Scoping

Product managers usually own this phase, but they often need feedback from other teams (e.g., compliance, product design, operational teams, engineering). It's best to complete the scoping phase first, because it prepares you for the rest of the onboarding process. There's a checklist at the bottom of this page that you can use to help track your progress.

The key areas to scope out for onboarding to Connect include:

  • Buyer and seller experiences
  • Fund flows
  • Managing risk
  • Migrating your data
  • Using Stripe data
  • Training
  • Go-to-market (GTM) strategy

Knowing your approach to these areas helps your engineering and UX teams scope out their work as well.

Buyer and seller experiences

To get started, it helps to map your existing buyer and seller flows to what they’ll look like on Stripe. Common buyer flows include:

  • Checkout: how buyers provide payment details to your platform and purchase services or items
  • Refunds: how buyers request and receive refunds

In the checkout flow, you should consider options like:

Common seller flows include:

  • Connecting to the platform: how sellers create accounts and connect them to your platform
  • Accessing payment data: how connected accounts view payout information, account details, etc.
  • Accepting payouts

The seller experience you’ll build is a standard OAuth flow. When sellers complete this flow, it allows your platform to create charges and make other API requests on behalf of the connected accounts. If a seller doesn’t have a connected account yet, completing the OAuth flow creates one for them. As a part of this flow, you’ll also need to provide a redirect page that sellers are brought to after they complete the OAuth flow.

Stripe hosts a dashboard for your users, but you’ll need to grant them access. In the dashboard, users can view payout information, change account details, and perform other relevant tasks.

Fund flows

Fund flows are how platforms charge customers, pay Stripe’s processing fee, manage refunds and disputes, and pay sellers. For Connect Express and Custom integrations, we recommend using destination charges unless you need to split charges across multiple connected accounts.

With Connect, you can earn money while processing charges by collecting platform fees. You can use this concept to pass the Stripe processing fee to your connected accounts. The two most common methods are:

  • Calculating the processing fee and adding a fixed amount per charge (see examples on our pricing page).
  • Bundling processing fees into your overall SaaS offering (e.g., 10% fee for each payment).

Platforms can also use account debits to charge connected accounts outside of each transaction. This lets platforms charge for things like listing fees or other service charges, without collecting payment information from connected accounts.

Platforms are responsible for managing refunds and disputes. Since you'll use either destination charges or separate charges and transfers, your platform balance is debited automatically in refund and dispute flows. However, you have the option to pull funds and associated fees back from the seller. Both refunds and disputes can be handled through the Dashboard and API.

To make managing fund flows easier, it’s helpful to add additional fields—such as order numbers or customer names—to charges when they’re created. This information is often used by customer service teams to find and refund charges. Your engineering team can pass this information in the metadata attribute of the charge and customer objects.

Managing risk

To prevent fraud, you can implement card verification code (CVC) and address verification (AVS) checks. You can also implement 3D Secure which adds an additional layer of security. It requires your customers to complete additional steps during the payment process that could impact their checkout experience. For instance, if a customer doesn't know their 3D Secure information, they might not be able to complete the payment. In addition to these checks, you should pass parameters specific to your business to help Stripe’s fraud detection. You can customize fraud detection further with Stripe Radar.

Migrating your data

To support your existing customers, card data from your current processor needs to be migrated to Stripe. You should reach out to your current processor early in the onboarding process to find out how long it takes them to prepare the data.

When you reach out to your current processor, make sure to include the data you want to migrate. This might include customer payment information like card or bank account details, and any other information you want to attach to Charge and Customer objects.

Using Stripe data

You also need to determine the internal systems you have that rely on Stripe data. These are often enterprise resource planning (ERP) and accounting systems that depend on some kind of database. Work with your internal teams to identify these systems, how to map Stripe’s data against them, and where to store data.

Training

Training is primarily for customer service and finance teams. These teams need to learn to use the Dashboard, and how to view and create reports. Some parts of your integration may need to be implemented (so you can create test data) before training can be completed. During the scoping phase, you can review the training materials and create a list of your team members that need training.

GTM

Go-to-market strategies vary greatly, so you should work with your marketing team and others to create a strategy that fits your business. GTM planning can happen at any time, but it's helpful to have a general plan early in the onboarding process.

By becoming a Stripe Partner, you'll be able to access best practices across a range of topics like how to optimize your Stripe integrations, effectively go to market, and answer frequently asked questions about Stripe and payments.

Scoping checklist

Use this checklist to help track your progress through the scoping phase. Depending on your integration, some of the checklist items might not apply to you, or you might have other items to track that aren't listed. The state of each checkbox is stored in your browser's cache, so you can return to this page at any time to see what has been completed.

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