Stripe is a pay-as-you-go payment processing platform with flat-rate, transaction-based fees. Overall, you’ll pay 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction to accept card payments online and 2.7% plus 5 cents to accept in-person payments with Stripe. Stripe does not charge monthly or annual fees.
Ultimately, it will be up to you to decide if Stripe’s fees are affordable for your business. As a pay-per-use service, there’s no harm in signing up for a free account and testing out its payments platform for yourself. This way, you’ll have the best sense of what using Stripe will look like (and cost) and can compare your experience to any other providers you’re considering.
There’s a reason that Stripe has become such a popular online payment solution. Within one highly customizable platform, Stripe allows you to accept all types of online payments, view reporting, connect to third-party services and more. Plus, as a payment service provider — meaning Stripe gives you the ability to accept payments without a dedicated merchant account — you can sign up for an account quickly and easily to get started taking and processing payments for your business.
Although there’s certainly risk associated with payment service providers in comparison to merchant account providers (namely account holds or closures), a large benefit of processors like Stripe is that they offer flat-rate, transparent fee structures that are, on the whole, much easier to understand than many alternatives.
Although there may be some variation, overall, the only costs you’ll incur with Stripe will be transaction fees, otherwise known as credit card processing fees. You only pay a fee when a transaction is made, and you won’t have to pay a monthly or annual fee for using the service.
Additionally, Stripe does not charge any of the following:
Minimum processing fees.
Payment gateway fees.
Other hidden fees.
Stripe processing fees
The main cost to use Stripe comes from processing fees. Generally, Stripe operates on a flat-rate pricing model — which means you’ll pay the same rate on every transaction regardless of the size of the transaction, type of card that’s used or the network that issued the card. Since Stripe is available in 34 countries around the world, your rate may vary based on your country; the below fees are for U.S.-based businesses.
First, for any online transaction — that is, any payment processed through a custom payment form, embeddable checkout or in-app mobile payments — you’ll pay a flat 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. This rate applies to debit and credit cards, as well as Apple and Google pay.
If, however, the card used is an international card (in this case, a card issued outside of the U.S.) you’ll pay an additional 1% fee and a total of 2% if currency conversion is required.
With this in mind, if a dispute is made on a card payment, also called a chargeback, Stripe will impose a $15 chargeback fee per incident.
Stripe also accommodates other forms of online payments, including ACH transfers and local payment methods, and these may have different processing fees depending on the type of payment. Specifically, Stripe charges:
ACH credit: $1 per payment, after reconciling an ACH credit payment; Stripe also charges a $7 ACH fee upon successful payment.
Wire transfer: $8 per wire payment; Stripe also charges the same $7 successful payment fee here for automatic reconciliation.
ACH direct debit: 0.8% per transaction with a maximum ACH fee of $5.
Checks: Through its Sources integration, Stripe can automatically process physical checks sent directly from your customers (although this is only available in the U.S.). However, a check must be tied to an invoice, and this process will involve a few different fees.
$20 per month when fewer than five checks received.
$5 per check received (even if multiple checks are used to pay a single invoice).
$15 per returned, or bounced, check.
$7 for successful payment (applied once per invoice).
Alipay, Bancontact, EPS, Giropay, iDEAL, Przelewy24, SEPA direct debit, SOFORT, WeChat Pay: 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction.
Multibanco: 3.4% plus 30 cents per transaction.
Klarna: 5.99% plus 30 cents for Pay later and Pay later in 4; 2.99% plus 30 cents for Slice it.
Also note that in addition to the Stripe ACH fees above, you’ll be charged $4 for failed ACH direct debit payments and $15 for disputed ACH direct debit payments. Stripe also charges a $10 fee for failed or disputed SERPA direct debit payments.
Although these are the standard Stripe processing fees you’ll incur for accepting online payments through its platform, Stripe does offer customized pricing for large-volume businesses or companies with unique business models. There isn’t much information available about what these custom packages look like; however, Stripe’s website does mention features like volume discounts, interchange pricing, multi-product discounts and country-specific rates. Contact the Stripe sales team directly for customized Stripe fees and rates.
Although Stripe is first and foremost an online payments platform, you can accept in-person payments using the Stripe Terminal. In this case, you’ll pay Stripe processing fees for each transaction, as well as the cost of the physical card reader you need to accept payments.
Like the online payments platform, Stripe charges a flat-rate fee for in-person payments — 2.7% plus 5 cents — regardless of the card, network or method (chip, swipe, contactless). Stripe will still charge an additional 1% fee for international cards and a total 2% additional fee if currency conversion is required.
In terms of the cost of the credit card readers, Stripe offers two options:
BBPOS Chipper 2x BT: $59.
Verifone P400 reader: $299.
These will be one-time costs, unless you need to replace or purchase another card reader.
Stripe fees for additional products
If you’re only accepting debit and credit cards online, you’ll only have to worry about the 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction rate. However, Stripe does offer additional tools within its product suite that can be used in conjunction with its payments platform. For each of these tools, fees will operate a little differently.
Stripe Billing is a companion to the Stripe payments platform that allows you to send and receive payments on invoices and implement a subscription-based billing model for your customers. Generally, if you’re using Stripe Billing with the online payments platform, you’ll only pay after you’ve reached $1 million in recurring revenue. After that threshold has been met, you’ll pay 0.5% on recurring payments (on top of the standard Stripe transaction fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents). There is no additional fee for one-off invoices.
If you want Stripe to automatically reconcile your invoices, you’ll pay $7 per invoice for this service. Moreover, Stripe offers a more advanced tier of its Billing platform, called Scale, which provides extra features and will cost 0.8% per transaction on recurring charges (on top of the general transaction fee).
Connect is Stripe’s payments platform for other platforms and marketplaces. The Standard version of Connect is included with any basic Stripe account. If you want to customize your experience, you can opt for the Express or Custom version of Connect, which will require paying additional fees.
These Stripe fees will start at $2 per active account per month, plus 0.25% of your payout volume, plus 25 cents per payout. In addition, if you want automatic tax filing for your Express or Custom accounts, you’ll need to pay $2.99 per e-filing or mailing and $4.99 per W-9 form collected.
Stripe Radar provides fraud protection for your business’s payment processing. With a standard Stripe account, you’ll receive Radar’s machine learning for no additional charge. If you have a custom pricing plan, you’ll pay 5 cents per transaction for this service.
Within this product, Stripe offers Radar for Fraud Teams, which includes more advanced fraud protection tools. These tools will cost 2 cents per transaction for standard accounts and 7 cents per transaction for businesses with customized pricing.
Finally, if you want to receive chargeback protection from Stripe, you can do so through Radar, paying a 0.4% per transaction fee.
Stripe Sigma is an advanced data platform powered by SQL. The cost for this platform is based on the number of charges you receive on a monthly basis and starts at 2 cents per charge. If you reach a certain threshold of charges (501 to 1,000) you’ll also incur a 25 cents infrastructure fee. Therefore, if you process 1,000 charges per month, your estimated monthly cost will be $44 for this service.
The Stripe Atlas platform provides you with the tools and guidance you need to start your business. This platform has a one-time setup fee of $500 but will require ongoing fees for “the cost of running a business,” such as tax preparation, tax filing, bank account maintenance, etc.
The Stripe Issuing platform allows you to create, distribute and manage custom physical and virtual cards. Currently, this platform is invite-only for U.S. businesses, and therefore, there isn’t information available about fees or pricing. According to Stripe’s website, however, there are “no upfront fees or long-term contracts” for this service.
Finally, although your free Stripe account includes 24/7 phone, chat and email support, if you require a customized support plan, you can purchase Premium Support through Stripe. Premium Support plans start at $1,800 per month.
How does Stripe charge fees?
You might be wondering how you pay for the fees you incur for using Stripe's online credit card processing service. Overall, this process occurs automatically and is directly related to the payouts you receive from your transactions.
When you set up your Stripe account, you’ll be required to connect your business bank account. After you’ve completed the setup process and start processing payments, you’ll build a balance in your Stripe account. When a payment is first received, it will show as a pending balance and will consist of the amount of the transaction minus any Stripe fees — meaning Stripe automatically deducts its fees when moving funds from its account to yours. If at any time you want to see the Stripe fee applied to a specific charge, you can do so by selecting the charge from the payments section of your dashboard.
Your balance will change from pending to available according to your payout schedule. When you first start your Stripe account, you’ll likely receive your first payout seven to 10 days after your first payment is received. After this initial payout (which typically takes longer), you’ll receive payouts based on your account’s payout schedule, based on your country and industry.
Generally, U.S. businesses operate on a two-business-day payout schedule, which means payouts of your available account balance are made daily and contain credit card payments processed two business days prior. If you operate in a high-risk industry, however, you may be set on a seven-day payout schedule.
You will have the option to customize your payout schedule within your account settings. You can choose a weekly or monthly schedule, as well as opt for manual payouts — meaning funds will only be sent to your business bank account when you initiate a payout yourself.
It’s important to note that through this connection, Stripe has the ability to debit your business bank account if required. As an example, if you received a balance of $200, but had to refund $400 worth of payments, your Stripe account balance would be -$200. If you don’t receive additional payments to cover this next balance before your scheduled payout, Stripe will take the $200 directly from your business bank account.
It’s also worth mentioning that Stripe does offer an instant payout service that gives you access to your funds in approximately 30 minutes. This service isn’t usually available for new accounts and Stripe will ultimately determine your eligibility.
With Instant Payouts, you can send your funds to a supported debit card 24/7 and see the balance in your bank account within those 30 minutes. There will be a 1% Stripe transaction fee applied to the payout amount for use of this service.
A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.