5 Tools to Accept Recurring Payments With Stripe

If you’re like a lot of online businesses, you want to start accepting recurring payments. You know that recurring payments are a great way to bring consistent growth and sales to your business. But, you probably don’t know where to start or are intimidated by Stripe’s complex user experience. We don’t blame you. It’s a sentiment we often hear from our users.

We love Stripe, but despite building a whole product around it, we’ll be the first ones to admit that it can be a bit intimidating. I was talking to an online marketing consultant friend of mine the other day, Sean from Social Rocket Ship, and even he – someone who’s very internet savvy – mentioned how confusing Stripe’s homepage is.

And it doesn’t get any better once you’ve logged into your Stripe account. The dashboard contains familiar phrases such as Payments and Customers and Billing, but it also has stuff like Radar and Sigma and Atlas, words and concepts not so familiar to someone who’s just getting started with recurring payments.

And to be honest, even the stuff that should be easy (like setting up a payment form or page for a recurring product) is difficult to figure out how to do.

You have options:

Option 1: figure out how to integrate Stripe directly into your website

Option 2: use an app already designed to work with Stripe to simplify the process

Option 2 is where Stripe’s app marketplace comes in. There’s a lot of companies that build products on top of Stripe, and many of them are there to help you set up recurring charges.

Below we’re just going to cover the ones that we think are the easiest and simplest to use. So if you’re looking to set up a complex payment flow – with add-on services, affiliates, a/b testing, etc – this list of tools won’t help you do that.

But if you’re just looking to integrate recurring charges into your business in the simplest way possible, read on.

We’re going to focus on five tools:

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MoonClerk

MoonClerk has been around for a long time (since 2013); it was one of the original services to be built on top of Stripe.

Who it’s for?

MoonClerk is a great option for both online and brick-and-mortar business that want to incorporate recurring billing into their business.

MoonClerk supports both one-time and recurring payments and is easy to set up. Simply connect your Stripe account and create a recurring payment form that you can send a link to or embed in your website.

Who it’s not for?

MoonClerk, however, may not be the right option for you if you’re looking for a more modern design and lower cost. The fact that the tool has been around since 2013 is great, but that also makes its interface a bit dated (think Microsoft Windows around that same time).

MoonClerk payment forms also involve a 2-step checkout process which is not great for conversions.

Also, if you’re looking to collect payments in different currencies, MoonClerk is not for you. The platform only supports payments in US Dollars.

What does it cost?

$15-$500/month

Perhaps the biggest downside to using MoonClerk is its cost. While it starts at $15/month, its pricing is volume based so you quickly find yourself paying a lot more as your business grows.

ChargeKeep

ChargeKeep is our own product and while we may be biased, we believe it’s far easier to use to set up recurring charges with Stripe than other tool out there.

Here’s how a current user put it:

“You need Stripe plus a thing to make recurring payments happen – ChargeKeep is the easiest.”

To get started, you connect your Stripe account (or create and connect a new one), create a payment form, and start collecting payments. It’s really that simple.

Who it’s for?

ChargeKeep is for online businesses (consultants, coaches, non-profits, and others) that want the simplest possible way to integrate Stripe recurring payments into their business. It’s “Stripe for non-developers.”

The tool works with all content management systems – WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly – and supports collecting payments in multiple currencies, making it a great option for those business that are located outside the US or US business that have European or other international clients.

Unlike all the other services in this list, ChargeKeep also supports multiple Stripe accounts, so if have one or more Stripe accounts, you can connect those accounts to the platform and collects payments for each one separately.

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Who it’s not for?

ChargeKeep is a great option for a lot of online business, but unlike Gumroad it’s not really for selling digital products or, like WooCommerce, a cart solution for selling physical products.

It’s also not a great option if you have a complex payment flow where you need an with affiliate software, such as Tapfiliate or LeadDyno. Those integrations are something that the team has planned for the future, but are not available as of today (July 2019).

What does it cost?

$15-$79/month

From a pricing perspective, you can’t beat ChargeKeep. The tool does not have transactions fees or volume-based pricing tiers, you can grow your business without having to worry that your costs will increase along with your sales.

PayWhirl

Like MoonClerk, PayWhirl has also been around for about five years. It’s an established platform and a good option for a wide variety of online businesses.

Who it’s for?

PayWhirl is for mature online businesses looking for a complete payments solution. The software integrates with not only Stripe, but also Braintree, Shopify, BigCommerce, and many others. So if you’re looking for a lot of flexibility or run multiple businesses on various platforms, PayWhirl is a great choice.

Who it’s not for?

PayWhirl is a more sophisticated tool and beginner Stripe users will find that many of the tool’s features won’t be applicable to them.

Features such as upsells, account managers, the API, multiple payment gateways, etc. are geared towards already established businesses. And because PayWhirl is so “feature-rich” the interface is a bit clogged. Setting a simple recurring payment form or plan is a multi-step process and not super intuitive.

In short, PayWhirl is not for folks just getting started with recurring payments. If you’re looking for simple software that will allow you to quickly set up recurring payments using your Stripe account, PayWhirl is not that software.

What does it cost?

$0-$249/month (+ 0.5%-3.0% transaction fee)

PayWhirl charges a monthly fee plus a transaction fee from each transaction. It does have a free plan, which does not have a monthly fee, but that plan carries a whopping 3% transaction fee, which means that in addition to the fees that Stripe charges, you could be paying up to 5.9% of each transaction in fees. If you have larger charges, those fees can add up quickly.

On the other hand, if you want lower per transaction fees, you’ll have to pay up to $249 per month to access transaction fees of 0.5% and all of PayWhirl’s features.

Memberful

Memberful, acquired by Patreon in 2018, focuses on creators that want to sell memberships to their audience.

Who it’s for?

Memberful is exclusively for those users who use WordPress and Stripe and want to collect recurring payments. The tool does not support any other content management platforms or payment processing providers.

Who it’s not for?

If you’re looking to integrate recurring payments into Squarespace, Wix, Weebly or another platform aside from WordPress, Memberful is not for you. Also, if you want to collect one-type payments, Memberful is not for you.

What does it cost?

$0-$100/month (+ 4.9%-10% transaction fee)

Like PayWhirl, Memberful has a pricing tier that’s $0/month, but charges a whopping 10% from each successful charge. There is a middle tier at $25/month and a more expensive one at $100/month, but each of those tiers also adds 4.9% to each charge. So even at the higher monthly rate, you’ll be paying out quite a bit of your earnings in additional fees, up to 12.9% of each transaction.

WP Simple Pay

WP Simple Pay, like Memberful is a WordPress-only plugin. While really easy to set up, its usability is limited by that fact.

Who it’s for?

WP Simple Pay is for online businesses that already have a WordPress website and would like to integrate recurring or one-time payments. It’s popular tool for WordPress users and is used by a wide variety of online businesses: SAAS products, lead-generation websites, and digital marketers and consultants.

Who it’s not for?

If want to set up recurring payments with Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly WP Simple Pay is not for you.

What does it cost?

$99-$249 per year or $499 one-time

WP Simple Pay is the only tool out of the five we’ve reviewed that charges a one-time fee to access the platform. If you opt not to pay the $499 one-time fee, you can pay an annual fee of $99 (about $8 per month) to $249 (about $21 per month) per year. This can be a useful for you if you’re convinced you won’t ever need to use another tool or if you’re already used another tool and you’re switching to WP Simple Pay.

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