All businesses should be considering a payment gateway to help collect money from their customers. With online accounting and payment tools, your business can produce invoices, accept payments for those invoices and then provide a receipt in seconds. All while recording the transaction directly to your accounting system.
As many of you who have used payment gateways will know, the process of integrating the gateway into your website is often cumbersome. Confusing or out-of-date documentation written about multiple versions makes it difficult for developers to make these solutions work properly.
On the cost side, a range of different pricing structures – including rental fees, bank transaction fees, credit card transaction fees which change depending on the card – makes it difficult to compare prices between alternatives.
Stripe, an online payment gateway which launched in Australia today, aims to take care of both those problems. It comes with software tools and well documented features that allow you to integrate the payment gateway into a website with ease. And the simple pricing model means you can easily manage and budget for your transaction costs.
In addition, Stripe does not require you to have a merchant bank account. It transfers your funds directly to your account on a rolling seven-day basis (another saving).
The company has raised over US$130 million in funding from investors such as Peter Thiel – co-founder and former CEO of PayPal.
Recent price reductions in Australia have now made this a real contender in the online payments space.
As per the press release from Stripe:
We’ve updated pricing in Australia to 1.75% + 30c for domestic transactions and 2.9% + 30c for international and American Express cards. Volume pricing is available for businesses at scale – please get in touch if you expect to process more than $40,000 a month. We’re also bringing our full international currency support with us, allowing Aussie users to charge in 100+ currencies.
While PayPal and merchant bank accounts may be cheaper at higher volumes, they are also more complex in fees and installation and less willing to share information.
Stripe is one of the few gateways that can take payments from nearly anywhere in the world and send the transactional information directly to accounting software, such as Xero, Freshbooks and Canadian cloud accounting program Wave. (Here’s a full list of integrations with third-party programs.)
Accounting software companies are also making it easier to take payments on the road. MYOB has launched PayDirect, which takes credit card payments through a dongle on a smartphone, and Reckon are also working on a similar concept called Reckon Pay. PayPal is no longer the only option for online or mobile payments, and increased competition in payments will make life a lot easier for businesses
Every business should focus on being paid as quickly as possible as well as ensuring that the payment process does not double-handle the data.
It should also then allow you to review the data of your transactions to quickly and easily assess the performance of your business – allowing you to review your current position and focus on reaching budgets or targets.
Why? Because faster, smarter payments lead to more successful businesses.