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Tell HN: I Hugely Regret Using Stripe Atlas
321 points by mikob on Jan 10, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 99 comments
I signed my company up through Stripe Atlas thinking it would be more convenient and save me time, boy was I wrong. It's been a time suck dealing with this company and their banking partners, I would recommend other founders who value their time to avoid this service. I've created an LLC in Delaware before using certain other googleable companies and it's gone completely smoothly, so this isn't my first rodeo.

First problem, Stripe will create a new, separate Stripe account for you to use with Atlas. So if you already had some transactions (hope you do if you're forming a company) then you're going to need to migrate them. For my company, they just created another account with exactly the same name and just one capitalization difference, pretty confusing. Migration is likely automatic with a cool company like Stripe, right? Nope, they only can migrate your customers -- everything else, subscriptions, coupons, tx data you need to write a script and DIY! Have fun wasting an afternoon updating all your API keys and re-testing too.

Side note, if you had special things like the Stripe startup school discount applied to your account, you'll lose it on Atlas. Unless you open up another support ticket with Stripe and wait for a couple weeks.

Second problem, if you form a c-corp Stripe will create an account through SVB (Silicon Valley Bank) for you. You can go ahead and read the reviews on that bank yourself, but the biggest annoyance for me was a $25/mo account maintenance fee. OK, not atypical for a business bank, but most banks don't have a $25k+ min. balance for that fee! I do care about $300/year for my company when I specifically payed for Stripe Atlas thinking it would be more convenient and save me money.

Third problem, want to switch to Azlo bank so that at least you don't have to pay monthly fees? That's great except Azlo will tell you that you need to talk to Stripe to do that, and surprise Stripe will tell you that... https://gist.github.com/mikob/3cd3d141c60596ee50c0ab2603b5bd...

1) It makes perfect sense that a new account is created and that transactions pre-incorporation are not automatically imported. Your new company is required to have accurate books; you can't pretend that transactions executed before the company existed (ie. by you personally?) were actually executed by the company you've later incorporated.

2) SVB seems to be nobody's favorite bank, but it's quite clear to me that they have been chosen for their willingness to bank for every Atlas customer—including companies founded and operated by non-U.S. persons—without requiring an in-person visit. If this is not a problem for you then consider yourself lucky for having other choices.

3) Your third problem sounds like you've identified a better bank, but they have not accepted you as a client. How is that an issue with Stripe Atlas? They have simply identified and worked with a bank who was willing accept you.

I would recommend: Harvard Business Services + BofI bank for anyone looking for a Stripe alternative. I've had no issues so far and it's much cheaper ($150 for registered agent, free online banking).

I started using Bank of the Internet (now Axos) for my personal stuff after Simple got shitty. I've been extremely pleased with them. If I were starting a business today, I would absolutely go to them first.

What is wrong with Simple?

Simple doesn't offer business banking.

I don't think that is OP's point though - they switch personal banking for some reason.

Also - I just got a letter that SoFi is doing debit cards now.

Links? Please.


Harvard Business Services: https://www.delawareinc.com/

BofI bank: https://www.axosbank.com

Would prefer a more concise answer by the OP though, with steps to how he created his LLC.

1) Actually in some countries it's entirely possible to attribute past actions to a new company. It sounded a bit odd to me at first, but when you think about it... why not? If a company is able to take on responsibility for something, it seems reasonable.

It is a difference when it comes to limiting the liability. The transactions undertaken outside of the incorporation (in the US at least) means that debt could be attributed to you personally. Your personal assets can be used to pay off the creditors ... whether you want that or not. However, if they are undertaken by the company, then creditors can get the assets that are put into the company, but not your personal assets.

I don’t know which other country you are talking about or which legal structure ... even in the US, the extent of limited liability can vary depending upon which you use. There are partnerships, limited partnerships, S-corps, LLCs, sole proprietorships, etc.

What you say is true, but corporations are always formed by people who are usually called "promoters". Legal liability for transactions/contracts undertaken by these promoters for the future corporation can be transferred to the corporation after it is formed with a novation agreement between the promoter and corporation (without consent of the contract partners).

So there's a very clear road to what the OP wants, where transactions before corp formation belong to corp and only to corp, but yes, if that road isn't taken then liability could lie with him.

Of course it all depends on state law, because in the US, corporations are creatures of the state.

1. OK, that makes sense, but it's not just the transaction data that wasn't imported, it's charges, invoices, plans, subscriptions, coupons, events, logs, and of course API keys.

2. There are other business banks that don't need in-person visits, eg. Azlo and Capital One Spark business.

3. You should be more careful about victim blaming. Azlo is willing to accept me as a customer, they just asked me to go through Stripe since I am a US Citizen that lives abroad and since I have Stripe Atlas.

Technically, your customers have never agreed to be charged by this new company you’re setting up - it’s an entirely separate legal entity from yourself. There’s no way to start charging them from a separate legal entity without their consent, so a bulk import is probably not what you are permitted to do.

Businesses get acquired all the time- in this case, the new entity has acquired the assets and customers of the old entity. Thus the contract you have with the customer has been transferred to the new entity.

In this case, the new entity is a limited liability company and the old entity is a sole proprietorshio with no liability protection. Part of the protection comes from acting as if the limited liability entity is a legal “person”. Failure to do so can be used by creditors to “pierce the veil”.

There is usually some sort of document transferring the assets of the sole proprietorship into the C-corp or LLC in return for shares for membership interest, as part of the capitalization.

Perhaps talk to a CPA or a lawyer about all of this ...

An acquisition does not mean that the original entity no longer exists. It simply means ownership of that entity has changed.

The original entity can live as a subsidiary of the new owner without having to actually change any of the contractual stuff.

> You should be more careful about victim blaming.

I think you should be more careful with how you use the phrase "victim blaming", which is commonly used in cases of injustice towards victims of sexual assault in particular. You haven't been victimized, you've been inconvenienced and/or had a poor customer experience.

>You haven't been victimized, you've been inconvenienced and/or had a poor customer experience.

That sentence only makes sense if you redefine the word victimized to mean a special, set-apart form of extra bad victimization.

Businesses generally make decisions on economic interest aligning with incentive structure. It is not personal.

Victims are specifically targetted, or some sort of personal boundary is violated. It can get very personal.

We might sometimes talk about someone being a victim of an impersonal force. For example, someome being injured as a result of a tsunami. However, excessively attaching to the narrative of being a victim can prevent someone from continuing their grieving process and moving on with their life.

That is not to say it cannot happen in the business world ... but I doubt that is the case here.

>However, excessively attaching to the narrative of being a victim [...]

There is no particular indication that the OP was calling forth the grand "victim narrative," or comparing themselves to sexual assault survivors in any way.

>Victims are specifically targetted, or some sort of personal boundary is violated. It can get very personal.

That's a mischaracterization of the word, focusing on a subset of the cases where it applies. I think a good argument against that mischaracterization might be:

>We might sometimes talk about someone being a victim of an impersonal force. For example, someome being injured as a result of a tsunami.

You don’t have to compare oneself to sexual assault victim narrative to attach to some sort of a narrative. People can be attached to all kinds ot ideas and narratives. I have learned from my own life journey that suffering can’t really by quantified, and one person’s experience of suffering can be as intense to them as someone else’s.

As I said, being a victim of an impersonal force can happen in the business world too.

Whether the acting force is personal or impersonal, the victim usually experiences (1) the force personally and (2) feels helplessness at the situation. The latter is kinda strange to me in the context of a business setting given the common narratives around self-reliance and exploiting opportunities in the business and startup subculture.

Thing is, I don’t see much at stake besides time, stress, and inconvenience. Maybe this is an appeal to public opinion get some leverage over Stripe? If not, and they really want to be in the victimhood narrative as an entrepreneur, sure, go ahead. I don’t see how such an orientation will help someone succeed as an entrepreneur.

I can't disagree more with the OP. I went through Stripe Atlas with an existing problem and didn't have any issues.

I found the customer support incredible helpful. Whenever I had questions, I would always get a response within 24 hours. Even more so, I had times when I would get follow ups to on-going issues, making me feel like their customer support process was really solid.

I originally signed up as a C-Corp, but realized I wanted to change to an LLC before the process was completed. The support staff helped me and got me on the way very quickly.

I didn't have any issues with my banking partner. I was actually able to get my Azlo account started even before my incorporation documents for an EIN number were completed, which was very helpful.

I'm not saying all of this other than because I strongly feel Atlas is a very good product. Similar to OP, I have incorporated before, and personally it was a total mess. The first time, I registered a Delaware C-Corp through another legal service I wont name, and found myself paying various costs to a Registered Agent, which was misleadingly introduced. Atlas does a much better job explaining the financial requirements around taxes, which I also didn't have properly explained the first time.

Overall, I would strongly recommend Atlas - especially if you can get a discount through some startup program.

and surprise Stripe will tell you that... https://bit.ly/2HhbXjZ

... they'll do anything they can to help you, will support you over live chat and email, but they're not Azlo Bank and can't open an account there for you? That sounds pretty... reasonable?

I clicked on the front page link expecting to see some interesting horror story.

Instead, all I'm seeing is an OP who doesn't understand how the world works, and multiple voluntary, glowing, customer testimonials.

This is fabulous marketing for Stripe.

I never said customer support was bad, in fact they're very responsive. I am pointing out how Azlo (Stripe's partnered bank) is telling me it's a Stripe problem and Stripe telling me it's a Azlo problem. It makes more sense to me that if I'm opening a bank with Stripe Atlas, that I should go through Stripe, as they're the ones who created my SVB bank. Azlo asked me to go through Stripe.

The Stripe Atlas product has some very rough edges as you'll see others also experienced in the comments.

I'll be accused by GP of victim blaming here, but this generally occurs when one organization is being told something slightly different than other organization.

Methinks you are probably overcomplicating things at Azlo. Open the account with your org that was created via Atlas at Azlo, stripe should have nothing to do with that. Inform stripe this is the new bank account.

You have the controlling interest in the org that was created via Stripe Atlas don't you?

If you're in the US, you can just walk into a bank of your choice and open a account. Stripe doesn't care what you do with your SVB account. Just replace it with your new account number in Stripe payment settings and you're done. This is not an endorsement, but I've been hearing good things about First Republic Bank.

If you're not in the US, let me first point out that Azlo doesn't even support international transfers. They do not have login system for multiple founders. I'm very sure they don't work with ITIN and require SSN to open an account. Also, only one debit card. No checkbooks.

It appears that you somehow expect every step of the process to be smooth as butter. But nothing about running a startup will be like that. Transferring subscriptions from one Stripe account to another should be the least of your problems when porting an existing business with transactions to a c-corp. Talk to a lawyer and an accountant to understand what you got yourself into. Since you're trying to migrate transactions before the incorporation into the company account, you should talk to them earliest you can.

First Republic's customer service is top notch. My accounts can't possibly generate much revenue for them, but they still treat me like royalty whenever I call/email them or walk into the office.

The only thing I have to complain about is that (as of a year ago) they don't offer an overdraft line of credit for small business accounts.

Their student loan refinancing products are pretty fantastic. I highly recommend anyone with a large student loan to look them up!

I personally went through the Stripe Atlas beta, no regrets. At the time the AWS credits saved me thousands of dollars. (On year 2 or 3 now, I don't recall)

In terms of what you're discussing though, I agree. Faced those same two issues.

What I did:

1. Keep utilizing my other stripe account(s). I have multiple web fronts, and each has it's own stripe account. No issue there, actually zero funds go through the Stripe Atlas account. All the accounts are merged through one login, which is easy enough to see.

2. Closed the SVB (Silicon Valley Bank) account month two of the company. Opened an account with Capital One Spark Business, no minimum fees and the customer service has been good. Moved all my stripe accounts to dump into that account.

Honestly, Stripe should really partner with a better bank.

All Stripe does is provide an easy way to setup the C-Corp and help with some information. You're still in charge of your business. I did enjoy the suggestions and reminders from Stripe Atlas regarding filings.

About 1, I think Stripe Atlas will help me handle accounting if all my transactions come through there. No? That's one of the reasons I bothered with the migration (other being just having a nice consolidation)

Actually I use Capital One Spark Business for my other business. They're great but unfortunately not taking any new customers right now.

Just wanted to chime in because I've been using Atlas for over a year and am very happy with both the service and the team at Stripe.

SVB sucks, true. But $300/yr for a bank account should not be a deal breaker. You'll pay way more than this just to operate the corporation and stay alive.

I think I pay around $800/yr just to keep the corporation running (almost non-existent accounting, filing fees and franchise taxes to Delaware). And now that I'm a C Corp I have payroll taxes in addition to salary (~$2k/mo). As always, be sure you really need a corporation before you create one. Most of the tax benefits you get with a corporation (e.g. write-offs), you get as a sole proprietor too.

Atlas also made filing 2017 taxes trivial, I never even spoke to an accountant, it was a very smooth process.

I don't think 300/year for a bank is itself a deal breaker. Just if it's a crappy bank and I can spend a couple hours fixing that, then it's well worth the 300/yr savings + having a better bank.

The trouble is Stripe Atlas has not really been working with me and adding an extra layer of complication. Support team is responsive but issues remain with the product.

I've had a good experience with it, except that I agree the migrating to a new Stripe account was a big pain. It's really not clear to me why Stripe couldn't either (a) add Atlas to your existing account or (b) migrate your old account to the Atlas account. Either of those would have been very much better than the manual migration I did.

However, now that it's long behind me, I do feel it makes things easier for tracking tax implications of stuff. The work I did testing things before incorporation is all sole-proprietor schedule C, whereas the stuff after incorporation is not. I imagine this is why Stripe has this rule, but it would have been nice if they'd just said so up front.

Mods, can you patch the post to expand the bit.ly link?

https://bit.ly/2HhbXjZ -> https://gist.github.com/mikob/3cd3d141c60596ee50c0ab2603b5bd...

Done now.

This kind of thing is best sent to us at hn@ycombinator.com. Random-access mentions in the threads get random access by us, meaning we don't see most of them.

I'm really sorry for all the confusion. I work at Stripe and would like to dig into this more. Could you email me at edwin@stripe.com?

In defense of OP I don't think his problems with Stripe Atlas are born out of any confusion.

Indeed. The "confusion" bit is pretty condescending.

It reminds me of the similar bit of "I'm sorry you're upset." With that, you're not really sorry, and you're fake-apologizing for someone else's actions.

I think it's awesome a company cares enough to respond to dissatisfaction. Sometimes written words can land differently for different people, but I think it's a bit harsh to judge someone's attempt at help because they assumed there's some confusion.

Sure, there are better words to use, but this outreach still puts their customer service at an A-level for me.

And, to be fair, the OP’s situation with getting the runaround between Stripe and the bank is “confusion”. It’s just that the confusion appears to be either on Stripe’s end or on the bank’s.

I think it's great marketing. There are tons of people who don't have such public outlets — or are unaware of them — to raise their issues.

OP: In the past, edwinwee has offered this same sentiment only to later ignore me. I'm not sure if he got busy or if he's just trying to save face.

Previous: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18081918

I'm curious what you might've asked that led them not respond. Your profile says "Rubyist and fraud expert" so I'm guessing you might've asked a fraud-related question that, perhaps, they are legally/morally/somehow restrained from contacting you further?

Are you a customer of theirs?

If it was a Ruby question, on the other hand...

Just an Atlas question actually. They left me in the dark on and wasted a bunch of my time and really made it hard for me to recommend anyone else going through Atlas.

I am a customer of theirs for many of my products and clients (all together transact millions each year), yes. They have a great platform and I love what they do for developers at large. Their support could use some tweaking and they could be more transparent, but progress is an arc.

I've just started to use Stripe Atlas and currently waiting on an EIN thanks to the govt shutdown.

So far their support has been very responsive and helpful, and even managed to hook up a referral code to a friend's account AND to a separate account of mine that is processing payments via Stripe Connect.

I'm sorry you had a bad time, but just wanted to provide a counterpoint here.

This is the reason I created the startup checklist (https://github.com/leonar15/startup-checklist)... so founders could know step by step what needs to be done to set up their companies.

Since you'll eventually have to understand all the legal aspects of operating a business, you might as well start off that way.

I completely disagree with this post. I setup an LLC late last year and it was a very pleasant experience via Atlas. They clearly show a checklist of what you need to do, or what you're waiting on. They email you along the process, or if they need anything from you. If they need additional verification (IDs) they reach out to you.

I would definitely do it again through Atlas and I've told others to do the same.

Fellow Stripe Atlas company founder here. SVB is a bit annoying, but really $25/month is probably not worth your time to worry about unless the company is VERY small.

Even in our situation, where we are a 2-person consulting company that isn't taking any outside investment, and have to run pretty lean (since we only get to eat and have a house every month if we do enough business to cover it), it's not worth our time to switch.

But at a higher level, the Stripe Atlas (and Stripe in general) people have been SO responsive and helpful that I'm surprised they haven't sorted this out yet. It looks like they've even popped up in this thread, so I hope and suspect that will happen soon.

With the AWS credits and how generally easy it was, I would definitely recommend it to others who are looking.

I looked at using Stripe Atlas to start up a consulting company and they told me not to bother because that would fall into the category of "computer services" which they consider a high risk business and they aren't interested in dealing with it. How were you able to get them to accept you?

Well, we are bootstrapping a SaaS as well, which is much more Stripe-friendly (we take payments via Stripe). Either that, or I got lucky and they didn't notice.

If you are doing purely consulting you probably don't need Stripe Atlas, as the Stripe integration and AWS credits likely won't help you. But if you are doing consulting, I also recommend turning your consulting expertise into a SaaS somehow :)

I’ve probably helped ten people start a company using Stripe Atlas over the past two years. I know some of them have grown frustrated with SVB and switched banks, but I don’t know any of them who’ve had a bad experience like OP did. Just thought I’d offer these extra data points

[Foreign founder]

As a foreign founder. I personally went through the Stripe Atlas last month, no regrets at all. The whole process took longer than I expected but it's not their problems (passport name, pic issues...), and I have to say they have pretty solid customer service. Every time I have any issues, they replied my email within 12 hours.

>So if you already had some transactions (hope you do if you're forming a company)

Erm, I wouldn't take a cent from a customer without being a proper company. Lack of legal protections, unnecessary tax complications etc.

>Third problem, want to switch to Azlo bank so that at least you don't have to pay monthly fees? That's great except Azlo will tell you that you need to talk to Stripe to do that,

Um, I'm not sure why you you thought Stripe or Azlo should do this for you, a random company can't close your company's bank account for you and open another account at another bank for your company. You open an account with Azlo, make the minimum deposit. Transfer the rest of the money from SVB and ask SVB to close the account, fill out any necessary paperwork.

As far as banks in general, you can go to any bank of your choosing "I'd like to open a small business account" or "I'd like to open a business account" and they'll say "Great, sit right down! Do you have your..." and rattle off a list of paperwork and identification you need. Small business accounts rarely have minimum balance requirements or monthly fees either.

That’s nonsense. I switched my bank to Chase in my Stripe account settings, it took seconds.

OP doesn't understand banking.

They want Stripe to close their company's account at bank A (that is not Stripe) and create a new account for their company at bank B (that is not Stripe) not realizing that is THEIR responsibility.

Just wondering if that was for a C-Corp or LLC? I'm asking because I'm looking at using Atlas in the next few weeks.

Exactly. A non-issue.

Just want to disagree here. Atlas has been great for us, and we had some of the same issues ... moving accounts, closing SVB and moving over to Azlo, all of it went smoothly.

Stripe Atlas was pretty good for me. The most organized corporation I've created yet. I also stopped using and paying SVB, because I forgot about the account and actually never used by account for a whole year so they closed it. I opened an BOA account without issue. My only problem is that the mobile app isn't great for ATLAS yet.

I've went through Stripe Atlas as well -- and didn't have any issues whatsoever; When we decided that we didn't want to be a C-Corp in DE, we made it before the actual setup, however, when we ran into issues with our process, their support folks were very very helpful and it was zero hassle switching banks.

I totally disagree with the conclusion, although I've struggled with some of these issues. The $25/mo fee is annoying, and I had to manually migrate some of my subscriptions. But none of these issues have been dealbreakers, and the process has been very streamlined and easy in general. I would highly recommend Stripe Atlas, especially if you're starting a company for the first time and don't really know what to do. Going through Stripe Atlas was like having an advisor who helps you with every step, and it's definitely worth any extra costs.

I'd like to switch to a different bank in the future, but I'm not a US citizen and I'm living in a foreign country, so the $25/mo fee isn't too bad.

I think Stripe's API is great, but the support has certainly suffered in comparison to the early days. More automated, unhelpful emails than I'd like. Maybe it's inevitable that support and general helpfulness suffer when you grow as quickly as they have?

Our CSAT metrics have shown support has been improving over the years (particularly since we rolled out 24/7 phone + chat)—but if there’s any case that we’ve felt short on, I’d love to investigate. Can you share some more about those unhelpful emails? If you can forward those to me that’d be useful (edwin@stripe.com).

Would those metrics give you any sort of warning about merchants who no longer tend to contact Stripe support when they have problems? Seeing fewer or no support requests from a merchant could mean everything is working well, but it could also mean that people aren't telling you any more when things are not working well.

> Stripe will create an account through SVB (Silicon Valley Bank) for you. You can go ahead and read the reviews on that bank yourself

As an SVB customer:

- Their UK experience, was, until recently, not updayted since about 2002. 8 point font, the entire width of the page, totally separate from the rest of their banking

- They want things confirmed on 'company letterhead'

- They have four different versions of 'balance' which makes things super confusing

- No 'find as you type' search for transactions

- No analytics

- Their mobile app is incredible limited

- They alerted me to a 700 USD fraudulent card charge, which, after I spent a week investigating, turned out to be a 7 USD card charge

The people are great, but SVB sound like a new generation business bank, but they're really not. Pick Starling or Monzo or anyone else.

Can you recommend which other company you used to incorporate an LLC in Delaware?

https://zenbusiness.com/ will create an LLC (I don't know what state) and then create a bank account if you want with Radius Bank in Boston. I've never used Zen myself, but they and Radius have been good partners.

Did you try using https://priceur.com ?

It simplifies stripe account migration (and also multi currency pricing).

It's free for now. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I built it.

I would stop using Stripe if they start dictating what bank I can use.

I use Stripe Atlas. I agree that the SVB minimum checking account fee is quite high. So I will look to move to Azlo. If Stripe tells me I can't do that, I'll start asking customers to wire my payments to the bank directly.

I think that I am happy with Stripe handling the paperwork and basic payments for me (and to compensate them for that), but I'd always want my freedom to run things without extraneous terms.

Stripe does not require you to use any particular bank. Setting up an account for you is simply part of the Atlas process.

I've had a couple of friends use Atlas without any problems. I guess your's is also a kind of an edge case with all the switching etc. Hope they resolve it quickly!

Another question: I also think that SVB sucks but is there a better alternative to it? I've heard of Azlo, but their services offering is not as broad as SVB's (e.g. no international transfers)?

Azlo is not even a real bank.

I've been using Stripe Atlas since the beta and I have experienced a few issues similar to the OP. However, I've also saved a ton of time because Stripe emails me about pending issues/changes that I probably wouldn't have known about.

SVB is ok - the fee is annoying and their UI kind of sucks, but I haven't switched yet.

I was looking at Atlas, but I don't live in Delaware, so I'd still have to deal with managing the business in my home state all myself. That's more forms and fees every year I have to do, in addition to the Delaware ones. In my view Atlas only solves half the problem (unless you've in Delaware)

TBC, with Stripe Atlas, you get set up in Delaware, but you don’t have to live there. We help you deal with all the paperwork remotely.

Aren’t businesses required to also register (as a “foreign” company) in the states where they do business? So if I’m sitting in Iowa doing business with my Delaware-formed business, Iowa still wants a registration?


My biggest problem with Stripe is that roughly 50% of transactions are declined! This is a huge business problem. Not uncommon either for Stripe users.

I suspect (without proof) that if you are a big trusted entity, Stripe and the whole financial system probably greases the wheels a bit to improve your success rate...

Oof, that is a problem...a decline rate like that is not normal. Have you seen our guide on reducing your decline rate? https://stripe.com/docs/declines

If you email in (https://support.stripe.com/contact), we also have a declines team that can investigate (I'm also happy to help at edwin@stripe.com).

Oof, that is a problem...a decline rate like that is not normal.

Does Stripe publish any statistics on what is normal for decline rates, perhaps broken down by categories like payment method, whether it's a first payment or a subsequent subscription payment, how effective the various automatic retry strategies are at saving an initially failed charge, etc?

We haven't yet, but that's a neat idea...

> My biggest problem with Stripe is that roughly 50% of transactions are declined!

Are you guys actually collecting all of the relevant information for an account, like billing info?

We've only had a single failed payment in the past year and it was an issue at the card's bank rather than Stripe.

I collect only the most basic info, name, card number, zip, cvc.

Maybe that's part of the problem?

However this was the happy path that Stripe's docs encouraged me to use.

Are you running a store that sells stuff that could be easily resold, or action on your sales pages could be easily automated? If you're getting a lot of declines (and they're not due to tech issues) sounds like you're being used to use, or at least "test" stolen CC numbers.

A lot chargebacks would mean you're selling porn ;)

Nah, I'm selling API services.

I have a majority of international customers, which maybe doesn't help...

SVB has a reputation as having really bad tech, a bit overly beaurocratic and annoying in general.

With one saving grace, they are known to be highly tolerant of unusual situations. Might help if you are running a weird startup.

Their online banking is probably not the greateast but it does its job and also they tend to trust you, don’t ask tons of stupid questions about what are you wiring and their customer support is top notch. All from personal experience.

My experience is that their customer support was very very slow and rather unhelpful. I had much more pleasant experiences with Chase which in my opinion is the least terrible big bank in the US.

Anyone know good SVB alternatives that don’t require US residence? Any that can be opened remotely?

Dear OP, if this level of minutiae upsets you, building a business may not be for you.

I won’t do business with Stripe in general, due to their anti-rights stance in refusing firearm/weapon transactions.


As in 2nd amendment right? Stripe's policy here seems to not affect your right to own or carry a gun at all.

Most companies have massive T&Cs which, if we ever read, we'd have objections to. As Stripe is a middleman in payment I can see why they want to protect themselves from any transactions where there's a higher than acceptable risk of the seller breaking the law.

In the US a business needs to have a license to sell firearms and that business has to follow lots of laws, and Stripe probably doesn't want to be in the business of policing their clients.

You also can't sell things like mortgage advice and e-cigarettes, even anything that's considered "flammable", so it seems a quite a jump to call this "anti-rights" rather than simple legal protectionism.

You just gave me another reason to like Stripe.

I hope you are trolling.

Payment processing should be agnostic as to the subject of payment, as long as no laws are being broken. How would you like it if Visa suddenly decided that you couldn’t use their cards for buying alcohol?

Here's the thing, and keep in mind I'm very pro 2a. It has nothing to do with 'oh gun are bad' 'oh drugs are bad' 'oh porn is bad' it does however have everything to do with 'high risk items lead to much higher chargeback/fraud rates and we'd just as soon as not deal with that unpredictability and general headache'.

That is why 'high risk' processors charge a considerably higher % and per transaction fee and generally hold a percentage (I've personally seen as high as 50%) of every transaction for 1 month or longer (I saw an extreme of one holding 50%, releasing 25% after one month and the other 25% after 3 months before releasing it to the business as you generally have 60 days to dispute a charge).

Lots of credit card companies have restrictions on where they can be used. Cryptocurrency is an obvious example.

The problem is that there are a lot of laws around gun purchase, especially globally, and the legal repercussions (federal and civil) of an illegal gun sale can be a LOT more than the repercussions of selling illegal beer.

You are assuming moral reasons where simple business reasons suffice.

That’s why I said I hoped you were trolling, because the alternative is that you have a strong opinion about something which you have thought insufficiently about.

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