Stripe Review


Overall Rating Breakdown
Sales & Marketing Tactics
Costs & Contract Terms
Complaints & Service
BBB Rating

Stripe Overall Rating

"B" Credit Card Processor Rating

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Jump to: Sales & Marketing | Costs & Contract | Complaints & Service | BBB Complaints

Stripe Overview

Stripe Logo

Stripe Logo

Founded in 2010, Stripe (stripe.com) is a web application that allows merchants to accept credit card payments through their websites. The service is particularly tailored for merchants with access to web developers who want the ability to customize the application according to their specific desires. Stripe is similar to Braintree Payment Solutions, but without any setup fees, monthly fees or monthly minimum charges. Interestingly, the company has also received investment capital from the founders of another competitor, PayPal. The company can be found at 3180 18th St Ste 100, San Francisco, CA 94110-2042.

Click to see a video explanation of Stripe

Stripe Sales & Marketing Tactics | B

Key Points – Sales & Marketing 
Uses independent resellers? No
Promotes deceptive rate quotes? No
Discloses all important terms? No

Stripe appears to rely primarily on its website to market its services. The company specifically caters its advertising to web developers who would like to add a payment application to their websites. Stripe appears to quote its rates transparently and truthfully on its website. However, the Stripe website does not prominently list any explanations of its cash reserve and account cancellation policies, both of which appear to be responsible for merchant complaints on this site and elsewhere. Any merchant who is potentially considering doing business with Stripe is encouraged to read the company’s Terms of Service, located here, with special attention paid to section B, item 5 and section C, item 12.

Stripe Costs & Contract Terms | C

Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms
Swiped rate: N/A
Keyed-in rate: 2.9% + $0.30
Termination fee: None
PCI compliance fee: None
Equipment lease: None

Stripe’s costs and fees are fairly straightforward with the company charging a flat per-transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30, regardless of card type or locality. The company does not charge an early termination fee, a PCI compliance fee, or a fee for refunds or failed payments; however, there is a $15 Chargeback fee. Overall, Stripe’s pricing and business model resemble that of the mobile credit card processing company Square, but for online businesses.

Like Square, the company’s standard policies regarding fraud prevention and prohibited business activities appear to be cause for complaint among several merchants. Two specific problems have been consistently reported in the complaints shown below and on other consumer protection websites. In one scenario, merchants apply for processing with Stripe and are informed that they are approved and ready to go. After processing one or more transactions, these merchants find that their payments have been frozen and their accounts cancelled due to their business’s engagement in prohibited activities of some kind. These cancellations appear to take effect with little or no warning, and merchants report difficulty resolving the unprocessed payments in a satisfactory and efficient manner.

In the second case, merchants express confusion over their payments being held in a reserve account. This is a common fraud prevention practice that we don’t tend to penalize processors for, but it seems that Stripe does not effectively communicate its reserve policies to merchants or warn them when a reserve amount might be withheld. Merchants should be aware that Stripe reserves the right to “change the Payout Schedule or suspend payouts to your Bank Account should we determine it is necessary due to pending disputes, excessive or anticipated excessive Chargebacks or refunds, or other suspicious activity associated with your use of the Service or if required by law or court order,” according to its terms of service.

[Related: Get quotes from a provider with “A” rated contract terms]

Stripe Complaints & Service | B

Key Points – Complaints & Service
Total complaints: 20+
Live customer support? No
Most common complaint: Fund holds

As of this review, Stripe does not appear to have a dedicated customer phone support number, which could be a drawback for some merchants. The company does, however, have a help section on its website, a community forum, and email support. We are currently able to locate over 20 negative Stripe reviews on this and other consumer protection websites, some of which express concern that Stripe is a scam or a ripoff. At the time of our last update, there were no such complaints. Common issues include sudden cancellation of merchant accounts, reserves being withheld without notice, and difficulty reaching customer support in a timely fashion. Complainants who have signed up with Stripe through Shopify also seem to have some trouble activating the “Authorize Only” fraud prevention setting, with both Stripe and Shopify blaming each other for this setting’s malfunction. Overall, Stripe still maintains a relatively low complaint volume, but the trend since our last update is a negative one.

Stripe BBB Report | B (CPO Adjusted)

Key Points – BBB Report
Product/service: 16
Billing/collection: 12
Advertising/sales: 1
Guarantee/warranty: 0
Delivery: 2

Stripe has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since May 2013 and currently shows a “B+” rating on its profile. The company has had 31 complaints filed against it since its account was opened in the last year, with 16 of those related to the product or service, 12 due to billing and collection, two having to do with delivery problems, and one related to advertising issues. All of these complaints were resolved with BBB assistance except of four, which were not resolved despite what the BBB determined to be a good-faith effort by Stripe. Given the fact that Stripe has amassed over 30 complaints in the short time it has had a BBB profile, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “B.” To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our rating criteria.

Bottom Line

Stripe rates as a better-than-average merchant services provider according to our standards. The company has seen an increase in complaints since our last update, but its overall complaint volume remains low. Stripe’s transparent pricing model appears to satisfy the majority of its clients, while its reserve policy, cancellation policy, and customer support are responsible for most of the company’s complaints. Merchants are encouraged to carefully read Stripe’s terms of service before signing up for credit card processing through this company.

This review was originally published on 7/17/12 and was last updated on 7/8/2014.

Leave your review of Stripe in the comment section below:


Stripe Review

Rated 3.25 Out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Reviewed on 2014-07-08 14:00:47

We located only a few negative Stripe reviews, of which a couple claim the service is a scam or rip off; however, Stripe (stripe.com) rates as a better-than-average merchant services provider according to our standards. The company has seen an increase in complaints since our last update, but its overall complaint volume remains low. Stripe’s transparent pricing model appears to satisfy the majority of its clients, while its reserve policy, cancellation policy, and customer support… Learn more in this Stripe review.

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About the author

Phillip Parker

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services agent turned small business advocate and the author of "Fee Sweep," which teaches merchants how to dramatically lower their processing rates, eliminate junk fees, and avoid fine-print scams. He founded CardPaymentOptions.com to help merchants enact positive change in the credit card processing industry.



 
Phillip can help you find an ethical and honest processor that will offer you great rates. Click here to request a free provider consultation.

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24 comments

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  1. Eff

    I am fundraising through gofundme which uses Stripe to process payments. Mid way through my campaign, Stripe tell me that they are terminating my account because I pose a high risk. I have been given no explanation whatsoever about this supposed ‘high risk’ and I cannot use another provider on gofundme so will have to cancel my fundraising page. I am raising money to work with orphans in East Africa and this happens? I am totally shocked and sad about this.

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

    1. Simon Fielding

      They did exactly the same to me the other day and I’m desperately trying to open up some form of discussion with them. It’s absolute nonsense as we’re an online store selling massage products, nothing inherently risky about us at all.

      Not easy to discuss anything with them WHEN THEY HAVE NO PHONE NUMBER AND DON’T ANSWER EMAILS!!! What kind of company doesn’t have a phone number? The kind that know they’ll have lots of angry people ringing them.

      Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

  2. Jordan

    I am shocked, I received an email two weeks ago from STRIPE stating that they were refunding all processed funds to my customers because of (what appeared to be) unauthorized charges.

    There was a days notice between them draining my account, refunding the money to my subscribers, and closing my account.

    I provide an audio production service… nowhere in their terms does it state there is a problem with any such service. I scanned my STRIPE customer log and found nothing even remotely fraudulent.

    Now, I have lost my lease money, my general expense fund and any glimpse of a profit that there might have been.

    Now, in order to run my business I have to have my developer re-integrate a completely new credit card processing service….. and this is going to cost me.

    During the past two weeks I have made several attempts to contact them and resolve whatever issue they have.
    There is no phone number…. I have emailed four times in two weeks and have not heard back from them.

    THIS IS CRAZY – How can a company like this just shut you down over assumed business practices?
    If they would reply to my emails I could have navigated through my dashboard with them and shown them there is clearly no fraudulent activity happening.

    #puzzled
    #shocked
    #stripebadbusinesspractices

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

  3. Jag

    I completely agree with Sierra. Sharing the same feeling. Stripe is killing lot of start up businesses. NEVER TRUST STRIPE FOR YOUR BUSINESS. STAY AWAY.

    Stripe my customers. Infarct, since it is a startup , all the customers are loyal and had long term tala tigons with them
    All of sudden stripe sent the below message and refunded all money. Scary thing, it’s unsure whether you customers really received refund.
    Stripe mail.
    Hi

    Stripe provides a service between banks and our users. In order to provide service to our users we are urged by our banking partners to keep an eye on all accounts that sign up for our services. In the process of keeping an eye on your account, we’ve noticed that you’ve processed charges that seem to be unauthorized. In order to make charges with credit and debit cards the owner of the card must consent to the charge. Charges on your account do seem to lack this consent which unfortunately means that we will no longer be able to offer service to your website.

    To guard against currently pending charges that may be unauthorized by the cardholder we will be refunding all charges that have yet to reach your bank. If you’d like to recollect these funds you will need to reach out to your users and arrange an alternative form of payment.

    I do apologize that your Stripe service will be ending so abruptly but our hands are unfortunately tied.

    Best,
    Stripe

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
    1. MCHart

      I had the exact same thing happen and it has cost both my clients and me time and money – I cannot say how disappointed I am in their abruptness and lack of customer service.

      Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

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