Posts Tagged: paypal

Accept Card Payments with Stripe

The next update to our Web Based Room Booking and Resource Scheduling software MIDAS is fast approaching. Throughout March we’re giving you a first look at some of the new features and improvements you can look forward to in MIDAS v4.12.

Back in October 2010, we released MIDAS v3.10. This update introduced a new feature allowing your clients to pay invoices generated by MIDAS online using either PayPal or Google Wallet (or Google Checkout as it was known back then).

Whilst the ability for customer’s clients to pay their invoices online using PayPal was popular, Unfortunately, Google changed direction with their Google Checkout/Wallet service. This meant it was no longer a viable payment processor for customer’s client’s invoices. As such, the option to pay invoices via Google Checkout was removed as of MIDAS v4.07 in September 2014. You can read more about the sad demise of Google Checkout in this blog post.

Since then, PayPal has been the sole payment option natively provided within MIDAS to allow your clients to pay invoices online. Of course, with our optional API available, customers have been able to develop their own specific integrations with other 3rd party payment processors as required.

However, ever since we removed the Google Checkout/Wallet option, we’ve wanted to include a “PayPal alternative” as standard within our software.

For nearly two years now, we’ve made card payments simpler through our own website, by partnering with Stripe. We’ve been very impressed with Stripe, and they are now our preferred payment processor.

So we’re pleased to announce that Stripe will now also be a native payment option for invoices within MIDAS itself, along with the existing PayPal option!

Here’s a few of the things we really like about Stripe:

  • Stripe allows you to take a payment on the current page. Unlike PayPal, the customer won’t be transferred to a separate “hosted” payment page.
  • Despite allowing card payments to be taken on the current page, no card details pass through or are stored the server where your MIDAS resides. All the processing is handled by Stripe, ensuring you are fully comply with PCI DSS 3.1
  • Stripe automatically withdraws funds to your bank account on a rolling 7 day basis. With PayPal, funds remain in your account until you manually withdraw them.
  • Stripe never forces the customer to “create an account” in order to make a card payment. With PayPal, “unregistered” users may be forced to create a PayPal account in order to make a card payment. This can depending upon your geographic region, or the number of times you’ve used PayPal before.
  • In our experience, Stripe’s processing fees have been lower than PayPal’s.

What about PayPal?

Now, reading the above, you make think that we’re anti-PayPal. Don’t worry – we’re very aware of the popularity of PayPal. It’s still arguably the most common online payment processor across the globe. Therefore, we have no plans to remove the PayPal payment option from our software. But we do believe in giving our customers choice over their payment provider. This is why we’re really exciting to be able to offer native Stripe integration starting with MIDAS v4.12!

You’ll be able to choose which payment provider to use to allow your clients to pay their invoices online. You can also configure both, to give clients a choice of completing their payment via PayPal or Stripe:

Online Invoice Payment Settings
Online Invoice Payment Settings

In order to accept payments through PayPal, you’ll need a PayPal account.

In order to accept payments through Stripe, you’ll need a Stripe account. You’ll also need Stripe API keys. For more information on obtaining these, please see our KB article “Configuring Stripe Integration

Once you’ve set up your PayPal and/or Stripe account, you can enable and configure them via MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Invoicing → Online Payments. Once configured, your customers will then be able to pay their invoices online via https://your_midas_url/pay:

Online Invoice Payment Selection
Online Invoice Payment Selection

With Stripe integration, as soon as a client completes their payment, their invoice will automatically be instantly updated in MIDAS to reflect their payment.

With PayPal integration, you’ll also need to configure Instant Payment Notifications (IPN) within your PayPal account in order for MIDAS to automatically update a client’s invoice following a successful PayPal transaction.

The sad demise of Google Checkout

Google Checkout LogoOur MIDAS room scheduling software allows your clients to pay invoices online for the hire of your rooms, facilities, and resources.

This feature was first introduced back in 2010 with MIDAS v3.10. Since then, we’ve natively supported payment of invoices using either PayPal or Google Checkout.

Unfortunately, as of MIDAS v4.07 we have now removed – the now defunct – Google Checkout support from our software.

Google Checkout first came into being in 2006 with the aim of simplifying the process of paying for online purchases. Users would store their credit or debit card and shipping information in their Google Account. This allowed them to make purchases without having to re-enter their information each time, and secure in the knowledge that their card details wouldn’t be made available to the seller.

Transaction fees for using Google Checkout were initially free. However, as one of PayPal‘s main competitors, over time the transaction fees for using Google Checkout became identical to PayPal’s fees. Many of the each platform’s features also aligned, such as providing fraud protection and the ability for customers to track purchases.

Whilst PayPal and Google Checkout were in direct competition offering quite similar services, there were a number of differences.

On the plus side, once a merchant received a payment via Google Checkout it would be automatically withdrawn to the merchants bank account. PayPal, on the other hand, required merchants to manually withdraw funds to their bank account. On the downside, whilst PayPal supported transactions in multiple currencies; Google Checkout only accepted payments in the currency that the merchant’s bank account was in. It was not possible for Google Checkout merchants to accept multiple currencies.

Google Checkout Becomes Google Wallet

Google Wallet Logo In 2011, Google then announced a “rebrand” of Google Checkout to “Google Wallet”, but the services offered remained the same.

However, in late November 2013, Google Checkout was discontinued and the nature of “Google Wallet” shifted.

Google Wallet has now become a method for making and accepting payments exclusively for apps and in-app purchases via the Google Play Store. It can no longer be used as an online payment processor for anything else.

Due to this new direction in which Google have taken their Google Wallet service, the previous functionality we were able to offer in MIDAS – the ability for clients to pay their invoices online using Google Checkout/Wallet – now no longer works. We have therefore removed all Google Checkout/Wallet integration as of MIDAS v4.07.

We hope Google reconsider their stance to provide online payment processing solely for their own Google App Store. The more choice there is for both consumers and merchants alike the better. That said, there are numerous other online payment processors that have sprung up in recent times. These include notable solutions such as Amazon Payments and Stripe. Incidentally, Stripe is now our preferred card payment processor for purchases made through our website.

Going forward, we continue to support PayPal as a method to allow your clients to directly pay their invoices online for use of your rooms/facilities. In fact, we’ve also improved this support for v4.07 too! If you allow clients to pay invoices online via PayPal, PayPal can now automatically update the status of their MIDAS invoices once payment has been made. This means that you’ll no longer have to manually update invoices yourself! For more information, please see: Configuring PayPal Integration

We’re also keen to hear from you! Are any other online payment processors you’d like us to consider supporting in future updates to MIDAS? We can’t promise we’ll natively support them, but we’d love to hear from you!

Invoicing Improvements in v4.07

The next feature-rich update to our web based room booking and resource scheduling software is coming soon. Here on our blog we’re outlining some of the new features and improvements you can expect to see in the upcoming v4.07 release.

This article covers some of the improvements coming to the Invoicing capabilities of MIDAS.

Tax Exempt Clients

In MIDAS v4.07, you’ll be able to exclude individual clients from being charged tax on their invoices. Find Out More…

New “Payment Terms” Setting

Payment TermsWe’re introducing a new “Payment Terms” setting for v4.07. This allows you to specify how many days you allow for your clients to pay their invoices. This new setting may be found via MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Invoicing.


New Invoicing Variables

As a result of the introduction of the new “Payment Terms” setting, a whole host of new invoicing variables have also been introduced. These include: %INVOICEDUEDATE%, %INVOICEDUEIN%, %INVOICEOVERDUEBY%, and %INVOICETERMS%. There are also new variables giving you far greater control over the “Invoice To” section of your invoices.

The previous %INVOICETO% variable (which includes the client’s name, organization, postal address and email address) can now be broken down into smaller parts. This is achieved through the introduction of the new variables %INVOICETO_CLIENT%, %INVOICETO_ORG%, %INVOICETO_ADDRESS%, and %INVOICETO_EMAIL%

New columns in the Invoicing Overview screen

Invoice Overdue Column

Also as a result of the new “Payment Terms” setting, there’s now dedicated “Invoice Date” and “Due Date” columns added to the invoicing overview screen.

Invoice Reminders / Overdue Notifications

Invoice Reminder Template

MIDAS v4.07 contains a new “Scheduled Tasks” engine. Scheduled Tasks allow your booking system to automatically send clients email reminders a number of days before their outstanding invoices are due, or if their invoice is overdue, send them a notification a certain number of days after.

The content and wording of these notifications can be fully customized too!

Improved PayPal Integration

PayPal IPN IntegrationIf you allow your clients to pay their invoices online via PayPal, you can now have PayPal automatically update the status of their invoices within MIDAS once payment has been made. This means you’ll no longer have to manually update invoices yourself! For more information, please see: Configuring PayPal Integration

Google Wallet (formally Google Checkout) support removed

Google WalletThe previous support for clients to pay their invoices online via Google Wallet has regrettably been removed from 4.07. This is because Google no longer support such payment provisions. Google have now retired Checkout, and Google Wallet is now restricted to payments for mobile apps in the Google Play store only. We’ve covered this in more depth in this article.

Making card payments simpler

Following feedback from our customers, we are pleased to announce we are trialing a new card payment processor on our website. This will benefit those purchasing, renewing, or upgrading a MIDAS room booking & resource scheduling software using a Credit/Debit card. It will allow these customers to complete their purchase without having to go through PayPal.

Whilst PayPal is arguably the largest and most popular card payment processor on the Internet, one of the concerns some of our customers have is that in order to complete a card payment via PayPal they are forced to sign up for a PayPal account. Many do not want to do this.

PayPal advertises that customers can make card payments without also requiring a PayPal account. In some cases this is certainly true. However, it’s not true in all cases!

For example, after you’ve used PayPal for a number of “one off” card payments without a PayPal account, PayPal then insist you create an account to continue making card payments through their system:

“You will only be able to use PayPal … for up to [10] transactions before we will require you to open a PayPal account … to enable further use of the PayPal system. At that point you will be required to enter into our standard user agreement to govern the ongoing relationship with PayPal”

Additionally, the country you’re in can also affect whether PayPal will allow you to make a card payment without a PayPal account, or insist you create one first.

On a PayPal payment page, if your country is set to United Kingdom, you might see:

PayPal card payment without requiring a PayPal account
PayPal card payment without requiring a PayPal account

…Whereas change your location to Canada, and you’ll see:

PayPal card payment requiring a PayPal account first
PayPal card payment requiring a PayPal account first

…spot the difference?! Yes, the option to pay directly by card directly has been replaced with an option to create a PayPal account!

We want to make things simpler for all our customers who just want to pay by Credit/Debit card without signing up for any 3rd party accounts!

Introducing Stripe

Stripe.comSo whilst PayPal remains a payment method option for our customers, we’ve now also integrated Stripe into our secure site.

Stripe securely handles card payments directly from our website. So unlike PayPal, you’re not transferred back and forth between a hosted payment page on another site and then back to our site. You can complete your card purchase securely and directly from our website. Plus, you won’t need to sign up for a Stripe account to make your payment either!

We will be trialing Stripe for a number of weeks, and we’d appreciate your feedback!

We’ve also updated our site’s Privacy Policy accordingly.