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I Created a $60K/Month App That Collects In-Person Payments Through Stripe (starterstory.com)
537 points by patwalls 9 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 167 comments



He's getting 80% of the gross = 48,000/month. That's impressive income, half a million a year for what amounts to a good idea implemented at the right time. I love reading stories like this, and it demonstrates that there are still many opportunities out there. I don't understand some of these comments which seem to resent his success or belittle his company as "not a unicorn". That's good money, he works for himself, not beholden to investors or creditors, and he's raising a young family in an affordable region. Congratulations to him for a job well done.


Thank you! I’ll be first to admit it was perfect timing (which wasn’t planned at all). The freedom is what I was looking for; if nobody buys it, I’ll happy just keep running it. If Stripe launches the same features, I’ll figure out how to pivot. Or, build something completely new. Who knows what the future holds.


I foresee a potential scenario where Stripe hires you if they deem what you have created, and more importantly the person behind its creation, is worth integrating. I would be surprised if you do not see formal contact from them (if you haven't already)!

Great work.


Thanks! I work closely with several people at Stripe already across many different teams, so not really holding out hope for anything. Very happy and content with where I’m at.


Slightly unrelated, from what web tools did you take these screen shots [1,2] that were shared in your interview?

1. https://s3.amazonaws.com/www.starterstory.com/story_images/i...

2. https://s3.amazonaws.com/www.starterstory.com/story_images/i...


The first one is Zendesk [1]. Not sure about the 2nd one but I don't think it's Google Analytics.

1.https://www.zendesk.com/


That’s right, second is Apptweak


“If Stripe Launches the same features” is a scary reality that I’ve been through twice. As a software developer with a young family the urge to pivot and take risk becomes less and less. Good for you for having the enthusiasm and energy to keep going.


I should mention, I already went through that with Stripe once. I did an interview for Mixergy here describing what happened. TLDR: I built an analytics app on Stripe, then they launched Dashboard for iOS. Didn't matter because we knew we hit a dead end and weren't into it.

https://mixergy.com/interviews/ryan-scherf-payment-for-strip...


> had just built a new house in the suburbs

I'm more interested in this topic - any relevant posts? :)


Ha, extra space was great, but hated the location. Spent all our time in the car (I was working remotely as an FTE), so basically stranded.


rscherf I have a way for you to pivot for US and Canadian clients which could make you 100k a month. Please contact me. mhebel [at] gmail dot com


There's nothing wrong with being lucky!


It seems that almost all the successful startup ideas these days involve integrating with some major platform and reinforcing their dominance whilst being at their mercy.


Stripe was a fragile little enterprise too at one time.


[flagged]

nine_k 8 months ago [flagged]

Poe's Law is strong in this one.


That I doubt Poe's law is in play here (ie: they were being 100% sincere) is in fact validation of Poe's law being in play here


Yeah. That's great!


"I personally respond to every single support request. This allows me to keep my pulse on what’s working and what isn’t, and get ahead of the features that are being requested often."

Programmers closer to the customer. Check.


I had the opportunity to play a very small part in a previous project of Ryan’s. He’s a great person and I’m incredibly happy to see the success he’s had.

It’s encouraging to hear stories like this — you don’t know how any particular side project (hobby) might do, but the right product at the right time can be what makes all the difference. And you don’t need to have VC money and tens or hundreds of developers working on something to bring genuine value to people.


One of the things I love about this is that it is an independent small business that helps others run their own independent small businesses. It makes it easier to decentralize markets and for people to work for themselves. one of the things I don't like much about some "startup unicorns" is that they seem to have as their goal to employee lots of other people and become just like every other large corporation. But I applaud solutions that help people become more free to pursue their own ideas. And even though Stripe is a unicorn itself, it helps the small businesses by having an excellent API that eases integration and products like this.


It's interesting how a common tenet of startups is "build products, not features" -- and yet here's a very clear example of a "feature" that can be very successful.


Well, isn't that advice also mostly given to founders aiming to create a potential ≈unicorn and not a lifestyle business like this?

Don't get me wrong, what this guy has done is impressive. Growing a company while staying profitable all the way, and being able to support himself is great. I would switch places with him (ex post facto) in a heart beat.

But still, this company will probably never be bought by anyone (besides maybe Stripe), and could very well exist for many years to come with 1-2 employees including the founder.


Hey, Ryan here. I don’t want to be bought. And in the end if Stripe decides to shut off the source, there are plenty of other things to build. Not to mention, tons of companies to work for. Just fortunate to be in this time and place right now.


Care to share any other “profitable” ideas? :) By the way, nicely done, some of us do really appreciate family and quality time in front of work time..


$60k/month is a hell of a “lifestyle”.


You can get that sort of money as a developer if you're lucky and in the right place. I just finished a contract with an Evil Inc that was paying pretty close to that. From my personal sample getting a job that pays that well is a lot easier than getting a business to be successful enough to have that much profit.


Happy to not be selling my soul to another Evil Inc or having a boss... tried that several times before.


You do you man. But if you have the skills you have it will be a lot easier to make that much money in corporate than on your own.

That said I'm buying some specialized equipment for a synthetic biology startup I'll be trying my hand at before my next contract. I expect to spend most of the money I made and get no where, again.


Daniel Vassallo’s post might be interesting to you:

https://danielvassallo.com/only-intrinsic-motivation-lasts/


Thanks, BuzzKillington.

Have you considered that your definition of "easy" might be different than that of OP's?


There are many more opportunities to make net middle six figures being a cog in a machine than doing it out on the market.

Is that pedantic enough?


I don't find the distinction pedantic at all.

There are plenty opportunities to be a janitor but there are aspects of that job I find unpalatable. Even if you paid me six figures.


Are you talking about $60K/Month? Because I'm barely making that a year over here in the old world :(


Would love to exchange emails or hear more about how you’re pulling this off as a developer. I’ve done similar, but I’m only aware of a couple ways to hit that amount as a solo dev.


Feel free to share a key in a post.

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Would you mind posting a new public key. Thanks! I am very interested in this field as well.


greetings, may i piggyback on this as I'd love to learn as well. can't say I have much experience with a pgp key though, i just generated one though and can post it.


Post it and encrypt an email address as the message, will get in touch with you there. There's not much to gpg messages, anyone who can use the command line can use them.


Sure, I'll bite.

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Synthetic biology and interesting career choices. You have my attention, Sir. Please get in touch -

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whoops, forgot to include my key in the message.

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much appreciated!

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OMG. Is this an essay? There is X25519 with much shorter keys.


Not in my half of the world. O.o


what skills do you need to get that kind of rate? And how many YOE?


Agreed, but spent most of it on the business and buying out my partner in the first 4 years.


I'm sure buying out your partner was an incredibly difficult decision to make.

Good on you for leaning into what you've built by putting your money where your mouth is. I hope it pays off for you, and thanks for sharing your story with us.


Thanks! So far, so good after 1.5 years. Truly sucked stuffing more capital into the business as there is a lot concentrated there that is somewhat illiquid, but our working relationship has soured enough that it made sense. No regrets.


It seems like startup advice is based on the repeatable observations that people who've worked with a lot of startups have discovered. That means there are a bunch of situations that don't get covered because they don't come up a lot.

When playing an odds game like startups, you want to do all the maximally viable things possible, but that doesn't mean other decisions aren't also viable, they're just not observed to be as successful, so they're not mentioned. Doesn't mean they won't work.

There's also opportunity cost. What could this team have done if they were working on something more... disruptive? The execution here is incredible, applying that to a new problem would have probably also done very well.


I’m definitely not trying to peddle advice, I was just approached about my story. I think there are tons of micro niche things like this that can be built to earn a living (I have a list of 5 I’d build on top of just Stripe if I had the time). Large companies can’t do everything, and I think Stripe owns that. Not to mention, they still get all their same fees and don’t have to maintain the app.


I fully agree with this sentiment. I myself piggy-backed my product (or rather: feature) on a much langer company which was growing like crazy and have been able to grow it to a comfortable $40.000 per month over the last 6 years. It’s just me doing the bulk of the work with 2 friends helping out to handle 1st level support.

Now that it is a mature product and as long as the company I depend upon does not overhaul their API, it’s really just a 10hr/week job, affording me more freedom than is good for me.

I’d say there are loads of opportunities like this out there, especially in places developers do not want to go because they are not deemed cutting-edge or fun.


This is EXACTLY what I did, and I agree there are soooo many opportunities like this. I think most people are risk averse to it as they think the API might get shut off, but I look at it as a really quick way to build something. If it gets cut off, on to the next.


I'm not so sure the issue is risk aversion, so much as it is not seeing those opportunities whether because they're unable to see opportunities in the work that they're doing to take advantage of... or they're just not around environments where opportunities like this might exist; or a combination of both.


> I’d say there are loads of opportunities like this out there, especially in places developers do not want to go because they are not deemed cutting-edge or fun.

Any suggestions?


Integrations with popular services for legacy codebases. Preferrably for a service the user is already paying for.

Personally my product is “X for WordPress”, where X is a marketing tool that grew a lot over the last decade.


Advice is good, I don't want to seem like I'm critical of the post or anything, I just thought it's worth pointing out the differences in goals of the folks who tend to give the most popular startup advice from your specific situation.

That difference might help explain why there might be a perceived gap in what's here vs. what's on pg's blog, for example.


Great write up! Would love to hear some of those ideas. Possibly one or two if you don’t mind sharing.


What, in your opinion, is Stripe lacking that can be built on top of it?


12+ month subscription, paypal support.


> There's also opportunity cost. What could this team have done if they were working on something more... disruptive? The execution here is incredible, applying that to a new problem would have probably also done very well.

My latest working hypothesis after 28 years of starting companies is that there is "no startup free lunch" and the size and likelihood of return are inversely correlated.

We see so much startup p0rn. I remember in my early 20's seeing a founder in a business magazine and thinking "I'm smarter and harder working, so I'm gonna be a multi-millionaire by 25". I have a number of friends who have built unicorns. I have a number of equally talented friends working equally hard with (to me) equally plausible ideas who have struck out - often multiple times.

Right now I've got a small business - $500k run rate, built it part time, no staff. My goal is to get it to a $2-$5M run rate and take some cash out each year to fund early retirement in a decade. It's not sexy, but I believe the likelihood of me being able to achieve that is higher than the likelihood of being able to successfully create, exit and profit from a unicorn. And at 49 I have only so many hits at bat left given that most of them seem to take 5-10 years.


How is "mobile point of sale app" not a product?


"Mobile point of sale app for Stripe" is definitely a feature that Stripe could roll-out any day.


For me, that's not what distinguishes a product from a feature. There are a lot of paid Windows apps that Microsoft could roll out any day, but they're still products, by which I mean a discrete, usable thing that people are demonstrably willing to purchase. POS terminals are definitely products.

As a contrast, consider Glympse. They started out in the early days of smartphones doing location sharing. Or Swype, with better virtual phone keyboards. Or Shazam, for music identification. All of them were interesting features with novel tech. None were products, though.


Wrong. Solve a problem... via a product or a feature.


It’s still good advice, if you simply tell people “build whatever you want” they are more likely to fail and usually it’s because of having a featureable business.


It's probably to get away with building a successful feature startup when it's just a hobby business.


How can such an app compete against Stripe’s very own Terminal? Don’t this guy’s customers know that an official option exists?

https://stripe.com/terminal


At first glance, Terminal looks like it still needs some level of integration and development work. It's not a ready-to-go, install-the-app-and-process-payments solution.


Terminal is really for people like this guy. For folks who want to sell/distribute integrated POS systems e.g. Shopify.


That’s exactly right. Terminal solved a problem for me (I used to integrate Mattel card readers to a serious amount of pain). I worked with Stripe to help identify good ones, and they built easy to use APIs to integrate. This is exactly what they hoped for.


I think terminal is largely targeted at bigger businesses, where as this product is more like Square, targeted at small independent businesses and shops.


Honestly, it sounds like the OP is doing a great job at sales, and he's just making money as an underpaid affiliate.


The key is that he's not even an affiliate. His cut is coming from his customer, not from Stripe (he charges 1% on top of what Stripe charges the user). Therefore Stripe doesn't have a financial reason to build this app, they already collect the same fees from these users.


That's just one more thing to carry. If you have the option of just using your phone, what are you going to pick?


Why does USA not have a system like UPI (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Payments_Interface)? It simpler, easier and cheaper (mostly free).


Most countries, let alone the USA, do not have a system like UPI.

That UPI was agreed upon by enough people was a happy accident for India.


Whilst not quite UPI, the UK has a pay-via-text (sms or Whatsapp) system that nearly every person has access to but barely anyone uses. It amazes me how people naturally gravitate to card-based payments, even when Visa and MasterCard are taking a cut.


UPI must be the single greatest thing that have come out of India in recent years; digital payments made absolutely simple.


Having done a UPI integration for a well-known multinational tech company, I consider it a mixed bag. For the end-user it's a great concept and continues to revolutionize payments in India. It's convenient and it will help India transition away from a cash economy. UPI is clearly the future.

However, UPI currently has a lot of problems. Number one is that to use UPI as a payment method for your product you have to integrate with one of India's banks, which in my experience are almost uniformly technically very bad. They provide almost no documentation, have frequent and often severe service outages, and don't even come close to meeting their availability SLAs. I'm sure over time it will improve but as it stands many of India's banks are not technically capable enough to support UPI with the level of reliability that most businesses require.


> have to integrate with one of India's banks

what you mention as a disadvantage is the biggest advantage. cut out the card men.

Banks' technical prowess will catch up. That is the solution. Not introducing a middle man just because he is technically better now.


Which is the same idea as SEPA-ICT or the German girocard system.

Cut out the middle men, the card companies, and suddenly everything is 2-3% cheaper, and faster, and simpler.


Cut out the middle men, the banks, use Bitcoin and you'll shave even the rest of the fees off.


There are middle men in bitcoin. In fact, there are a million middle men. But you trust those million men, rather than the 10 who run the bank.

Anyways, it's about how much money you're willing to spend for trust/safety/risk-mitigation/speed.

Cost of item - $100

$100.05 - pay via Bitcoin. In case of fraud, suck it up.

$102 - pay via Bank. In case of fraud, complain to bank, who are slow to resolve it.

$105 - pay via CC, (and pay them via Bank). In case of fraud, complain to CC company, who are faster in resolving it.

Both Bank and CC are basically an escrow service. One provides a bit more security than other, and correspondingly charges more for it.

If you're OK with not needing that security, cut out the middle men.

Going along your analogy lines, cut out even the Bitcoin middle man, or any kind of currency, and directly barter/trade goods.


Actually, let’s compare real cost and duration.

Cost of item: $100

SEPA: $100.00 (<15 seconds, irreversible)

GiroCard: $100.13 (< 5 seconds, medium to reverse)

Bitcoin: $100.57 (< 20 min, irreversible)

Bitcoin (SegWit): $100.41 (< 20min, irreversible)

MasterCard/VISA: $102.50 (< 30 days, easy to reverse)


Maybe my numbers are wrong. But my point was to say that each system has its advantage/disadvantages

Anycase, I'm in favor of the bank-bank Indian UPI & German SEPA system.


Yes, there are middlemen in Bitcoin, but there are also ways around them, unlike in banking.

And yes, I definitely trust million of men who are constantly checking each other, rather than 10 bankers who found out that sticking together makes them more money.

That fraud argument is a double edged sword because I might be on the receiving side and falsely accused of fraud as any small business hit with chargebacks would confirm. When it's sent, it's sent, that's how it should be, no backsies. In the CC world you never know. Plus there are also escrows if you really need them, except unlike in banking world, Bitcoin escrow won't force you to eat a 30% haircut on your savings account when the bankers fuck up the whole economy while paying themselves big bonuses.


Bitcoin is actually more expensive than SEPA transfers or girocard payments, and slower to resolve (and just as impossible to reverse as SEPA transfers).


That doesn't match my experience. I've never paid 3 EUR for bitcoin transaction and it never took a day, but SEPA does.


Which bank is this? Since 2014, SEPA-ICT has been introduced, and since this year, every bank should support it.

Normal SEPA transfers are mandated to be free and < 24 hours, and SEPA-ICT transfers are mandated to be < 1.5€ and < 15 seconds, but most banks implement those for free.

As you can freely choose any bank in the EU, you might want to consider German Commerzbank, which implements free < 15 seconds transfers to any other SEPA bank (except for student accounts, those have to pay 1.50€ for those transactions).


Why isn't there a central bank provider for this? Now every bank has to implement their own.


There is a central provider called NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India). They run the entire network and control who gets on or not. Banks are used as the integration point because UPI necessitated a bank account to run out of. Since you’re directly debiting money out of someone’s account you can’t exactly turn away the bank and when they are on-board it makes sense to use them as an integration partner for legal reasons (as well as customer support).


The merchant's bank account should be just a parameter you plug into some account at NPCI, and that's it.

Sure, the banks should do the chargeback/fraud management, but the IT interface toward the merchants should be completely standardized.


> For instance, the just build it and ship it mentality is something you won’t find in any book -- as it doesn’t discuss testing, finding product-market fit, etc.

I think that's essentially what This is marketing by Seth Godin covers.


Iirc also Lean Startup by Eric Ries —this is basically part of that— as well as The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (to some degree). It's also generally the motivation behind agile from a management standpoint.

Definitely tons of literature covering this approach.


Slightly off-topic and not doubting this particular story. Posts from this blog get submitted every few minutes it seems. Is anyone checking and verifying the numbers these companies and "startups" claim to make? If so, how?


I’m the founder, and although I can’t speak for the other posts, I can assure you the numbers are real. Several posts in my personal and business Twitter feeds can confirm.


Incredible story and a pretty good product. It takes some skill to out do Stripe at being easier and simpler to setup and use. Thanks for the inspiration.

Congratulations!


Couldn't stripe just add this feature in their mobile app? Why haven't they done so?


That would be my concern for this business. It'll disappear instantly when they do (and it's got to be a when, right?) but he's getting good value for moving quickly. Or maybe they get acquired.


Why instantly? Is there not a market for more than one third party app with separate features? Does Stripe want to compete with Square, or are they focused on larger things? And if they do, I got nearly 5 years out of it, which is the longest job I’ve ever had, ironically.


When Stripe eats his lunch, he'll just find something else to simplify/solve they offer that's too complex, and probably still make money. They may even try and hire him as a product manager or something.


I guess it’s possible they’ll eat it, but they sort of already are. They get the benefits of my work on growth as they get their same fees and don’t have to dedicate anyone to an app.


That’s exactly how many back end payment processors work in Canada. Banks would even rather pay a third party to handle things like (what we have called) Interac email money transfers than do the work in house as it saves on large amounts of overhead, administrative and insurance costs.

You’ve got a good niche and I have to admit I’m envious of the position you’re in—that level of autonomy seems rare.

It’s also a stupidly great idea for non-technical trade and craft shows. No infra or complex setup needed. Smart. Well done.


> I’ve set a goal to be processing $10M/month in Stripe volume by Spring, which is a pretty big stretch goal.

As the app is already highly profitable, why suddenly such an ambitious goal?


Great question. It’s not about the money, but more about how I was passive for too long just letting it be. I’ve waited to invest in several things for growth until I knew had the market cornered. I’m not too concerned about adding more features now, so the only next logical step is growth.

Growing from $6M to $10M didn’t seem huge at the time, but now it does...


Still, what's your motivation for wanting to grow more? Money can be a legitimate motivation, but you said that's not it. I guess I'm curious what drives you now.


Larger user base will hopefully protect me from being cut off.


One could argue also the contrary, a larger user base might make you more of a target for Stripe to cut-off. Who knows.


That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. Stripe gets 2.9% regardless of how many users I have. It’s just volume to them.


I believe they mean that by, increasing your user base and revenue even more, you'll convince Stripe that having their own feature/app developed is absolutely necessary. And they might be concerned that you represent a one-person company, single point of failure. They can't just rely on you to be there for them forever.

But I really hope they don't :) Great story. Thank you for sharing and for the inspiration.


Isn't this just Square, but with cheaper processing fees (since Stripe is eating the bill)?


>but with cheaper processing fees

What? The product's page says it charges 1% + whatever Stripe charges ("generally" 2.9% + $0.3). A quick search says that Square charges 2.6% + $0.10 per in-person transaction. Seems like that this product is more expensive than Square.


Ah, good find! The article claims

> The app collects a 1% service fee on every single charge.

Per your comment, this is indeed a more expensive Square. Square already does Card Not Present transactions.

The question then is why do people choose to use this?


Sounds like his app is for people who already are using stripe (existing online store, etc) and want to start using Stripe for in-person too.


Correct. Most user come from the e-commerce world and are willing to pay for the convenience of a simple, POS app.


The only thing I can think of is because certain issuers/networks treat Card Not Present transactions differently for chargeback disputes. For example, depending on the network, if you fail to collect CVV or zip code, you automatically lose second presentment rights. I don’t know how CNP vs CP charges are priced, but the mere presence of different fraud liability treatment leads me to believe there’s a fundamentally different lens applied to online transactions, and real life (less likely to be fraud?) transactions.

Just my guess


Here is a good high level book [1] that touches this subject

[1] https://www.amazon.com/dp/0982789742/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_...


Maybe they already have Stripe and don't do very many transactions this way, so they're not that cost-sensitive? For exceptions to their normal way of doing business, convenience might be more important.


I'd say you're right. $70M annual processed by 56K merchants comes out to an average of ~$1.2K in sales per merchant per year.


Bingo, although the YAUs is a bit lower than that for obvious reasons. However, simple solution for these places to depend on for in person charges.

Though the private jet company and exotic car rental place are a touch higher than that.


Stripe is supported in many more countries. In europe for exaple nobody ever heard of Square on the other hand people wait with open hand for Stripe to come to their country.


Stripe is available is more countries.


My question is: why doesn't Stripe just include this feature themselves? Not enough of a market? But as an integrated feature it would certainly be higher (probably much higher) than what this third party app is making.


Good for him for getting paid now. But that margin is too fat to go unchallenged. Market forced and competition will grind that 1% down quickly.


The margin might be ample, but the fact that it adds up to only $60K per month might not attract much competition. This is no unicorn, it pays the bills for a couple of families.


Unicorn isn’t the goal, I’ll let Stripe be that. I’ll take the financial freedom.


There are several copycat apps that have tried varying pricing structures (some more like 1.3%) and others that tried to go lower (like 0.1%).


Market forced competition always has to grind up against inertia and switching costs.


After the news about pornhub and PayPal yesterday, any chances you’d add their use case?


I believe that would be classified as a restricted business and disallowed by Stripe’s TOS. [1]

1. https://stripe.com/restricted-businesses


Sure, but after having all that infrastructure and resources built up an expansion should be easier than starting at zero.


Stripe is kind of analogous to a utility company here. They're an upstream provider. They don't care about what "infrastructure and resources" you've built. If you break the terms of service, they will cut you off, just like if you don't pay for your gas/electric you will quickly find yourself with a non-functional home, regardless of how fancy it is.


Is Stripe forced to do this because of their upstream provider ToS, Well's Fargo?


Yes. Have had the fun experience of being specifically de-platformed from Stripe because someone at Wells Fargo objected to what we were selling, despite having received Stripe's approval. (This was after several million dollars had run through Stripe, so it obviously caught someone's attention.) Ridiculous, the idea that Wells fucking Fargo is some sort of paragon of virtue.


Very likely (I work for a payments co and many of our rules are pass throughs from Visa)


Does it matter? It's a private business, they can do what they want, right?


Eh it's kind of relevant. I worked at a high end tobacco sales company and we were limited to a few payment providers due to selling tobacco online. This amounted to using a very second tier provider. Also PayPal would flag anything with the words Cuba in it. So many cigars use the word Cuba, and we didn't sell those. Annoying at best, but at worse we had more frequent downtimes because our payment gateway wasn't close to reliable.


Yeah I mean to build out whatever necessary to move away from Stripe and process payments internally.


That requires orders of magnitude more capital/work than what got the app to where it is. At that scale whatever this app already has built is irrelevant.

Not to say this app isn’t valuable, because it is, but that you don’t just build your own payment processor.


To extend the analogy further, that's like saying "I'll just build my own electricity company" when they cut your power.


Thought about this so many times with domain registrars. I’m content not being a huge company. Way simpler.


OPs app appears to be for physical, in person transactions. Pornhubs problem was online transactions.


Doubtful.


Very inspiring Ryan!! Impressive to capitalize on the customer need. This gives the financial freedom and time to pursue other interests. Best wishes!!


Does this have a market outside of the US, without chip&pin card readers? You are taught in the UK never to take face to face payments without chip & pin or chargebacks are indefensible.


We have an integration with Payworks for non-US, but mostly hoping Terminal rolls out globally soon.

But, no card reader is required.


So how do you handle chip & pin without a card reader?


It’s handled as non card present, similar to e-commerce. At some point, 3DS will be required.


So if the person in front of your stall has a stolen card, and you are about to sell them some goods. Let us say you are selling them a tv. They play with their stolen card, take the tv, the card owner sees a transaction they don't know and complain to their bank, you get a chargeback. You just lost a tv. In the UK this is rare, due to chip & pin. It is very easy to defend a chargeback when the customer entered a pin into your terminal.

If someone wants a tv delivered to their house you do a 'customer not present' transaction, which can use their house number and area code to authenticate that the card is registered at the address you are delivering to. Now if they raise a chargeback you can defend it by showing a delivery note etc. If you use a 'not present' to do a face to face sale surely you have just defeated the security model entirely?


Chip & pin is not a requirement in the US, but I agree with you that using it does alleviate risk. This is why Stripe offers a fee discount to 2.7%+5c when using their card reader vs. 2.9%+30c. These are common fee structures for other gateways like Square.

The app runs all transactions through the Connect accounts Radar fraud filters, and the user can opt to force several levels of validation on the card (CVV, zip/postal, name, address).

These types of transactions happen all the time, regardless of if they're more secure or not.


> Chip & pin is not a requirement in the US,

It really is in the UK. I think you will struggle here


I haven't been able to connect to https://payment.co/ yesterday or today


Looks like the redirect is broken. Try https://paymentforstripe.com


Hey Ryan,

In the interview you say that you transitioned from dev to design.

How did you go about doing this? Any advice for someone planning a similar shift?


I always had an interest in design, designing a lot of websites before and during college. My first job out of college was a Java Support Dev, for a health care company, which was soul-sucking. Troubleshooting production bugs and fixing them was not something I wanted to do.

I volunteered to build the interface of a product we were working on and never looked back.


How do they handle physical receipts? In my country you are required to provide a paper receipt for every transaction.


In our country you can also just get the transaction itself printed on your own and use that as a receipt for tax man. Sanatate!


Not required in the US. Email receipts are built into Stripe if you provide emails.


Great job! Congratulations on your success!


How'd you manufacture a card reader?


Didn’t. First integrated with Magtek (insanely painful). Then I wished that another company would make it simpler. Along cane Stripe’s Terminal and here we are.


What does this do that Square doesn’t?


It's convenient for businesses that already use Stripe.


Diff their ToSs and then focus on whatever equals (Stripe minus Square).

Or maybe he ranks #1 in Google for 2% of the search terms that relate to processing credit cards.




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