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.
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Stripe has been developed for web users not by banks just moving bank apps to web. Their APIs are easy to use and understandable and they have support for lots of languages.
They are also incredibly flexible and it's possible to do things with Stripe that other providers don't allow (for example implementing annual billing it's difficult to get authorisation as a start-up - even if it's only $20 a month, that's $240 annually which means there's a year to charge-back - so implement it as a one off payment, which does mean doing annual billing yourself, but there's a year to get it right).
They also have fantastic start-up deals (if you know the right accelerator or other provider) easy to get transaction fees waived.
They also have engineers at hand to help you with any issues, who actually know the product.
Paypal comes with tons of old APIs, and new ones that are incomplete. There are bugs in the documentation, bug with their implementation. And their support department is completely clueless.
Frankly it is only good if you use its light mode: a direct payment with no recurring fees. So forget about it if you want to put in place things like Subscription mode, their are better players out there to do that.
Overall I've enjoyed working with Recurly, however, their XML only API response produced some headaches/delays in a Node-based (Meteor) project. Conversion of the XML worked, but the way responses were formed wasn't always consistent (e.g. for error handling) resulting in a lot of extra work.
The product is pretty good, but this XML issue along with improved API documentation would make it great.
I love Stripe. They were super, super easy to set up — it was less than 5 minutes and I could already put test payments through my app! They take a huge chunk off of small transactions (if you're only charging $3, you only get $2.61), so they kind of make you raise prices on small fees. However, I love not having to worry about security or managing anything, just getting paid!
Integrating Stripe to your app is dead simple.
It removes all the hassle of integrating with a payment gateway.
Its API is developer-friendly and intuitive, reliable, and works all the time.
It’s my payment gateway of choice.
PayPal is used as one of our payment-gateways included in our shop-solution. We only use PayPal for direct debits/charges from bank-accounts as we got Stripe for credit-card transactions.
Stripe is used as one of our payment-gateways included in our shop-solution. We only use the credit-card features of it and don't accept any bitcoins (yet).
Payments? Stripe. There's pretty much no other option that's as easy or pretty to work with out of the box, you just plug it in and watch the fireworks.
CC handler for our membership system. It was an easy choice for how quickly we were able to implement it, as well as the disputed payment process.
Recognized by millions of customers as the most secure and reliable platform, we giving options to the customer on how they will subscribe.
We started with PayPal initially, but Stripe appeared and made our lives much easier. They are now our primary payment service.
Donations are processed through PayPal, mostly. So it's a pretty indespensable tool, as it's our main source of income.
We are using Braintree that is PayPal company for our payments on our website. No more redirects to PayPal :-)
PrometheanTV utilizes the Paypal Payment services to provide various e-commerce and payment related features.