AMAs May 10, 2019

I work on Stripe Connect, ask me anything!

Ryan Orbuch @orbuch

Hi Indie Hackers!

I’m Ryan. Previously, I co-founded Volley, an edtech company building a personal learning assistant, and designed Finish, an Apple Design Award winning productivity app. Now, I’m a PM at Stripe, working on Stripe Connect.

If you're building a marketplace or a platform, Stripe Connect makes it really easy for you to accept money and pay it out to third parties. For example, Postmates uses Connect to accept money from customers, and payout to businesses and couriers. Squarespace uses Connect to enable their online retailers to accept payments from shoppers. We support virtually any business model you might have, and to help startups, we've recently lowered our pricing through June.

Ask me about Connect as a product, the lower fees, my transition from founder to Stripe PM, or anything else! #ama

I'll be back to answer your questions on Monday, May 20th at 2:00pm PT.

  1. 8

    For me, the $2/£2 a month fee per connected account is a really big barrier that prevents me from moving forward with Stripe Connect. Competing marketplace gateways such as Mango don't charge a monthly fee per connected merchant. If this was removed or the 5,000 free connected accounts offer made permanent, I could move forward with my idea for using it. The transaction fees and cash-out fees are fine with me, it's just that £2/month/account fee.

    1. 2

      Hi! If you sign up before the end of June, we'll waive the monthly $2 account fee on your first 5,000 accounts. If you have other questions about how this pricing will work for you, just send me a note: [email protected]

    2. 1

      I believe the $2 fee is only for express integration, have you looked at using standard?

      1. 1

        Correct, the account fee applies to Express and Custom integrations (this pricing discount applies to both as well).

        Depending on your business model, Standard accounts may be a good fit, and you can see more details on Connect pricing here: https://stripe.com/connect/pricing

  2. 4

    Did you skip college altogether (one upping the drop-out badge)? How did you get volley.com (expensive domain?). Why was PM at Stripe a better fit for you than growth, after all, you spent a few years in the weeds of finding PMF and then finding growth.

    1. 1

      I ended up working on Volley instead of college. I was originally planning on taking a gap year and then attending school, but that changed when we decided to raise money. We leased volley.com, it was expensive, and probably not worth it.

      I think that being a founder, particularly when young, taxes personal and emotional development. It’s very easy to learn bad habits and not stay grounded. I wanted to see a good example of a product and company culture, and learn from people who are some of the best in the industry. I’m really happy here, and feel like I’m learning much more quickly than before.

    2. 1

      Just wanted to second this question (first one is relevant to my situation).

      1. 1

        Lmk if I can be helpful here! Feel free to send me a note [email protected].

  3. 3

    Hi everyone! I'm here answering questions for the next hour. @meganmh is also online, she works at Stripe too and is jumping in with some extra answers.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the great questions everyone! Feel free to reach out with anything else to [email protected] or @orbuch on twitter. Good luck with all of your businesses!

  4. 3

    Hi Ryan,

    I'm building a SaaS that will let customers sell digital goods, can you help me understand the pros and cons of using Stripe Connect versus letting each customer plug in their own Stripe account keys?

    1. 1

      Yep, we have many digital goods businesses on Stripe Connect! I would strongly encourage you not to ask customers for their raw Stripe account credentials as it’s a significant security risk for you as well as your customer (both when the customer goes to copy/paste and since you have to hold those API keys). You won’t have to worry about that with Connect, and you have the added benefit of a simpler onboarding flow and you can take fees directly from payments.

      I think Standard would be the best option for your business. You can read more about it here: https://stripe.com/docs/connect/standard-accounts

  5. 3

    Hey Ryan

    Is Stripe Connect ideal for implementing an Affiliate Program? Where as we receive revenue via Stripe we can then payout thru Connect a commission based on X% of the original revenue collected?

    We're launching an Affiliate Program and this would be key, because we can then warehouse all of the transactions within Stripe.

    1. 2

      The $2 per connected account per month would pretty much rule me out from offering an affiliate program through this. It would work for high price items, though.

      1. 2

        I think for now I can take the hit, it would be cheaper than paying a monthly fee like $49 for something like FirstPromoter. As I ramp up the number of affiliates something like FirstPromoter would make sense long-term, but short-term it's too expensive.

        Correct, price is a big factor, we're priced out at $59 a year, so for now it makes sense to pay the $2 per account.

      2. 1

        Heads up that we're waiving the $2 monthly account fee on your first 5,000 active connected accounts for startups who sign up before the end of June. You can find more details here: https://stripe.com/connect/pricing

        1. 1

          If I already have a Stripe account, does that mean this applies to me or do I need to "sign up" again in another form?

          1. 1

            Assuming you're already on our integrated pricing for payments (i.e. 2.9%+$0.30), this will already be applied to your existing account. The discount will be visible once you’re processing live charges and connecting live accounts. If for some reason when you get your Connect fee report at the end of the month and you are still receiving an account fee, please write into [email protected] to get it fixed.

    2. 1

      Hey! Yes, depending on exactly what you have in mind you should be able to use an Application Fee for this purpose: https://stripe.com/docs/connect/direct-charges#collecting-fees

  6. 3

    Hey Ryan,
    I'm a PO at a publicly listed software company in Australia. We're currently going through some pretty big growth and dealing with growing pains of product and agile at scale.

    I'd love to know about how PM works at Stripe, either more generally or with some specifics around how you handle delivery of outcomes. In fact, I'd love to see a blog series or some other content around how product management at Stripe works, as it is a company I respect and admire.

    Might not be what you were expecting to get questions about, but thought there was no harm in asking :D

    TIA!

    1. 1

      A blog post on this is an interesting idea! Is there anything in particular you'd be most curious about?

      1. 1

        Hey - few ideas:

        • agile at scale
        • PM at scale
        • how you structure teams
        • how you approach prioritising problems to solve
        • how you structure verticals, budgeting, etc
  7. 2

    When will Express be available for non-US accounts?

    1. 1

      We’re currently beta testing Express internationally. Please email me at [email protected] if you’re interested in participating in a beta with non-US accounts!

  8. 2

    Hey Ryan, is Stripe Connect promo pricing just specially for new accounts to Stripe? The reason I’m asking is that we just started playing around with using it a couple of weeks ago and it would really hurt to have missed the boat due to sheer timing.

    1. 1

      Hey Jonathan! Nope, this pricing is retroactive to any Connect platform on our integrated pricing for payments (e.g. 2.9% +$0.30 in the US). The discount should be visible once you’re processing live charges and connecting live accounts. If for some reason when you get your Connect fee report at the end of the month and you are still receiving an account fee, please write into [email protected] and we’ll get it fixed.

      Megan
      (PS. I'm on the product marketing team at Stripe and helping Ryan answer questions today)

      1. 1

        Awesome! Great to hear :)

  9. 2

    Ryan,
    Can I do Stripe to Stripe payment using Stripe Connect?

    1. 1

      Hi! There are a number of ways to move money between Connected Accounts. Could you tell me a bit more about what you're trying to build, and I can help you figure out what flow might make sense?

      1. 1

        Hi Ryan,
        I have customers who uses my platform (build on top of Stripe). These customers also send me new customers. For sending me new customers, I give them % commission. Since they are already connected (express) to my platform and I have balance in my Stripe account I would like to move money from my Stripe account (not from my bank or credit card) to theirs.

  10. 1

    Hi, I am about to start a multi vendor marketplace, and recently bought Stripe Connect to work with WC Vendors and Woocomerce, however, the commission that Stripe sends to vendors does not match with what Woocomerce says and I can't figure it out. Any help? Thanks

  11. 1

    Hello Ryan,

    I'm building checkmypresets.com, a platform where users can sell digital photography resources.

    I'm setting up Stripe Connect Standard and my question is:

    Can my users start selling before completing the Stripe onboarding?

    Thank you,

  12. 1

    Hi Ryan! The $2 a month for connected accounts (I'm using custom accounts). Who gets charged with that? The connected accounts or the main stripe account? And when stripe gets it?

  13. 1

    Hi Ryan, We are currently looking to integrate Stripe connect in our application where the use case is a peer to peer transfer where one user can directly transfer amount to another application user of the portal. Can you suggest the correct transaction flow we should look into implementing as well as will each user be a connected account + vendor on the stripe connect and will the £2 a month fee applicable to them. Thanks

  14. 1

    Hello. Also puzzled by the £2 fee per active user.

    What happens, for example, if I have X sellers and Y buyers and N transactions between them.

    As a platform, I do not make any payments to any of the participants (and might even waive fees).

    Do I still need to pay the £2 fee? More? 0?

    Do users pay Stripe a transaction fee? Do I as a platform pay it?

    Under standard account, who exactly pays what?

    Finally, how easy is it to upgrade from standard?

    Thanks!

  15. 1

    Hey Ryan,

    My name is Ryan - I was curious to when you guys are going to allow connect express in India and Philippines. Thank you.

  16. 1

    HI Ryan, My name's Khoi From vietnam it's nice to meet you. My question is: Can i get a Balance Transactions through account connect. Thanks

  17. 1

    Hello Ryan,

    I was waiting for some time now for Sripe connect to open his gates for Estonian companies.

    Congrats for that!

    Now, I want to build an artisan company but the $2 / €2 price per connected account is too much for a start up which does not have big fees in mind.

    Can you please let me know the most viable and automated solution for me so that everyone In marketplace is happy and nobody feels ripped off?

    Thank you!
    Cristian

  18. 1

    hi Ryan, our app has fully deployed Stripe Connect managed accounts. Technically it's a great platform, but I think the flat £2 fee per active connected account is going to kill us, because we take a small % on each transaction and we cannot charge our customers the £2 fee - so our small fee has to cover it, meaning we will be running each connected account at a dramatic loss until any given connected account surpasses £50 per month in transaction volume, which won't happen for a while. In the meantime, the better we do, the more loss-making we become. Do you think there is any chance that Stripe will re-think the structure of this fee and turn it into a simple %-based fee? Surely to keep it will exclude it from acquiring a potentially huge volume of business from businesses like mine which could be very profitable for Stripe but which are unlikely to choose Stripe otherwise because of this significant barrier. Thanks!

  19. 1

    Hi Ryan,

    Previously there was a US$500 Stripe Atlas fee waiver for Elpha. Is it still valid? tks!
    Cher

  20. 1

    Ryan,
    With Stripe, users can accept ACH (in USA), GIROPay (in Euro), SOFORT (Germany), Alipay etc.
    With express Stripe Connect, how do I know which payment methods are unable for a given connected account?

  21. 1

    Can I accept payments from Stripe, if I am an Indian?

    1. 1

      Stripe is in an invite-only beta for India still. We're actively working on it, and you can sign up to get notified when we’re opening it up to more people at https://stripe.com/global#IN

      1. 1

        I am a Stripe customer in the US. Is there a way I could get a beta invite for India?

      2. 1

        Thank you mate

        What is the deal with Stripe Atlas?

        It says i can signup and start using stripe easily it lets me setup a company in USA very easily- whats the steps and what do you think? How easy it this? What costs are involved?

        Thanks

  22. 1

    No question here - just a simply thank you @orbuch for continuing to evolve Stripe Connect. My team just pushed Sparetoolz to the app store (beta) and it's running on Stripe Connect for payment, KYC/AML, and all other awesome tools you guys offer. Cheers!

    1. 1

      Thanks -- the Connect team is really great. Please let me know if you have any issues or things you'd like to see improved! [email protected]

  23. 1

    When is stripe coming to Colombia/Chile?

    1. 1

      Unfortunately, we can’t give any timelines for when countries will be available. If you haven’t already, please sign up to be notified for Colombia and Chile on stripe.com/global.

      Megan
      Product Marketing @ Stripe

  24. 1

    Hi Ryan,

    If i am starting a new marketplace, do i need to prove i have some
    transaction volume or can i apply with a full site starting from scratch?

    1. 1

      You won’t need any transaction volume to get started, you'll just need some basics like a website for your business (it can be under construction) and a general explanation of your business model in order to sign up to be a Connect platform. You can use the full api in test mode right away.

      If and when you're ready to incorporate a company, check out Stripe Atlas: https://stripe.com/atlas

  25. 1

    Any plans for supporting Eastern / Central European countries like Croatia, Hungary, Romania in the future?

    1. 1

      Working on it! We’re already in beta in Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Greece. We plan on opening up availability in those countries to more people in the next few months.

      I would suggest signing up to be notified for countries you’re interested in: stripe.com/global

      Megan
      Product Marketing @ Stripe

  26. 1

    Hello, I am seriously considering to use stripe connect and signed up already. Cross country payments are very important to me, what happens if my business is registered in the US but my customer is in Europe?

    1. 2

      There are a couple restrictions on how you structure your charges, but you can have your platform in the US and take a charge from various countries and move that money to a connected account in the EU. You’d use either “direct charges” or “destination” charges, see the docs! https://stripe.com/docs/connect/charges

  27. 1

    Hey Ryan,

    Love Stripe's services! I have a few single stripe accounts for different projects, and am interested in setting up Connect for a new project.

    Is it a pretty similar, straightforward setup to a single Stripe account? I'm looking to do so for a donation project, but if it doesn't work, what are the implications around setting it up and closing it?

    I'm assuming it's a matter of setting up my details, adding client payment accounts, but after that I'm not too sure?

    1. 1

      It’s pretty easy to get started with Connect, you can get a quick overview (including code snippets!) here: https://stripe.com/docs/connect/quickstart. It's totally fine to try it and close your account later :)

  28. 1

    Stripe landing pages are well-known for their beautiful design. Connect page doesn't disappoint.

    I'm curious, how large is the team that worked on its design and copy, and how long did it take to make it final? If you can share some details of the process, that would be really helpful.

    Thanks for taking our questions, Ryan!

    1. 1

      Thank you! While I don’t know the specifics of how many people or timing, we did a blog post about this when we first launched the page about the design and the process! https://stripe.com/blog/connect-front-end-experience

      Megan
      Product Marketing @ Stripe

  29. 1

    We have been using StripeConnect almost as soon as it came out (https://djaodjin.com/blog/in-the-year-ahead.blog.html#stripe-connect). It has been really key for us to support European customers in the context of a marketplace, i.e. your company has merchant accounts it needs to transfer funds to, instead of simply collecting payments from.

    We do see some issues with Production vs. Test accounts, such that user need to connect/re-connect an account when they want to switch between test and production keys on DjaoDjin's platform.

    Otherwise really love StripeConnect! Especially how simple it was to integrate into the on-boarding workflow.

    In the process of figuring out how we can have DjaoDjin's customers having their own StripeConnect features and us managing it for them (one level deeper); otherwise with a whitelabel solution such as DjaoDjin, it is odd for the end-user to see "Connect your account to DjaoDjin" when they sign up on one of our customer's platform... Is it even possible?

    1. 1

      Super glad to hear you’ve been using Connect for so long -- thanks! You have a couple of questions here that might be easier to figure out over a longer chat. You can get in touch with our support team directly via [email protected]; they’ll be able to help dig into the re-connecting your users need to do as well as help figure out a plan for your users who are starting to need more platform abilities themselves.

  30. 1

    Hey Ryan,

    Long time connect user here. Have implemented connect marketplaces numerous times for a variety of different clients and have enjoyed the process each and every time as it has improved tremendously since the early days. One thing that has always bothered me is the lack of data available via the Stripe API on a users conncet environment. What are the business reasons for not giving better transparency into a connect marketplace via the API - i.e. connect volume, balances, payment data to connected accounts, etc. This has always been a blocker for building my own analytics solutions for my connect setups.

    Sawyer

    1. 1

      Hey, thanks for using Connect!

      You already have access to a lot of data that runs through your connected accounts: you’re able to make heavy use of any “list all” abilities the Stripe API has to offer (eg for charges: https://stripe.com/docs/api/charges/list).

      You will end up needing to loop separately over your connected accounts if you need a lot of lists at a time. Curious as to what you think might be a good solution for this! Would be happy to hear more about what you’re trying to solve—could you email me at [email protected]?

  31. 1

    Currently implementing stripe connect now, but do have some concerns about the limited countries that my sellers can be located in. I expect to have a large presence in Japan and South Korea in the coming years, are there plans for more support in asian countries?

    I’d also love any advice on working with VAT.

    1. 1

      We’re live in Japan! We’re working on rolling out to more countries (e.g. we launched betas in 6 more this year). You can sign up to get notified about South Korea at https://stripe.com/global#KR.

      I know VAT is complicated—I’d suggest talking to a tax advisor because you shouldn’t listen to me for tax advice :) https://support.stripe.com/questions/charging-sales-tax-gst-or-vat-on-payments

  32. 1

    Hi Ryan,

    thanks a lot for your post!

    Is there a chance you can enroll me as a beta user for Estonia?

    I'm an Estonian e resident and incorporated in Estonia and now checking daily when you're finally launching in Estonia so that I can start accepting recurring payments.

    Thanks a lot in advance!

    Kind regards,
    Michael

    1. 1

      Hey Michael, I’d suggest signing up at https://stripe.com/global#EE for Estonia. That way the team working on launching Estonia will be able to notify you. We should be opening up the beta more broadly in the coming months. Since you’re looking at accepting recurring payments, you may also check out Stripe Billing: https://stripe.com/billing

      Megan
      (PS. I'm on the product marketing at Stripe and helping Ryan answer questions today)

  33. 1

    What is needed for wechat to accept the request? and when will the beta of wechat and alipay end?

    1. 1

      Alipay is available for everyone today. WeChat Pay is also ready to be used, and is in public beta today.

      To get started with WeChat Pay or Alipay today, you can create a test charge (https://stripe.com/docs/sources/wechat-pay) and then we’ll get back to you in about 1-2 business days with an approval to use it. (It takes 1-2 days to approve because we need to ensure that your business meets the Terms of Service for WeChat Pay and Alipay.) If you’re stuck creating a test charge or need some help, reach out to [email protected] and they can help you figure it out.

  34. 0

    What are Stripe Connect's political requirements for platforms? Must platforms adhere to a particular political ideology, or must they ban certain political expression that is protected by the First Amendment?

  35. 1

    This comment was deleted 10 months ago.

  36. 1

    This comment was deleted a year ago.

    1. 1

      There are some baseline requirements for onboarding with Stripe (Connect or not) regarding what identity information we collect. You can learn more here: https://support.stripe.com/questions/know-your-customer

      Once they’re onboarded, all they would need to provide is a bank account or debit card number. You can read more details about payouts in our docs: https://stripe.com/docs/connect/payouts

  37. 1

    This comment was deleted a year ago.

    1. 1

      Since you’re already using Stripe, you’ll want to log into your Dashboard and click on “Connect” in the left navigation panel. You’ll see an option to become a Connect platform there. You’ll be asked to answer a few questions, and then Stripe will send over some best practices for integrating.

      How do you plan to use WooCommerce with Connect? Would love to understand more -- do you mind emailing me at [email protected]?

      Megan
      Product Marketing @ Stripe

  38. 2

    This comment was deleted a year ago.

    1. 1

      We’re live in Singapore and Japan, and working on expanding to more Asian countries (Malaysia is up next!) I can’t give exact dates on specific countries, but you can sign up to get notified at stripe.com/global.

      Megan
      (PS. I'm on the product marketing team at Stripe and helping Ryan answer questions today)

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