepting payments. You’ll be able to view your payments in your Stripe dashboard and receive payouts to your bank account on a regular basis.

Setting up a Stripe account is an easy way for businesses to start accepting payments from customers. After signing up and verifying your email, add all the necessary business information before customising settings on various platforms like websites or apps. With its user-friendly dashboard and versatile API, companies of any size can utilise their services quickly and efficiently – so get those payments rolling in.

Benefits Of Using Stripe 😎

Stripe is renowned for its speedy and secure payment processing. In addition, because of its ease of integration and convenience of use, many business owners and developers find it easy to work with the platform.

Here are some further significant benefits of using Stripe as your online payment system.

🔌 Fully Integrated Suite Of Payments Products

Stripe provides you and your developers with everything needed to build systems that accept online payments globally. So even if you’re an online or in-person retailer, a subscription business, or a software platform, you will get a fully-integrated suite of payment products.

What that means is you receive a credit card processing service as well as a payment gateway service. By providing support for countertop credit card terminals and point-of-sale systems, they provide a fully integrated suite that works for both retail and e-commerce businesses.

🏋🏼‍♂️ Powerful & Easy-to-Use API

Stripe makes the development process more manageable, as it has extensive documentation. Written in clear and lucid language, the developers can easily understand the product and its API. Moreover, there are many ready-made solutions available (built-in libraries) as well as options for customisation.

They also offer client and server libraries from React and PHP to .NET and iOS. Since the custom libraries are available in many programming languages, developers can focus on the core product. Thus, they don’t have to write additional subprograms to integrate the API in the initial codebase.

💻 Tech-First Approach To Payments & Finance

From direct integration with the card networks to monitoring checkouts at the end of the buying process, Stripe optimises every aspect of the financial stack. Being a technology-first company, the solution focuses on releasing new features and improvements every year, helping you stay abreast of industry shifts. They deploy their production API 16x per day on average, making them the fastest-improving platform.

In addition, their system operates with 99.9%+ uptime and is highly scalable, besides adhering to the highest compliance standards. The goal of the payment gateway is to help increase your company’s revenue through intelligent technology-driven methods.

🛡️ Security Features & Customisation Options

Stripe is SSL (Secure Socket Layer) protected. What that means is your financial information (credit card details, bank account number, passwords) are duly encrypted and securely transmitted. In addition to that, the solution is also PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant, so you can rest assured that your information is safe and secure.

Besides providing an excellent set of security measures, they also offer you an extensive collection of developer tools and APIs — as mentioned in their documentation. With some coding and testing skills, you can take full advantage of these features and benefit from the expansive array of customisation options available.

Use Case Scenarios 🏙️

Women browsing through online store

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, many large companies use Stripe’s payment gateway for their online transactions. Companies like Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Salesforce, Wired, TED, Shopify, Zoom, Slack, and many others have chosen this solution over other payment gateway products. Stripe’s official website claims that millions of businesses have been their loyal customers for years.

From start-ups to Fortune 500, Stripe’s customers are based all over the world — and the company processes billions of dollars each year for small to large businesses. That means Stripe is the fastest-growing payment platform that builds market-first functionalities to meet your business needs. Notwithstanding the type of business you are in — marketplace, SaaS, e-commerce, B2B, B2C — this solution offers a robust platform without you needing to spend months on integration and customisation.

With Stripe, you have enough time to focus on your product’s success and customer experience instead of wasting time on joining disparate systems or fixing never-ending errors. That’s why we at WEBO Digital have also used Stripe for two of our own SaaS products that we’ve built, Trackify and Klokka.

3 Stripe Alternatives Comparison ⚖️

🔲 Stripe Vs Square

Square is another popular payment processing platform that offers similar features and capabilities to Stripe. Square offers a range of products and services for payment processing, including a point-of-sale system, online payments, and invoicing. It also has an easy-to-use API that allows developers to integrate payment processing into their websites and mobile applications.

One of Square’s key advantages is its focus on in-person transactions. It offers a range of hardware devices, including card readers and terminals, that enable businesses to accept payments in-person. Square also provides a range of additional features like inventory management and customer engagement tools, making it a comprehensive solution for businesses looking to manage their payments and operations in one place.

While both Stripe and Square offer similar payment processing capabilities, they have different strengths and target different audiences. Stripe is more focused on online payments and offers a high level of flexibility and customisation, making it an excellent choice for businesses that want to tailor their payment experience.

Square, on the other hand, offers a comprehensive solution that includes both online and in-person payments, making it an excellent choice for businesses that want to manage their payments and operations in one place.

⛩️ Stripe Vs Adyen

Adyen is a payment processing platform that offers a comprehensive suite of tools for businesses to manage their payments across multiple channels, including online, mobile, and in-store. It offers features like global payment processing, risk management, and shopper insights. Adyen also supports a wide range of payment methods and currencies, making it a popular choice for international businesses.

One of Adyen’s key strengths is its focus on enterprise-level businesses, providing them with a range of sophisticated tools for managing their payments and reducing the risk of fraud. Adyen also offers a unified platform for managing all payment channels, making it a more comprehensive solution for businesses that need to manage payments across multiple channels.

When comparing Stripe and Adyen, the choice depends on the specific needs of the business. Stripe is an excellent choice for businesses that are looking for an easy-to-use, flexible, and transparent payment processing solution. Adyen, on the other hand, is more suitable for enterprise-level businesses that require advanced features and tools for managing their payments across multiple channels.

🏁 Stripe Vs Plaid

Stripe and Plaid are two of the biggest names in fintech, providing payments and banking services. While both have their uses, Stripe offers several distinct advantages over Plaid – starting with its user-friendly interface that makes it a breeze to get up and run.

Stripe’s API documentation is organised for quick access, while developer tools allow faster integration than many competitors. In contrast, integrating with Plaid can be more laborious due to complicated setup procedures and difficult-to-follow instructions, leaving more effort on developers’ plates. Plaid can provide easy authentication and verification for bank accounts – but its processing options are more limited compared to what Stripe has available.

In comparison to Plaid’s bank account authentication focus, Stripe provides an extra layer of assurance in ensuring customers’ sensitive data remains well-guarded at every step of the transaction process.

A Minor Consideration 🧐

Now that you know everything that’s awesome about Stripe, here’s one minor consideration. 

Suppose you want to integrate the payment gateway into your online business or add extra features to the existing platform. In that case, you will need the necessary technical resources (developers or testers) to manage such tasks. Even though their documentation is pretty straightforward, you will have to do some coding to stitch all the pieces together. Yet, this minor consideration is not really their disadvantage since payment gateways expect some assistance from the developers.

Man holding credit card and about to make online payment

In short, Stripe’s API is excellent for businesses having developers who can build a customised online e-commerce experience. Unfortunately, companies without technical resources will have to pay extra for a separate e-commerce solution.

Stripe’s Pricing & Cost 💸

Stripe provides a convenient and secure payment platform for businesses. With its services, companies can confidently accept payments online without worry – all while paying affordable transaction, processing and payment fees to use the service.

💰 Transaction Fee

Stripe offers businesses an array of payment-processing services ranging from managing chargebacks and refunds to providing customer support. Along with this comes a fee structure based on transaction value, which varies in percentage depending on the country, anywhere between 2.9%-3.9% plus USD $0.30 per transaction, while those utilising subscription billing are charged 0.5%-1%. This covers processing expenses needed for all their services provided under one roof

💵 Processing Fee

When you use Stripe to accept payments from customers, there are processing fees associated with every transaction. This fee is based on a percentage of the amount and an additional flat rate per purchase. 

The solution provides a straightforward payment processing experience with no extra fees for setup, monthly maintenance, or cancellation. For those looking to level up their payments game and accept payouts from others on behalf of the business, then investing in advanced features like Stripe Connect can do just that; however, it may incur additional charges.

Stripe Connect pricing is based on the number of transactions processed and the volume of payments. For businesses that process fewer than $1 million in transactions per year, the fee is 2.9% plus a flat fee of $0.30 per transaction. For businesses that process more than $1 million in transactions per year, you get customised pricing based on the specific needs of the business.

They offer a variety of payment processing plans that are suitable for businesses large and small. Not only is the pricing competitive, but it’s also highly customisable to your business needs giving you maximum flexibility and affordability. If your company values transparency in cost structure as well as reliable performance, then this solution should be at the top of your list when considering payment processors.

You can check out Stripe’s pricing page for more information, including customised packages for businesses of different sizes.

Key Takeaways: The Best Payment Gateway 📋

If your business has an e-commerce sales channel and you want a technology-first payment gateway with robust security, Stripe could be an excellent choice. If you also have a dedicated team of developers in your company, they can help you get the best out of Stripe’s developer tools and customise them as per your business needs.

You can indeed build your online payment infrastructure in minutes with Stripe’s services, but before that, you might want to determine if yours is a company that needs this solution for its payment processing. For some small-scale businesses or bootstrap start-ups, it can be a pricey option. Though you get a handful of services from Stripe, you might not even use all of them. So consider the benefits that it offers and then decide.

If you like what you have learnt about Stripe and are interested further, it may well be a good solution for your payment gateway requirements. For more information on this payment gateway and any other tech that can be leveraged to upgrade your business, feel free to send us a message. We’d love to hear from you.

Published On

November 11, 2021