Stripe and Square: Which Should You Use?

Many of you are wondering whether Stripe or Square is better for your Houfy business. I've compiled a summary of the differences I've learned about each.

Connect Square or Stripe to your listing and allow travelers to book and pay just like they do on other sites. You'll still have the option to accept/decline the booking request as "instant book" is not available.

Unlike most platforms where you don't get paid till guest check-in, Houfy is not involved in any payments. All transactions pass between you and your guest only.

1) What is the cost to signup?

FREE!  Both Stripe and Square have no signup fees. No contracts. No termination fees. If you don't like them, cancel any time. You only pay their processing fees.

2) How quickly will I receive payments?

Right away! Well, technically as soon as Square and Stripe deposit the funds into your bank account. You receive payments directly from the customer at the time of booking. This is the payout schedule for both companies:

SQUARE: Within 1-2 business days, no matter which country the payment is coming from.  This schedule applies to all Square account holders.

STRIPE: Unless your business is considered to be a "high risk" industry, below are the general payout times. Note: the first payment may take between 7-10 business days.

  • Australia and U.S.: 2 business days
  • New Zealand: 4 days
  • Japan: once a week, day of your choice
  • Most other countries: 7 days. 

Read more here about Stripe's payout schedules, and even how to customize your payout time.

Note for Square: When your invoices are paid, you will be sent a daily deposit summary at 5 p.m. Pacific time (by default) - Unless you have customized your "close of day" time for a different hour. 

If for some reason you are not receiving these notifications, double check your settings. Log into your Square dashboard, click "Account & Settings" icon.  Scroll to "email notifications," and from there you can select which notifications you'd like to receive.   

3) In which countries are Stripe and Square available?

STRIPE: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. Sign up here to receive notifications as new countries are added, or request an invite.

SQUARE: U.S., United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, and Australia. (Note: U.S. territories are excluded).

4) How much are the credit card fees? 

If you process over $250,000 annually, contact each company's sales dept. for a quote. Both companies accept all major credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB, and UnionPay.

STRIPE:

  • Online domestic invoices, Apple Pay, Google Pay: 2.9% plus .30 cents per transaction
  • International invoices: Same as above plus an additional 1% conversion fee, and a 1% international card fee may apply. Read about ways to avoid conversion fees. And read more details about other U.S. non-credit card payment methods.
  • European Cards: 1.4% plus .30 cents per transaction

SQUARE:

  • Online invoices (including international): 2.9% plus .30 cents per transaction.  Your customer may pay a conversion fee to their bank.  
  • Read more details about in-person card payments and rates.

5) But I only accept payment by checks.

Some Houfy members have the guest make a small credit card deposit at the time of booking, then collect the balance by check or transfer. This keeps fees to a minimum. It also prevents a guest from blocking your calendar while that check never arrives in the mail. And the guest has now put some $$$ down to secure the reservation.

6) What about chargebacks?   

Hopefully you'll never have a chargeback.  But just in case, here is a quick overview:

STRIPE:  Chargeback fee is $15.  If you win the dispute, you are reimbursed the chargeback fee.   

SQUARE:  No fee if a customer files a chargeback, even if you lose the dispute.  For those of you who receive a lot of transactions equaling $250 or less, you may benefit from their free chargeback protection program.  Many home shares and one night stays will qualify. Transactions amounts over $250 do not qualify.

The protection program does come with some limitations.  As long as the amount in dispute is no more than $250, you've followed Square's payment "best practices," and responded to the dispute sufficiently... you'll be covered up to $250 a month, even if the dispute is not ruled in your favor.  This is not a month to month carry forward policy.  Read more details about this program.

7) Willl traveling abroad affect my ability to accept payments?

As long as you have Square or Stripe connected to Houfy, you are good to go.  If you aren't connected, then you MUST read the section below about Square.

STRIPE:  You can generate invoices from any location.

SQUARE:  You can only process payments when you are physically located in the country where you activated your account.  For in-person card payments using the Square app, your location is tracked by GPS.  If you are sending invoices through your Square dashboard, then location is tracked by your IP address.  When you connect to Houfy there shouldn't be any issues, as the cardholder entering payment info is considered to be generating the invoice rather than you.

8) How will refunds affect my cancellation policy?  

It's crucial to consider your cancellation policy when choosing a processor.  For those of you who have a NO refund policy, this likely won't affect you. However, the rest of you keep reading...especially if you offer guests a cancellation window!

SQUARE: Processing fees are reimbursed back to you when refunding guests through your online dashboard.

Time frames: Refunds processed via your online Square Dashboard must take place within one year of the original transaction date. Refunds processed via a mobile device must take place within 120 days of the original transaction date. Outside of that time frame, you will need to process refunds outside of Square. So if you plan to accept a refundable damage deposit, be sure to not process this too far in advance.  

STRIPE: Processing fees are not reimbursed back to your account when refunding guests.  There is no time limit on applying a refund back to a guest's credit card; however, the more time that passes, the likelihood the card has expired, etc. Stripe recommends first contacting the guest (to see if anything has changed) if at least 6 months have passed. Payments that underwent currency conversion will be converted back during the refund process.

9) How do i sign up Stripe or Square?

You can sign up for Stripe and Square directly on Houfy. Go to Manage Listings>Payments & Payouts. This is my referral link if you need one. It saves both of us processing fees on $1,000 worth of sales within the next 180 days = $30.

10) What if I need customer support?

Both companies offer online and phone support; however, you will need to sign up for a free account before you can receive phone customer support from either company.  No worries! You are not obligated to use them just because you created an account.

When you call Square you will hear a recording asking for you to enter your customer code in order to access a phone representative.  Log in to your Square dashboard and click here. You will now see your customer code and it will always remain the same.  Keep it in a safe place as it identifies your account. 

SQUARE: Phone: 1-855-700-6000, Hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m Pacific Daylight Time

STRIPE: No listed phone number. They will call you immediately, but you first need to log into your dashboard to request a phone call. Hours: 24/7

After you create a free Stripe account, click on the "open book" icon in the top right corner. There will be a drop down menu to select support. Scroll to the bottom and click on "contact us." From there you can choose to have a rep. call you.  Fill out the short info and you will be presented 2 codes.  One code is what the rep will repeat when they call you.  The other code is for you to repeat back to the rep.  It's usually very fast.  I called 3x within the past few days and Stripe called me in about one minute.

11) How do I connect my Stripe or Square account to Houfy?

Log into Houfy>Manage Listings>Payments & Payouts. Follow the screenshots in this tutorial. It's easy.

Houfy and accepting Direct Payments with Stripe or Square
We have connected Stripe and Square on Houfy for you to receive direct deposits & payments from your Guests. This will only work if your listing is by us. Of course! The process to add this service is extremely simple: Please Log in > Menu > Manage Listings > Payments & Payouts Connect your properties to the accounts you would like to receive your funds in.


12) How do i show I accept credit cards?

Go to Manage Listings>Edit>Settings>Payment Information. Check off the cards you accept.

Note: You will not see anything that says "Stripe" or "Square" because it wouldn't make sense for your listing to show the payment processor you use. Travelers just want to see the credit cards you accept. Saying you "accept Stripe and Square" may just confuse travelers since they aren't credit cards.

How to view and update payment method policies
Log in>Menu>Manage Listings>Edit>Settings>Payment information.


Thank you. We've been using PayPal, but want to signup for one of these. Very helpful article.

Reply
2 years ago

Signed up for Stripe, linked it, and had my husband sign up and reserve a Monday in the future for $1. It worked.

Reply
a year ago

Great! Dawn, Are you in the Say Yes to Houfy facebook group yet?


I wasn't sure if you were a member and suggest joining if you haven't just in case you later have any questions, etc.

Reply
a year ago

I'm trying to sign up to Square using the referral link above, but it defaults to location USA and doesn't allow me to change to Australia.

Tried on a different device (both Apple) but no avail. Anyone else get this and know how to change location?

Reply
5 months ago

Let me email my Square contact and find out how it works if person signing up is in a different country.

Reply
5 months ago

I just sent him an email but you may try copying/pasting directly into Square website and see if that works in the meantime.


https://squareup.com/i/8CA1CCC8E7



Reply
5 months ago

Lyda,

I spoke to the rep. and he said the referral code goes by country and he said to call the Australian office and tell them that you were told they would be able to manually apply for you in this instance.

Reply
5 months ago

My problem is that I live in Greece in the winter and Canada in the summer. I get reservations all year long in both countries and I have bank accounts in both countries. I cannot see how I can use either Square or Stripe from both countries - any advice?

Reply
4 months ago

I am not sure if you qualify for both Square and Stripe. But if you do, you can sign up for both (I have an account with both) and you can disconnect or connect to each one when you want. You will likely need to contact both payment processors to go over your individual needs and whether or not you qualify to use each as a payment processor. Then figure out if during certain times of the year you want your Houfy listing connected to Square, to Stripe, or you just want to process payment outside of the platform. Square has a community forum where you can post to ask specific questions in addition to their customer service phone support.

Reply
4 months ago
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