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.
|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|
|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.
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.
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, businesses, and non-profits located in the U.S. (support for more countries is coming soon)
To get started with Express accounts, read more about the onboarding flow.
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.