If you received our email you know that we launched a week later than we had anticipated. What’s the hold up you say? Couldn’t finish on time eh? Slacker…
As usual, the answer is Yes and No. We could have launched on time, and frankly it’s likely that everything would have gone smoothly. Likely isn’t good enough and we heard that little guy on our shoulder telling us to reconsider our payment processing provider. Things were just getting too complicated. There were too many middlemen. There had to be a better way.
Well, luckily, there was—Stripe.com. I’m going to tell you why, but first here’s a little history lesson. The initial version of Ninjas + Rockstars was built using Recurly. We really liked their service. It was supposedly very easy to setup, protected customer data, utilized their internal credit card processing gateway, and had multiple libraries to support integration. Nice. In a perfect world, yes, but we ran into some hiccups along the way that made us think twice, thrice, and then, well, four-ice times. That’s when we decided to kick the tires a bit more and replace Recurly with Stripe. Here’s our findings on Stripe.
Easy to Integrate
Our initial Recurly integration took about two weeks from start to finish. That time included reading documentation, designing our payment flow, sending a few cursory emails and finally, integration. What we found was a lack of strong documentation and fully realized code samples. On more than one occasion, we ran into outdated documentation as well as library updates that required us to rewrite substantial portions of our initial code. There were also occasions where we found that the provided code libraries did not include all functionality in the basic REST API. In contrast, our recently completed Stripe integration took less than a week. During that time we found it easy to reference Stripe’s documentation and answer our own questions – a key factor if you’re working on time sensitive material. Our two support requests were answered extremely quickly and provided thorough answers. We found Stripe very easy to integrate.
Fully Customizable With JS Library
Accepting Payments Within Minutes
Here’s where we found the biggest difference. Recurly requires an intermediary Merchant Account to accept credit card payments if you want them to be your gateway provider. Or, you can sign up with Authorize.net or a similar service to act as a gateway provider. Either way, you have to sign up for at least one middleman account and pay more fees to another company. Stripe, on the other hand, allows you to verify your regular business bank account—and as long as your fall within their TOS—process payments immediately. We were able to test live credit card transactions on the first day. Sounds too good to be true right? How about this, they don’t even charge a monthly fee. Yep. Here’s what they charge: 2.9% + a $0.30 fee for every successful charge. We like that. So, we were accepting payments within minutes without extra merchant accounts, monthly fees, or voodoo Smurf juice.
So to recap: we delayed our launch a little bit to change payment providers and we wanted to share the details with you. We found our new providers, Stripe, easy to integrate, very customizable, and fantastically fast to get rolling. I hope for some of our developers involved in projects at the moment that this post might help you make a better informed decision. It’s common for us to run into problems while we’re developing. It’s rare to find a solution that we really want to share with an audience. Stripe is one of those solutions and we think their approach and dedication to simplicity is changing the future of online payment processing.