If you have done your research, you know that Stripe is a popular option to use as a payment provider for online transactions. The beauty of Stripe is there is no monthly fee and a flat 30 cents plus 2.9% transaction fee. You can use Stripe if you live in the United States, Canada, UK, Ireland and Australia. It looks like they are slowly building out functionality for most of Europe. Businesses can as of this time, charge in 128 different currencies.
Merchant Account Versus Gateway
To understand how Stripe works, its important to understand how payments are accepted in an online store. In general, accepting payments involves a merchant account and gateway.
Merchant Account: A merchant account is a bank account that allows you to accept payments by credit and debit cards. Whether you contract directly with a payment processor, Independent sales organization (ISO) or Member Service Provider (MSP) ultimately, there is a bank account somewhere.
Gateway: When you go to a store, there is usually a machine the merchant will either swipe or let you slide your card into. As you can imagine, online, there is no card reader. In order for your shopping cart to talk to your merchant account, you need a Gateway in between.
Many payment providers have an integrated Gateway included. This includes Stripe but also PayPal.
The old way of accepting payments
It used to be, you would find a merchant account that gave you the rates you wanted, pay your start up fee and then find a gateway that was compatible with your shopping cart. The merchant account would normally run you $30 a month and the Gateway, another $30 a month plus the variable fees based on qualified, mid qualified and un-qualified rates. In addition, you didn’t pay the variable fee till the end of the month which could cause cash flow issues for businesses.
But now with companies like Stripe, you can get started with no start up costs and pay a flat 30 cents plus 2.9%. They also take the fee out right at the sale so there is no cash flow issues at the end. As long as it is integrated with your shopping cart, you can get started with no issues one bit. Just sign up, enter your integration codes and get started.
What shopping carts does Stripe work with?
Stripe is continually integrating with tons of carts. The carts below are the ones are ones I have worked with and are able to use Stripe. I have split these into those with no upfront costs (free integration), ones that require you to buy a plugin or module and finally, a section if you are using membership software.
No Upfront Costs
The following shopping carts allow you to integrate Stripe without any additional fees.
Clicking the links will open a new page for each of the providers.
Shopify: Shopify has the most integrated Stripe experience of any cart. That is because, Shopify has essentially white labeled Stripe which means you apply right from with in your shopping cart.
BigCommerce: Another favorite shopping cart of mine, Stripe is an easy integration right into BigCommerce.
3DCart: Stripe has been integrated into 3DCart for over a year now.
CoreCommerce: Another cart with similar functionality as BigCommerce, Stripe is now integrated into CoreCommerce.
Cart66: If you insist on using WordPress for your commerce site, than check out Cart 66 which allows you to embed stores in your wordpress site.
Volusion: Another popular shopping cart, it seems as they have integrated in the last year.
Drupal: While mainly a CMS, Drupal is very powerful and can be used as a commerce site. The module to use with Drupal Commerce is free.
Third Party Modules
The following carts have third party modules and plugins you can purchase to use with your shopping cart.
Woocommerce: a popular shipping cart program for wordpress, the plugin runs $79 for a single site license.
Magento: One of the most powerful shopping carts, I have seen modules that integrate Stripe for around $150.
Opencart: Another popular open source cart, for $49 you can integrate stripe with your Opencart site.
Prestashop: For around $90, you can purchase a module that will let you use Stripe with your Prestashop cart.
If you run a membership site, there are several software packages that not only integrate with Stripe but allow you to do recurring billing.
Digital Access Pass: My go to membership software, DAP integrates with its own shopping cart. Not only can you do recurring payments, but also things like free trials.
Amember Pro: I have not used Amember Pro but it is a popular and powerful membership software that many product creators use
OptimizeMember: If you purchase OptimizePress 2 it comes with the OptimizeMember plugin which integrates with Stripe
Wishlist Member: A wordpress only membership solution that has become very powerful. When I was searching for membership solutions it was between this and DAP.
Not shopping carts but…
I mention these sites only because they talk about their stripe integrations but are not true shopping carts.
Squarespace: Popular with the design crowd, they have an integration with Stripe but you will not have all the functionality as the software above.
Weebly: My first ever website was created with weekly and boy have they come a long way. I am kinda embarrassed when I look back at my website but realize everyone has to start somewhere. Like Squarespace, they integrate Stripe but it is not a real commerce program.
What shopping cart is right for me?
It all depends on your needs, but feel free to check out my shopping cart walk throughs. While some are a couple years old, they give you a good feel for what they are good and not good at.
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