Getting Started with Stripe for Hong Kong

A survey of Stripe payment platform features for Hong Kong online businesses and and quick guide for setting up payments with Shopify and other ecommerce platform integrations.

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Are you a local brand looking to set up your first online store? Or are you a B2B business, private club, or education centre looking for a way to automate online payment collection, subscriptions and billing cycles? After learning about Stripe’s features that benefit Hong Kong’s businesses, you may want to test Stripe and see how the platform can fit into your online business.

In this post, we will review some of Stripe’s core features, mention specific benefits for businesses in Hong Kong and the greater APAC region, and provide an example of how to activate a Stripe-powered payment gateway on Shopify that works in conjunction with popular payment gateways in Hong Kong.

What Differentiates Stripe from Other Payment Platforms?

Stripe is a global payment processing platform that is built and designed with developers in mind. This approach reflects in the way Stripe had delivered its products, which provide not only flexibility for store owners and developers, but robust security features. The platform offers an ecosystem that covers a wide range of payment handling needs that merchants can leverage.

An Embedded Checkout in Your Store

Many people often wonder how Stripe compares with Paypal, one of the most popular online payment gateways in Hong Kong due to its established history. While key points to compare often include transaction fees and types of payments accepted, there are other details to consider. One example is that Stripe offers an embedded Checkout interface that can be integrated as clean package. On some platforms, such as Shopify, merchants can choose to accept payments with a checkout powered by Stripe and a PayPal option. Merchants who use Stripe to make use of a clean, mobile-responsive interface that does not require shoppers to leave a store to make a payment, immediately improving customer experience.

Out of the Box Simple, but Enterprise Customisation-Ready

Stripe is designed to be simple to use for store owners with no coding experience and already powers platforms such as Shopify Payments. At the same time, the platform has APIs that allows for maximum flexibility for global brands to make customizations and enterprises have to meet custom reporting, payment reconciliation, and accounting requirements.

Powered by a Secure Backend to Reduce Maintenance Costs

Merchants that would like to accept credit card payments will have to factor in compliance considerations and potentially make investments. In contrast, by using Stripe, merchants are using the platform’s PCI compliant hosting and security infrastructure, as well as Stripe Radar, a machine learning system for fraud prevention.

In addition, the platform has enterprise-grade features such as custom report generation, multi-currency handling, and payment reconciliation to support enterprise-level operational considerations. You can read more about Stripe’s security and infrastructure in our piece Stripe: How it Works for Hong Kong.

How Can Stripe Help Businesses in Hong Kong and Asia?

Hong Kong’s businesses, from online stores to mobile app providers, need to cater to local payment preferences as well as wider regional requirements. However, the challenges for doing ecommerce from Hong Kong can include centralizing types of payments (locally and regionally), automating payments to help business scale efficiently. In the past, building an online store for Thailand required investing in local payment gateways and figuring out multicurrency payouts and reconciliation. Stripe significantly reduces the investment barrier by handling payment processing once transactions are accepted anywhere in the world.

Many of Hong Kong’s leading technology companies, such as GoGoVan and Klook, have used Stripe to tap into regional users.

Centralizing Local Payments

Importantly for Hong Kong SMEs, Stripe helps local merchants unify payment methods that were traditionally separate, such as:

Major Credit Cards

Digital wallets (examples: Apple Pay, Google Pay, Visa Checkout, etc.)

China Payment Platforms: Alipay and WeChat Pay

In addition, these payouts are deposited directly into local Hong Kong bank accounts.

Enabling Frictionless Cross-Border Ecommerce with Built-In Multicurrency

A Stripe-powered checkout already comes equipped with features for global growth. Stripe supports processing charges in 135+ currencies and will display prices in a customer’s native currency, which helps customers avoid conversion costs and improves sales. For example, shoppers in Japan and Taiwan will see your items in their respective currencies. Stripe can also accumulate separate balances in multiple currencies and merchants can establish multiple bank accounts to have multiple settlement currencies to avoid conversions. In addition to receiving multiple currencies, Stripe also allows for multi-currency payouts, thereby becoming one centralized platform for a regional or global business operation.

Simplifying Admin and Automating Scaling

Stripe has also provided payment solutions beyond checkouts for retail to include solutions for a range of ecommerce businesses. For example, Stripe Billing helps merchants set up a recurring billing model for subscriptions, publications, app developers, and clubs.

How Do I Get Started with Stripe?

Creating a Stripe Account

Setting up an account is free on Stripe and only requires a name an e-mail. As Stripe only charges a fee for each successful transaction, there is no separation between a trial and active account, once an e-mail has been verified.

Testing the Stripe Dashboard

Once you have created a Stripe account, you can immediately begin to test features on Stripe Payments, Stripe Billing, and Stripe Connect. For example, freelancers can use Billing to create one-off invoices and recurring invoices as well as generate standard reports for accounting purposes. Merchants with websites, stores, apps, or marketplaces will need to integrate Stripe’s Checkout to collect payments.

Integrating Stripe

Merchants with online stores can use payments to quickly embed a basic Checkout for web stores, iOS and Android interfaces. Teams that require customizations can reference Stripe’s Checkout documentation. Merchants can also use pre-built extensions, platforms, and plug-ins created by Stripe partners.

Stripe has integrations for other popular ecommerce platforms and website builders such as Wordpress (image above), WooCommerce, TypeForm, Magento, Squarespace, BigCommerce, and Wix. Many of these platforms may have a quick-setup or plugin that does not require coding. Below, we will show you an example of how Shopify merchants can quickly activate Shopify Payments, which is powered by Stripe.

Using Stripe-Powered Shopify Payments for your Online Store

Hong Kong merchants with a Shopify store can use Shopify Payments, which is powered by Stripe. You can select Shopify Payments as your payment gateway in your Shopify admin console “Settings”.

Shopify Payments can be used in conjunction with other popular Hong Kong payment gateways, such as PayPal, Alipay Global, PayDollar, and WorldPay. You can do so by activating Shopify Payments and PayPal, while selecting one alternative payment option (such as PayDollar or Alipay Global), and an offline option, such as Cash on Delivery. Merchants should check the transaction fees for using Shopify Payments based on their Shopify plan, as they differ from Stripe’s single-fee.

Stripe provides a unified interface that helps individuals and merchants tap into online business immediately. It can serve a freelancer in Hong Kong sending individual invoices to regional clients as well as online stores that need to provide localized currencies for global shoppers. Stripe provides a checkout and payment interface that caters to the localized needs of global customers while providing streamlined payment handling for businesses. Businesses that incorporate Stripe effectively invest once in a payment infrastructure that unifies local payments and can be instantly used for global expansion.

Need Help with Stripe?

If you are looking for a Stripe developer to build integration solutions for your existing business or would like to explore how Stripe could help your ecommerce growth, please get in touch!