Blog

Offline Payments with Stripe

Offline payments pose an elevated risk when it comes to fraud.

Although some of the advantages of offline payments are easy to see, there are several reasons why Stripe, and subsequently the Payment app, do not allow for offline payments. Obviously, when wifi or cellular signal is weak or non-existent in remote places, offline payments make sense. If your signal is uncontrollable, you may not want to miss out on a sale. Missing out on a sale means missed revenue, and that's not a desired outcome.

Because payment information must be verified in real time, with several pieces of information, it's imperative that wifi or cellular connectivity is operational so credit cards can be validated. Without these safeguards in place, it is impossible to know if a credit card is fraudulent, stolen or lacks sufficient funds to process the transaction successfully.

Disadvantages of offline payments

There are several reasons that offline payments are not supported by Stripe. First, the risk of fraud, decline and disputed payments increases dramatically. Imagine the following scenario:

A customer approaches your booth, and attempts to pay for several pieces of merchandise with a known stolen credit card. Because the card cannot be verified in real time by the Payment app or Stripe, this customer would be allowed to walk off with the merchandise with the assumption of success in the future.

Without real-time validation of whether the transaction will succeed, it's ultimately too risky to provide offline payments. Lastly, because PCI Compliance and encryption happens after transmission of cardholder information to Stripe, there may be instances where collecting offline payments may be outside the PCI compliance scope. For example, if your phone was stolen at the event without internet connectivity, you may be liable for any credit cards that were stored locally in an app if they were not encrypted.

Will offline payments be added in the future?

It's possible, however doubtful. The risks outweigh the rewards, for both payment gateways and merchants. It's true, fraud may be a very small percentage of these transactions, but at the moment, there are no plans to add this functionality.

failure

Tracking down card declines with Stripe

Credit card decline reasons are not always obvious. Here's a quick guide with what to look for.

There are several reasons why a credit card can be declined using the Payment for Stripe app. The reasons are generally surfaced in the app after a charge with a descriptive label outlining the reasoning. There are two possible reasons why a credit card payment can fail:

  • Payments declined by the card issuer
  • Blocked payments (Stripe Radar, fraud, etc)
Payments declined by card issuers

Card issuers have automated systems that determine whether the charge should be authorized or not. The algorithms look at various signals instantaneously, from spending habits, account balance and credit card information, as well as location of the charge. Unfortunately, not all of the information that led to the decline is shared with Stripe, and subsequently to the Payment app. In rare cases, card issuers may also provide helpful explanations, but generally, card decline reasons can be hard to track down.

In some cases, the type of restrictions on the credit card can also cause certain declines. For example, using an FSA/HSA card to create a charge for a non-medical payment.

In addition, geographic location can also play a role in declined or failed payments. If credit cards are issued in a different country than your Stripe account, you may be at a higher risk of fraud, and thus risk a higher rate of failed payments.

Payments blocked by Stripe Radar

Every Stripe account comes with automated fraud verification for every single charge made on the Stripe network. The reason this is helpful is simple: Stripe processes billions of dollars in transactions every single day, scanning and identifying trends that give your Stripe account real time feedback on fraud across a variety of mediums. In addition, the Radar prevention tool can also be used to scale up and down your protection, ultimately putting you in control of how finicky your payment protection should be.

How can card declines be avoided?

One of the easiest ways is by using a PCI-compliant card reader, such as Stripe Terminal. Not only does using a card reader give you an abundance of new ways to collect payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay, but you'll also be able to accept chip-enabled cards; further preventing fraud. Although manually inputting card numbers is supported by the Payment app, they are still treated by payment gateways and issuers like an online purchase would be, as there is no evidence that the card was “present” at the time of the transaction.

In some cases, it may also be helpful to provide additional information with the charge. At the very least, including a billing zip or postal code to be validated with the credit card can help exponentially, but other information including name on the card and billing address can also be validated and checked against known fraudulent transactions. Lastly, providing a billing email address also allows Stripe Radar to check to see if that email address has been used across the Stripe network (globally) for other types of fraud.

What are the bank decline codes?
Decline Code Description
authentication_required The card was declined as the transaction requires authentication.
approve_with_id The payment cannot be authorized.
call_issuer The card has been declined for an unknown reason.
card_not_supported The card does not support this type of purchase.
card_velocity_exceeded The customer has exceeded the balance or credit limit available on their card.
currency_not_supported The card does not support the specified currency.
do_not_honor The card has been declined for an unknown reason.
do_not_try_again The card has been declined for an unknown reason.
duplicate_transaction A transaction with identical amount and credit card information was submitted very recently.
expired_card The card has expired.
fraudulent The payment has been declined as Stripe suspects it is fraudulent.
generic_decline The card has been declined for an unknown reason.
incorrect_number The card number is incorrect.
incorrect_cvc The CVC number is incorrect.
incorrect_pin The PIN entered is incorrect. This decline code only applies to payments made with a card reader.
incorrect_zip The ZIP/postal code is incorrect.
insufficient_funds The card has insufficient funds to complete the purchase.
invalid_account The card, or account the card is connected to, is invalid.
invalid_amount The payment amount is invalid, or exceeds the amount that is allowed.
invalid_cvc The CVC number is incorrect.
invalid_expiry_year The expiration year invalid.
invalid_number The card number is incorrect.
invalid_pin The PIN entered is incorrect. This decline code only applies to payments made with a card reader.
issuer_not_available The card issuer could not be reached, so the payment could not be authorized.
lost_card The payment has been declined because the card is reported lost.
merchant_blacklist The payment has been declined because it matches a value on the Stripe user's block list.
new_account_information_available The card, or account the card is connected to, is invalid.
no_action_taken The card has been declined for an unknown reason.
not_permitted The payment is not permitted.
offline_pin_required The card has been declined as it requires a PIN.
online_or_offline_pin_required The card has been declined as it requires a PIN.
pickup_card The card cannot be used to make this payment (it is possible it has been reported lost or stolen).
pin_try_exceeded The allowable number of PIN tries has been exceeded.
processing_error An error occurred while processing the card.
reenter_transaction The payment could not be processed by the issuer for an unknown reason.
restricted_card The card cannot be used to make this payment (it is possible it has been reported lost or stolen).
revocation_of_all_authorizations The card has been declined for an unknown reason.
revocation_of_authorization The card has been declined for an unknown reason.
security_violation The card has been declined for an unknown reason.
service_not_allowed The card has been declined for an unknown reason.
stolen_card The payment has been declined because the card is reported stolen.
stop_payment_order The card has been declined for an unknown reason.
testmode_decline A Stripe test card number was used.
transaction_not_allowed The card has been declined for an unknown reason.
try_again_later The card has been declined for an unknown reason.
withdrawal_count_limit_exceeded The customer has exceeded the balance or credit limit available on their card.

The list above is directly from Stripe. For a complete list, as well as suggested next steps, please visit: https://stripe.com/docs/declines/codes

card-reader Created with Sketch.

The importance of PCI-compliant card readers with Stripe Terminal

Reduce fraud and look more professional with a pre-certified PCI-compliant card reader from Stripe Terminal.

What is PCI Compliance?

Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance is an official policy, created by the major credit card companies and PCI Security Standards Council to ensure the overall security of credit card transactions. The guidelines refer to both technical and operational standards that all businesses must follow to protect consumer credit card data provided by cardholders.

Why is PCI Compliance Important?

PCI compliance helps you, as a merchant, as well as payment gateways, to avoid fraudulent activity and to reduce cardholder data breaches.

Loading...
Are you responsible as a merchant?

The short answer is no. Stripe assumes this risk on your behalf, as they are the ones that store all cardholder data.

  • Build and Maintain a Secure Network and Systems
  • Protect Cardholder Data
  • Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program
  • Implement Strong Access Control Measures
  • Regularly Monitor and Test Networks

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, there are also varying levels of PCI compliance based on the number of transactions processed yearly.

PCI DSS
Compliance Levels
Level 1 6M+ transactions per year
Level 2 1-6M transactions per year
Level 3 20K-1M transactions per year
Level 4 Less than 20K transactions per year
Is Stripe Terminal PCI Compliant?

The BBPOS Chipper 2X BT from Stripe Terminal is pre-certified with Stripe, meaning that there is nothing additional your business will have to do to become PCI compliant. Because the connection from Stripe Terminal only communicates with Stripe, you do not need to store any cardholder information on your own servers. Everything is stored securely at Stripe, with the brightest minds in the industry protecting the data.

Are the Payment for Stripe apps PCI compliant?

The Payment for Stripe apps are Verified Stripe Partners, which have already integrated with Stripe Terminal. In essence, this means that the Payment for Stripe apps, while using all of the proper tooling and software development kits from Stripe, are also pre-certified to be PCI compliant. The Payment for Stripe apps do not store any cardholder data, as all information is just passed along to Stripe using the highest security standards available.

In addition, when manually keying in cardholder information, the Payment for Stripe app has also completed a PCI-DSS Self Assessment (the most recent standard from May 2018) to the satisfaction of both Stripe and the major credit card companies. Since Payment for Stripe does not store any cardholder data, there is no risk of a data breach.

The only company you have to worry about having your cardholder's financial information is Stripe.

chart Created with Sketch.

Measuring the impact of COVID-19 on Stripe card-present payments

We sampled 1,000 businesses to see how the pandemic has affeccted in-person payments.

The entire world is struggling with the recent COVID-19 pandemic. And the people that depend on Payment for Stripe every single day are no exception. Despite seeing volume declines overall as a platform of nearly 50%, we're just now seeing several businesses bounce back as small business owners adapt their models and begin recovery. Below you'll find the most recent results from our impact survey.

How does your business primarily take payments?

As expected, most businesses that use Payment for Stripe (and Stripe in general) are mostly based online. These businesses see the Payment app as an extremely feature-rich supplement to their thriving online businesses. With no additional setup or accounts required, the Payment app is a perfect solution to get up and running quickly.

Loading...
How significant has the decline been on your business?

As expected, most businesses that use Payment for Stripe (and Stripe in general) are mostly based online. These businesses see the Payment app as an extremely feature-rich supplement to their thriving online businesses. With no additional setup or accounts required, the Payment app is a perfect solution to get up and running quickly.

Loading...
What type of business do you operate?

You are not alone, and you aren't the only business affected. In fact, every single industry and company type is feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to your study.

Loading...
Breakdown by Industry

Essentially, any business that interfaces with customers and needs to make payments were hit especially hard. In addition, those that only can collect payments in person, with all the shelter-at-home orders, prevented many businesses from collecting payment.

Loading...
What happens next?

One of the biggest challenges is figuring how to survive in these uncertain times. Businesses have had to flip their models, from restaurants switching to become general stores or shirt companies building masks. The spirit of the entrepreneur is alive and will make all of these businesses stronger. Below are the results of the sentiment for each business and how they feel they will be impacted when the pandemic is over.

Loading...
How can Payment for Stripe help?

Payment for Stripe is the most utilized and trusted point of sale app on the market serving over 60,000 customers all around the globe. The Payment App provides an intuitive dashboard and seamless gateway for businesses to charge customers within 30 seconds or less. Officially partnered with Stripe, the app includes various payment methods and can receive funds in 137 different currencies.

The Payment App massively extends the features of Stripe payment methods by giving merchants an easy way to charge in-person and online. This article will cover the different payment methods available within the Payment App and when using Stripe services.

refund Created with Sketch.

Understanding the Stripe refund process

Refunds can take 5-10 days to reach your Customer's bank account, so communicate effectively.

Stripe submits refunds to your customer's bank immediately, but depending on the bank processing time, it can take anywhere from 5-10 business days to show up on your customer's bank account.

In some cases, the refund may be processed as a reversal, meaning the original payment will simply disappear from the account statement and the balance will reflect as though the charge never occurred.

If your customer doesn't see the refund after ten business days, and they are still seeing the original charge on their bank statement, they should reach out to their bank for more information.

Setting expectations with your customer

Customers can act in many unexpected ways when they are waiting on a refund. The best strategy to cope with the uncertainty about timing of refunds is by proper and expedient communication. Let your customer know that you have processed the refund, send along a screenshot showing the refund, and let them know that the refund may take some time to disappear from their bank statement.

One helpful item we've found in the past when refunding our customers is to do the above, as well as linking to some documentation that can explain the process of the refund further. This gives the customer confidence that you understand your own process, as well as Stripe's process.

In addition, follow up with your customer after 10 business days to make sure that the refund was processed.

Where does the refund funds come from?

The refund will be credited from your Stripe Account Balance. If there are not enough funds to cover the entire refund, your bank account will be deducted for the difference in the amount. The bank account used to fund the refund is the same account that your payouts arrive in.

What happens to the fees when a refund is completed?

There are two types of fees collected when using the Payment for Stripe app. The first, is the negotiated rate with Stripe. In the US, this is generally 2.9% + 30c per transaction. When using the Payment for Stripe app, there is an additional 1% fee.

There are no fees to refund a charge, however the original Stripe fees are not refundable and will not be returned. However, if refunds are made via the Payment for Stripe app, the application fee will be returned (but again, the Stripe fee will not).

Unfortunately, if the charge refund is processed directly from the Stripe Dashboard, the 1% application fee cannot automatically be refunded. However, if you reach out to our Support team, we can manually process those fee refunds.

What happens if my customer doesn't see the refund after 10 business days?

Depending on when the refund was submitted, the refund may be processed as a reversal. This means that the original charge will drop off of the bank statement as if it never occurred, and thus the customer will not see an actual refund for the inverse amount of the original charge.

In the event the customer believes that the original charge still exists, and 10 business days has elapsed without a credit, the customer should reach out to their bank for additional information.

What about if the refund failed?

A refund can fail if the bank or card issuer is unable to process the refund correctly. The bank would then return the funds to your Stripe account balance. This process can take considerably more time, up to 30 days from the post date. Although very rare, you will be notified of the failed refund so you can organize another avenue for refunding your customer.

terms Created with Sketch.

The ins and outs of Stripe Account Verification

Don't let a lack of Stripe Account Verification disrupt your business and cash flow.

When creating a Stripe account, you, as the business owner or representative, will need to provide several layers of documentation before your account is enabled, which unlocks the ability to take payments and have payouts to your bank account.

Since the Payment app is a Stripe Verified Partner, and utilizes the Stripe Connect Platform for apps, extensions and integrations, you may be required to provide additional information before being able to use the Payment app.

The information that you may need to provide depends on several factors, including:

  • Capabilities required for the account
  • Base country of the account

Stripe will send you an email notification if your Stripe account requires further verification. In some countries, Stripe is required to collect, verify and maintain the identify information for individuals associated with a Stripe account. These requirements are imposed by financial partners and regulators, intended to promote transparency and prevent bad actors from criminal acts.

Lack of identity verification may result in your Stripe account being permanently closed.

Minimum Verification Requires

For the United States, verification attempts may take minutes (if automated) or hours to complete, if a manual review is required. If Stripe is unable to verify the information, your account may not be able to collect payments or make payouts to your bank account.

For companies, LLCs and partnerships looking to have card payments and transfer capability, the following items may be necessary:

  • Business type
  • Merchant category code
  • Business URL
  • Company name
  • Company address
  • Company phone
  • Company tax ID
  • Company rep
    • Name
    • Date of birth
    • Address
    • Tax information (last 4 of SSN)
    • Title
    • Email
    • Phone
  • Owners
    • Name
    • Email
Address Verification

For card payments to be enabled, a validated city, state and ZIP code for your company address is required. If the address cannot be verified before 30 days or $1,500 USD in payments, your card payments may be disabled. Below is a list of acceptable documentation to verify your business address:

  • Rental or lease agreement
  • Utility bills
  • Federal or state tax returns
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Other government-issued business documents
Manual Verification

In some instances, Stripe may be unable to collect and verify the proper information to verify your Stripe account. In these scenarios, you may be asked to upload additional information like a government issued photo ID to verify manually.

Please note, the verification requirements may vary by country and/or region. You can see a list of additional requirements on Stripe's website.

How long does Stripe Account Verification typically take?

Reviews of your Stripe account can vary, but typically take up to 1 business day for the Stripe Compliance team to review and complete. To ensure expedition of processing your requests, make sure you upload all documents at one time, via your Stripe Dashboard. Incomplete documentation will certainly delay the process.

Where can I upload my verification documents?

Since the business documents you are uploading may be highly sensitive in nature, Stripe will only accept documents when uploaded through your Stripe Dashboard. This means that you should log in to your Stripe account, and follow the links below. Stripe will NOT accept documents submitted via email, including to [email protected]

payout Created with Sketch.

The complete guide to Stripe Payouts

Stripe supports flexible payout schedules, including instant payouts in minutes.

Stripe's default setup to receive funds is by making payouts to your bank account. There are a number of ways you can adjust the timing of these payments to best fit your business' needs. In addition, there are several factors to the the timing and cadence of these payouts, including:

  • Industry
  • Country
  • Recency of Stripe account
  • Other risks
First Payout

In most cases, your first payout from Stripe will be received in your bank account between 7-14 days from your first successful payment. The first payout generally takes longer than subsequent payouts, as this time period is used by Stripe to determine the validity and establish your Stripe account.

In other cases, depending on the status of your account, your payout may arrive within 2 business days.

Subsequent and Future Payouts

Once your Stripe account has been verified and establishes history with Stripe, you will begin receiving your payouts on an automatic daily rolling basis, if you choose to have automatic payments applied in that manner. There are several other ways you can choose to have payouts happen, including:

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Custom
  • Manually

Depending on the option you choose, your payments will be bundled together and deposited based on the cadence above. In addition, depending on the agreement with your bank, it may be beneficial to adjust your payout schedule, in the event you receive any type of fee for receiving ACH transfers.

By choosing manual payouts, your Stripe balance will continue to grow and adjust until you decide to transfer the balance to your bank account. In this instance, think of Stripe as another checking account, which will hold your funds until you are ready to receive them. Often times, businesses will use this avenue when making changes to their own banking system, or saving for future expenses.

Instant Payouts

Stripe offers an option for Instant Payouts to many businesses in the US, Canada and Singapore. This allows companies to receive funds within minutes to an eligible debit card, 24x7, including nights, weekends and holidays. An additional fee applies of 1% of the payout amount. Daily payout limits may also apply.

Held in Reserve

In some circumstances, Stripe may hold funds in your Stripe Balance “in reserve”. These reserved funds are used to prevent negative balances due to disputes and fraud on your Stripe account. Most of these reserve holds are temporary, and will become available within the next 45-180 days. This can be very troublesome for businesses who rely on that cash flow to operate, so make sure that your Stripe account is verified by providing as much documentation as requested.

Some of the reasons your funds may be held in reserve included, but are not limited to:

  • Additional insight required to determine your normal charge behavior
  • Your Stripe account is experiencing high chargeback or dispute rates
  • Your business operates in a high risk industry
  • Your business collects funds far in advance of delivery of goods or services
Removing a Reserve

Unfortunately, Stripe has full jurisdiction over when to remove a reserve once they have been placed. However, if you believe the reserve has been applied in error, you should reach out to Stripe Support's team by replying to the notification email you received. From there, you may be asked to provide additional information and documentation to assist with removal of the reserve.

Account Verification

Stripe may require several pieces of documentation before they are able to verify your account. This information may include several details about the business, like type, address and tax identification numbers. In addition, other details may be required of owners and representatives of the company, like the last four of a social security number in the US.

More information about account verification can be found here: Blog: Stripe Account Verification

Which payment methods are supported with Payment for Stripe?

The Payment for Stripe app supports all major credit cards as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Payment for Stripe is the most utilized and trusted point of sale app on the market serving over 60,000 customers all around the globe. The Payment App provides an intuitive dashboard and seamless gateway for businesses to charge customers within 30 seconds or less. Officially partnered with Stripe, the app includes various payment methods and can receive funds in 137 different currencies.

Stripe has disintegrated tedious contractual and operational relationships with the payment scheme, eliminating weeks of review and negotiation. Consumers, paired with Stripe, now have the freedom to smoothly pay for services their way, such as traditional eCommerce, subscription, SaaS and mountains of digital goods.

The Payment App massively extends the features of Stripe payment methods by giving merchants an easy way to charge in-person and online. This article will cover the different payment methods available within the Payment App and when using Stripe services.

Stripe Payment Methods Used by the Payment App

While using the Payment App users can charge for goods and services with the following payment options:

  • AMEX
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Discover
  • Diners Club
  • Maestro
  • JCB
  • Discover
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay

Each option is fully supported by tapping, sliding, inserting, and manual entry using either the Payment app or BBPOS Chipper 2X BT-a Bluetooth card reader that's PCI and EMV certified. Merchants can track each transaction on their application, email receipts, build their customer list, and fully integrate with any other Stripe payment taken on any platform.

Here are supported payment methods when using the Payment App:

Apple Pay

Apple, a mogul of the technology industry, released Apple Pay in 2014. Upon release, they intended to banish physical wallets for good. Consumers can store and utilize credit and debit cards within the app for frictionless payments. This contactless technology allows users to make payments through profiles set up on their iPhone, iPad, Mac OS, and Apple Watch.

The real benefit when completing transactions through Apple Pay lies in the security features. The application morphs any card stored into a unique card identity stored in Apple's "secure element." Once called upon for a transaction, it renders a unique identification code, followed by one-touch authentication and biometric face or touch ID.

Growing popularity for digital wallets and cardless technology makes Apple Pay essential for businesses to carry as a payment method. Apple Pay is now available in 33 different countries with thousands of supporting banks.

Payment for Stripe readily charges and accepts Apple Pay online and in-person with options like tap-to-pay and PCI compliant card readers.

Debit and Credit Cards

Cards dominate the global marketplace as a form of payment. Banks and other providers offer credit and debit cards such as American Express, Visa, Mastercard, JCB, Diners Club, UnionPay, Maestro and Discover. All of these are accepted on the Payment for Stripe app and card reader, but there's a difference between credit and debit:

  • Debit cards are linked to a bank account and require proper funds for each transaction.
  • Credit cards operate under a "promise to pay" system, which accrues interest if new debt isn't settled within the designated grace period.

Nearly all merchants allow the option to pay-by-card, but some use POS systems running on a different payment platform. Using Payment for Stripe will enable you to take card payments in person, online, and on-the-go, siphoning all business income into one simple account.

Regardless of what cards you're using, a study commissioned by JP Morgan Chase noted only 16 percent of consumers have ever used digital wallets, and only 25 percent of small businesses even accepted these payments. These findings illustrate the slow adoption to these technologies by consumers, making cards imperative for the present and near future transactions.

Google Pay

Google Pay is a digital wallet that allows users to store and pay with cards or bank accounts linked to Google Pay. Every user has access to their funds by selecting Google Pay and using their stored payment of choice. Security features include the use of a "virtual account number," which is shared with merchants upon payment instead of the actual credit or debit cards associated with the user's account.

Customers can deploy this virtual pocketbook to complete fast and secure transactions on the Payment for Stripe App, in-person card readers, online eCommerce stores, and even when sending money through Gmail.

Google Pay's goal is to create the best user and merchant experience utilizing its frictionless payment system, decreasing checkout time, and increasing merchant conversions. The platform's worldwide expansion between 2018 and 2020 is forecasted to increase by 61 million users, putting the total at 100 million.