- Free API
- Discounted rates for nonprofits
- Extensions for political fundraising
- No phone-based customer support
- Gives no warning when accounts are shutdown
- Stripe UI built with developers in mind
Stripe is a payment processing platform built for e-commerce industries while providing options for nonprofits and other donation-based organizations. Compared to payment processing platforms like PayPal and Square, Stripe is an excellent payment option for small to medium-sized organizations of varying types.
What Stripe can do
Stripe offers web-based payment processing options for various use-cases. Stripe can facilitate payments through its static payment pages and website builder integrations (i.e., WordPress). Plus you can accept varying forms of payment: credit and debit cards, ACH Direct Deposits, banks transfers, and Bitcoin. Payments can be received on mobile devices via the official Stripe iPhone app and several third-party apps available for Android devices. Other features include the platform’s analytics and reporting feature that documents incoming and outgoing payments.
API and extensions
One of the reasons Stripe is popular is due to its free API. A case can be made that Stripe was built for developers who want to convert the service the company offers into custom e-commerce and digital payment experience for their customers, donors, or clients. Stripe can be integrated with several extensions from outside services and platforms.
The most noticeable setback with Stripe is its lack of a phone number dedicated to customer support. Instead, users can troubleshoot their issues in the company’s knowledge base or contact a tech support specialist through the company’ customer support email address. Stripe, without warning, can shut down an account due to suspicious behavior–even when the account is verified. This also leads to the technical stability of the accounts, themselves. Stripe may detect payments made through the platform as “fraudulent” when in reality they aren’t.
Though it isn’t necessarily a setback in its own right, the focus on developers leaves the interface challenging for beginners and DIY-ers to navigate. Users need to have some understanding of coding to operate Stripe on the back-end successfully, but integration is pretty straightforward.
Stripe charges a competitive flat rate of 2.9% + $0.30 per successful card transaction on a “pay-as-you-go” basis. Nonprofits are given a slight discount, but a similar payment structure. The company bills itself on providing its customers with a transparent payment plan that lacks monthly and hidden fees. Enterprise options are available for organizations that are seeking custom rates on volume while micro-payments, ACH, and Bitcoin are supported for varying fees. Comparably, PayPal has similar rates; however, the discounts are higher for nonprofits. Stripe’s pricing structure is competitive, compared to other platforms and services.
Stripe is a reliable payment processing tool that can be deployed for any organization. With its freely-available API and cheap payment structure, Stripe can be implemented with success. Keep in mind that the company will sporadically cancel and holds accounts at what can seem like random; while that can make your job more difficult, it’s all done in the name of security. Also, don’t dismiss tools like PayPal or Square as comparable alternatives to what Stripe can accomplish.
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