Stripe is an industry leader in the online payment provider category. It sets the higher standards matching with competitors like PayPal and Square. If you’re thinking of moving your brick-n-mortar business to e-commerce, Stripe will be one of your considerations. There are compelling reasons to join the Stripe network and enjoy its unmatched services. Yet, you may not find Stripe as the best match for your e-commerce needs for some odd reasons.
There is hardly any online payment processing feature that Stripe doesn’t offer. However, these are a few of the reasons that may make you think twice before choosing Stripe as your go-to option.
1) Stripe Has Limited International Presence
Since its inception back in 2011, Stripe has expanded the network of its services globally. Today they have a direct presence in 14 countries, while their services are available in 40+ countries (and counting).
You can still add the Stripe payment processing solutions or any other app to your e-commerce network through a partner program. But that will increase the costs manifold with additional charges and currency conversions. You’ll be better off with a payment processor that presents direct services in your country.
Stripe has recently acquired Paystack to extend its services to the African audience. Yet, it has a limited presence in Africa, South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East, to name a few regions.
2) Can You Afford The Costs?
It may not be a shortcoming of Stripe. If you own a small business or fall in a category where e-commerce tools don’t support your business, you might not need Stripe at all.
Stripe also offers simpler and cheaper solutions for small businesses, but their fee charges for micropayments are higher than PayPal and others.
For example, PayPal offers micropayment options with a transaction fee of 5%+ 0.05¢ and Stripe at 5% +0.10¢. It may not seem a significant difference but remember micropayments are repetitive in nature and come in bulk.
Some other valuable features like Premium Support may also become a cost issue for small business owners. Stripe’s premium support comes at a staggering $1,800 per month.
3) Is your Business Category Allowed?
Your business category may fall under a legal and ethical business category in your legislative geography. Yet, it may not get approved by Stripe. Stripe has a transparent policy of restriction for some business categories such as financial services, gambling, auction sites, adult content sites, virtual currency sites, etc.
Once again, this restriction may not only be associated with Stripe only. Many other platforms also pose such restrictions.
Another important consideration is to take a cautious approach, even if your business account gets approved. You may still get your account frozen or suspended if Stripe feels your business activities do not fall under allowed terms.
4) Limited Options for Point-Of-Sale Businesses
Stripe does offer Point-of-sale services with both hardware support and application support. But it isn’t their forte, they pioneered online payment processing solutions for businesses, and they are good at it.
If you’re a small business owner or most of your e-commerce comes through in-house sales, Stripe may not be your best option.
Stripe’s POS machines come at a competitive pricing of $59 and $299. But its Application “Terminal” charges a hefty 2.7% + 5¢ and an additional 1% for international cards and currency conversion each.
A specialized POS system may offer lower prices. For example, Square and Shopkeep offer lower transaction fees at 2.5% +10¢ with additional free features.
5) Technical Support and Customization
As we mentioned earlier, Stripe offers premium support at a substantial monthly rate of $1,800. Its ‘plug-n-Play” applications may not require sophisticated code skills and any technical knowledge.
If you need any customization, you’ll have to buy additional support from the code junkies. It may not be a fancy option for small business owners lacking coding knowledge.
In a sense, the biggest advantage of Stripe offering customization is a limited feature for small businesses and customers without technical coding skills. If you’re planning for customized checkout or payment options with Stripe APIs, you’ll need some developer knowledge.
A similar concern raised by many small business owners is Stripe’s lack of direct customer support. Although Stripe offers 24/7 customer support through chat, e-mail, or callback, it still faces criticism from many customers.
In conclusion, Stripe is a great payment processing solution provider. Its API-based applications best match the needs of businesses with customized requirements.
Its payment processing, along with fraud prevention, is its flagship product. However, it still may not be the best solution for some customers for various reasons.