stripeIf there’s one thing experience has taught us here at Digital Peak, it’s that accepting online payments on a global scale is incredibly complex. For bodies that don’t need international payment support, it’s easy enough – just have a local bank account and give people direct debit details. In theory, you could do the same for overseas orders – but telegraphic transfers take time and, more importantly, can be very expensive for the buyer. Large organisations with physical presences in multiple countries can, of course, simply create bank accounts in all the countries they operate – but that obviously doesn't apply to Digital Peak. And as for cheques or money orders, that’s entirely out of the picture.

By far and away the best option is still to accept credit card payments. But credit card merchant accounts can be expensive and have criteria you don’t qualify for – and if you needed to accept multiple credit cards, you may need multiple merchant accounts. The better solution would be to work with an organisation that could itself process credit cards, and paid you in cash to your current bank account. These organisations are PCI DSS compliant to fulfill the highest security standards to safely handle your transactions.

Enter PayPal

Which, if you have been our subscriber for a while, you will notice we have been doing all this time through PayPal. Now, PayPal when we first started out using it was great. Its fees were reasonably low, it had a number of features we liked, we got our money in a timely fashion and most importantly, our subscribers didn't necessarily need to have a PayPal account to use it. In this respect, it worked just like a regular online credit card payment gateway or processor. We needed an account, but it was no real hardship. There’s a reason why PayPal has more or less monopolized the online payment market.

Today, though, PayPal is no longer so great. You can see it start to flex its muscles in various ways, mostly in ways that don’t directly affect us – its anti-porn stance, for instance. However, there is one way in which it has changed which does affect us. That is, it seems to now require you to register an account before you can use it. Apparently, not all countries and regions are affected – but that very uncertainty makes it a non-optimal choice.

Move Over, Stripe’s Coming Through

Enter Stripe, our new alternate payment gateway. It is a platform which handles all the credit card processing for the merchant, but does not currently require setting up an account on the part of the buyers. It has a host of other features that makes it amazingly attractive. It has a well-rounded API which works on just about every platform that is out there. You can now enter your credit card information directly on our web site and it will be transferred over a secure (https) connection to the stripe platform. We do not store your credit card information on our servers at all.

So if you’re one of those people who’s fed up with PayPal and its aggressive posture, then go ahead and pay for your subscription using Stripe. It’s not any harder to use. And if you’re happy with PayPal, then go ahead – we won’t be shutting it down any time soon. At least now, you have a choice.

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