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Introducing Stripe UK (stripe.com)
371 points by woodrow on Aug 15, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 164 comments



For any Ruby on Rails developers in the UK who may now be jumping into Stripe for the first time because of this, Pete Keen has just released (or is releasing today) a new book called Mastering Modern Payments (http://www.petekeen.net/mastering-modern-payments) which focus on Stripe and Rails.


I've been using the UK beta for a few months.

Honestly, the API docs and Gem are so good you don't need a book.

From sitting down can looking over the docs to charging my debit card for a monthly subscription took about an hour (and I'm not even that good with ruby, if you're a pro you could do it in half an hour I reckon).


I totally agree that Stripe is easy to get started with and I believe their documentation is the best in the industry. But, as someone who processes payments in the six figures annually with Stripe, I feel there is definitely still room for a book like Pete's, in the same way that there was a place for a book about design patterns even among talented and experienced developers. His book builds on the platform, rather than replacing the documentation.

I manage a drop-in Rails engine for adding Stripe subscriptions to an app (http://github.com/andrewculver/koudoku) and the number one piece of feedback I get is that people wish they had heard of it before they integrated Stripe subscriptions in their app. This tells me that there is room for gems like mine and books like Pete's in the little ecosystem Stripe has created.


I'm happy to say that I will not be a member of this "before" group. Thanks for pointing it out today. I look forward to using your gem and buying Pete's book.


I was of the understanding that UK debit cards are not currently supported. Has this recently changed?


It's payment systems that are supported. Not debit or credit cards.

My debit card is from Visa, and Visa is a supported payment system.

I think that's why he makes a point of saying American Express in the blog post too, it's one of the more obscure payment systems in the UK.

On a side note, I remember my mother, who runs a corner shop, giving anyone who pays on AmEx the evil eye because they have a higher merchant fee in the UK and it takes a few extra days to clear.

I wonder if Stripe UK have the same fees for AmEx...


AmEx seems to high higher merchant fees pretty much everywhere, including the US!


It used to be a few extra weeks! Quite a few years ago I was buying an expensive (for me) watch in the UK. I asked if they took Amex, they said "yes". "What's it worth to use my bank card" I asked. I think they may have got a little flustered but the difference was £150 on an amount near £1000. It was the only real benefit I got out of having that card for about 15 years.


I recall when I worked for a big UK company we took our teams industrial placement students out to dinner at the end of their time with us (around 15 people)

The restaurant refused the company amex card of the team manager and one of the better off senior members of the team had to put it on his debit card and claim it back.


(I work at Stripe.)

Yep, we have the same fees for American Express transactions: 2.4% + 20p + VAT per successful charge.


Can you tell us the corporate structure of Stripe?

Does Stripe have "operations" in the Republic of Ireland?

Will Stripe shuffle UK sales/transactions through Dublin in order to avoid paying corporation tax in the UK?

Quite a lot of people in the UK are sick of companies coming across the Atlantic and playing international tax games.


I think if Stripe decided to base their EU operations in ROI it would be quite legitimate as their founders, the Collison brothers, are Irish.


If a company genuinely operates out of Ireland, sure.

The issue that's caused a lot of grief is that a lot of companies set up what pretty much accounts to shell companies in Ireland, with the bare minimal operations they can get away with, and route massive amounts of revenue through it in creative ways that have nothing to do with where the actual operations and revenues of the company are.

Especially the "double Irish with a Dutch sandwich" arrangement has drawn a lot of ire: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Irish_arrangement


I know you havent mentioned anyone specifically. But companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft employ hundreds if not thousands of people here.


I think Visa Debit works but Maestro is unsupported.


Maestro is fast becoming redundant, so we decided not to push for support: "This effectively means that practically no UK banks will be issuing Maestro cards, except in Northern Ireland." —http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maestro_(debit_card)


The Maestro scheme mandates 3D secure for e-commerce transactions too. I don't think Stripe has any 3D secure integration, does it?


This is a little off topic I admit, but ... how do people make those little book images - is there a service online to give you back a paperback book with your title on it?

Sounds like fun


I made the image in Gimp and then uploaded it to http://www.myecovermaker.com and generated that image. It's $5 if you want to remove the watermark but it's well worth it, since there's no way I would be able to make that myself.


I'm a co-founder at Teddle, one of the companies mentioned in the press release.

When we started Teddle the landscape for payments in the UK looked very very different. At one point PayPal looked like our best option. In reality their product would have killed our business (matching customers with independent house cleaners), with their punitive withholding of funds and lengthy clearing times.

Then Andy and the guys at Stripe UK came along and blew the competition out of the water. They have been doing an outstanding job. The product is ridiculously good, the documentation is awesome and the customer service is human, friendly and reliable. Honestly I can't praise the product enough.

Well done guys!


Oh man... I love that Stripe is finally coming to Europe.

BUT seriously (going on a disappointed rant here): Belgium & the Netherlands get into private beta and Germany gets nothing? I mean: Come on. BE + NL together have 27m people - Germany has some 80m AND a world-class economy. I don't want to bash on our neighbors (God knows we've done that one or two times in the past), I just want me some Stripe.

I know that the delay is probably because of some ridiculous red tape in Germany. :-(

tl;dr: Please absolve us from PayMill & the Samwer brother


No idea but one thing Germany is famous for is the low adoption of credit cards vs direct debit (ELV) etc - more so than most European countries. German's tend to find it a deal breaker (locally) if you are a payment gateway that only supports credit cards. So that could be one reason why but just a guess.


Very good point there! Sadly we (as usual) have found our own way of doing things :-/


AFAIK debit cards are supported but limited to Visa and Mastercard.


n.b. we were talking about DIRECT DEBIT (which is something else entirely from debit cards). You basically allow a company to directly withdraw money from your bank account (assuming sufficient funds on the account)


Sorry, misread that. Direct debit support would be nice!


No worries. Indeed direct debit would be awesome - at least for the marginal subset of "companies doing business in Germany"


The UK beta allowed Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards


We are working on bringing Stripe to Germany. Please sign up at https://stripe.com/global to be notified when we launch (I work at Stripe)


Out of curiosity, what's the issue with PayMill? I always assumed they were a decent alternative?


ive implemented them into my shop and im totally happy with it to be honest. easy implementation, works fine & great supported provided.


I found a few of their examples had errors in them. Plus a general dislike towards the Samwer brothers. (I know that this shouldn't affect business)


"Plus a general dislike towards the Samwer brothers."

This is why I won't use them until customers beg me to.


Could someone people explain the appeal of Stripe? The APIs are nice, but so a most other payment providers.

The fee Stripe charges are pretty high. We would never agree to a percentage of the sale, only a fixed price. The fact that you can't change who process you credit card payments (can you?) excludes you from getting any good deals on fees. If you shop around you can save a lot of money.

Honestly getting a merchant account, if that's the excuse for using Stripe, isn't that hard.


>We would never agree to a percentage of the sale, only a fixed price.

Is that really realistic? I thought all credit card transaction fees were percentage, while most ACH is fixed-rate (so if someone is charging you a percentage on ACH, you are getting screwed.)


My wife has a merchant account. It's not that the published "fees" are high -- I think she pays something like 20p / transaction. It's the crazy confusing other charges she has to put up with, like monthly fees which seem to me to be random, bogus insurance changes, hire of the terminal etc etc. It ends up costing a lot, and it's highly opaque.

If stripe has a transparent charging structure, that would be a massive plus to me.


Our total fees for all of the admittedly less than transparent charges never amount to more than 1% each month, and they are proportional to the number of transactions not revenue so that will decrease as we grow.


> Honestly getting a merchant account, if that's the excuse for using Stripe, isn't that hard.

Have you tried getting a merchant account in Europe for a company taking online payments with little to no history of processing card payments?

Most banks will laugh you out of their offices.

Once you've established 2-3 years history and some volume, sure, you can start negotiating drastically lower rates.


Not my experience at all. We got a merchant account with no problems whatsoever with online services. We didn't need to negotiate rates either.


This is unfortunately true for a number of EU countries. Stripe/ Paymill alleviate a fair amount of this.


We pay basically the same % fee for our merchant account (maybe 2.2%), plus per transaction fees for the merchant account, plus an annual fee and per transactions fees to the gateway, plus an annual fee and per transaction fees to our recurring billing provider.

2.4% + 20p sounds great to me!


Actually, AFAIK, Stripe will export your card data to any other provider, if you ask them to.


Do you know if you get better rates that the 2.4 / 2.5% Stripe charges, if you choose a different provider?

You could use a company like PayEx, NetAxept, DIBS or ePay ( there are many more of cause ). You pay them a flat fee per transaction, I know at least one of them will do it for a fixed monthly fee and $0.04 per transaction. The you need someone to handle the actual merchant account, someone like Teller, SwedBank, Handelsbank ( again there are many more ). Many of these will process VISA and MasterCard for less than 1% of the amount and in some case a lot less.

Stripe is wonderfully simple, but if you want to process any real amount of credit cards they seem really expensive. For quickly starting up I get why you would go with Stripe.


If you're getting cheaper offers from other providers, you should get in touch with us (support@stripe.com). We can do volume discounts, but we can also just help you compare prices - many other providers have cheaper sticker prices, but because they frequently have other fees, we'll often come out cheaper than you think.


(Reply to https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6219355 - can't reply directly)

We can do that too! (We can't specifically do SEK yet, although we're working on it - should have it soon)

We've tried to make all of this as easy as possible - you can associate bank accounts in different currencies with your Stripe account. If you make a charge in a currency you have a bank account for, we'll transfer it directly; otherwise we'll convert to your account's default currency and transfer it to that currency's bank account.


Cool, can't hurt to ask :-)

We done have some special needs though, so I doubt Stripe is right for us. We need a few more currencies and we expect to have the money transferred without any currency conversion ( If the customer pays in Swedish Kronor, we want the amount transferred to us in that currency ). Also we need support for at least one local card.

It's not meant as a put down or anything, I just fail so see what the big deal is with Stripe.


My company processes around EUR 600-850k a year solely via credit card. It's our third largest payment method, after SEPA (wire transfer within Europe) and direct debit. We use Santander's platform to process credit card payments and pay just under 0.7%. So "yes", you can get better rates, but these numbers come with strings attached such as having the payroll account with them, paying a big bunch of suppliers via them, etc. Nonetheless, the numbers work great for us.


Unless you're ultra low volume I can't see why anybody would pay a percentage rate when you can use something like SagePay and pay 10p per transaction. It would be an order of magnitude more expensive to use this for us, so what have I missed?


I don't for a second believe you are not paying 10p per transaction total.

Not even debit cards are that cheap to process. What you are missing at the very least are the fees to the card associations.

You need to compare Strip to SagePay's full merchant services, not fees for just using their software or whatever it is you're getting for 10p. E.g:

http://www.sagepay.com/great-value-merchant-services-sage-pa...

But even then, a large differentiator in merchant services cost is your risk profile and sales volume, as well as type of product.


My other half's business uses Sagepay for online payments (for which we pay a flat £25 a month - or about 3p per transaction) against merchant services (where card fees are paid) through GlobalPayments into an HSBC business account.

We have just under a thousand transactions a month for totals just into five figures, both in store and online, and we pay around £140 a month in fees. As a proportion it's not gone over 1% of the total in the last year. That covers _everything_, including card fees, online fees, the instore pdq machine, support etc. Only a small proportion of transactions are credit cards, most by far is debit.

It's not a straight comparison with Stripe, because Stripe doesn't provide any of the instore stuff.

What appeal ought Stripe to have to us? Why would we pay 2.4%? Genuine questions.


I have noticed very cheap quotes before that will then say plus interchange. Interchange is what the card companies charge the provider and you are probably looking at about .6% average just through those.


Awesome, congrats guys. We have been using the BETA since the start and its been very good.

If anyone from Stripe is reading, in your announcement you say:

"In addition to keeping the best parts, we've also built multi-currency support: the ability for UK businesses to charge customers around the world in US dollars, British pounds, and Euro. We'll automatically handle all the conversions for you and deposit daily into your bank account."

My understanding was that we would need a USD account in the UK in order to charge customers in USD. Have you now fixed that? I can't find anything in the docs? Or are you saying that we can just charge people GBP no matter where in the world they are?


> Have you now fixed that?

We've fixed it :-)


Awesome, thanks Patrick.

How do we do it?


Thanks pc, cannot reply to your comment yet.

In the docs https://stripe.com/docs/api#create_charge there is no reffrence to exchange rates. Do you return a response that shows what the exchange rate was and so how much we will be paid in GBP after charging in USD? (paypal (yuck) do this)


Hey, charge responses now return a reference to a balance transaction (which represents what you'll actually be paid in).

You can auto expand the balance transaction upon charge creation by passing expand[]=balance_transaction, or you can retrieve the balance transaction directly: https://stripe.com/docs/api#retrieve_balance_transaction.


Would that not bundle all the USD payments for the day into one conversion?

I would be very keen to have an individual conversion on each card payment as that is how our internal database sees the world.


Right -- those are per-charge, not per-day.


Ah, yes. I was distracted by cake in the office and missed that this is a new endpoint on the API. I thought you were talking about the transfers endpoint.

This is exactly what we wanted. Thanks!


Cake in the office is a great thing to be distracted by. (:


Do you disclose anywhere the basis for calculating the FX transaction rate? I'd be interested to know how you do this before actually having a clients transaction convert.


Just specify a different currency in your charge and everything else will automatically do the right thing -- it should be a 3-char change. (We'll automatically convert charges to the currency of your bank account.)


[deleted]


Not quite; they add another 2% fee to convert to £GBP unfortunately.


I don't understand this, you can put decent volume through a forex broker and get conversions at something like .1% Surely it would make sense to do this at cost for customers?

Granted your bank will probably want a decent chunk for doing the conversion for you.


This is great! I have been waiting for this for a loooooong time! I hope they will come also to other European countries soon. But at least in UK! This is great!


I'd really be interested in knowing why it's not "Stripe EU" instead. What sort of problems they had trying to do that, and what needs improvement for that to become reality.


Mostly because there's a bunch of subtlety around bank transfers and identity verification. The EU simplifies a lot of the regulatory framework but the actual operations still entail a decent amount of heterogeneity from country-to-country.


So it's because of technical/operational and not regulatory or legal problems? What about SEPA, or is that just for "regular people"?


I don't know for sure, but I guess the credit ratings are not available in all EU countries. ("Paperwork" is different in every EU country.)


They are already available in France (and apparently Ireland too):

https://support.stripe.com/questions/what-countries-does-str...


We're in private beta in France and Ireland. (I work at Stripe.) We try to make sure that things are very comprehensively tested before we allow public signups.


Great news, although I work now for a somewhat competitor.

Anyway I do more and more api for my personal projects (thanks to AngularJS and mobile) and the Stripe api & docs have been my main inspirations and technical references.


Can't wait to see you come to Germany, any plans for the beta yet ?


We're working on it.


How about Scandinavia - are those countries in the pipeline?


Yup. We are working on bringing Stripe to Scandinavia. Please sign up to be notified when we launch at https://stripe.com/global


Forgive my ignorance, but is this the PayPal replacement/alternative I have been waiting years for?

If so, I may experience the rare emotion of "happiness".


It's a very good alternative and I'm very that more of the best-of-breed payment providers are expanding outside the US/Canada.

There's also the German Stripe clone, Paymill. Also, not every country is heavy on credit/debit cards (think, Poland, Japan, etc) and Adyen is able to support all kinds of local payment methods.


Yes. This is it.


I would love to use this but the pricing is a bit of a problem. The Visa credit price per transaction is only a little bit higher but almost half our transactions are Visa debit which are charged by our existing provider at a flat rate of 34p + 10p for the gateway. The Stripe cost for a £60 transaction would be £1.64. The pricing needs to take into account the higher rate of debit card usage in the UK.


If you mostly export (i.e sell abroad), there are some additional considerations for picking a payment provider (I speak from the point of view of a UK company).

We've been using Shareit for selling software for many, many years and it's basically 4.9% as fees. The first interesting part for me is the currency conversion rate. We operate in GBP and all of our sales last month were in USD. Working out the average rate we got 1.54 USD to 1 GBP. Looking at the exchange rates for July [0] that seems reasonably close to the mid market rate.

I'd be interested to know how Stripe determine their conversion rates. If it's mid-market then we're looking at 4.4% against 4.9%.

The next issue when exporting is whether you have to register formally in the country you're selling to in order to avoid withholding taxes [1]

The countries we've come up against this to date are the USA, Portugal and India. The volume we do with the US justifies registering with the IRS and making a W8-BEN form available to all companies we sell to.

The process for the US is doable and the volume we sell there easily justifies it. The process for Portugal is awful and the process for India comprises about 6-8 weeks of utter bureaucratic bullshit [2]. The sales volume from these countries were not worth going through the process.

If we didn't go through this process and sell directly in these countries the buyer would have to withhold a proportion of the purchase, usually around 20%.

Shareit is an actual reseller, legally. Stripe isn't, AFAIK. So, Shareit can deal with the admin in these countries and pass over the same amount they do as for any country. A few years ago, we hadn't heard of withholding taxes, it's becoming more and more common as countries try to clamp down on tax evasion.

It's more strictly enforced the larger the payment amount gets, but my point is to be aware of the legal differences in payment processing services regarding foreign withholding tax rules.

Edit : There's actually a third issue as well and that's whether your insurance covers you to take card information on your site (up to details regarding the type of SSL certificate you have installed) and, if it does, whether you comply with all the security constraints the policy imposes. You may find that the additional premium is more than the cost savings.

[0] http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=GBP&to=USD&view=1Y

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Withholding_tax

[2] http://homepage.ntlworld.com/dallaway/pan-card-uk-company.ht...


Withholding is also an issue for anyone selling services, such as software development.

I work for a US company whilst being in the UK, and a W8-BEN form took most of a day to finish, and I remember calling the IRS direct to help - and they were surprisingly helpful and courteous. Nothing like as bad as they are painted :-\


Yeah, I was surprised about the IRS too, when I called them about my W8-BEN.

With a long polish family name and residing in a city with a long German (with umlauts) name the whole call over a low quality transatlantic line wasn't a walk in the park. But the IRS employee always stayed nice and helpful. (I think the address entry took us good 20 minutes alone).


Can you please elaborate on why & how the withholding taxes in other countries are affecting you? I assume that you sell software or services from your company's web site.

Somehow this does not click with my CFO experience.


I think if you want to sell in USD then you need a US based USD bank account, at least that's the message I got from support.


That's actually no longer true - as of today for UK users, we can convert USD to GBP or EUR before transferring it to you. Just create the charge with a currency of "usd", and as long as you haven't manually setup a USD bank account (which you probably haven't), everything should just work.


At what rate? Most payment solutions we have dealt with can tack on a whole percent off market rate.


I got this response from Stripe about rates:

We use the live exchange rate at the time of the charge, and there's a 2% fee for currency conversion on top (compared to e.g. 2.5% from PayPal). You can how much you'll receive for each charge in GBP immediately afterwards.


I'd also be interested in understanding the rates you use - are they published anywhere?


When is that coming to users in the Irish beta?


Heh, registering a company and bank account in India. Going through that right now, I feel your pain.


Glad to hear they're finally coming over here!

Somewhat unrelated but:

https://stripe.com/jobs#eu_developer_evangelist

This is my absolute dream job description, unfortunately as a CS undegrad I think I'd find myself somewhat under qualified for it.


Reach out anyway, you never know!


What is now the difference between using Stripe and Paymill? Any objective benefit to using either?

asking this as an ex-Rocket guy with my own startup that needs payment integration soon. I've started the Paymill process but not sent the docs in yet.


Having used both in production:

- https://stripe.com/chat VS email

-You usually don't need to "send the docs in" (being hungarian, they asked for my ID, but email was fine), which reduces time to launch

-After having launched with Paymill, production started throwing strange errors. Root cause analysis revealed, that they don't have USD / EUR acceptance enabled by default; and they asked for extra paperwork to have that. This is not a good problem to have when users are hitting the payment wall.


yeh but this problem can be easily solved. change the settings in your account, fill in the pdf & scan the form. sent overvia email - done. easy as that.


In theory, yes. But in practice we've been struggling for a month now to have Paymill's support enable USD support for one of our customers. After two weeks of silence, they came up with some excuse that the forms had some info missing. After sending those in for a second and a third time we've been told that at that point it'd be only a matter of 24 hours to have their fulfilling bank green light the USD account. That was ten days ago and since then, our emails keep being unanswered. At this point I even doubt, Paymill offers any real USD support at all. Being the startup that they are, the support for us has been ridiculously bad.


Paymill kind of got the idea right, but the execution sucks. Stuff in the API has strange names and the docs and examples are often not completely correct.

One thing we've hit is that there's a requirement to specify the first amount you're going to charge (which you might not know at that point) when you get a customer's CC data, that can be a real pain.


Am I right in thinking that Stripe has no option for a hosted payments page? This makes it much clearer to users that the site they are in does not process their credit card details correctly. I am aware of Stripe Checkout.


The beauty of stripe is that you CAN keep users on your site and process payments via a great API. Hosted payments would defeat the purpose.


Yes I recognise having that option is an advantage, a major one for some cases (e.g. e-commerce). However I wouldn't be keen to put my credit card details in to a form on e.g. a blogger's website soliciting donations.


I think the problem is that Stripe is not a very well known brand yet (outside devs). So I can see your point where it's a global brand like PayPal or a well known bank/payment gateway in a country. But I'm not sure if you're nervous about putting your card details in that going to something called "Stripe" makes it seem much more trustworthy?


You could use http://gumroad.com then.


That may be true for you & me, but probably not relevant to the millions of PEBKAC internet users out there, who can't even tell IE from FF.


Actually this is a really interesting point...


Interesting that Braintree went to the whole EU at once while Stripe seems to take it country by country.

Not sure if it's related but at around that time Braintree changed the pricing to add Interchange fee that depends on the card used, service offered etc. Making the final pricing somewhat confusing but maybe more affordable as a result.

Does anyone know if Stripe account setup&approval for UK is just as straightforward as for US? With Braintree they ask for financial (turnover & EBIT) and shareholder information when applying as an EU company, no idea if it's also the case for US companies.


One thing to note with Braintree though is that they rolled out in the EU with a flat pricing, but a few months later changed it to having a minimum 100EUR in transaction fees. That is a very big change and it becomes not a good alternative for a small company to start with. Stripe has higher fees but no fixed fees.


> Does anyone know if Stripe account setup&approval for UK is just as straightforward as for US?

Yep; it's the very same instant setup.


Why is Stripe so interesting? As far as I can tell, they still only offer one payment method, credit cards.

That makes them quite uncompetitive in most countries where credit cards are just one of the many online payment methods, and completely useless in countries where most only payment has already shifted to direct transfers without the cost and hassle of going through credit card companies.

The movement is now towards harmonizing direct payments and mobile payment. Using credit cards for online payment feels so yesterday to me.


could you expand on this please? I'm from Australia and for us, payment online means credit card pretty much 100% of the time.

"harmonizing direct payments and mobile payment" -- I assume direct payments are direct debit from savings account? What is a "mobile payment".

How are these direct debit payments made? Do you know of any payment processors that process this type of payment?

I'm keen to hear how other parts of the world handle payments. Thanks.


Take a look at what http://gocardless.com are doing with Direct Debit in the UK. Not sure what "mobile payment" really means, outside of in-app purchases?


I've been using their beta for my startup, the API is amazing. I've only tested it with my own cards, but it's worked a treat (my SaaS isn't solid to be released yet).

Love them!


This is good news, and hopefully websites will vote with their feet.

Stripe may work out more expensive than PayPal, but that extra cost is probably offset by the amount spent on heart medication.


(I work at Stripe)

For a more detailed cost comparison with PayPal:

Stripe's pricing starts at 2.4% + £0.20 per transaction + VAT. Stripe charges 2% for foreign conversions (i.e. charging in EUR, when you want to be paid out in GBP).

PayPal's pricing starts at 3.4% + £0.20 per transaction. In addition to their published rate, you'll also pay:

* £20 per month if you want to design and host your own checkout pages.

* If you process in other currencies other than your local currency, PayPal will charge you a fee of 2.5% above the wholesale exchange rate (https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/cross-border-and-conve...).

* If you receive payments from customers outside of the UK, PayPal will charge you a fee of anywhere from 0.4% to 1.5% (https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/cross-border-and-conve...).

* If your customers pay with American Express, PayPal will charge you a fee of 3.5%.

* If you issue a refund, you will pay a fixed fee portion of the original transaction fee.


Any plans to roll out in Norway soon? All alternatives here have a very poor technical offering (bad docs, SOAP, errors, downtime) and are expensive for low volume.

We are looking for a payment provider we can integrate in http://makeplans.net but it has to be with no fixed costs as our clients are small businesses. Please get in touch if you need someone to be part of the beta rollout here in Norway: espen@makeplans.no


Norway is on our roadmap, but have no immediate ETA. I've added you to our beta notification list at https://stripe.com/global. (I work at Stripe)


I think I have added myself to that list three times already. Thanks though :)


Great comment. I had to laugh at this:

   "extra cost is probably offset by the amount spent on
   heart medication"
One of my top comments [1] on SO says much the same:

   "Enjoy PayPal's sandbox test environment! It's about
   as fun as extracting one's teeth with a pair of pliers."
It looks like Stripe could really start to push back on PayPal in the UK as well. About time if you ask me.

[1] http://stackoverflow.com/questions/67394/which-should-i-impl...


Stripe has flat pricing:

https://stripe.com/gb/help/pricing

Paypal has tiered pricing:

https://www.paypal.com/uk/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_display-receiv...

So, it depends on which tier you're on for PayPal, it may go either way. However, I suspect most people are sitting on 3.4%+20p on PayPal will find Stripe cheaper.


Never mind PayPal, they're more expensive than the commodity players in the UK, like SagePay.

Stripe's strategy is all about developer-led adoption, and their approach to their tech belies this. Unfortunately, in reality, developers have as much say as to which PSP their client uses as the cabin boy does what course the captain should sail.

I run an eCommerce firm - we've mooted stripe to all of our customers, as we like the look of their approach - but none will adopt, purely on the basis of cost.


For stripe to be more expensive than Paypal I'd need to bill 15,000 a month.

That is a nice problem to have (and in fairness it's a .5% different or about about 75 quid).

On 15,000 billable I'll take a 300 a month hit to never have to deal with PayPal again.

Broken sandbox, flaky API, customer service reps from the Hannibal Lecter school of customer service, payment frozen, ridiculous demands on holding cash and proving you are who you say you are, high pressure sales.

Screw PayPal, I'll drive to my customer and take cash before I use them again.


If you're billing £2m a month, it's a big difference.


I've actually had a different experience where clients are now requesting Stripe. My situation is unique in that across various sites clients got to experience PayPal, Braintree and Stripe. Due to a range of reasons with the flow of PayPal subscriptions to the phone nature and fee structure on Braintree (they might have simplified it now), Stripe is turning out to be the favorite even with the 7 day transfers.

There are also cases where developers do have some say, especially since many clients don't even care as long as they can accept payments--the fee is more or less on par. It's a favorite for me because when you look at Stripe.js + the API you can tell it was developed for use by other developers and not as an after thought.


Aye - our clients tend to be of the bigger, more established ilk, and as a result tend to either bring whatever odd solution they've selected along to the party. Regularly find ourselves integrating with Barclays and HSBC's Arcot-driven house of horrors, even though we'd never, ever, ever recommend either of them under any circumstances.

We have a few clients who are smaller, and therefore more willing to listen to recommendations and suggestions, but the big guys just steamroll on with whatever the advertorial in the trade journal told them to do this month. Very hard to convince a 40 year veteran FD that you know more about payment solutions than him.


Hmmm. Shameless self plug here but you sound like some Spreedly customers' we have. Your developers just work with our API's to avoid the arcane payment gateway API's but your customer doesn't have to change their processor/gateway relationship.


If you're doing typical e-commerce -- as opposed to, say, SaaS -- the cost of payment processing seems especially important, since it might eat into your (typically low) margins. Why would you recommend Stripe over an established, cheaper processor?


Reliability and redundancy. We always recommend that each client has at least two PSPs enabled, with PayPal typically as the fallback/secondary. SagePay have a long and sad history of "we broke it", which is only just made up for by their low costs. You lose way more margin being unable to transact than you do on processing fees.


For what it's worth, a lot of our bigger users (from MoMA to Walmart) ended up using Stripe because their developers successfully pushed it internally.

Could you drop me a line? patrick@stripe.com. I have an idea I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on.


Sure, done.


We'd love to move to Stripe; the one issue is that you can't send us $USD to our UK based $USD account via a wire transfer (like Amex does for example). Instead, it seems the only option is for you to send us £GBP after charging another 2% on top. This is both expensive currency conversion; but we also spend $USD so have to pay to turn our £GBP back into $USD!

Fix this, and we'd move in a heartbeat.


We don't support making our daily transfers via wires, but if you have a US-routable USD bank account we can transfer USD to that without conversion.


Do you know of any UK bank that will provide a US-routable USD bank account?


Silicon Valley Bank (www.svb.com) might well do


HSBC will but they will charge you for it.


You don't happen to have a contact there do you? Can't find much online about it. So long I don't have to move other accounts that would work fine.


I don't but if ask in your branch I'm sure they will point you in the right direction.


Does anybody has used GoCardless or Braintree? What advantages there are between Stripe and those other ones?


I'm an engineer at Braintree. The way I see it when you compare Braintree and Stripe in the UK:

- Stripe has instant signup. Braintree does not (yet). You have to send us a few documents; the signup process takes a few days.

- Stripe multicurrency support is limited to USD, EUR, and GBP. Braintree can accept payments in 130 currencies and settle in the following currencies:

AUD - Australian dollar CAD - Canadian dollar DKK - Danish krone CHF - Switzerland francs EUR - European Union euro GBP - British pound HKD - Hong Kong dollar JPY - Japanese yen NOK - Norwegian krone NZD - New Zealand dollar SEK - Swedish krona USD - US dollar ZAR - South African rand

Being able to settle in DKK, CHF, NOK or SEK might make a big difference to merchants with large customer bases in Northern Europe.

- Stripe charges a 2% currency conversion fee if you settle in a different currency than you present. Braintree does not.

- The pricing structures are different. Stripe charges 2.4% + 20p per charge; Braintree charges on an interchange plus model: IC + 0.9% + 10p, with a 100 GBP monthly minimum.

Finally, of course, our products are different as well. Braintree.js and Stripe.js don't work the same way, and our APIs have different capabilities.


The 100 EUR minimum fee per month in Europe was a show-stopper for us. We were about to develop an integration with Braintree in our SaaS (http://makeplans.net - online appointment scheduling) but as our clients are small and have little volume Braintree was not an option after changing from no fixed fees to 100 EUR / month.


(I work at GoCardless).

GoCardless and Stripe tend to solve very different problems. We're a Direct Debit provider, whereas Stripe do card payments.

In short, Direct Debit is great for recurring payments and variable billing. It's traditionally really hard to get access to in the UK if you're a smaller business; but we allow people to sign up instantly and start using it without having to go to the bank.

DD is a great solution if you're in a service business or are charging a similar set of people each month. It's a less good solution if you're doing e-commerce/physical goods, since you need fast payment timings/clearing. That's the sort of problem cards (and therefore Stripe) are optimized for.

More info here: https://gocardless.com/direct-debit/use-cases/


Also, according to Stripe's Terms and Conditions, “the Stripe Service is not made available to persons … for personal, family or household purposes” — this isn’t the case for GoCardless, where signing up as an individual to collect gift payments by Direct Debit is A-OK.


GoCardless is direct debit only so would be a natural compliment to Stripe but unlikely to be a head to head competitor.


To Stripe team,

You are doing great and fast. Keep going.


Not to spam the thread but if any UK merchant is looking for an invoicing product supporting Stripe, check CurdBee here - http://vesess.com/survey-results-and-stripe-uk/


Damn.

Between Stripe and gocardless we finally have a viable zero-friction way of taking payments.

This is brilliant!.


Really excited about this because Stripe is the most popular gateway for our WordPress plugin and this opens new doors for many of our customers in the UK that don't wan't to use Paypal.

Would love to see them continue spreading East.


How do I get a job with this company? I hear nothing but great things about their product and the working culture there. I want to be a part of it.

People from Stripe. If you're reading this, I'd like to work for you.

Can we talk?


We'd love to hear from you. We're hiring in the US, UK and in a few other countries.

https://stripe.com/jobs & jobs@stripe.com


Sent you an email as soon as I typed my comment. Please look out for an email from "Khuram Malik". It should have landed in your inbox just now.

Thank you for responding :)


Just signed up. How crazy easy that was, no sending in a ton of information of waiting. Live account in 2mins. In fact it's cheaper than PayPal Pro! Paypal, Worldpay you are doomed!


Every time I got an email asking to join the beta, I asked the same question. I'm sure I'm getting annoying, but I'll ask again:

When can US customers start charging UK customers?


You can already charge UK customers, but I presume you mean UK customers in GBP. This is on our roadmap to add. (Most of the heavy lifting is already done for the reverse in the UK.)


Adding to the people happy about this - we've been using the beta for a while, took us a couple of hours to integrate it. Really nice to work with with.


One 'feature' that would make a big difference in the UK is better debit card support - specifically for Maestro.


We decided against supporting them since Maestro cards are falling out of use. (See my other comment in the thread.)


Ah, I'm in Northern Ireland. One of our main banks (Danske) issues Maestro as the only debit card option making it one of the most used cards here. Are there any plans to add support of has it been completely ruled out?

Edit: Did a bit of research and it looks like Danske is finally offering Visa Debit as an option.


Once they rollout the marketplace feature to UK users, this will truly be the best piece of service around.

GG to the stripe Team


Been using it in the beta for a couple of months. Surprised at how simple it was to get running.


Will companies located in other EU countries than the UK be able to use this?


It's available in a few other EU countries in beta: Belgium, France, Ireland, The Netherlands. Details here: https://stripe.com/global


Thanks for the cupcakes.


Welcome to europe. Been waiting for you for a long time guys.


Great. Now I have no excuses not to launch a side project


It's happening!!!




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