The topic ‘How to accept payments online’ is as complex as the question, what kind of car should I get.
Simply put, it depends.
When considering what kind of car you should get, you have to ask yourself questions such as: How often am I going to be driving? Do I like speed/performance more than fuel economy? Do I have children? Will those children be riding in the car? If so, how often?
Likewise, when considering how to accept payments online, and what payment processor you should choose, you have to ask yourself questions such as: How big is my business? What kind of products/services will I be selling? What kind of payments will my business accept?
If you’re a big business, there is a good chance that you have a finance department, that spends hours and hours each week taking care of that aspect of the business.
If you’re a small business owner, you might not have that luxury. There is a chance you have to figure it all out on your own, which can cause major headaches.
Luckily, there is a company out there that helps businesses everywhere tackle this daunting problem. This company helps millions of businesses worldwide accept payments online.
The company is called Stripe. When it comes to allowing small businesses to accept payments online, Stripe does it better than any other company I have tried to date.
Below are 5 simple reasons I believe every small business should use Stripe to accept payments online.
Before you start accepting payments online with Stripe, you’ll more than likely need a website, app, or other software. In case you need a website, check out our my web development services page for options and pricing.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Stripe is incredibly easy to use.
Running a business already takes an immeasurable amount of time. As a small business owner, the easier you can make your tasks, the more efficiently you can run your business.
Stripe’s ease of use an incredible time and money saver. Below are all of the ways Stripe is easy to use and how using stripe to accept payments online will save your time and money.
Stripe is easy to use for customers.
After you sign up, you’ll see the page below. This is the home dashboard page for Stripe. It’s the initial page you will see each time you log in to your Stripe account.
What is striking about this page at first glance is the simple, yet beautiful aesthetic. You can look at the page and instantly know what to do or where to search for what you don’t know.
Before you can begin accepting payments online with Stripe, you will have to activate your account.
To do that, simply click on the “activate your account” link (See picture below).
Once you do that, you will see the page below. Stripe will ask you for some basic personal info, business information, etc.
All in all the entire process of setting up your account with Stripe should take you less than 10 mins (If you have all the information readily available).
After you submit your application, Stripe will take 24-48 hours to review your application, make sure you are a real business, then you’ll be able to start accepting payments online through your website.
Easily accept multiple types of payment
There are so many different ways you can accept payments online with Stripe.
Most of them, you won’t care about, but below is a screenshot of some of the ways you can accept payments online with Stripe. Moreover, all the ways of accepting payments online with Stripe are easy and painless.
Some of the ways you can accept payments online with Stripe include (but are not limited to) card payments, ACH credit transfer, checks, Alipay, and many more.
Easily create multiple accounts
Whether you are a serial entrepreneur, own multiple locations for your business or you simply need to manage different accounts, Stripe allows you to easily create and manage multiple accounts from your dashboard.
Easily visualize your company’s performance
One of Stripe’s most amazing feature is that it gives small businesses the ability to easily visualize their company’s performance with beautiful, visual reports.
Below is one of the home page for one of the companies we work with. As you can see, the company can tell at a quick glance how much they made in the previous year, during what months they made the most money, and more.
What’s even more amazing about this feature is that you can customize which one of those statistics you’d like to see.
Easily create test payments, customers, and products
Let’s say you just created a new page for a new product or service on your website.
The page is different than other product pages because this product you just created is different than other products you sell on your website. How would you go about testing that page before you make the page live?
If you are using other payment processors, you may have to test a small amount such as $1. But what if you wanted to test some coupons with the new product? Different coupons with the same product? With other payment processing companies, you might have to keep using your own money to make those tests.
Stripe is different. With your Stripe account, you automatically have a completely separate testing area.
In this testing area, you can make test payments to see if certain products are good to go. You can test different subscription models, you can test different customers, different coupons.
With this testing feature, you can test ANY kind of payments Stripe allows. You can do so easily, by just toggling the test button like in the video below. The amount of testing you can do is unlimited.
Easily create and send beautiful invoices
Another amazing Stripe feature is the ability to easily create and send beautiful invoices, right from your Stripe dashboard, without the need of any graphic design software.
Below is a screenshot of what a Stripe invoice that you send from your dashboard looks like.
Once your customer clicks on the ‘pay invoice’ button in the email you send them, they will be redirected to a payment page that looks something like the picture below.
On that page, your customers/clients will be able to pay with a credit card, via bank transfers or any other payment methods you have activated in your Stripe account.
The best part about sending invoices with Stripe is that setting up your branding is as easy as clicking a few buttons.
All you have to do to send branded invoices and receipts to your customers will be to click on the settings tab in your dashboard, go into the branding section, and then choose your design elements (logo, icon, branded color).
Stripe is easy to use for developers
If you are a small business owner with a website, there is a good chance you work or have closely worked with a developer to bring your website’s vision to life.
Stripe has an extensive documentation page to help developers integrate their payment processing software with websites, apps and other platforms.
Not only is this documentation page extensive and thorough, but it is also easy to use, beautiful to look at, and full of coding snippets (examples).
In addition to the documentation page, Stripe also has an API reference section, which details how to integrate any website, app or software with Stripe.
This API reference page is a developer’s dream. It is easy to read, understand, and implement.
All these amazing tools can help increase your developer’s productivity. This can make your life easier by helping you run your business more efficiently.
2. Stripe can help you grow your revenue.
Stripe can help you grow your revenue online by optimizing the way you process payments online.
Cart abandonment is a big problem in the e-commerce world. Cart abandonment happens, when a customer visits a website, adds a product they are interested in your website’s cart, but leave your website without completing the purchase.
The Baymard Institute conducted a study and found that the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is about 69%.
Optinmonster has an article on their website that talks about proven ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment. One of the ways to help reduce the chances that a customer will abandon their cart on your website is to make the checkout process lighting fast.
One way to make the checkout process faster is to reduce the number of steps between adding a product to a cart and the completion of the checkout process.
Stripe can help you achieve just that. I once worked with a client who only accepted payments on their website using Paypal.
In case you didn’t know, accepting payments with Paypal, means being redirected to a Paypal page, where the payment can then be processed. The process of accepting online payments with Paypal looks like the picture below.
Paypal is great, but what if someone doesn’t have a Paypal account? Or, what if s/he has a Paypal account but s/he is using a device in which they are not logged in to Paypal?
These are inconveniences that could lead your customers to abandon your online cart at a high rate.
Stripe can help you solve this problem. Stripe eliminates the need to be redirected to a Stripe page at checkout. With Stripe, you will have the option to redirect your customer to a Stripe checkout page, but you also have the option to create a custom integration or use a pre-built solution that will allow you to accept payments online without the need to redirect your customer at checkout.
With Stripe, you can create an easier, faster, and more efficient checkout process that will help reduce cart abandonment rate on your website. A lower cart abandonment rate means higher revenue and a growing business.
3. Stripe can help turn your hobby into a business
Stripe can help you get more organized
If you are small business owner, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using Paypal, Venmo, and some of those other apps to take in payments. Unfortunately, there are several downsides to using those apps as business owner.
Save time with Stripe
Using multiple apps to accept payments online may seem like a good idea, however, the downside is having to chase down your customers on each one of those platforms for payments.
First, not only will this take a lot of your valuable time, but this method is also incredibly error-prone. What if you forget to track down one of your customer? How do you remember who is supposed to pay for what? What if your customers forget or lose your links?
Secondly, using multiple apps to accept payments online can make you look less professional because it can make your look/seem less organized.
Build your brand with Stripe
Unlike the process of using multiple apps to accept payments online, building your business with Stripe can help you created a unified, cohesive brand online.
You can create a payment processing system directly on your website, so your customers never have to leave your website to purchase your products or services.
More importantly, having a single payment processing system on your website will allow you to have only one link to share with your clients. If they ever forget the link, all they have to do is just go back on the website and easily find the payment page.
Finally, with the Stripe dashboard, you’ll be able to see all of your transactions in one location, instead of having to search for them on 3 different platforms.
Yes, Stripe maybe a bit more expensive than some of the other payment processing platforms, but the benefits you’ll get by using Stripe far outweigh the higher price you will pay.
Additionally, Stripe has custom payment structures available for companies with high volume sales. In order words, if you’re making so much money through Stripe and the 3% fee is cutting too much into your revenue, you can contact Stripe and try to get a discount rate.
If everything that I said above wasn’t enough to convince you, then maybe the following numbers will.
An ICD’s analysis showed that businesses increase their revenues by 6.7% with Stripe.
Additionally, the same analysis found a 59% increase in developer productivity, which emphasizes the argument I made earlier about developers loving Stripe.
Finally, the same analysis found a 24% decrease in the cost of operation for businesses that use Stripe.
There you have it. Three simple reasons why you should choose Stripe to accept payments online as a small business owner. Stripe is easy to use, so it’ll help you save time.
Stripe can help you stay organized online, so it’ll help you run your business more efficiently.
Finally, all of these features will help you increase revenue and help you grow your business online.