Original post

For my consulting business (average invoice size of anywhere from $15k-$125k), we exclusively accept paper checks, ACH (either as a direct credit for larger companies set up to do that,) or QuickBooks Online, which makes ACH relatively trivial, and they charge basically $1 to process it. Can’t beat that with a stick.

For our clients, our preference is still Stripe, though we had a client deplatformed by them because their bank had problems with the product. (In our case, specifically, adult toys.) We had spoken with Stripe at length before investing in using them, and confirmed that this would be acceptable, as they had other adult toy companies on their platform, but Wells Fargo, paragons of fucking virtue that they are, decided to step in an try to get extremely and very awkwardly hands on with our specific products. (They tried to dictate what colors we could and couldn’t offer, for instance. It was unpleasant, and we recognized we needed to leave immediately.)

We ended up back at a higher-risk merchant service provider, though we’re paying typical rates because we fulfill an actual, physical product (not, say, porn), and our chargeback rate is very low. Still a frustrating experience, and yet another reason to hate Wells.

> we had a client deplatformed by them because their bank had problems with the product. (In our case, specifically, adult toys.)

What kind of bank would do that, and why?

I don’t comprehend the logic that would drive such a decision.

PayPal isn’t a bank and is known for that behaviour. I understand Wells Fargo is a bank.

Some specific product/service categories have higher rates of fraud and/or other problems, and it just does not worth it for them.

I operate a “electronically supplied services” hobby company, https://webhook.site, and I just didn’t want to deal with VAT payments to individual EU member countries. So I switched from Stripe to Paddle, who handle all the VAT payments for me, take a fee and give me a lump sum. EU just has way too much bureaucracy for small-medium sized companies. I’m also using Patreon which is similar (they also handle VAT and subscriptions), but it seems most people prefer Paddle to Patreon.

Tangentially, I’d recommend everyone to stay away from Paypal. You will lose your money or your account sooner or later. Let someone else (like Paddle) handle Paypal payments and that risk.

We use Chargebee backed by Stripe.

We’ve been quite happy with Chargebee overall and would recommend them. The only downside is their customer support is very bizarre sometimes and a bit frustrating.

For example, they limit API access to my own (events) data to the last N months. I contacted and asked them to remove the restriction, and they said that wasn’t possible because the data was “archived”. I pointed out that their UI allowed me to see all the data and their page loaded quickly so clearly the data is close at hand. They then said they’d give me access to all my data over the API for one week. I told them I’m not going to build a script that will be broken in a week and instead will just have to scrape their website – they seemed happy with that resolution.

What value do you get from a middle man between you and the raw Stripe API? Why recommend them?

From what you describe it just seems like a hassle with them acting as gatekeeper to your own historical transaction records.

Customers need invoices, A/R tracking, recurring payments, line items on an invoice, billing for multiple entities, adhoc products/add-ons – a billing system and a way to process payments are separate things.

I believe Stripe does more and more of this stuff, but it isn’t cheap and in our experience Chargebee has perfected a lot of that functionality.

Exactly. I find myself wondering why Stripe is still in the picture, seems like they’re doing the easy part.

We use the above-mentioned things, and they also take care of providing a UI where customers can change their plan, cancel it, download PDF invoices. Upon plan changes, they deal with proration. They send dunning emails for failed charges and cancel the plan after N retries. You can set up coupons, discounts, trials, credit, refunds, welcome emails, etc. through them.

Stripe only allows access to the last 30 days of events, it sounds like this 3rd party is offering a service of collecting that for longer (probably among other things).

What do you mean last 30 days of events? I use Stripe’s API’s daily and you can go back much further than that.

I’ve been selling a SaaS product for the last four years. Originally I used Stripe but recently switched to Paddle.

The main reason is that it makes my life a lot easier, they act as a reseller so I effectively sell my product to them, and they sell it on to customers. At the end of each month I just need to enter a single payment into my accounting platform, and they handle all currency conversions (I sell in USD, my accounting is in GBP) and sales taxes. They of course charge more, but for the amounts I’m talking about the cost outweighs the time I was spending dealing with Stripe payments.

They also support PayPal which I’ve had a lot of people ask for, so that’s a win too.

Sorry if it’s offtopic, but can you give me an estimate of how much is Paddle charging? Their pricing page is not really helpful. Also, how easy it was to implement into your systems?

This service is still alpha/beta at best. I tried them and I got customers with double charges, missing emails, and their interface is difficult to understand and make use of. Give them one more year before trying.

Adyen is a large player. Not quite as slick as Stripe but better rates.

I have a small side business that makes a physical product. I’ve used PayPal for years with no issues, touch wood. There are two things that I like:

1. I don’t have to write code or maintain a server to process payments. I realize that I’m an outlier for not wanting an API, but my business web page is completely static, and it’s convenient for me to keep it that way.

2. They are unified with USPS for shipping, which has the best rates and service for packages that weigh just a few ounces. I can click on a button in PayPal and it spits out a USPS shipping label for me.

I greatly prefer not having to handle any of my customers data. The only info I ever see is their shipping address and whatever e-mail address they signed up to PayPal with.

We use Stripe to process credit card payments and we’re adding support for ACH soon. Recently they made some changes to pricing (charging for Radar and non-US cards) that was surprising but otherwise they’ve been amazing. Great tooling support, great customer service and overall great platform.

>ACH soon

What is your approach to bank account verification? Plaid/Yodlee, a more traditional “deposit x money, ask for verification”, or both?

We use Cliq.com for ACH for about 3 years now moving lots of transactions. Amounts are from hundred to low single-digit thousands (<$10k) about 200/wk. API is not as mature as Stripe but you can’t beat the cost at $0.20 per transaction.

We mostly do outbound so no verifications are done

Authorize.Net is what we’ve used for online payments and our internal subscription processing for over a decade. API is easy to use. Never really had any downtime. Rates are competitive. No one has come along and given us much of a reason to change.

Everyone else is dumping on authorize.net, but they’re willing to work with industries that PayPal and friends won’t touch.

They could really use someone who gives a damn to focus on their libraries. They seem to have tried to make them function similar no matter which language you use. Not the smartest move, they end up being sort of convoluted in languages like Python. Which lead to many people starting a client library, but probably moving on from using them and the libs go unmaintained.

That brings me back. I remember Authorize.net before there was the ActiveMerchant gem (ruby).

Have you used Stripe as well? Authorize.net always got the job done. Then Stripe came along. I was honestly surprised of its success at the time. It was mainly just more of a joy to use – not cheaper or much easier. Just ‘fun’ as I remember it.

Authorize.net is OLLLLLLLLD school. Its the primary merchant service that is recommended/resold by banks.

I ended up choosing stripe but only because Stripe has better branding and was ‘cooler’ to use.

When stripe first came out my initial thought on the API was “these guys got tired of Authorize.Net”

I worked with authorize.net in 2006/7 for a php driven lead gen site… that brings me back…

I use Stripe and PayPal. PayPal accounts for about 30% of my revenue. As another data point, I get easily 10x more requests for Stripe integration on https://divjoy.com than all other payment options combined. Devs overwhelming want to use Stripe.

Java:

public class PaymentRequest{}

public class PaymentResponse{}

Golang:

type PaymentRequest struct {}

type PaymentResponse struct {}

Kotlin:

data class PaymentRequest(“”)

data class PaymentResponse(“”)

Pin Payments, for cards.

They have an Australian focus but global capability. If you use a scheme card for Fastmail, you probably paid via Pin Payments.

Pin have a Stripe-like API but a small-team feel during contact i.e. we know one another by name, and when escalating a technical query I’ve had dialogue directly with a dev lead. I’ve even received hand-written Christmas cards from them.

I live in mortal terror of Pin being bought by Stripe, or (worse) an Australian financial institution, with all the consequences for competence and customer service level that follow.

We also handle bulk/large payments via CS2 (the Aus equivalent of ACH, for Usonian readers), with handling fee.

I’ve been using Pin since very early days. Dev experience is great, the API is well thought out and documented.

Your fear about Pin being bought by an Australian financial institution may be unfounded (or it’s already happened depending on your perspective). Back in the early days, it was fairly well known that National Australia Bank was a part owner in Pin, but I can’t find anything to support that now. NAB is listed first on their partners page (https://pinpayments.com/company/partners) and their Terms of Service (https://pinpayments.com/terms/national-australia-bank) are a 3 way agreement between NAB, Pin and yourself.

I’m sure it would be worse if Pin was fully absorbed into NAB though.

Stripe when possible, but for a recent project I’m using Dwolla, which operates strictly via ACH (which makes it US-only).

The problem with Stripe is they have a large list of prohibited businesses, which mainly is inherited from the credit card networks as I understand it. Even if you’re a perfectly legal and legitimate business, if you fall under one of these broad categories you can’t use Stripe’s platform (even if you only use their ACH product and don’t touch credit cards). PayPal has a similar list.

The credit card networks justify it by claiming certain categories of business are riskier (and I’m sure some are). But then you see how a lot of these categories may have come from Operation Chokepoint, chosen by unelected bureaucrats seemingly without any evidence.

Personally it disturbs me that so many legitimate businesses are severely hamstrung from collecting payments online because of extremely opaque decisions by an oligopoly of payment networks.

But about Dwolla – it’s not quite as smooth as Stripe; you have to build out your own customer onboarding screens, and production plans are priced through a sales rep rather than a SaaS-y paygo model. But I feel much more in control from the business end of things using them.

I use Paddle, because they handle the intricacies of international VAT which is getting more and more complicated. I’d love to use Stripe, but I’d have to use something like Taxamo in combination with it. Since I was one of their first B2B customers I managed to negotiate a good rate with them, otherwise they’d be reasonably expensive. I’ve been generally happy with them.

The FDA/DEA have waged war on the kratom industry in extralegal fashion; I’ve had my personal bank accounts and credit cards shut down without explanation via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Choke_Point.

With Operation Chokepoint over, the DEA/FDA still have colluded to prevent the kratom industry from processing credit cards. For my website www.getkratom.com, we take checks, echecks, and cryptocurrency. Sales are about 1/3 of what they were when we were able to take credit cards.

If you created a obfuscated company name GTKTM, INC and created a Stripe account and a front as some legit SAAS/products but really ran through the charges for your Katom product sales… wonder how long you could fly under the radar.

There are high risk merchant processors that specialize in enabling things like this but it isn’t happening, visa/mastercard have really colluded under pressure from the feds to try really hard to make sure that no kratom merchants have credit card processing under any circumstances whatsoever.

At my sales volume I can’t reasonably fly under the radar this way; I’m sure a tiny or start up operation could for at least a little while but it’s not sustainable.

I’ve been meaning to try and fix the wikipedia article again. I last did that and got into an obnoxious fight with jytdog. I heard a couple months ago that he dox’d and called to harass a wikipedian and then deleted his account ahead of anticipated punitive action. Without that person spending 80 hours a week to advocate his particularly narrow anti-plant medicine interpretation of what is correct with regards to medicine, biochemistry, and pharmacology on wikipedia, editing it again might actually accomplish something. I think I and many other editors that went up against jytdog are still carrying trauma that makes me reluctant to reengage but it’s about time to try.

Ping me sometime for coffee if you are in Boston, I am a real person. Stay safe out there

Cheers. I’m in the Bay Area and don’t make it east too often (Love Burn Miami is happening though!), happy to meet for coffee in SF/Oakland next time you come out these ways.

Frankly, I’ve been in the legal drug space running www.getkratom.com for 13 years and things are fine because the plant actually is so profoundly safe. Orrin Hatch plus lots of veterans of the US armed forces calling their representatives is what saved it from a federal ban. It already went through that due process and didn’t get banned.

Running a crypto hedge fund feels more dangerous to me in many ways that my simple, though controversial, ecommerce business. 🙂 I’m doing fine and must like living on the edge.

I’m in the process of starting up a side business for my wife, making and selling physical goods. I’m in Sweden, and the go-to here is Klarna. They have their issues, but integration with WooCommerce was a breeze and people have come to expect Klarna as the default way to pay online.

I’m actually implementing our Stripe integration as we speak. Super straightforward to get it done, with tons of documentation and example, and the Elixir library is fantastic.

We use both Paypal and Stripe for international (worldwide) payments. Most customers seem to prefer Paypal, and Paypal is set up so that we don’t have to do anything – we just receive an email on purchase, while we need a server in the middle for Stripe.

Paypal is significantly more expensive. Recurring subscriptions are really bad (the “vintage” UI is stuck circa 1999).

But what’s really bad is that at some point, after 5 or 6 years of significant usage, someone calls us once at 4.30 PM, gets no answer, and flags us as “suspicious”. At that point, we could not retrieve any money for the account, could not call anyone (you cannot contact the fraud team – we’ll call you back), and it started a lengthy (like, a couple of months) process where we were asked a lot of previous information in order to unlock the account. I mean, I understand you may want/need more information, but you talk to us first and then, if you do not receive good answers, you lock the account. Our bank charges per year way less than PayPal and gives us an account who knows who we are, comes visit yearly, and whose mobile number I have.

So, even if we still use Paypal by popular demand, I’d rather not.

Stripe for credit cards, run own nodes for cryptocurrency because customer privacy is important in certain scenarios for me.

I use them too, and have been extremely happy with the service I’ve received so far. I’m based in Australia but sell mostly to overseas customers and bill in USD. They take a 4% cut this way, but don’t hit you with a currency conversion fee like PayPal do.

I used to use Stripe, but had an issue where my account was flagged as fraudulent by their ML model for God knows what reason. They sent me a link to click on to provide more information and escalate the issue, but the link went to a 404 page. I forwarded the email to their support but never heard back from them. Tried to call them, no dice. That’s when I realised my business was relying on a service which could go down at any moment and didn’t provide adequate phone support. Cancelled the account and signed up with PIN Payments on the spot. The few times I’ve spoken to them, I’ve received a response from a real person that actually knew what they were talking about. Couldn’t recommend them more.

I am also interested in this question but would also love to know the average percentage people are paying. It’s always been interesting to me how stripe (and the like) are basically a premium over less polished tools like Authorize.net but are able to charge as much as a percentage point more for basically the same thing.

I’ve built payment integrations my entire 20 year career and have always appreciated how ease of use relates to cost, e.g. it’s hard to build tools as easy to use as stripe or Braintree, but I’ve wondered how these features play out when it’s so close to the actual money itself.

The percentage depends on the business “risk” category , transaction volume, return and charge back rate. You can get rates as low as 1.9% and .15 per transaction. That doesn’t cover payment processing gateway fees (ie Authorize.net) though.

I believe that is for the all-in-one option. And I do not believe Authorize.net offered that a decade back. Anyways, if you already have your merchant account, it is only 10cents a transaction.

Exclusively Paypal. I’ve had nothing but extremely positive experiences, but form what I hear, when it goes bad, it goes really really bad. I’m looking into other options

It’s actually easy to understand when PayPal ‘Goes Bad’

1) When you collect money long before a user might file a chargeback – like if you’re selling tickets for an event that will happen in 5 months, or if you’re selling a product that you’ll be shipping much later.

2) When your ‘pattern’ changes dramatically. eg, you’ve made 5k/month worth of sales for the past 2 years and this month you’ve suddenly sold 20k.

Elavon for direct card (they supported 3DSecure early back in the day), PayPal, and Bitcoin. We used to support Western Union, but we got blocked after a random amount of funds was received, their support was not able to help.

Business is for digital goods.

Would like to support worldwide bank transfers if it can be safe and quick for both sender and receiver, anyone got any tips?

At my current company we use Spreedly to integrate with the payment gateway. Idea is to have multiple payment providers in the background, which is fairly simple with Spreedly (they offer a single API, while large nr of supported psps in the background).

We also vaulting the cards there.

For Nordic/European customers, you should check out Mondido, which provide local payments and a lot for smart added value.

100% PayPal, despite the horror stories. Why? Micropayment account alongside regular account. A majority of payments are less than US$12, many are US$1 and on the latter I save 23c per transaction over typical rates (PayPal or other processors).

Customers from Turkey, Pakistan and a few other places are not happy (PayPal banned in their territories), but for the most part, few complaints. Ancient key/value pair API continues to work, which is nice.

Hate their website, hate the lack of ways to get reports, particularly on subscriptions.

Could be done so much better (and likely is), but the micropayment account saves me thousands of dollars a year.

Multiple businesses but most common is direct wire transfer/bank transfer. The smaller business: generate invoices, send them to the customer, customer has a few choices, the only international ones are IBAN or PayPal (adds fees). Most common used is direct bank transfer. AVG transaction: €2500. Larger business: mostly commerce payments, over 90% is iDEAL (Dutch native payment system – does instant wire transfers between Dutch banks), the rest is either Apple Pay or by invoice/manual bank transfer. Some sub-0.1% uses Credit Cards but it almost costs more to keep it available than the revenue it generates. In all cases we use native banking APIs, no middlemen/broker/processors, except Credit Card. AVG transaction: €50.

Chargify. JUST DON’T DO IT! It’s very limiting, the api sucks, and it’s expensive. We got locked in by a dev before I was a part of things and I think before Stripe (maybe not.) Either way; just don’t.

Braintree, planning to switch to stripe. Still looking for a good EU-compliant (Poland) solution for invoicing, having to do it myself right now.

Stripe.

Love the developer friendly aspect, and their customer service is awesome.

Due to a misunderstanding[1], they believed our service violated their TOS. Stripe offered us a week to migrate AND suggested a competitor that allows those types of Txns.

Luckily, with a message to Customer Support (via Twitter) we resolved the misunderstanding and never had to migrate.

Also worth noting, the issue was addressed on a Saturday.

1: Stripe mistakenly thought we were doing online prescriptions.

Did you have to escalate via twitter or did you try other options first?

I’m asking because if twitter was the first escalation and it worked, Great!

If twitter was another resort after unsuccessful support…. not so great.

> Stripe mistakenly thought we were doing online prescriptions.

Can you say what your company was actually selling?

We use Stripe. Will be adding PayPal integration later this year. Many of our customers are in europe and they don’t have credit cards. PayPal works best for them.

Stripe and an in-house Bitcoin backend

Funny thing is that I’m working on debugging an issue with the Stripe API right now (or the library I’m using)

At our price range (most invoices are $10k-$50k and in the US), we generate and send invoices from Xero, our accounting software. Customers can pay via check, wire, ACH or Credit Card, and they typically do checks or ACH. For additional context: we automate customer service for ecommerce companies in the 50-500 employee range. Payment methods vary depending on the company size, localization, sector, payment size, etc.

We use MangoPay.

The customer service or tech support isn’t as great as Stripe but they have a really intuitive model for marketplaces

We use Paystand for Credit Cards (2.49% + 30¢), ACH and eCheck 25¢ 0%. Services business. Import transactions into Xero. Monthly fee $299. We pass the CC fee to customers.

How many payments have you processed? I thought Bitcoin died as a payment medium.

People have figured out that the overhead is only about $0.50 if you’re willing to wait, but most consumer apps don’t make it easy to default to the lower fee.

(I haven’t looked into this for some time, so that last paragraph is a bit dated.)

It is worth mentioning that today “you’re willing to wait” actually means just some minutes.

I’ve actually started using BitCoin to pay for things recently and I was surprised to find out how easy and quick this actually is. This really is a no-bullshit electronic cash. No registration, no verification, no borders, quick and easy. I hope more goods and services are going to be offered for cryptocurrencies in future.

For smaller payments, say under $100 worth, the lightning network works great. It takes only a few seconds to complete, costs fractions of a cent, and is divisible to the millisatoshi (there are 100M satoshis per 1 BTC).

I don’t use crypto for business and don’t store much money this way (which would mean I have to plan) so far so I ignore it and I’m Ok. In fact I have only been affected by it in the positive way: I had insufficient BitConins to buy what I needed (not illegal) and planned to buy more but the rate grew quickly and I found myself in possession of sufficient value before I had time to bother.

At Olodolo.com we process a few payments a day through CoinPayments. Haven’t had any issues.

Paypal. Never had issues with them. Only problem is there are a few customers that are dishonest but they are just a couple of them Every year. Average transaction is 15usd

I dare you to try doing a withdrawl while overseas. You may have to prove you’re not where you are before they’ll reinstate your account.

Done it many times. My entire income (more or less) flows through PayPal, and I manually withdraw at the end of the month, no matter when I am at that time. It has never been a problem.

This happened to me too. They thought it was suspicious that I was in Vietnam, so they brilliantly called my Canadian landline to verify that it was really me that was connecting from Vietnam (???). Of course, I was unable to answer…

PayPal is utter trash.

I create invoices using invoiceninja, which are payed via banktransfers mostly and via mollie payments for the smaller amounts.

This is usually an ideal payment in .nl, and various other payment methods in other european countries.

Services work invoiced through Bonsai, typically paid via ACH with some credit cards mixed in. Stripe handles the ultimate money movement.

SaaS – mostly Stripe credit cards, with a tiny percent in PayPal.

Every client pays via CC except one by check and one by ACH. We use WePay which is connected to Freshbooks. We eat the 3% charge or whatever it is. Avg order size of $2,000.

Oh, what about sales tax for SAAS in USA? Currently driving me mad.

Avalara and Vertex both have options that integrate well with major billing systems.

+1 for EBANX! Though after talking with them and talking with Stripe I’m not sure we lose out on as many credit cards as Ebanx made it seem like we would when processing with Stripe in LATAM.

Has anyone used Payfort (now an Amazon subsidiary), which is a payment processor for GCC (and MENA?) countries? I’ve never used them, but their terms of service seem to explicitly prohibit being used for software sales. I was wondering what else is available in the GCC countries that permits software subscriptions. For example, Chargebee seems to support transactions in AED, but it is not clear whether they can be used, for example, by an UAE-based LLC.

I’m a complete dinosaur using Paypal. It emails me when there’s a payment and I manually respond to the customer. They have to wait until I check my email since I don’t even get notifications. Sorry customers. Paypal is a nightmare of course. Don’t be like me.