Stripe Fees: How Much Does Stripe Cost?

Written on February 21, 2020
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When you’re looking for the right payment processing for your small business, cost will very likely be one of the most important factors in your decision-making process. Luckily, as the merchant services industry has evolved, more and more providers—Stripe, Square, PayPal, etc.—have implemented simple and transparent pricing models that eliminate hidden fees and show business owners exactly what they’re paying for when using a service.

This being said, if you need online payment processing specifically, you’ve probably considered using Stripe. With their sophisticated technology and all-inclusive platform, Stripe has quickly become one of the most popular online payment solutions. How much does it cost to use Stripe? 

We’re here to help answer that question. In this guide to Stripe fees, we’ll break down how Stripe charges their customers in terms of online payments, in-person payments, and additional products. 

Overview

When it comes down to it, there’s a reason that Stripe has become such a popular online payments 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 to processors like Stripe is that they offer flat-rate, transparent fee structures that are, on the whole, much easier to understand than many alternatives. 

As small business owner, Brent Sweitzer, LPC, RPT of Sweitzer Counseling says: “One of the appealing things about switching to Stripe was their straightforward pricing structure. Previously, I was with Chase Paymentech and I was often confused about what rate was being charged for which card. This month, I’ll pay $150 in [Stripe] fees for about $6,000 in transactions.”

This being said, although there may be some variation (as we’ll discuss in greater detail below), 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. Plus, the Stripe payments platform will include all the features listed here:

stripe fees, included features

Image source: Stripe

Additionally, Stripe does not charge any of the following:

  • Setup fees
  • Minimum processing fees
  • Payment gateway fees
  • Statement fees
  • PCI-compliance fees
  • Refund fees
  • Cancellation fees
  • Other hidden fees

Stripe Processing Fees

As we mentioned, 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. This being said, since Stripe is available in 34 countries around the world, your rate may vary based on your country; however, we’ll be breaking down what fees look like for U.S.-based businesses.

Online Payments

First, for any online transaction—that is, any payment that’s processed through a custom payment form or embeddable checkout, as well as in-app mobile payments—you’ll pay a flat 2.9% + $0.30 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 their 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% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Multibanco: 3.4% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Klarna: 5.99% + $0.30 for Pay later and Pay later in 4; 2.99% + $0.30 for Slice it

Along these lines, it’s also important to note that in addition to the Stripe ACH fees above, you’ll also 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.

Finally, although these are the standard Stripe processing fees you’ll incur for accepting online payments through their 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. In order to learn more about customized Stripe fees and rates, you can contact the Stripe sales team directly.

In-Person Payments

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% + $0.05—regardless of the card, network, or method (chip, swipe, contactless). Once again, however, Stripe will 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

Of course, these will be one-time costs, unless you need to replace or purchase another card reader.

stripe fees, in-person payments

Stripe Terminal card reader options. Image source: Stripe

Stripe Fees for Additional Products

On the whole, your Stripe transaction fees will boil down to what we discussed above—meaning if you’re only accepting debit and credit cards online, you’ll only have to worry about the 2.9 + $0.30 per transaction rate. This being said, however, Stripe does offer additional tools within their product suite that can be used in conjunction with their payments platform. 

For each of these tools, the Stripe fees will operate a little differently. 

Stripe Billing

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% + $0.30). There is no additional fee for one-off invoices.

This being said, 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 their Billing platform, called Scale, which, in addition to extra features, will cost 0.8% per transaction on recurring charges (again, this is on top of the general transaction fee).

Stripe Connect

Connect is Stripe’s payments platform for other platforms and marketplaces. The Standard version of Connect is included with any basic Stripe account. If, however, 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 $0.25 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

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, however, you have a custom pricing plan, you’ll need to pay $0.05 per transaction for this service.

Additionally, within this product, Stripe offers Radar for Fraud Teams which includes more advanced fraud protection tools. These tools will cost $0.02 per transaction for standard accounts and $0.07 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

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 $0.02 per charge. If you reach a certain threshold of charges (501 to 1,000) you’ll also incur a $0.25 infrastructure fee. Therefore, according to Stripe’s website, if you process 1,000 charges per month, your estimated monthly cost will be $44 for this service.

Stripe Atlas

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 also require ongoing fees for “the cost of running a business,” such as tax preparation, tax filing, bank account maintenance, etc.

Stripe Issuing

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.

Premium Support

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?

With all of this information in mind, you might still be wondering exactly how Stripe charges their fees—in other words, how do you pay for the fees you incur for using their online credit card processing service?

Overall, this process occurs automatically and is directly related to the payouts you receive from your transactions. 

To explain, 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 be shown as a pending balance and will consist of the amount of the transaction minus any Stripe fees—meaning Stripe automatically deducts their fees when moving funds from their 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, which is designated based on your country and industry. 

Generally, U.S. businesses will 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.

All of this being said, 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.

Finally, 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, however, be a 1% Stripe transaction fee applied to the payout amount for use of this service.

stripe fees, payout schedule settings

You can change your payout schedule in the Payouts section of your dashboard. Image source: Stripe

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, although you may be able to find cheaper processing rates on the market, Stripe’s simple and transparent fee structure coupled with their customizable, feature-rich platform makes them a compelling choice for anyone looking for a payment service provider.

In fact, when we talked to business owners who use Stripe as their processor, almost everyone commented on how easy the Stripe fees are to understand—especially compared to competitors like PayPal and Authorize.Net. 

As an example, Ethan Taub, CEO of Goalry says: 

“We found Stripe the easiest and most accessible payment software out there. We had struggles with PayPal and in particular SagePay, but since switching to Stripe our accounting headaches have all but disappeared… It is much more affordable as you are only paying if you are receiving. For businesses with lean months in terms of income, other payment systems will still charge you. With Stripe, no sales equals no bills.”

Ultimately, it will be up to you to decide if Stripe’s fees are affordable for your business—luckily, however, as a pay-per-use service, there’s no harm in signing up for a free account and testing out their 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.

Randa Kriss

Randa Kriss is a staff writer at Fundera, where she specializes in reviewing small business products, software, and services. Randa has written hundreds of reviews across a wide swath of business topics including ecommerce, merchant services, accounting, credit cards, bank accounts, loan products, and payroll and human resources solutions. She has also written for PeopleKeep, Zoho, KNF&T Staffing, and Planted. Randa has a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from Iona College. Email: randa@fundera.com.
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