Urgent changes to our Stripe integration

Hi there,

Stripe has made some changes to the way they work with us and we need you to reconnect your Stripe account to Gift Up! as soon as you can. It's all very safe and straight forward and nothing to worry about.

Give it to me straight, what's changed?

On the 29th May, Stripe informed us that the way we integrate with them needs to change. They gave us 5 days to comply. We still 💖 and recommend Stripe, just a little bit less now...

Basically, we'll no longer get paid our 3.49% fee as part of the Stripe transaction for your gift card sales. So you'll now get paid 100% of the gift card sale value in full immediately (as opposed to 96.51% before) and you'll pay our 3.49% fees monthly.

This change means that they way you authorize us to use your Stripe account needs to change, our current access granted by Stripe to take payments on your behalf will be revoked automatically on Monday. For total clarity and peace of mind, the access level we have over your account now and the level we'll have after you re-authorize us is exactly the same. All we have permission to do is make payments into your Stripe account from your gift card purchaser.

That's it. Your checkout experience is identical to before, nothing has changed there, it's all back-end stuff that's changed. 

What do I need to do now?

  1. You need to reconnect your Stripe account to Gift Up! before Monday 3rd June 2019.
  2. You will need to add a card to Gift Up! to pay your bill for any fees you incur for the gift cards you sell going forward.

What if I do not reconnect Stripe to Gift Up?

If you do not do reconnect Stripe to Gift Up, your customers will not be able to buy gift cards from you using a credit or debit card (or Dutch iDEAL payments if you use that). 

If you have PayPal attached, that will work completely fine and does not require re-connection. 

Some questions you might have:

Why do I need to re-connect my Stripe account?

We received an email from Stripe on the 29th May asking us to update the way we integrate with them. Unfortunately they only gave us 5 days to comply and get all our clients migrated to the new integration standard before they stopped taking payments for you.  

It was issued without any prior warning, and frustratingly for us and you, requires pretty swift action from you to avoid any payment downtime. We're not impressed. 

Why did Stripe ask Gift Up! to change things?

For the last 2 years, we have worked closely and successfully with Stripe's support and sales teams to give your customers a world class integration between Gift Up! and Stripe. This has been great and has led us to become one of the best, if not the best, gift card platforms available online.

(As we've always maintained, we're on a total mission to make the very best software so you can sell as many gift cards to your customers as possible. We want to delight you and your customers with the ease and quality of our software.)

For some reason (and they won't tell us in detail why), the Stripe accounts review team have mandated that we integrate our Stripe clients directly to Stripe instead of using a special Stripe payment system called Stripe Connect (that they recommended we use 2 years ago!).

For those not familiar with Stripe's internal language (most of you are not I'm sure), Stripe Connect enables payments to come directly from your customer to your Stripe account, but crucially allowed us to take our 3.49% fee along the way. It has kept things really simple for us and you; you get paid 96.51% straight away, and we get paid our 3.49% fee straight away. No billing, no saved cards, no hassle.

Stripe revoked our access to the Stripe Connect platform (for reasons they will not give us) and have requested that payments conducted through Stripe, on your behalf, are now directly between you and Stripe.

This is fine, we just wish they had given us more time to get the technical work done and get you all moved over. It's incredibly frustrating to only have 5 days' notice. 

Did Gift Up! do something wrong?

No. We kept up to date with all the latest Stripe technical innovations (we pride ourselves on this), we acted (and continue to do so) completely morally and above board, we've not been hacked, done anything dodgy or anything like that. There's nothing we're not telling you.

We had great dialog with the sales teams gaining access to beta features that we passed on to you. The underlying reason appears to be that they feel that our business model violates a clause of theirs, and we quote the (non-personalised or empathetic!) email we received from Stripe:

" Specifically, we are unable to accept payments for stored value or credits maintained, accepted, and issued by anyone other than the seller ... as mentioned here: https://stripe.com/restricted-businesses"

We did get a final follow up from the manager of the reviews team who did say that it was a hard decision for them and again, I quote:

"This was not a decision made lightly, and we hate turning our users away, but in this case our hands are tied ... It's at this point I would also like to stress that this is not a reflection of our views of you or your business; there are many perfectly legitimate businesses we can't process for. In this case, we have to abide by our terms."

We think they have misunderstood the business Gift Up! operates. We think we do comply with the restricted business clause (we even had prior approval before we launched) as we enable your customers to buy a gift card that you issue for the products & services you offer your clients (albeit using Gift Up! automatic software) For reasons known internally to Stripe, and despite the great working relationship we've had, they've decided that we can no longer collect our fee during the transaction.

What have you done since Stripe informed you of this?

We have re-written the Stripe payments system so that when your customers buy a gift card, we do not get paid our 3.49% fee as part of the transaction. Instead we'll put this on an invoice that gets raised monthly (assuming you're on our Pay as you Go plan). 

We also recommend adding a payment card to your Gift Up! account to have these fees settled automatically to make things easier for yourselves and us. 

After I reconnect Stripe, will anything be different?

Not as far as your customers are concerned (the gift card purchaser), it'll look exactly the same. The only difference to you is that you'll be paid 100% in full immediately at the point of sale, and we'll get our 3.49% fee monthly from you. 

I'm on a paid plan, not the Pay as you Go plan, do I need to do anything?

Yes, you still need to reconnect your Stripe account to Gift Up! otherwise your customers cannot buy a gift card from Monday 3rd June onward. 

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