So you want to start selling your products online… what next?

Well, traditionally you’d need an online shopping cart, payment gateway and merchant account.

The problem with the traditional way of taking payments online is that both payment gateways and merchant accounts are expensive and can be frustrating to implement and use.

So along came ultra popular hybrid options like PayPal – known as third party processors – which combined the functionalities of both merchant accounts and payment gateways.

But as of the last few years, no payment app has exploded onto the scene quite like that of our firmest and favorite integration. In light of an upgrade to our API with the beloved payment gateway, here are the reasons to fall in love all over again with ONTRAPORT’s integration with Stripe.

Meet Stripe

Stripe is an upstart third party payment processor that aims to take on traditional systems so businesses can accept and manage online payments in a simpler and safer way.

Founded in 2010 by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison (who are 27- and 25-years-old respectively), the San Francisco-based company has exploded onto the payment gateway scene. It now serves as the default payment processor for notable online giants Fitbit, Kickstarter, Reddit, Twitter, Wired, Salesforce, Squarespace and more. Even presidential candidates such as Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul use it to process donation fees.

Despite substantial offers from close competitor Paypal and Mark Zuckerberg, Stripe recently inked a deal with Visa, putting the company at a rumored $5 billion valuation. With plans to expand internationally and further simplify online payment processing, Stripe looks primed to take over.

While its software and services are similar to other third party payment operators like Square and PayPal, Stripe has gained traction due to its transparent pricing, security and ease of use. In a crowded marketplace, it’s a smart choice for small and medium-sized businesses looking to accept credit and debit cards online.

Built with developers in mind, Stripe can be installed with just a few lines of code but features a variety of APIs and other tools available for flexibility and total customization.

Speaking of APIs: ONTRAPORT’s integration with Stripe enables users access to all ONTRAPORT features, including subscriptions, payment plans and free trial periods… just like the more expensive gateways. A single API Key connects ONTRAPORT to Stripe, making it extremely easy to install.

Is Stripe Right for Your Business?

Stripe works just like a traditional merchant account (without the hassle of getting a separate merchant account) with the advantage of zero monthly fees. It charges a flat fee of $.30 per transaction and 2.9% percentage of the sale for any card type (merchant accounts and PayPal provide different rates based on the type of card).

Stripe doesn’t have a minimum volume requirement and refunds are no cost – they don’t assess a fee for the refund, even removing the fees from the original transaction. In addition, funds are swept automatically into your bank account on a rolling two-day basis. Last, but not least, Stripe’s fees are simple to understand and transparent – they don’t have hidden fees and charges like other third party aggregators.


Apple Pay Integration Is Just the Beginning

Recently, Stripe partnered with Apple to integrate with Apple Pay, a mobile payment and digital wallet service which makes paying as easy as touching your phone. As a result of their new partnership with card giant Visa, they will be further expanding internationally.

They’ve also created a new checkout process designed to ensure your customers finish their purchase and make the sale. With advanced reporting, you know what’s selling and what’s not.


While Stripe is certainly intriguing, it may not be perfect for every entrepreneur or small business. You may be better served using a payment gateway other than Stripe if your business handles a high volume of payments.

Despite gateway fees and monthly statements, a traditional merchant services account and payment gateway such as may make more sense for your business if you process a high volume of sales – $5000 per month or more (we did the math).

The Ultimate Test: Stripe vs. PayPal


Again, after the $5,000/month point, it seems as if PayPal is the cheaper option (not including extra services or the hidden fees they are notorious for charging). If you process that much or more, and don’t want to use a traditional merchant account, PayPal may be a better choice for your business.

About Andy Reese

Content Specialist Andy Reese graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2014 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies (emphases in Sustainability and Entrepreneurship). In his short career, Andy has already written grants and media plans for several businesses and nonprofits, worked at two tech startups and the Surfrider Foundation.