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Stripe: Modular Credit Card Processing

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Stripe: Modular Credit Card Processing
Stripe offers a multitude of features that you can customize as needed.

Updated: November 29th, 2023

Stripe is a software development company founded in 2010 and headquartered in San Francisco, California. They have served businesses in almost every industry with their financial infrastructure platform that helps them accept and process payment transactions. Their payment processing software incorporates many related features and may be accessed via a simple fee structure.

In this review, we will discuss the offerings at Stripe, the perks and drawbacks of choosing their services, and how their customers perceive them. Could they be the credit card processor for your business? Read on to find out.


International credit card processing services
No monthly fees
Affordable and portable chip reader
Cross-border payment options for 50+ countries across 135+ currencies
Transparent prices and fees


Reports of frozen funds and deactivated accounts
Lack of transparency on high-risk cases
Have to pay for "premium" support

Quick Stats

Free plus processing fees
Transaction Speed
24 hours
Customer Experience
Business Size Supported
Gift Cards
Real-Time Reports
Transparent Pricing
Pricing Model
Interchange plus; separate feature rates & charges
Trustpilot Score
2.8 out of 5
BBB Rating

Stripe at a Glance

Stripe is a well-regarded credit card processor packed with many features, such as online and in-person payment processing and financial solutions for businesses of all sizes. Using Stripe's API tools, merchants can build acceptance for a wide range of payment methods, such as credit and debit cards, mobile wallets, and buy-now-pay-later services. Stripe also supports payments in multiple currencies and provides extra features like billing, invoicing, and sales tax automation.

They serve businesses of all sizes, from startups to larger enterprises, and advertise to retail, professional services, SaaS, eCommerce and marketplaces, banking-as-a-service, crypto, finance, creator economies, and global businesses.  In addition, Stripe offers a unified commerce platform that allows businesses to manage online and in-person payments on a single, global platform. Stripe also provides a range of services, including fraud protection, tax calculation and reporting, and chargeback protection, all designed to help businesses streamline their payment processes. The Stripe credit card processor is mobile-friendly and accepts Apple Pay and Google Pay. Additionally, Stripe is a suitable solution for international merchants since it supports 34 languages.

Stripe is well-regarded in the payment processor industry, placed on top payment processor lists, and given such awards as the 2023 Payment Processing Data Quadrant Award from SoftwareReviews and the IT Certification Council (ITCC) 2023 Innovation Award. They are accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and have an A+ rating.

Stripe Credit Card Processor Features

This company offers many products designed to simplify financial transactions and management. While some tools may be considered add-ons, these are the features that Stripe offers to support your merchant needs:

  • Unified platform: They boast that they provide a secure and reliable platform with very high server uptime records that allow you to access all your data and integrations in one place. With Stripe, you can manage online and in-person payments on a single, global platform for simplified reporting and a unified customer view
  • Mobile: Stripe allows you to take in payments on the go through your mobile virtual terminal or app, and they provide you with SDKs that help you develop those while keeping customer data off your servers
  • Payment methods: They accept various payment methods such as credit and debit cards, mobile wallets, and buy now, pay later services. Stripe also allows payments in multiple currencies. The company has developed Stripe Terminal, a point-of-sale (POS) system for in-person payments with developer tools, pre-certified card readers, a ‘Tap to Pay’ feature on compatible iPhone and Android devices, and cloud-based device management. They also provide advanced payment features such as 3D Secure two-factor authentication, card updates, automated retries, and more
  • Optimized routing paths: Stripe's pre-processing layer enables businesses to establish direct connections to the major card networks such as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express across multiple regions. This allows Stripe to optimize routing paths, provide the most detailed data, and reduce transaction latency, providing a faster and more efficient payment processing experience for businesses
  • Maximized revenue: Their platform reduces payment declines and maximizes revenue with robust authentication, optimized payment retries, and real-time decline recapture using machine learning
  • Fraud and disputes: Stripe emphasizes its robust fraud-prevention capabilities, particularly through Stripe Radar. This advanced system utilizes machine learning algorithms to effectively identify and mitigate fraudulent activities. Seamlessly integrated with the payment process, Stripe Radar enhances security while ensuring a smooth transaction experience. Dynamic 3D Secure, which adds another level of protection over Radar, allows you to protect customer transactions by selectively applying authentication to only high-risk or regulated payments. Stripe also offers dedicated support to help you win card network disputes
  • Reporting and insights: They provide you the ability to access your transaction and business data from your dashboard or mobile app, and to use SQL tools to create reports and derive insights for improving business strategies
  • Third-party integrations: They have many built-in integrations to applications that you may already be using, such as those for analytics, mobile payments, accounting, automation, and so on. Existing integrations include tools such as Shopify, Freshbooks, and Typeform, with many tools and products added over time
  • Business tools: Stripe offers solutions for running your business more efficiently, including those to automate revenue and finance operations, control data access permissions, and annotate payments and refunds for your teammates, among other things

Remember that some features, such as invoices or business tools, may be considered add-ons for which you would incur additional costs.

Stripe Credit Card Processor Top Perks

Stripe is a powerful and full-featured option for your payment transaction needs. They have many strengths that may entice you to sign on, among which are:

  • Free account: You can sign up for free and begin using their payment processing services, only paying when you accept a transaction. Of course, if you desire more comprehensive services, you may purchase a customized package from Stripe that fits your business needs
  • Transparent fees: Stripe publishes all their rates and prices online, so nothing is hidden or unknown to you when accepting any payment type or engaging in one of their services
  • Global payment capabilities: Stripe payment processing solutions support cross-border payments for over 50 countries, using over 135 currencies, giving you genuinely global merchant capabilities
  • High uptime record: Their system operates at 99.99% uptime, perfect for accepting payments quickly and serving more customers reliably
  • Customizable online capabilities: As a paying Stripe customer, you can use their robust developer API to create your own Stripe-integrated mobile app and website, and offer your customers many payment methods and membership options. Their API also ensures better authentication to increase your purchase conversions
  • Extensive payment network compatibility: As a global payment processor, they work with more card networks, mobile wallets, and other payment methods than a lot of their competitors
  • High level of integrations: They have prebuilt integrations to many third-party applications that need no extra coding from your end to incorporate. And with their API, you may be able to build in some other integrations securely and efficiently
  • High security: Stripe's machine learning technology detects and blocks fraud attempts, which, along with their commitment to PCI standards and use of AES encryption, ensures that your customer's data is as secure as it could be
  • Proprietary hardware integrations: Stripe provides a few pre-certified in-house card reader options for sale that work seamlessly with their dashboard and API. You have to log in to the dashboard to view their hardware pricing and purchase the tools you need

Disadvantages of Stripe

Although Stripe presents as a powerful partner with scalable services, they may not appeal to you for a few reasons. Those may include:

  • High-risk case designations: Though they seem to accept many types of businesses, there are reports of them deactivating accounts due to them finding the merchants or the transactions to be of "high risk" without prior explanation or warning
  • Held funds: There are also reports of this processor holding or freezing payments based on irregular activity, high chargeback amounts, or suspected fraud. Depending on your business model and customer base, this may or may not be a possible issue
  • Many features incur separate fees: Although Stripe does not charge any hidden costs, they do add on fees for certain payment features, like ACH or secure authentication, and for features like invoicing, recurring billing tools, and same-day fund transfer processing
  • May have to pay for support: They offer three paid support plans that provide quicker and more dedicated support, which may imply that their free support is not as effective

Stripe Credit Card Processor Cost

This credit card processor boasts a pay-as-you-go pricing model, where you can access their platform and pay only for every successful card charge, with no monthly fees. Their introductory "interchange plus" fee is 2.9% + $0.30 per card charge. They promise you will not be charged for setup or hidden fees. That being said, other payment options come with different fees, such as ACH transfers with a 0.8% charge.

However, they also allow you to build custom feature packages if you have a high-volume, high-value, or unique business. In such a case, you must contact Stripe sales for a quote incorporating volume discounts and country-specific rates. The features can encompass anything from payment link generation to recurrent billing, invoicing, advanced checkout capabilities, tax automation, etc. The Custom plan also allows you access to a complete payment platform that accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Maestro, UnionPay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.

For an idea of what those extra features could cost you and a complete list of their transparent payment charges, you can consult Stripe's pricing page

Security & Compliance

Ensuring compliance with industry standards can be challenging, but Stripe aids with that by being certified to the highest compliance and operational standards. They see themselves as your industry-leading partner with a 100% PCI audit success rate as a PCI Level 1 Service Provider. They are a PCI Board of Advisors member committed to a high level of expertise and experience.

Stripe's platform is built with your data security in mind. The platform uses AES encryption and isolated infrastructure that doesn't share credentials with Stripe's primary services. The infrastructure used for storing, decrypting, and transmitting card numbers is hosted separately. All card numbers are encrypted on disk using AES-256, with decryption keys stored on separate machines, and account numbers are internally tokenized.

Remember that some security features may be offered as add-ons, billed separately, such as their Stripe Radar or Dynamic 3D Secure tools.

Stripe's Customer Experience

Stripe is a fairly popular company that has stacked up a lot of customer reviews online. The feedback shows a mixed picture of positive and negative experiences. On the positive end, there's Capterra and GetApp, where Stripe gets a 4.7 out of 5 review score, as well as G2, where they have a 4.2 out of 5 score, and TrustRadius, where they get 8.5 out of 10. On the other hand, they get 2.8 out of 5 on Trustpilot and 1.05 out of 5 on BBB.

Many customers seem to be quite happy with the payment services, saying that setup is easy, and payouts are quick and easy to process. Some reviewers were pleased with the extent of services on offer, such as the ability to accept many payment methods, list products in many currencies and languages, and its easy developer tools.

Many reviewers also praise the support experience at Stripe, especially via live chat. They find them attentive, kind, and dedicated to solving client issues.

Critical feedback

Some customers find the dashboard interface confusing or overly complicated, especially after recent software updates, although many agree that it's still quite robust and beneficial. Some say that some data functionalities have been removed or made harder to find on the platform.

Some reviewers were also critical of the processor's support for such issues as fraudulent charges, saying that it takes a long time to get proper service and requires a lot of proof to be sent by email. Conceivably, those customers have not paid for the company's higher support options. These reviewers found that Stripe often provided better support when communicating directly via live chat or phone.

There are also reports of customers having issues accessing their funds for relatively long periods. They were given such reasons as being deemed a high-risk business or inaccurate country information on their accounts. Those customers often disagreed with those reasons, finding them arbitrary or completely wrong based on the information they'd previously provided.

How Stripe responds

Stripe often replies to positive and negative reviews with kind and professional language and asks those with issues to reach out by email. They often work to resolve those problems but will also lay out their reasoning for holding funds or the like. In response to complaints registered on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), they provide prompt and comprehensive replies. These responses include a detailed explanation of all available information about the issues raised.

In the case of frozen funds and in line with their policies on "high risk" cases, evidence of fraud, or high levels of chargebacks, they sometimes conclude that they will not release the funds and will terminate the clients' merchant account. That being said, they do often work with the complainants to settle those disagreements, and have reversed these decisions when the clients give proper proof of compliance, or show that they have dealt with the issue at hand.

Customer Support

The company has a few customer service options that you may use. You may use their 24/7 support by live chat after signing in or by calling them at +1-888-926-2289. If you prefer to communicate by email, you can send one through their contact page or by emailing [email protected].

If you need information about a specific charge, you can access that information on their charge lookup page. If you have general inquiries, you can consult their Stripe Support page, which is loaded with basic information on almost every topic.

If you have a complex or fast-growing business, you can upgrade to Stripe's paid support options, which promise higher levels of guidance and a faster-responding, more specialized, and dedicated support team. They have three customized support plan options you can choose from: Growth, Premium, and Enterprise.

Final Thoughts

Stripe has various payment processing solutions for small and large businesses. They allow global business owners a high level of development and customization for their merchant needs, with compatibility with different gateways and methods like contactless payments or buy-now-pay-later services. Their clear pricing and cross-border processing features could mean that you can rapidly expand your business and its processing volume with fewer surprises.

They enjoy a fairly positive reputation among their clients online. However, some find their customer service sometimes lacking— although those who opt for a paid support plan seem to have a much better experience. And although they seem to accept clients in many industries, they may hold or deactivate accounts if they deem them high-risk.

We generally recommend that you do your due diligence when deciding on a financial service provider, and it's a good idea to do some research and compare Stripe with other top card payment processors. If you do decide to contact Stripe, we suggest some questions you may ask a credit card processing company, and we regularly post other blog articles that you may find similarly useful. We know that selecting a processing service that suits your needs can be challenging, so we aim to make the process easier for you.

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