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How do merchants refund more than original payment?


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  • 3 weeks later...

No need to create an account with Stripe. The customer hardly notices them.
No need to read the rest of this but it's easy to type so here goes.

Refunds greater than payments are my only hassle with Stripe, ever. ( I offered the customer cash in an envelope, stamps, or paypal but she felt sorry for me and did not reply, so I doubt she'll be back. )

Stripe want a postcode / zipcode next to the card details; it's good to find a way to warn customers that they will have to enter the info twice, like adding a title="you have to enter this again next to the card number" in the code for for the form where customers enter it first. That isn't typical, though. My main impression is that it is that Stripe modules and payment pages are written by much better coders than the competition; the cursor moves along the form as you type in a card number / expiry date / thingy numbers / in a way that I seldom notice as a customer on other sites. The module inserts a Stripe payment form onto my checkout page as soon as the customer confirms the address.

Payment arrives a few days later in my bank account automatically, which I think is slower than Paypal (from when I was on two P2P car hire agencies and one used Stripe while the other used Paypal)

If I want to refund a customer and have no money in my stripe account, it's like Paypal; I have to put the money there for the customer to get a refund a few days quicker, and there is the hassle of not being able to repay more than the amount paid of course.

I can send a customer a link to a Stripe page with a receipt on it, if I think the customer needs re-assurance. I think there's even a short url to help do it.

If I were a better shopkeeper I might have versions of the site for different currency areas and I guess that Stripe can charge in different currencies but have not tried. I guess it can take payments from European or Asian card systems that look obscure to me, but have not had customers asking me to check.

There's no need for support, but if I do need it there is very little compared to Elavon; it's more like Paypal. Nobody you can ring. You think you've found a support page and then get automated responses before finally being able to send an email for a reply a day or two later by someone in an office in North Africa trying to make sense of their company handbook, maybe checking with the boss if I have an awkward question so the replies are slow. Then there is a "how to you rate your support?" I said the problem was the message, not the messenger and they promised to make a note.

Thirtybees' free Stripe module works without a hitch, and the good side of not seeing the card numbers is that you don't have to think about the precautions system, whatever it is; a questionnaire I had to fill-in each year when I used Elevon. 

I had no complaint with Elavon, which is an anglo-irish company set-up by one of the banks, but I relied on a work-around that let me type real live card numbers from another ecommerce system into part of their site, which took time and was a responsibility. I did a half-minute search and found no free module for Elavon and PS1.6 although there is a paid one.
Elavon have higher support costs than Stripe so I guess they'll never be cheaper.

Talking of typing card numbers manually into a web site, years ago UK MBNA cards allowed you to make a balance transfer from any UK debit card without commission, so I did, whenever someone paid by debit card. It was slow, and after a while they added a clause that said "the card must be in your name", so I stopped.

I tried Nochex as a backup for a while - a small UK firm. They tend to want a £50 set-up fee and want to keep your cash until they're sure they can risk and afford to let you have it, they're not cheap, and their graphics look a bit like Windows 95.

I have never tried Simplify.com/commerce .  Last time I looked they only operated in the USA and Ireland where I don't sell enough to want a separate card processor, but I got the impression that they're a little bit cheaper. They have a module on github for PS1.7 but not tested on PS1.6 / Thirtybees. PS/Thirtybees default one page checkout is a bit laborious in order to let you have different payment systems in different countries, so this would be an up-side to the system if you want that.

Just recently I used Wise (= Transferwise) for bank transfer to different currencies because they are cheap. I suppose there might be a way to adapt Thirtybees bank transfer module if you sell things for hundreds or thousands of £$€ and want low fees for yourself and your customer; if you want them to make a bank transfer in their own currency and reserve the product until money is received. I have not thought how it would work. Currencyfair is the same kind of thing as Wise, buy Wise give you a personal bank account number if you want to be paid (not refunded) in one of their currencies. I haven't used this but guess it's useful to some people.

I don't remember what I pay for stripe, which I initially got from a link on Waveapps when that firm worked in the UK, but I think it was similar to Elavon and a bit less than Paypal for a regular business customer.

Hope this helps

Edited by veganline
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  • 1 year later...

Well, regarding refunding someone's return postage, it's great that you're looking into the options available to you. As for what other merchants do, it may vary depending on their individual policies and procedures. However, I did come across this interesting article on https://joywallet.com/article/best-bingo-apps-to-win-real-money/. It may be of interest to you too. They highlight some of the best bingo apps to win real money, which could be a fun way to potentially earn some extra funds to cover refund costs. Of course, it's always important to review and follow the guidelines set by Stripe for issuing refunds. I hope this information helps, and let me know if you have any other questions or concerns!

Edited by CortezBuchanan
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