August 20, 2019

How long did it take you to integrate with Stripe?

Shar Darafsheh @darafsheh

It is apparent that Stripe provides the most awesome API & doc. Developers seem to love Stripe and how easy it is to use their API. But what about the UI and UX that you have to build in order to integrate Stripe with your website or SaaS? How long did it take you to build the UI for Stripe Billing so your users can manage their subscription straight from your website or SaaS app?

If you've been through this, It would help me tremendously to know about your experience. I've been working on servicebot.io for the past 3.5 years and would also love your feedback on my service :)

#ask-ih

  1. 5

    stripe integration is a pain, and took way too long than it should've.

    If I were to start over I would definitely use servicebot.io. Atm Im vested in moving to the aws marketplace for many reasons but one is the pain with stripe.

    My guess is your ideal market could be solo founders that are doing their Nth startup. For tech founders the first time they'll try to code up everything themselves, just to realise they've wasted time on something they could've paid 10usd a month, the latter is my own case :/

  2. 4

    Initially, it was very quick, with the Stripe Checkout JavaScript widget and a good library for the backend. Took a few days, and it was done.

    Over time, any system develops a certain complexity. Payment and billing were part of that too. You eventually will need upgrades/downgrades, coupons, pausing/resuming. And the biggest part that I did not anticipate was compliance with the policies of many involved countries. The SCA in Europe is currently making many companies re-engineer their payment systems, and even people using the widgets provided by Stripe have to make significant changes (https://stripe.com/docs/strong-customer-authentication).

    Another thing is taxes. You usually start in one market, and the calculations will be easy, but as soon as you interact with a lot of international customers, you better find someone who will stay on top of those changes. I did not, so I ended up using a library to fetch the most recent VAT rates for each European country, every day. That should not be your job.

    So it was quite quick in the beginning, but over time, I'd rather pay for a solution to take care of all these things that will cost you a lot in development costs over time.

    1. 1

      After some previous experiences I'm trying very hard to never do "pauses" again.

      1. 1

        We decided to skip that as well. Our customers can cancel and come back, and they usually do, as our tool solved a strong pain point.

        Can you elaborate on your experiences?

        1. 1

          It's just an unnecessary source of complexity, and place for errors to creep in, particularly in customer service interactions. Not only that, but the customers who want the feature of being able to easily "pause" and resume service are usually not the best customers. Why spend all that effort on such a marginal segment instead of on improving the product for all users or even just the more intense users?

          1. 1

            Our customers are almost exclusively female, age 20 to 30. With that, we have a lot of maternity leaves to deal with. We still didn't implement anything, but I would see this as a valid reason to build something. It shows that you understand your customers and value their choices.

            But generally, yes, this is not a required feature to operate a business. A nice-to-have? Sure.

  3. 2

    The complete Stripe integration took us around 3 weeks, until we noticed how cumbersome the European Union tax laws are. The main reason is the Value-Added-Tax that needs to be payed to the country, where the customer resides. Therefore we switched to https://paddle.com/ that acts as a reseller, so we don't have to deal with the tax mess. Something like http://servicebot.io would also be valuable on top of a reseller, since implementing the UI took at least longer than a week.

    1. 1

      Thank you for the hint, Max! Bookmarked!

  4. 2

    It took me about 2-3 hours, honestly stripe integration is pretty simple if you have the rest of your billing backend setup and follow their guide.

    We're now also integrating braintree's vault for paypal payments (billing agreements) and this was easier to do.

  5. 1

    For people in the future, Stripe has since announced they offer a way for customers to manage their subscriptions directly in Stripe, so no need to build your own solution. It's called the Customer Portal: https://stripe.com/blog/billing-customer-portal

  6. 1

    Honestly we are skipping Stripe entirely. I’ve used it before, but integration in our current project just doesn’t make sense - we’re actually just doing PayPal/Braintree, which also accepts credit cards and bank transfers etc.

  7. 1

    Well, as with any integration you must learn how their API works. But I found that they have pretty good docs, even for such a big and robust service. I'm currently in the works of integrating with Stripe.

    How long it has taken me is not very relevant since it's a Hobby project from which I have taken large breaks because I've been busy with other stuff (marriage! 🎉)

    I would probably say that it would have taken me a full week to integrate all the way. Meaning; purchase, upgrade, cancel and webhooks to tie it into my service DB.

  8. 1

    For me, it took months to get Stripe Connect Custom integrated. I found lots of gaps in the documentation and had many, many back-and-forths with Stripe support (the average support response does not solve your question so it takes more than one almost every time).

    Since then they've released a new tool in beta which will verify people's PII so you don't have to write your own UI for that. When that gets rolled out to GA, it will save a lot of time on Connect Custom integrations.

    1. 1

      Can you link that tool here please?

      1. 1

        Sure. Last I checked it was a private URL, but it looks public now: https://stripe.com/docs/connect/hosted-onboarding

  9. 1

    About 3hours

  10. 1

    For me, it didn't take long. A few hours at most. However, I am an engineer, my integration is relatively simple (it requires customers to contact me to cancel), and I only have to worry about regulations in the US which are FAR less strict than the EU (SCA looks like a pain).

    I wouldn't pay $10/m and 2% of my revenue. Let alone $300/m and 0.6%. But then again, I am an engineer and I love to build things myself if cost-effective.

  11. 1

    3.5 years full-time or side project?

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    This comment was deleted a year ago.

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    This comment was deleted 9 months ago.