Connect Account Types

    Learn more about the three kinds of Stripe accounts you can use with Connect. If you need help after reading this, search our documentation or check out answers to common questions. You can even chat live with other developers in #stripe on freenode.

    With Connect, users of your platform can have one of three types of Stripe accounts:

    The documents linked in those bullets walk through using the corresponding account type in detail. However, you should first determine which type is most applicable to your use case, using the information below.

    Choosing an approach

    As many factors go into choosing the best type of account to use, the following table presents the most important considerations. You 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 Individuals 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).

    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.

    You should probably use Standard accounts when you:

    • Want to get started as quickly as possible (platforms that don’t manage accounts are easiest to set up and require far less custom code)
    • Have users that are already experienced online merchants or might already have a Stripe account
    • Prefer 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 the flow of funds and the responsibility for handling disputes and refunds, 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 still 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, but only 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 significant control over the connected user’s experience
    • Are only supporting individuals and sole proprietors (support for corporate entities 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 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 the connected 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.