The Payment Intents API
Use the Payment Intents API to build an integration that can handle complex payment flows. It tracks a payment from creation through checkout, and triggers additional authentication steps when required.
Some of the advantages of using the Payment Intents API include:
- Automatic authentication handling
- No double charges
- No idempotency key issues
- Support for Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) and similar regulatory changes
A complete set of APIs
Use the Payment Intents API together with the Setup Intents and Payment Methods APIs. These APIs help you handle dynamic payments (for example, additional authentication like 3D Secure) and prepare you for expansion to other countries while allowing you to support new regulations and regional payment methods.
Building an integration with the Payment Intents API involves two actions: creating and confirming a PaymentIntent. Each PaymentIntent typically correlates with a single shopping cart or customer session in your application. The PaymentIntent encapsulates details about the transaction, such as the supported payment methods, the amount to collect, and the desired currency.
Creating a PaymentIntent
To get started, see the accept a payment guide. It describes how to create a PaymentIntent on the server and pass its client secret to the client instead of passing the entire PaymentIntent object. The client confirms the payment, and your server monitors webhooks to detect when the payment successfully completes or fails.
When you create the PaymentIntent, you can specify options like the amount and currency:
We recommend creating a PaymentIntent as soon as you know the amount, such as when the customer begins the checkout process, to help track your sales funnel. If the amount changes, you can update its amount. For example, if your customer backs out of the checkout process and adds new items to their cart, you may need to update the amount when they start the checkout process again.
If the checkout process is interrupted and resumes later, attempt to reuse the same PaymentIntent instead of creating a new one. Each PaymentIntent has a unique ID that you can use to retrieve it if you need it again. In the data model of your application, you can store the ID of the PaymentIntent on the customer’s shopping cart or session to facilitate retrieval. The benefit of reusing the PaymentIntent is that the object helps track any failed payment attempts for a given cart or session.
You should also provide an idempotency key when creating the PaymentIntent to avoid erroneously creating duplicate PaymentIntents for the same purchase. This key is typically based on the ID that you associate with the cart or customer session in your application.
Passing the client secret to the client side
The PaymentIntent contains a client secret, a key that’s unique to the individual PaymentIntent. On the client side of your application, Stripe.js uses the client secret as a parameter when invoking functions (such as stripe.confirmCardPayment or stripe.handleCardAction) to complete the payment.
To use the client secret, you must obtain it from the PaymentIntent on your server and pass it to the client side. You can use different approaches to get the client secret to the client side. Choose the approach that best suits the architecture of your application.
You can use the client secret to complete the payment process with the amount specified on the PaymentIntent. Don’t log it, embed it in URLs, or expose it to anyone other than the customer. Make sure that you have TLS on any page that includes the client secret.
Optimizing payment methods for future payments
The setup_future_usage parameter saves payment methods to use again in the future. For cards, it also optimizes authorization rates in compliance with regional legislation and network rules, such as SCA. To determine which value to use, consider how you want to use this payment method in the future.
|How you intend to use the payment method||setup_future_usage enum value to use|
|On-session payments only|
|Off-session payments only|
|Both on and off-session payments|
You can still accept off-session payments with a card set up for on-session payments, but the bank is more likely to reject the off-session payment and require authentication from the cardholder.
The following example shows how to create a PaymentIntent and specify
Setups for off-session payments are more likely to incur additional friction. Use on-session setup if you don’t intend to accept off-session payments with the saved card.
Dynamic statement descriptor
By default, your Stripe account’s statement descriptor appears on customer statements whenever you charge their card. To provide a different description on a per-payment basis, include the
Statement descriptors are limited to 22 characters, can’t use the special characters
*, and must not consist solely of numbers. When using dynamic statement descriptors, the dynamic text is appended to the statement descriptor prefix set in the Stripe Dashboard. An asterisk (
*) and an empty space are also added to separate the default statement descriptor from the dynamic portion. These two characters count towards the 22 character limit.
Storing information in metadata
Stripe supports adding metadata to the most common requests you make, such as processing payments. Metadata isn’t shown to customers or factored into whether or not a payment is declined or blocked by our fraud prevention system.
Through metadata, you can associate other information that’s meaningful to you with Stripe activity.
Any metadata you include is viewable in the Dashboard (for example, when looking at the page for an individual payment), and is also available in common reports. As an example, you can attach the order ID for your store to the PaymentIntent for that order. Doing so allows you to easily reconcile payments in Stripe to orders in your system.
If you’re using Radar for Fraud Teams, consider passing any additional customer information and order information as metadata.
By doing so, you can write Radar rules using metadata attributes and have more information available within the Dashboard, which can expedite your review process.
When a PaymentIntent creates a charge, the PaymentIntent copies its metadata to the charge. Subsequent updates to the PaymentIntent’s metadata won’t modify the metadata of charges previously created by the PaymentIntent.
Don’t store any sensitive information (personally identifiable information, card details, and so on) as metadata or in the
description parameter of the PaymentIntent.