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 are:

  • Buyer experience
  • Fund flows
  • Managing risk
  • Migrating your data
  • Using Stripe data
  • Training

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

Buyer experience

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

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

In the checkout flow, you should consider options like:

Fund flows

Fund flows are how you charge customers, and how you manage refunds and disputes. You can charge customers immediately, or you can authorize and capture charges separately. This is often used by businesses that want to authorize charges at checkout, but don’t want to capture charges until a later date. For example, online retail stores often authorize charges at checkout, but wait to capture charges until items are shipped.

Depending on your use case, you can manage refunds and disputes manually using the Stripe Dashboard, or you can use the API to automate the processes. We recommend most users respond to disputes using the Dashboard though. Disputes are more complex than refunds, and the Dashboard provides a step-by-step process for responding to disputes.

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 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.

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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