I want to introduce you to a new integration I‘m working on. It‘s called „Gateway“ and allows you to charge your members with different payment providers, like Paddle.
For now I only have a waitlist on gateway.rocks, so check by if you’re interested.
Why use different payment providers?
Paddle is a good example, as it‘s a Merchant of Record payment provider. That means they handle all the global sales taxes so you don’t have to. That might be better than using Stripe and having to monitor your taxes globally.
Gateway wouldn’t have any extra fees. I think $5 per month for unlimited subscribers should be a fair price, but I‘d like to know what you think.
Please let me know what you think about it and if you’re interested. I‘m open to feedback!
Gateway could be made open source. In general, the main idea is to redirect the customer to the payment processor‘s site (with Paddle, that can be achieved with custom generated payment links) which then use a callback to get back to Gateway. Gateway would never ask for card details or private information, only the payment provider would. The only thing Gateway would do, is connect payment provider and Ghost publication, and give subscribers a managed solution that doesn’t require janky Zapier connections.
The links in the footer aren’t working yet, as this is just a preview. Gateway isn’t finished whatsoever, I just want to know how the feedback and interest is before starting such a project. As you said yourself, security is a very important topic, as Gateway wouldn’t store payments data, but credentials to the payment provider and publication so it can interact with them.
Just be aware that while you can integrate other payment gateways, the Membership tiers functionality works only with Stripe. If you integrate a third-party payment gateway you only have the options of member or non-member. Tiers are not available with a third-party payment gateway.
I didn’t test that but that’s what I was told by support.
This is one of the big reasons why I can’t suggest Ghost to several clients–Stripe integration just does not work for everyone. I would love to be able to have a solution that’s more elegant than me cobbling together something custom. I hope the Ghost developers consider expanding payment functionality, or make it possible to change Membership tiers so that they can operate with other payment gateways as well.
I currently (only) have 4 waitlist subscribers. The frontend template is ready. The question is: is this worth the time and effort? Maybe the Ghost team will push an update which allows alternative payment methods a week before I’m finished It would be an overall win, but still a bit annoying after building a complete alternative
As a product manager, I can assure you that there’s a huge demand for this, as there are too few non-stripe platforms with the functionality of Ghost — and most of the world can’t use Stripe, but can use Paddle. It’s just people who are interested in Paddle don’t fool around with Ghost forum. Before starting with Ghost, they check payment gateways, see “Stripe only or fool around Patreon-alike platforms”, and move on to alternatives, crying.
So yeah, should you go for it and should it function, it will see demand (from me, for example, and dozens of Ukrainian folks like me).
So you can actually use the API to put members onto a “Added without Stripe” tier. (If you specify a paid tier previously created while linked to Stripe OR with the API, you get this instead.) It’ll show the member as Comped, but it treats the “Added without Stripe” as a paid plan. It doesn’t get you quite the full functionality of membership tiers exactly (where you might have a bronze and gold paid subscription), but it gets you both free members and paying members. (Plus non-members, of course.) Tested on Ghost Pro, 5.53 (I think?) You can’t do it in the admin portal, but you can do it with some API calls. The automatic title choice for the tier is weird, but if you’re replacing the whole Portal → Stripe system, you’re probably mostly replacing the built in Portal pages with custom theme pages anyway…
I have Stripe in my country, but the Internet is designed so that visitors to my sites can be not only from the USA or Europe, and I cannot reject them just because one payment service does not work with them. Because this is the money that I will not receive. Why Stripe does not work for the majority of the world’s population, I can understand, I cannot understand why Ghost developers made such a big bet on this service.
I looked at what Paddle is and the cost of each transaction (5% + 50 cents) seemed to me sky-high. If I sell a subscription for 0.99 I have to give most of the money to an intermediary. Also, at a quick glance, I could not find a list of payment services working with Paddle.
Nevertheless, the idea of an intermediary gateway that removes the Stripe problem from my subscribers and allows them to pay for my subscription through the most convenient (and cheapest) service for them is very interesting. I would be ready to give up to 15-20% for micropayments of 1-5 usd or a fixed commission for a larger check. But such an intermediary should completely take away my headache with accepting payments on Ghost or it doesn’t make sense.
I totally get your problem, and Gateway could fix that. Yes, there would be some setup steps but then you could start accepting payments via Paddle.
Also, I think Paddle’s fees are pretty fair. Yes, Stripe’s fees are low by default, but each additional Stripe product you use (like Stripe Tax, Fraud Prevention, Billing, etc.) costs extra. So for a complete package, 5% + $0,50 is great, plus Paddle’s pricing can be adapted to your payment model (if you charge less, they can charge less). You just have to get a hold of their customer service, which can be hard at times.