Dear StackShare Community,
I am seeking inspiration on creating a billing & subscription stack and came across this wonderful website and community.
From what I understood so far, I need something like Stripe or Braintree to collect payments without dealing with PCI compliance or setting up merchant accounts, etc... Additionally, services like Chargebee, Recurly, Chargify, etc. are said to make life easier when dealing with recurring billing.
Stated below, I've tried to give you some context on what I want to achieve. I am very curious about your ideas and how you'd configure an optimal stack.
Project context (very high level):
Loyalty program for local merchants (stores, restaurants,...).
Customers support their community and merchants by shopping local.
Merchants grant points to customers based on a customer's value spent in a store, restaurant, etc.
Customers can redeem their points at any participating merchant.
Billing / Subscription scenarios to be considered:
(affecting merchants only)
One-time setup fee
What: Merchant pays a setup fee by signing up for the service
Where: Order placed on the website
Monthly retainer fee
What: Merchant pays a monthly recurring retainer for the service.
Where: Order placed on the website
Manually initiated payment
What: Merchant initiates a payment to top up his virtual points wallet. E.g. pays 100 USD to top up 100000 points which then can be used by the merchant for granting points to customers.
Why: Points issued to members need to be paid for by the merchant. We first considered billing the merchants post-ante, e.g. monthly based on the points they've granted to their customers in the last 30 days, but this seems too risky: If they can't / won't pay we'd still have to pay out points to the customers (technically to the merchants where the customers redeem their points). Thus, the pragmatic idea to reduce risk by having the merchants to pre-pay for their points by topping up their balance.
Where: Web application (with the merchant logged in)
Nice to have: Opt-in for automatically initiated top-ups if a merchant's balance falls below a certain amount.
What: After every transaction (setup, retainer, top-up,...), we need to automatically issue and send (E-Mail) an invoice to the merchant.
Nice to have: Customer portal with all their invoices.
Other potentially relevant parameters
Currency: Only Euro
Country: Only Germany (so far)
Tax: Only one tax rate
Payment for setup & retainer: Credit Card; ideally SEPA Direct Debit (but that still causes headache due to the SEPA regulatory and risk of chargebacks still after weeks), PayPal?
Payment for top-up: Same as above plus any other that makes sense (Klarna, Sofort, PayPal...)
Again, thank you very much for sharing your ideas and thoughts! I'd highly appreciate any input :-)
With COVID-19 looming over us, businesses are, more than ever, looking for ways to set up online payments.
And having recently gone through implementing both Stripe and GoCardless to get monthly subscriptions set up and automated on my company website, I felt there was no better time to write this blog post!
If you're currently looking at working with a Payment Gateway provider API, or you're currently working with one but are not a fan, are looking to automate things a bit more, or are just generally thinking about changing, then you should have a read of my latest blog post where I compare Stripe and GoCardless.
I compare APIs in depth, specifically the subscription checkout flow that both offer (they're very similar, with some BIG differences).
There are plenty of code examples on how to set it up in a Node.js environment and right at the end, I rate each API based on the following factors:
- API ease of use
- API documentation
- Payment pages
- Costs / fees
- Developer appeal
- Customer experience
- Free Trial
So feel free to check it out, and I hope you like it. Please leave any feedback as it is very helpful. Thanks!
Stripe was made with developers in mind first so the extensibility of it is great! This makes it very easy for us to integrate and automate as much as we need with its APIs and SDK. It allows a lot of customization of exactly what we need to build our applications. They also manage all of our customers from a tax and accounting perspective which makes it easy from a business standpoint.