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Stripe: A Comprehensive Review

Choosing a payment processing solution for online payments is one of the most critical decisions you can make for your business. A payment gateway is essential to handling online transactions securely, and it's essential to find a payment processing solution that offers you the best rates, reliability, and security. Enter Stripe: one of the most popular payment gateways in the market today. Let's review Stripe and look at the pros and cons of using the popular payment gateway.

What is Stripe?

Stripe is a payment processing company that offers online payment processing solutions to businesses of all sizes. Founded in 2010, the company has grown to become one of the most popular payment processing options in the market, powering transactions for companies like Amazon, Google, and Shopify. Stripe offers a range of payment processing options, including online payments, subscription billing, and invoicing, among others.

Pros of Using Stripe

  1. Developer-friendly: Their heavy focus on developers tends to make it easy for them to get setup, speaking their language and offering an API with comprehensive documentation.
  2. Ease of use and fast setup: One of the most significant advantages of using Stripe is how user-friendly it is. The platform's dashboard is easy to navigate, and you can set up an account in minutes.
  3. Supports multiple payment methods: Stripe supports a wide range of payment methods, including credit and debit cards, ACH payments, and mobile payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
  4. Clear pricing: Stripe's pricing is clear. They charge a flat rate of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. They also offer volume discounts for businesses that process a large volume of transactions.

Cons of Using Stripe

  1. Funds withholding: They have a reputation for holding merchant funds, without having clarity on what needs to be done to get it back or how soon you’ll get it back. If your business relies on cash flow, we highly recommend an alternative processor. This is one of the biggest cons of using Stripe.
  2. No consultative support: My kids have a phrase “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit”. Stripe is the same way, you don’t get to work with a dedicated account representative - you have to figure out what you need on your own, and hope it works, as you’re totally on your own!
  3. Limited customization: While Stripe's API is excellent, it doesn't offer as much customization as other payment gateways. This can be limiting for businesses that want to create a unique checkout experience.
  4. Limited Reporting: Stripe is great for certain use cases, but often times when a business matures, they may want to have more customized reporting and features, that Stripe often doesn’t have. 

Bringing it all Together

Stripe is an excellent payment processing solution for businesses of many sizes. It offers competitive pricing, excellent developer tools. However, it's not perfect, and there are some drawbacks to consider before choosing Stripe as your payment gateway. Ultimately, the decision to use Stripe or another payment processing solution will depend on your business's unique needs and priorities. 

One of the things we do at Polaris, is help consult on if Stripe is the best fit or not - we’re happy to tell you! Reach out below, we’d love to learn more about your business and what your unique needs are.

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