Online payments service Stripe launched recently in the UK. The company aims to make it easier for businesses to accept card payments through their websites.
If you run an online shop or operate any other kind of website where you need to take payments, figuring out the best way to do so can be tricky.
Do you use PayPal?
Typically, businesses that process a relatively small volume of transactions use third-party services like PayPal to handle customer card details.
These are quick and easy to set up, because the third party is repsonsible for ensuring payments are secure. Using a recognised name like PayPal may also increase trust in your site.
However, this approach can cost you more. For instance, PayPal takes up to 3.4% of each transaction, plus a 20p charge. If margins are tight, those costs matter.
Stripe vs. PayPal
Stripe performs the same job as PayPal, but goes about it in a slightly different way.
With PayPal, when it's time for a website visitor to pay you, you must hand them off to the PayPal website, where they can sign in and pay.
Stripe, on the other hand, lets you integrate payment functions into your own website. This means customers don't have to go elsewhere to enter their card details. It's a more natural experience that makes your business look more professional.
Although it's very easy to sign up for a Stripe account, actually adding payment functions to your website will require you to delve into the code.
It's a very quick job if you know what you're doing, but adding PayPal payments to a website generally requires a lower level of technical knowledge.
Stripe means more competition
Stripe's entry into the UK payments market is definitely a good thing.
For starters, its fees are competitive, particularly if you process a small number of payments each month. Stripe charges a flat rate of 2.4% + 20p, which compares well with other services. A bit of competition is never a bad thing.
Secondly, Stripe arrives with a decent reputation, particularly in the world of web design. If you need to find a way for people to pay you through your website, it's definitely worthy of investigation.
- Key steps to accepting online payments
- Your options for setting up an online payment system
- An easier way to take credit cards?