Who are Stripe?
Stripe is a technology company that allows both private individuals and businesses to accept payments over the Internet. Stripe focuses on providing the technical, fraud prevention, and banking infrastructure required to operate online payment systems.
Stripe are one of the younger, but leading payment gateway providers internationally. They have received significant funding during their set up and development from highly reputable banking industry companies including the founders of PayPal.
Why does Event Owl use Stripe?
The Event Owl team scoured the earth and read hundreds of reviews to select a suitable payment gateway partner. Stripe were chosen due to their own aim of trying to reduce the burden of payment processing for small businesses, and also their foresight and leading innovation in the banking arena.
Event Owl has integrated Stripes payment gateway processing into its website.
How long is the payment process?
Event Owl has a five day 'cooling off period' for exhibitors, (AFTER the organiser has pressed their Accept button for their application) before payment is taken from their payment card which is presented at checkout. Cards are NOT processed if there is deemed to be something wrong with the card. The usual security measures are taken by Stripe on Event Owls behalf, and that of its Event Organisers. The system accepts Visa and MasterCard.
This is followed by a small waiting period by Stripe, during which time it profiles the businesses involved to protect against potential fraud. Stripe then transfers the Exhibitors funds directly into the bank account linked to the payee, in this situation, the Event Organisers bank account. In the case of the Organisers purchasing services from Event Owl directly, a similar, though shorter protocol is followed.
How financially transparent are the two companies?
In Event Owl both Exhibitors and Event Organiser have financial spreadsheets where they can view their transactions and amounts. Event Organisers are asked for their insurance details, terms and conditions plus their company registration details, vat number details (if they have them) to help prevent fraudulent Event Organisers using Event Owl. The exhibitors are covered by Event Owl asking for their full business data, insurance information and of course payment - which if found fraudulent, Stripe endeavour to pick up on. Then again why would a fraudster want to give any money to an event organiser before an event, or attend a show where they could be caught? Commensense needs to prevail. We encourage organsiers NOT to take last minute payments unless an exhibitors card is then later declined - after the event. We do have ways to process applications though if this be the case, but cannot gaurentee successful payment.
With Stripe, it is the Event Organiser who has the Stripe account NOT the exhibitor. Their dashboard again provides a full financial breakdown of each transaction. They currently 'bundle' payments due to be sent that week to your bank account. This 'bundle' of information is separated out under the transfer information for you. All the transactions are downloadable in spreadsheet format. Refunds are a matter of finding the exhibitor (using the search tool) finding the event they have applied to and the fee paid and clicking on the refund button. You can adjust the level of refund %. In summary Stripe are accountable to international financial authorities who have very stringent policies. If you encounter ANY issues, they MUST provide you with a solution happy to these authorities as well as yourself. Again commonsense prevails, it is NOT in their best interests to work against you and your exhibitors!
Why do you charge a fee?
We shall reverse this question! Why should your exhibitors pay you? If they don't because you do not charge for your event trade stands as you are a bonafide charity - then neither do we! So any fees that are owed to both Stripe (currently at 20th Jan 2016 1.4% +20p) and Event Owl (varies between £1+vat and 10% of the total booking fee) are taken during the exhibitor payments journey.
If, for any reason the exhibitor needs to withdraw from an event, and the organiser has agreed, in writing/terms and conditions, to pay a refund, the Stripe fee will be adjusted and the monies returned from the organisers account, usually within a ten working day period. No refund is given by Event Owl, as its service has been provided once the Event Organiser accepts the application and the card has been processed.
Stripe are VERY understanding of cash flow with all businesses, particularly Events.
Every account is reviewed on an individual basis and sometimes, if there is a problem, or a potential fraudulent transaction, Stripe will ask the Organiser for more information either via email or in their dashboard. If the user is unable to provide it, Stripe are required BY LAW, to pause transfers until that information is gathered. If this arises, then feel free to speak to the Event Owl team who will speak with Stripe.
Stripe has many greatest features such as:
Transparent pricing: With Stripe, you'll only ever pay their flat fee, there are no additional charges for American Express and international transactions (PayPal charges an additional 3.5% for Amex transactions and a 1% surcharge on international transactions). Get the full scoop here: https://stripe.com/pricing
Elegant API: Stripes API is known for the ease of integration, flexibility, and maintenance.
Ease of reporting: With Stripe, all reporting is consolidated in one place and can be easily accessed via the dashboard, the API or exported as a .csv file for reconciliation purposes.
Customer service: Stripe makes it easy to focus on giving your customers the best service by leveraging technology to understand your payment activity. For example, when a dispute occurs, you'll be able to email your customer, submit evidence to contest the dispute, and track the status of the dispute — all right from your Stripe dashboard.
Stripe also shoulders the burden of PCI compliance with Stripe.js, which accepts your customers' payment information for you. This gives you the ability to control the entire experience without having to work through the more complex PCI Compliance requirements.
Support is crucial to Stripe; it's just as important as their API. They care about fast, personal replies from highly skilled people. At Event Owl we have had only excellent customer service from Stripe so far.
For marketplace-type platform;, Stripe Connect provides novel ways to accept payments on behalf of your customers or payout to vendors or service providers depending on your setup. Connect is bringing forth new types of services that allow you to provide first class support for your users and their funds. You can read more at https://stripe.com/connect
More generally, Stripe are building the economic infrastructure for the Internet, and are removing hassles that have made the payments landscape so rough. We recommend taking a look at their blog at https://stripe.com/blog to learn more about what they are doing to make payments painless.
The Event Owl Team are here for any other questions you might have, so please don't be shy!