Stripe is a popular online payment processing platform and merchant services provider with over 100 features.
In this review, I’ll take a closer look at Stripe Payments and examine its key features and limitations so you can decide if this is the right online payment solution for your business.
Stripe Online Payment Solution: My Verdict
Stripe is an excellent large-scale payment solution for businesses that want to process payments online. It offers a transparent pricing model, free from setup or monthly fees, making it an economical choice for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Businesses can seamlessly accept payments through various methods, including credit/debit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, providing flexibility to customers. With an extensive international reach, Stripe facilitates transactions from 46 countries in over 30 languages and over 130 currencies.
Merchants using Stripe can tailor their checkout experience to match their branding, ensuring a cohesive and professional look for the payment process. The platform integrates easily with popular plugins and platforms, such as HubSpot, QuickBooks, Salesforce, Shopify, Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, WooCommerce, Xero, and Zapier.
Stripe also caters to businesses with technical expertise, offering developer-friendly APIs for seamless customisation and integration of payment solutions into websites or apps.
However, Stripe does have some drawbacks. Transaction fees, although transparent, vary based on location and payment type, ranging from 1.5% + 20p for standard UK cards to 3.25% + 20p for international cards.
Customisation may pose a challenge for businesses without technical expertise, and certain advanced features may be complex to implement.
International restrictions in specific regions and limitations on offline payments, as Stripe is primarily designed for online transactions, may affect businesses operating in diverse markets. Additionally, phone support is limited, with availability only after requesting a callback.
Stripe Pros & Cons
- Transparent Pricing: With no setup or monthly fees, businesses only pay per transaction, making it cost-effective for small and medium-sized enterprises
- Multiple Payment Methods: Support for various payment methods, including credit/debit cards and alternative methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay for flexibility.
- International Reach: Accept customer payments in 46 countries, over 30 languages and over 130 currencies.
- Customisable Checkout: Tailor your checkout experience to match your branding, creating a cohesive and professional look for the payment process.
- Easy Integration: Seamlessly connect with popular plugins, including bigcartel, Dropbox, HubSpot, QuickBooks, Salesforce, Shopify, Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, WooCommerce, Xero and Zapier.
- Developer-Friendly APIs: businesses can seamlessly customise and integrate payment solutions into their websites or apps.
- 24/7 Customer Support: Get help through e-mail, phone or web chat whenever needed.
- Scalability: Whether you have a business just starting or are experiencing rapid growth, Stripe can adapt to your business needs.
- Transaction Fees: While the pricing is transparent, transaction fees vary depending on the location and type of payment, from 1.5% + 20p for standard UK cards to 3.25% +20p for international cards.
- Customisation Complexity: While Stripe is developer-friendly, businesses without technical expertise may find certain advanced features challenging to implement.
- International Restrictions: In some regions, Stripe may have limitations or restrictions affecting businesses operating in specific global markets.
- Limited Offline Payments: Stripe is primarily designed for online transactions, so businesses relying heavily on offline sales may find most of its features less applicable.
- Limited Phone Support: Stripe offers email and web chat support, with phone support available only after requesting a callback.
Stripe Payments gives businesses access to over 100 features, ranging from online payment processing to financial reporting.
The table below highlights some of the most essential features.
|All major payment methods, including cards, wallets, and buy now, pay later. International payments are available in over 135 currencies from 46 countries.
|Accept subscriptions or one-off or recurring payments online or in person.
|Unify payouts and get paid in your preferred currency, daily, weekly or monthly.
|Use pre-built payment forms or customise your checkout experience using API or 3rd-party integrations such as WooCommerce and WordPress. You can send payment links and invoices or offer in-person payments using a Stripe Terminal.
|Identify and prevent fraud with Stripe Radar and reduce your risk of chargebacks through Dynamic 3D Secure.
|Integrations & API
|A huge range of pre-built integrations range from e-commerce platforms such as Shopify to invoicing software such as Freshbooks.
|Simplify your bookkeeping through unified and consolidated financial reporting and revenue recognition.
|Reporting & Insights
|Stripe Dashboard lets you see your performance at a glance, whilst Stripe Sigma quickly performs more in-depth analysis.
|Create a team for convenient access and use the Dashboard mobile app to manage your account on the go.
|Access support whenever you need it over webchat, phone, or by e-mailing Stripe customer support.
With support for 135+ currencies and operations in 30+ languages and countries, Stripe enables you to accept payments globally, displaying prices in your customers’ preferred currency for enhanced conversion rates. You can set up local accounts to optimise acceptance and minimise cross-border costs.
Stripe simplifies payments by supporting over 20 popular methods, including major credit cards, digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay, direct debits, and buy now, pay later options via Klarna and Clearpay.
The minimum transaction balance you can accept is £1. The maximum balance is due to technical capabilities, with Stripe Payments able to accept up to 12 figures.
Ensure quick and reliable payouts with flexible options to control payout timing and receive transparent, unified payouts across various methods and currencies. The Dashboard provides visibility into upcoming payouts and deposit history.
Efficient financial reconciliation and reporting are ensured with real-time reporting on charges, fees, refunds, and transfers. Stripe supports unified reporting across all payment methods and currencies, tagging each deposit with a transfer report detailing transactions and fees. Save time with automatic data syncing with platforms like QuickBooks and NetSuite.
For developers, Stripe offers a secure platform with client libraries, SDKs, testing tools, and a dedicated Developer Dashboard. Access a variety of 3rd-party software extensions for e-commerce, recurring billing, and marketplaces, simplifying integration.
Effectively manage business operations with Stripe’s unified Dashboard. Take actions directly from the Dashboard, view payments, create billing plans, and respond to disputes without extensive coding. Customise data access for your team with roles and permissions, and improve collaboration with attached notes on payments and refunds.
How Does Stripe Work?
- Card Details Entered: The customer completes your checkout form and submits their payment information.
- Card Details Checked: Stripe verifies the card details are correct, ensuring, for example, that the expiry date has not already passed.
- Authentication: In regulated regions like Europe and India, some banks may require customers to authenticate a purchase to add an extra layer of security. This could involve methods such as receiving and entering a code sent via text.
- Authorisation: The bank checks that there are enough funds to cover the transaction balance, and if successful, it temporarily holds the amount to guarantee it for the merchant.
- Completion: Once authorised, the money moves from the customer’s bank to the merchant’s account.
- Payout: The first payout can be made approximately 7 days after you add your bank account to Stripe, after which you can create a payout schedule. This waiting period may be extended up to 30 days, depending on the type of business or country. The minimum amount that can be paid out is £1.00
Stripe supports a wide range of businesses, including sole traders, partnerships, companies and non-profits.
You must be at least 13 years old to open a standard Stripe account.
If you are under 18, a legal guardian must be added as the account owner for your account to accept charges and receive funds.
To open an Express or Custom, you must be at least 18 years old.
Ineligible and Restricted Businesses
The following types of businesses cannot use Stripe Payments unless they have obtained prior written consent:
- Financial products and services, including investments, lending, buy now, pay later services, insurance services and challenger banks.
- Credit card and identity theft protection services.
- Stored value and currency services such as cryptocurrencies, NFTs, prepaid phone cards and in-game currency.
- Government services such as embassies, consulates, and government grants
- CBD products
- Pharmaceuticals, medical devices and telemedicine businesses such as prescription products and online pharmacies.
- Tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and e-liquid
- Age-restricted goods and services
- Travel businesses such as travel agents, airlines, cruise lines and timeshares.
- Multi-level marketing companies such as referral marketing programmes.
- Shipping businesses, including forwarding brokers and drop shipping.
- Charity sweepstakes and raffles used for fundraising.
Businesses that are unable to use Stripe Payments include
- Illegal products and services such as illegal drugs, fake ID services, phone jamming devices, and promotion of unlawful harm or violation of law in the jurisdictions where your business is targeting.
- Infringement of intellectual property rights including distribution of music, counterfeit goods, unauthorised use of brand names and unauthorised use of trade secrets.
- Unfair, predatory or deceptive practices, including pyramid schemes, ‘get rich quick’ schemes, remote technical support and door-to-door sales
- Adult content, including pornography, escort services, gentleman’s clubs and online dating services
- Certain legal services, such as bankruptcy lawyers, bail bonds and law firms who collect money for purposes other than legal service fee payments.
- Firearms, explosives and dangerous materials, including ammunition, weapons, chemicals and toxic materials.
- Gambling, including games of chance, games of skill, sports betting, lotteries and bidding fee auctions.
- Marijuana and cannabis-related businesses.
How To Open A Stripe Account
To open a Stripe Payments account, follow these steps:
- Visit the Stripe website and complete the simple sign-up form.
- Check your email for a verification link and complete the email verification process.
- Complete your Business Profile to activate your account.
- Decide on a payment method, ranging from no-code solutions for quick starts or use of APIs for developers.
- Set automatic payout schedules or initiate manual payouts through the API or Dashboard.
- Verify your business by providing identification proving business ownership, bank account ownership, website ownership and the physical location of your business.
- Provide your bank account details for payouts.
- Enable 2-factor authentication to keep your Stripe Payments account secure.
- Check your email for a confirmation message.
The exact steps may vary slightly based on your specific business circumstances or how you access Stripe. Follow the onscreen instructions and refer to Stripe’s resources if needed.
Stripe Fees & Charges
Stripe offers a transparent, pay-as-you-go pricing structure.
The table below breaks down the Stripe Payments fees:
|Standard UK Cards
|1.5% + 20p
|Premium UK Cards
|1.9% + 20p
|European Economic Area Cards
|2.5% + 20p + 2% (if currency needs to be converted)
|3.25% + 20p + 2% (if currency needs to be converted)
Standard UK Cards include:
- Visa and Mastercard consumer cards
- Any American Express, Discover, Diners Club, Maestro, Cartes Bancaires or UnionPay card
Premium UK Cards include Visa and Mastercard commercial, corporate and business cards.
Businesses with high value or large volumes of transactions can get custom pricing by contacting the Strip sales team.
Other fees associated with Stripe Payments are shown in the table below:
|1 Click Checkout (Link): All UK Cards
|1.2% + 20p
|1 Click Checkout (Link): Other Cards
|Regular pricing applies
|Settle and Pay Out in Additional Currencies
|1% of the payout amount (select alternative currencies)
|3D Secure Authentication
|Included as standard or 3p per attempt for custom pricing plans
|Card Account Updater
|Included as standard or 25p per update for custom pricing plans
|0.08% per successful card charge
|Included, or 12p per token provisioned for custom interchange pricing plans
|Local Payment Methods
|1% Bacs Direct Debit, with a min. fee of 20p and max. of £2.00
|1% of Instant Payouts volume, Minimum fee of 40p
|Disputed Payments (Chargebacks)
|£20.00 per dispute
In addition to Payments, Stripe’s flexibility and versatility allow you to customise your package based on your needs and explore additional features such as Tax, Stripe Radar and Strip Sigma for an additional fee.
Stripe User Experience
The Stripe Dashboard is your central hub for overseeing and managing various aspects of your Stripe account. It provides a comprehensive overview of your data, customers, plans, and balances. Through this dashboard, you can efficiently handle processing refunds, examining potential fraudulent charges, and addressing disputes.
The dashboard has user-friendly features, including a type-ahead search function for easy navigation, customisable charts and analytics to tailor your view, and the ability to export your data. Real-time reporting and streamlined workflows further enhance your experience.
Within the dashboard, different sections cater to specific functionalities, including Home for account activity overview, Navigate for managing various business aspects like payments, Developers Dashboard for monitoring integration performance and Reporting and Searching for filtering, exporting, and searching transactional data.
The dashboard supports the following browsers:
|Chrome 38 and above
|iOS Safari 9 and above (iOS)
|Safari 10.1 and above
|Other iOS Browsers & Web Views using the system-provided WebKit engine
|Firefox 29 and above
|Android Chrome 38 and above
|Edge 15 and above
|Samsung Browser 7.1 and above
|Opera 25 and above
Stripe Mobile App
For those on the go, the Stripe Dashboard offers a mobile app on iOS and Android. This app allows you to track daily earnings, monitor new customer activity, and receive notifications for quick actions like completing a refund.
The mobile app lets you view and create payments, check payment statuses, manage customers, handle payouts and refunds, and even set up push notifications for updates. However, it’s essential to note that the mobile app supports only live mode transactions, and users cannot access test mode or view test data through the app.
The mobile app is available for Direct and Standard accounts, not for Custom and Express Connect Accounts.
International Payments Using Stripe
Stripe allows businesses to process payments in more than 135 currencies, facilitating improved sales by displaying prices in the customer’s preferred currency. This approach helps customers avoid conversion costs, creating a smoother purchasing experience.
One of Stripe’s key features is its comprehensive support for currencies. Businesses can charge customers in their native currency while receiving funds in their preferred currency.
Additionally, the platform provides an option to set up local Stripe accounts, allowing businesses to leverage localised acquiring for enhanced acceptance rates, reduced costs, and elimination of FX/cross-border customer fees.
Stripe’s global availability spans 46 countries, enabling businesses to sell to customers worldwide, including the USA and many European countries.
Stripe offers prebuilt e-commerce plug-ins designed to make it quick and easy to integrate payments seamlessly into your online store. The setup is simple, allowing you to incorporate payment processing into your website without hassle efficiently.
A huge library of plugins is available, including Xero, MailChimp, HubSpot and SimplyVAT.com.
For a more custom experience, you can integrate a Stripe partner for a more complete solution.
Stripe Partners include Amazon Web Services, BigCommerce, Salesforce, WordPress, Shopify and Wix.
Stripe Security Measures
Stripe prioritises robust security measures to safeguard sensitive data, meeting global financial industry standards.
Some of the security measures used by Stripe Payments include:
- PCI-certified at Level 1
- Regular SOC 1 and SOC 2 audits ensure compliance.
- Following the NIST Cybersecurity Framework
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA) on the Stripe Dashboard.
- HTTPS, HSTS, and mutual transport layer security (mTLS) are mandated for secure connections.
- Infrastructure safeguards include regular testing, third-party scans, and automatic server replacements.
- Mandatory security education and on-call security experts
Stripe Customer Support
Stripe provides 24/7 support through various channels, including:
- By email, with an expected response within 24 hours.
- Chat support in English and Japanese with an average 3-minute wait time.
- Phone call requests (English and Japanese only) with an average 3-minute wait time. Note Stripe doesn’t have an inbound support phone number; request a phone call through other means.
- Developers with technical questions can chat live
Stripe Customer Reviews.
The overall customer feedback for Stripe is mixed, with an “average” TrustScore of 2.8 out of 5, with 48% rating it 5 out of 5.
Users appreciate Stripe for its “user-friendly” interface and effective support. Many commend the platform for its easy account opening, straightforward dashboard management, and excellent customer service. Global users find value in Stripe’s ability to facilitate payments across borders, with quick response times and practical solutions. They described their experience as “professional”, “outstanding” and “reliable”.
However, other customers highlighted dissatisfaction with the online payment solution.
Common complaints include issues with Stripe’s address verification process, delays in refund processes, and the platform holding onto funds without clear reasons. Users express frustration over “unresponsive” customer service and a perceived lack of accountability. They described their experience as “disappointing”.
The Stripe Dashboard app has an average score of 4.3 out of 5 on the Google Play Store and 4.7 out of 5 on the Apple App Store.
Several users shared “positive” experiences with Stripe, praising its ease of use, security, and functionality for one-off payments and subscriptions. They described their experience of using the Stripe Dashboard app as “flawless”, “excellent” and “seamless”.
In contrast, other users reported login issues on the app and technical limitations, including its inability to perform specific tasks such as cancelling invoices. They described their experience as “poor”, “horrible” and “no good”.
Alternatives to Stripe
|Online Payment Type
|UK Transaction Fee
|International Transaction Fee
|Card, Installment, Apple Pay, Google Pay
|1.5% – 1.9% + 20p
|2.5% – 3.25% + 20p + 2% (if currency conversion is required)
|1% – 1.7% + 20p + VAT
|2% – 2.4% + 20p + VAT
|1.4% – 2.5% + 25p
|2.5% + 25p
|1.2% – 2.9% + 30p
|2.49% – 4.89% + fixed fee
|Card, Installment, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, etc.
|£0.11 + payment method fee
|£0.11 + payment method fee
Does Stripe Payments Charge a Monthly Fee?
No. Stripe Payments charges per transaction, with no monthly account fee.
Do I need a website to use Stripe Payments?
No. When you activate your account, you will be asked to provide a URL for a website, social media account or app. However, if you don’t use these services, you can describe the products or services you sell.
Does Stripe Payments support subscription-based businesses?
Yes. Stripe has many tools suitable for subscription-based businesses, including secure payment information storage, recurring payments and flexible billing cycles.
What documentation is required to verify a Stripe Payments account?
When you verify your account in the UK, you will be asked to provide 3 types of ID, including one that shows your identity, such as a valid passport; one that shows your home address, such as a utility bill; and one that shows the legal status of your business such as a Companies House or HMRC document.