October 12, 2019

Integrated Stripe for payment processing

Simon Fletcher @SydneyHacker

Stripe is both incredibly simple and very complex to implement. I'll write a full blog post on this at some point soon but, in a nutshell

  • Stripe Checkout makes it incredibly easy to add subscription billing. Simply set up the products in Stripe and copy/paste a few lines of code in to your application
  • Subscribing is only part of the story, you also need to enable users to upgrade, downgrade and cancel their subscription. Stripe provides an API but you need to implement the required functionality in your app.
  • Your app also needs to handle failed subscription attempts, failed payments, and many other scenarios, otherwise you run the risk of not being paid by users of your app, or of charging users when they are no longer users.
  1. 1

    Well done! Looking forward to the blog post as well :)

  2. 1

    For those in the laravel world, there's an awesome package by the core team that does everything for you, called cashier: https://laravel.com/docs/6.x/billing

    On another notes, there seems to have been a bunch of these services pop up. What differentiates your product from all the alternatives?

    Also, are you in Sydney, Australia? 👋

    1. 1

      Oh, the last point. I was based in Sydney until recently, but have now moved to the UK. Expect to be here for a year or so, but who knows! I miss Sydney a lot.

    2. 1

      Cashier looks great! Unfortunately I'm using the Microsoft DotNet stack and there's nothing like Cashier that I can find. Integration wasn't too difficult as Stripe's documentation is so good, but took longer than I expected - I'd thought a couple of days would do it but it took about a week.

      I'd only come across https://statickit.com/ when I started working on StaticForms, and that was on the Art of Product podcast before it had actually launched. That's similar, but taking a different approach, providing a more comprehensive solution but requiring some Javascript to be written. I didn't want integration to require any more than pointing a forms action at the StaticForms endpoint.

      I've found a few more whilst I've been working on StaticForms that are more closely aligned with the approach I've taken, but:

      • Some offer form builders, so are aiming at a slightly different audience.
      • Some are only able to send forms to an email address, rather than storing the form responses, which is one place I am differentiating - StaticForms saves all responses and enables them to be downloaded as Excel, CSV or JSON files.
      • Some have poor / confusing UI - StaticForms will hopefully be straightforward enough for anyone to understand.

      Differentiation will be a challenge and something I'll be continuing to iterate on over the next few weeks/months. That said, this could be a big enough market for multiple solutions to carve out a piece. At least I hope so!

      1. 1

        Sounds good!

        Maybe consider adding webhooks? Haven't seen that yet and could be a useful feature.

        1. 1

          That’s a great idea. I’ll look in to that, but it shouldn’t be too hard to add.

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