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What Is Stripe, and How Does It Work to Accept Payments?

Heallist relies on Stripe to handle both payouts to Healers and the checkout process for Clients. Stripe is a payment services provider that enables merchants to accept various forms of payment, including credit and debit cards. It is particularly well-suited for businesses that primarily operate online, as its unique features are designed to cater to online sales. After conducting thorough research on different payment partners, we ultimately selected Stripe due to its seamless integration, customizable functions, and cost-effective processing fees.

As a payment processor, Stripe allows business owners to accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Diners Club, China UnionPay and debit cards. Stripe supports payments in a variety of currencies.

How do payments work with Stripe?

Stripe processes payments in six steps.
  1. The customer provides their card information, either online or in person.
  2. Those card details enter Stripe’s payment gateway, which encrypts the data.
  3. Stripe sends that data to the acquirer, which is a bank that will process the transaction on the merchant’s behalf. In this step, Stripe serves as the merchant (with the business owner as a submerchant). This means Clients don’t have to set up a merchant account, which can be cumbersome.
  4. The payment passes through a credit card network, such as Visa or Mastercard, to the cardholder’s issuing bank.
  5. The issuing bank approves or denies the transaction.
  6. That signal travels from the issuing bank through the card network to the acquirer, then through the gateway to the customer — who sees a message telling them the payment has been accepted or declined.
Once the cardholder’s issuing bank finalizes its approval, Stripe transfers the funds into Healer's bank account (usually around two business days).
You’ll pay Stripe for facilitating each transaction.
  • 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions.
  • 1.5% additional fee for international card transactions.

Are Stripe payments safe?

Stripe has been audited and certified as a PCI compliance Level 1 service provider, which means it has to undergo an annual compliance report and routine security scans and tests. Stripe encrypts all customers’ credit card numbers and stores decryption information separately, which means Stripe can’t see credit card numbers without taking extra steps.
Also, Stripe mandates that all online transactions take place over the more secure HTTPS network.

How to accept payments using Stripe

See our full guide on Setting up Stripe payments within your Heallist account. There are three steps to accept Stripe payments:
  1. Create a Stripe account. Your account email and basic details will be pre-filled already. 
  2. Provide business details. This will include the address and legal structure. Stripe will also request personal information about you, including your full name, date of birth and Social Security number.
  3. Link a bank account. This is where you’ll receive payouts from Stripe.
You won’t be able to collect payouts immediately, however. You generally can’t receive your first payout until seven days after you’ve taken your first payment. In some industries, the waiting period can be as long as 14 days. After that the payouts shouldn't take more than 2 business days. You can always view pending transactions in your Stripe Express dashboard.