Connect Account Types

    Learn more about the three kinds of Stripe accounts you can use with Connect.

    When using Stripe Connect, you need to create an account (known as a connected account) for each user that receives money on your platform. These accounts are generally created when a user signs up for your platform. The type of accounts you create impact what you need to build and can determine who is responsible for chargebacks, user support, etc. There are three account types you can use with Connect, each of which is designed for different use cases:

    If your platform is based in the U.S. and you haven’t completed the platform profile yet, complete that first so we can provide recommendations based on your business.

    Choosing an approach

    There are many factors that go into choosing the best type of account to use. The table below lists many of these factors, but integration effort and user experience are particularly important. For example, if you don’t want to spend a lot of time building onboarding flows, Standard or Express accounts might be easier to implement. Or, if you need more control over the connected user’s experience, Express or Custom accounts might fit your needs. Your platform can support more than one account type, although that adds complexity to your integration.

      Standard Express Custom
    Integration effort Lowest Low Typically higher
    Integration method OAuth integration OAuth integration API-only
    Fraud and dispute liability User Platform Platform
    Platform can specify payout timing? No Yes Yes
    Onboarding Stripe Stripe Platform
    Identity information gathering Stripe Stripe Platform
    User can access the Stripe Dashboard? Yes, full Stripe Dashboard Yes, Express Dashboard No
    User support provided by Platform and Stripe Platform and Stripe Platform
    Ideal for users that are Experienced online businesses Any type Any type

    User refers to the person with the connected account (i.e., the person being paid for providing goods or services through your platform). With Standard accounts, the platform assumes fraud and dispute liability when using destination charges, but the user is responsible when using direct charges.

    Note there's an additional cost for using Express or Custom accounts.

    Standard accounts

    A Standard Stripe account is a conventional Stripe account controlled directly by the account holder (i.e., your platform’s user). A user with a Standard account has a relationship with Stripe, is able to log in to the Dashboard, can process charges on their own, and can disconnect their account from your platform.

    You can prompt your users to create Stripe accounts or allow anyone with an existing Stripe account to connect to your platform.

    Standard accounts are best when you:

    • Want to get started quickly and don’t need a lot of control over your user’s experience
    • Want to use direct charges
    • Have users that are familiar with running online businesses or might already have a Stripe account
    • Prefer that Stripe handles communication for account issues directly with the user (e.g., to request more information for identity verification purposes)

    To get started with Standard accounts, read more about the onboarding flow.

    Express accounts

    An Express Stripe account provides the platform with the ability to specify charge types and the responsibility for handling disputes and refunds, which is similar to a Custom account. But with Express accounts, Stripe handles the onboarding and identity verification processes. Although your user will have some interactions with Stripe, they’ll mostly deal with your platform, particularly for the core payment processing functionality.

    With Express, the platform has the ability to set the connected account’s payout settings programmatically. Express account holders have access to a minimal Stripe Dashboard that allows them to manage their personal information, view payments, and see payouts to their bank.

    You should probably use Express accounts when you:

    • Want to get started quickly (letting Stripe handle account onboarding, management, and identity verification)
    • Want to use destination charges or separate charges and transfers
    • Want significant control over the your user’s experience
    • Are supporting only individuals and businesses located in the U.S. (support for more countries is coming soon)

    To get started with Express accounts, read more about the onboarding flow.

    Custom accounts

    A Custom Stripe account is almost completely invisible to the account holder. You—the platform—are responsible for all interactions with your user, including collecting any information Stripe needs. You also have the ability to change all of the account’s settings, including the payout bank or debit card account, programmatically.

    Custom account holders do not have access to a Stripe Dashboard, and Stripe will not contact them directly.

    You should probably use Custom accounts when you:

    • Want complete control over your user’s experience
    • Can build the infrastructure required to collect user information, create a user dashboard, and handle support
    • Want to handle all communication with your users, rather than having your users contact Stripe directly

    Since creating and managing Custom accounts typically requires a more involved integration than using Standard or Express accounts, we’ve dedicated several pages to the topic, starting with the fundamentals of Custom accounts.

    Choose your account type

    Know what type of integration you'd like to have? Read more about the specific account integration steps.

    Questions?

    We're always happy to help with code or other questions you might have. Search our documentation, contact support, or connect with our sales team. You can also chat live with other developers in #stripe on freenode.

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