This post is based on the information found on the Micropreneur Life blog. For this article, we focused on the payment gateways that we work with and our customers recommend.
One of the most critical decisions for every business is which platform to use to accept payments from your customers. It is a decision that needs to be thoughtfully taken.
If you are a freelancer and your customers pay you only when you issue an invoice, you don’t even need a payment gateway. However, if your business is a SaaS, subscription product, or you cannot rely on your customers to pay you on a regular basis, you need a good payment solution.
Best Payment Gateways For e-Residency Companies
So, what payment solutions for e-Residents do we recommend? They all look perfect on paper. However, working with companies that deal with them on a regular basis, we are in a privileged position to know which of them work and which ones don’t work for e-Residents. Here, we list the ones we can recommend based on our experience:
Paypal is not the best solution out there. Once a very innovative company, they became obsolete after the fintech revolution of recent years. Their fees are not very good, either. Most of our customers using Paypal complain about their high commissions. If your business charges a small amount of money to a lot of customers -i.e: you offer online courses for 3 or 4 euros- these fees can be painfully high.
Also, the way Paypal applies fees, not on top of the payment, but subtracting them from the payment is a nightmare for our accountancy department later.
Why do we include them in Companio then? Because it accepts entrepreneurs and payments to almost every country out there, so sometimes is the last resort of some e-Residency companies. However, we strongly recommend you to stick to one of the other solutions we enumerate in this article.
- easy onboarding and setup
- you can start operating right away
- not much paperwork to be “approved”
- recurrent payments
- ancient, unintuitive interface with a front website make up
- high fees for small payments
- hard to issue an invoice for the exact amount you want to receive
- accountancy problems
- no easy API integration or mobile support
Stripe is the best payment gateway in existence today. Full stop. Their API is so well built, it allows us not only to securely access your bank movements on your behalf, but also even your invoices. Their documentation is top-notch, and their web interface is so easy to use, you don’t need a technical background to use it for automating your own business.
Stripe has not been available for Estonian companies until very recently, but now, it is certainly the best of the payment gateways for e-Residency companies.
So here are the pros of Stripe:
- Easy, paperwork-less setup
- Superb user interface
- You can start accepting payments quickly
- Ability to negotiate fees for high sales volumes
- Fast and smooth verification process
- Recurrent payments with lots of options (trial periods, discounts, promo codes…)
- Developer-friendly API, amazing documentation
And the cons:
- Their fees are a bit high
Mollie is the payment solution we use currently for Companio. The reason is simple: Stripe was not available when we started the company. While not at the same level, Mollie can be a pretty decent payment gateway for your business.
To begin with, the verification process is fast and simple. Not a lot of paperwork. Just handing over some information and uploading some documents of your company (like the entry of the registry and the articles of association) and yourself (like a picture of your ID). They have a lot of useful payment methods, such as VISA and Mastercard card payment, or direct transfers. Their pricing is quite good too. For example, card payment for European customers/cards is just 0,25€ + 1,8%.
Now about the cons. Their API is not as good if you want to automate things in your business. Not just because it’s not as well documented or easy to use, but also because it seems it has not been designed with real-life scenarios in mind. It took us a lot of time and effort to make the system work for us, and still, we find some glitches here and there sometimes.
Another problem is that you need to rely on the API to do almost everything. They have a dashboard where you can send a payment link, but they will charge you an extra for things like payment reminders, that other providers (such as Stripe) offer for free. You cannot use the dashboard to create customers or recurrent payments either. You need to do all of that through the API. That means that, unless you are a developer or have a good development team, you will only be able to access a very limited set of functions of what Mollie can offer.
Yet another issue with Mollie is that sometimes legit payments from normal customers are rejected. That happens to a certain extent with all payment gateways, but with Mollie, it happens a LOT more often than it should. Sometimes, Mollie considers that the transactions are fraudulent. Other times the banks won’t accept the payment through Mollie and will mark it as fraudulent. Whatever the case, if customers can’t pay you easily, they might go to the competition, and we have lost some customers because of this ourselves. Something to take into account.
- easy onboarding, nice and simple user interface
- payment methods are enabled soon (a couple of days tops, including debit card payments)
- almost no paperwork to be verified
- decent API and documentation, though not as good as others
And the cons:
- an extra cost for basic functionality such as payment link reminders
- poorly designed API for real use case scenarios
- no recurring payments from the dashboard either, only through the API
- frequent payment failures and rejections due to false fraud detection positives
- some e-Residents report that their companies have been rejected because they’ve been founded by e-Residents
Decta is another payment gateway that accepts e-Residents. The good news is that their API is easy to use and quite simple, and the onboarding process is smooth. The cons is that there is no clear pricing policy on their website, so it is hard to understand the fees you are going to pay without contacting them.
- a not-too complicated onboarding process
- not much paperwork to be verified
- easy to use API, decent documentation
And the cons:
- no clear pricing policy on their website
- not many functionalities out of the box