To start receiving payments on your marketplace, you must first sign up for Stripe and set up a Stripe Connect platform account. The process is quite straightforward, but below is a detailed walkthrough of all the required steps to start testing or receiving live payments.
In a nutshell, the required steps are:
Steps 3 and 4 can be done in any order, but both have to be completed to start using live payments. Step 3 is optional for testing purposes.
1. Create a new Stripe account
To start using Stripe, first, visit their page and create a new account. There are no separate development or testing accounts in Stripe. All you need is one account, as each has a built-in test mode. All new Stripe accounts can turn on the connect function required to receive and transfer funds to sellers on your marketplace.
1A. Go to stripe.com and find the Sign in button.
The button is located on the left side of the header of Stripe's homepage.
1B. Click Sign up on the login page
You will be redirected to the Stripe Dashboard login page. At the bottom, there is a "Sign up" button. Click it to create a new account (if you already have a Stripe account created, you can skip this step).
1C. Fill out the registration form
On the next page, there are 4 required fields asking for basic personal information.
Enter your work email and full name (this email and name will be called Owner).
Select the country of business operation and create a secure password.
The checkbox is optional; tick it NOT to receive marketing information.
To continue, click the "Create account" button.
1D. Information about email verification.
If successful, the user will be redirected to the below page that instructs them to verify their email address.
If no email was received, there is an option resend the verification email.
2. Verify email address
Stripe will send an email to the address provided in the previous step. The title of the email will be "Verify your email to start using Stripe".
2A. Click on the violet "Verify email address" button.
2B. You will be redirected to the Stripe website. Input your password.
Note: If the account is not verified within 24 hours, the link will expire. Simply click on the "Resend email" button, to receive another one.
2C. First Login
If everything goes as planned, the user will be directed to a page that lets them activate payments immediately (this is recommended) or skip and go straight to the Stripe dashboard.
3. Activate Payments
Activating payments is an essential step of onboarding, as Stripe will require new users to share information about the business structure, including owner information and bank details. Preparing this information beforehand is advisable, but it is possible to go back to any previous step to adjust the data. A summary at the end will help to review if anything is missing.
All of the steps and fields are well described by Stripe, but feel free to contact us if any of the steps are unclear. The following example details the steps for a UK-based business. The exact fields for other countries may vary, but the flow is the same.
3A. Select your country and type of business.
Choose the country the business is registered in, and select one of three types of business (Individual, Company, or non-profit). Company is the most common choice.
3B. Select the type of business structure you employ
For UK-based businesses, the choices are LLP, Unincorporated Partnership, or Private Company. US-based marketplaces may choose between single and multi-member LLC, private corporation, private partnership, and sole proprietorship. Select the correct structure and click "Continue".
Note: The exact steps and the menu’s appearance on the left vary based on business structure selection. This example will continue as a private company.
3C. Business details step
The next step is about company information. Legal business name and CRN are required, as well as the registered address, phone number, type of industry, and website.
Product information is also required; type in a short description of the products or services.
After filling in all of the information, click "Continue".
3D. Business representative
Next, provide basic information about business representatives. It doesn't necessarily have to be an owner or an executive but simply anyone with enough clearance in the organization to represent it.
Stripe asks for that person's legal name, email, job title, date of birth, address, and phone number. All fields must be filled, except for the percentage of the company this person owns.
After providing all of the information, click "Continue".
3E. Business Owners
In this step, Stripe asks for the business owners' information. It is possible to continue without providing this information, but it may be against local regulations.
The required fields are first name, last name, and email.
After providing all of the information, click "Done, continue".
3F. Business executives
In this step, Stripe asks for the business executives' information. Again, it is possible to continue without providing this information, but it may be against local regulations.
The required fields are first name, last name, and email.
After providing all of the information, click "Done, continue".
3G. Fulfillment details
This screen requires sharing information about how orders will be fulfilled, and whether the products will be physical or digital (i.e., that do not require any fulfillment service). Stripe also asks for an estimation of the time needed to ship products.
After providing all the information, click "Continue".
3H. Add Public details for customers
The next screen is about statement descriptors that will appear on customers’ bank or credit card statements. A shortened statement is also required.
It is important to provide the customer support phone number in case of any questions or disputes from the marketplace's end users.
3I. Bank Details
This may be the most crucial part of the "Activate Payments" section. Actual fields differ for each country, but this is how it appears in this GB example.
This bank account will be used for payouts from Stripe. If the plan is to set up a multi-currency marketplace, each currency will need a separate bank account.
Note: The currency of the bank account will be used to determine the settlement currency, which will be later used to convert funds to other currencies. More on how Stripe deals with currencies to be read here.
3J. Two Step Authentication
To keep the account secure, it is recommended to turn on two-step authentication for the account.
There are two methods available; SMS and an authenticator app. The SMS method will send a six-digit code on every login attempt. The Google Authenticator app will work similarly and require inputting a code on every login attempt. The code will refresh automatically.
3K. Tax calculation
This is one of the few optional steps of "Activate Payments" onboarding. Stripe offers automated tax calculation and monitoring. More on Stripe Tax can be read here: https://stripe.com/docs/tax
3L. Climate contributions
Another optional step. Decide whether or not to direct a fraction of revenue from received payments to fund carbon removal. Choose an amount to contribute or select "Not right now".
The summary shows the user an overview of their progress and allows them to review and finalize the whole process. Any place that needs attention will be marked red, with an edit button for easy access.
If Stripe has been provided with all of the required information, the boxes will appear as shown below, and the "Done" button will become active.
4. Setup the Stripe Connect
In order to start using Stripe Connect, you must activate payments. However, you can start setting up the Connect feature without completing payment onboarding.
4A. Find Stripe Connect on the Stripe dashboard.
Stripe Connect has a separate tab accessed via the header. It is visible to every logged-in user.
In order to start the setup, find the "Connect" tab on the header at the top of the Stripe Dashboard, and click the "Get started" button.
After clicking on the "Get started" button, a popup will be displayed. Select "Platform or Marketplace" as there is no need to build a custom application with Vendo.
Click the "Continue" button to proceed. The Services and Connect Platform Agreement can be reviewed at this point.
4C. Stripe Connect onboarding steps
Stripe Connect will now present a number of steps to complete to start using platform payments. Observe how one of them is verifying your email address, as discussed earlier. Second-to-last, is the "Add business details to activate your account" step, i.e., the activating payments step, which we already covered.
Feel free to read about the Connect feature or move on to the "Complete your platform profile" step to continue setting up your platform.
4D. Find Stripe Connect settings.
In order to configure the exact operation of the Connect feature, you need to visit https://dashboard.stripe.com/test/settings/connect or click on the "Settings" button in the header, and navigate to Connect settings.
4E. Manage your express onboarding options
Click the "Manage" button on the Express element of the menu.
4F. Select the countries you wish to onboard sellers from.
Stripe allows up to 41 countries of origin for the marketplace's sellers. Select the countries from which you intend to source sellers. It's also possible to choose only one country.
Note: More on stripe express accounts to be read here
4G. Add branding
Adding basic branding to Stripe Connect is required. This customizes the Express onboarding menus for the marketplace's sellers. The settings can be found by scrolling down Connect setting page.
Add the business name, icon (smaller version of the logo), and brand colors. Click "Save branding changes" to save the settings.
4H. Add branding to your Stripe account
It's also possible to add branding elements to the Stripe owner's account. Visit https://dashboard.stripe.com/settings/branding to similarly add these elements to the account.
5. Complete your Platform Profile
To complete the platform profile, there are a few additional questions about the business that must be answered. Let's take a look at each screen one by one. Below is the recommended route, but if any other answer seems to better suit your plans, feel free to select differently than this example.
5A. Select the industry that best matches your business
Here, select the "E-commerce products" option.
5B. Where do customers purchase products or services?
Here, it is recommended to select the 2nd option, as Vendo is a platform that will bring Vendors under one marketplace platform/website.
5C. Whose name is listed with the transaction on a customer's credit card statement?
Choose whose name should be listed on the receipts. As customers will pay directly to the marketplace, which is responsible for splitting the payments among sellers, "Your platform's name" is recommended.
For clarity, it's possible to choose both, but it is ultimately the owner's choice and business decision regarding what information is listed on those documents.
5D. Who should customers contact if they have a dispute or complaint?
Since sellers will be responsible for shipping in most cases, we recommend to select the first option if you want the Vendors to handle disputes or the second option if you want to control this aspect of customer care.
5E. Describe how a customer purchases a product or service using your platform.
Stripe wants to know the purchasing model of the platform. In a few sentences, try to summarize the idea. Stripe shows some examples on the right-hand side as a guide.
5F. Describe how disputes are handled and resolved on your platform.
Similar to the previous step, Stripe will ask how customer disputes are to be handled. A short description will suffice.
5G. Do your users directly accept card or ACH payments from customers?
In most cases, the 2nd option will be correct. Customers do not make payments directly to sellers, but rather to the marketplace which is then responsible for paying out the sellers.
5H. When purchasing a product or service, who does the customer think they are purchasing from?
Based on the type of platform, this answer may vary. Consider which party or parties are actually doing business with the end customers. In this case of a typical Vendo-powered marketplace, the customer does business with the marketplace (e.g., "Your platform), and the marketplace does business with the sellers.
Lastly, all of the answers can be reviewed before submitting them to Stripe. It is also possible to save the progress and leave at any time.
6. Copy API Keys into Vendo.
Vendo will communicate with Stripe using API, and so it needs unique API Keys to be able to establish this channel of communication. Vendo needs both the 'Publishable' and 'Secret' keys to be copied into the Vendo Dashboard.
6A. Where to find API Keys on the Stripe Dashboard?
On the Stripe homepage, these keys can be found on the right-hand side as shown below.
Clicking the "eye" icon will reveal the information. The button that enables copying will appear on hover.
Note: The Secret key can only be viewed once, so make sure to keep a record of it somewhere until Stripe Connect is set up and working on Vendo.
6B. Copy API Keys to Vendo
Access the fields to paste the API Keys in the
Settings > Payments section of the Vendo Dashboard, or by clicking on the onboarding step entitled "Connect your payment gateway". The area where the keys should be placed looks like this:
The preliminary steps on the Stripe Dashboard that we covered above are all required for payments to work. If the API keys are accepted the Stripe integration will be marked as active:
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