You've made a product or got some inventory to sell, but you're not really sure how to get started. This blog post aims to be a guide to help you take payments quickly. The first step to taking payments online is to sign up with a gateway. There are lot's of options here. We personally recommend using Stripe since they have lot's of great features and are easy to get up and running. However, if your business is not in a standard industry you may want to look elsewhere. You can read what businesses Stripe restricts here: https://stripe.com/us/restricted-businesses
Whether you're taking recurring or one time payments, Stripe can make this happen. Their site may look like you need a developer, but you can always use add-ons like InstaPayments to get around this.
Let's get into the nitty gritty.
Step 1: Sign up
You can start the registration process here: https://dashboard.stripe.com/register
Fill out their form(s). Be prepared to spend 20-30 min doing this as they're going to ask for everything about your business and yourself. They have to ask all this stuff to make sure your business is legit and not fraudulent. It also helps to have a website setup before hand. Most of the time their verification is instant.
You'll know your account is live when you can switch it to live mode. Products, transactions and customers do not transfer over from test mode so don't waste time unless you're intentionally doing testing.
Step 2: Define Your Pricing
If your business model is subscription based, you'll need to define your plans. Head over to https://dashboard.stripe.com/products and click "Create New".
Once you've given the product a name and description you can move on to defining the pricing plan.
The plan(s) is where the actual pricing settings come into play. Most of this is pretty self explanatory but it can be broken down into two parts:
1. Price per unit: what your customer will be charged multiplied by the quantity they bought. i.e. if they have 5 licenses and each license is $20, they'll pay $100
2. Billing Interval: How often this plan should bill i.e. Monthly, yearly, every day etc.
3. Trial Periods: how long should a customer be on the plan until they pay. i.e. InstaPayments offers a 14 day trial. After 14 days the normal billing amount gets charged.
Step 3: Make a signup form
We're going to use InstaPayments to get this going in minutes instead of standing up a server or managing billing logic on your own servers.
First things first create an InstaPayments account.
During this registration process we'll ask to connect to your Stripe account. This will allow us to make API calls on your behalf.
Once you've made your account, head over to the Hosted Forms section. Click the "+" button on the bottom right. You'll now be asked some basic questions including what plan you want the customer subscribed to after they fill out your form.
You can select multiple plans if you want a customer subscribed to several plans upon completing your form.
Continue through the stepper until it's finished then click "view" on the form you just made. You can upload a logo and change the button color in the branding settings. Click refresh on the form to see the new logo.
When viewing the form, copy the URL from the browser. This URL won't change and can be sent to customers or put on your website to take signups.
Step 4: Get it on your site!
Make sure you have a link to that form we just created. Now let's add it to a button.
The screenshot above was using Weebly, but most if not all website editors can do this. Now whenever a customer hits the signup button they'll be taken to that form. When they fill it out, InstaPayments will create a customer and subscription in Stripe.
You're now live!
You can always reach out to our team firstname.lastname@example.org if you struggled with any of these steps. We also offer development services if you want a custom signup process instead of the standard InstaPayments forms.