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Stripe UK

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Tuesday, June 5th, 2018
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What We Like

Stripe offers reliable, easy-to-use services and is upfront and transparent about pricing. Also, it charges no set-up fees or monthly minimum charges.

What We Didn't Like

Stripe offers lackluster customer service at times, and it charges the same fees for debit and credit cards. It doesn’t work with high-risk businesses, such as those that engage in gambling, pseudo pharmaceuticals, and adult entertainment.


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Marketing

Sales

Support

Pricing

Overall

Overview

Headquartered in San Francisco and founded in 2010, Stripe is an online payment processor that allows people and businesses to accept payments through the internet and mobile apps. Stripe’s other customizable features allow merchants to take advantage of recurring billing and accept bitcoin. Stripe has offices and a host of remote employees working in cities, like Seattle, New York, San Francisco, Berlin, Tokyo, London, and Singapore, around the globe. It employs 1,000 people.

Stripe was founded Patrick and John Collison. The brothers, who say they taught themselves coding before they became teenagers, quit college to start their first business, Auctomatic. In 2008, they sold the auction and marketplace management system for $5 million and began working on Stripe.

Stripe processes billions of pounds worth of transactions worldwide every year, with its wide-ranging customer base of over 100,000 businesses. Many well-known web and mobile businesses, such as Salesforce, Lyft, Twitter, and Kickstarter, use Stripe. Additionally, it was one of the first payment providers to support Apple Pay. Investors, including Sequoia Capital, American Express, Visa, Peter Thiel (co-founder of PayPal), and Elon Musk (founder of SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla, have given an estimated $450 million in funding to Stripe.

Marketing

For the most part, Stripe relies heavily on its website, word-of-mouth, and traditional advertising to build its customer base. Part of the reason that its marketing is so straightforward and transparent may be because it does not hire independent sales agents.

Honesty

After visiting Stripe’s site, we were pleased to find no overtly misleading or deceptive sales practices or terms. However, it is important to note that there are a number of complaints about Stripe holding funds for long periods of time or abruptly closing accounts. In many cases, it appears that this occurred due to fraudulent or suspicious business activities. It is important to note that excluded businesses, which include high-risk businesses, gambling, adult entertainment sites, financial services, video game credits, drug paraphernalia, pseudo pharmaceuticals and many others, are included in Stripe’s Prohibited Businesses policy.

Sales

One of the many positive things we discovered about Stripe was that the company didn’t use independent resellers, and it didn’t promote any deceptive rates. Instead, Stripe uses traditional sales tactics and classic referrals to build its customer base and to market its services. Additionally, we found very few complaints that criticized Stripe for its sales strategies and tactics.

Availability

Stripe is not available by phone. The Stripe sales team and support are available via inquiry form and email. For technical support, merchants also can chat live via #stripe on the IRCCloud at irc.freenode.net. Stripe offers chat support from 1am PDT to 5 pm PDT, Monday through Friday. Those who wish to ask account specific questions in a secure fashion, can send an email at support.stripe.com/email.

Staff Education

During our interactions, we found team members at Stripe to be fairly knowledgeable about the products and services that were offered. The information we received was consistent and helpful.

Support

Though Stripe has many loyal enthusiasts when it comes to its payment provider services, it needs to improve in terms of customer service and support. Emailing Stripe is not the best way to reach representatives. It took more than three business days to get a reply from someone. The email was vague and didn’t offer much information or encourage me to call. In our experience, the best approach was to use its inquiry forms. We received a response to our forms within a few hours. The response encouraged me to further explore its site. A lot of information is available on Stripe’s site. However, we found it frustrating not to be able to speak to someone on the phone to get more specific answers.

Also, Facebook and Twitter is a place where customers seem to praise and criticize Stripe. Positive responses have praised supportive staff while the negative comments touch on unresponsive customer support. It appears that Stripe uses these platforms to respond to positive and negative feedback.

Staff Interaction

Though we did get responses promptly by using its inquiry forms, this type of communication lacked a personal touch. We find it so sad when a business treats customers like they don’t have time to get to back with responses. This is something that some merchants have complained about. Though we found it ridiculous that it took three days to get a canned response to our request for information. The email was short and offered little information. We could see this being very frustrating to organizations, especially smaller ones with little time and resources.

Pricing

Stripe provides both a payment gateway and a merchant account. Stripe users in the UK can accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express from customers in every country in 135 currencies. Depending on which country a Stripe account originates from, Stripe supports a variety of additional payment method, including: Bancontact, iDEAL, SOFORT, WeChat Pay, Giropay, SEPA Direct Debit, and Alipay.

Stripe charges 1.4% plus 20p for European cards and 2.9% plus 20p for non-European cards, according to Stripe pricing. With a Stripe account, a merchant only pays for what it uses, and it offers real-time reporting. Companies that process more than £20,000 per month can negotiate lower fees and costs.

Additionally, Stripe doesn’t charge fees for PCI compliance, refunds, or payments. There is a $15 chargeback fee for each one. Stripe refunds chargebacks that are reversed.

Early Termination Fee

Stripe doesn’t require merchants to sign contracts. Therefore, early termination fees don’t apply.

Hardware Costs

Stripe doesn’t sell any hardware. However, Control mPOS, which is only compatible with the Miura M010 Bluetooth device, integrates via Stripe Connect. The card reader can be purchased through West Coast Payments for £118.80, which includes VAT. The reader can only be used with a Stripe account that is registered in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland, or France. A Control subscription, which includes up to 200 data points per month, costs $29 per month.

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