Stripe & Square
I've compiled a summary of the differences I've learned about both Stripe and Square. Connecting Stripe or Square to your listing allows travelers to book and pay like they would on Airbnb and Vrbo. Houfy does not have "instant book" so you always have the ability to accept/decline the Pending Direct Booking.
Be sure to visit the Square and Stripe websites directly for the latest updates and information. Be sure to contact them directly for questions about your account.
You can sign up for Square directly here through this referral link if you are in the U.S. For Stripe go to Manage Listings > Connected Payments.
1) What is the cost to signup?
Both Stripe and Square have no contract signup fees or termination fees. If you don't like them, cancel any time. Credit card processing fees are similar to what you pay Airbnb, Vrbo, and PayPal to accept credit cards from travelers. Traveler payments land directly in your bank account as they never pass through Houfy.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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 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. Note: It's against Square's terms of service to use them for refundable damage deposits.
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.
STRIPE: Processing fees are not reimbursed back to you 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 for Stripe or Square?
You can sign up for Square directly here through this referral link. For Stripe go to Manage Listings > Connected Payments.
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
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. Go to Manage Listings > Connected Payments.
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.
Whether you are sending email invoices through Square or receiving payment through Houfy using the Square's eCommerce integration, all transactions will be visible from your Square account dashboard. i.e. Sign into your Square account to see the transactions.
Below are some screen shots showing transactions recorded in the month of August from my Square account. I have 2 business locations, but only have transactions for one of them in August. My correlating Houfy listing is #1545. I don't have any other eCommerce integrations other than Houfy.
Display your Square Transactions
On your Square Dashboard Home screen, the left panel will display several icons. Choose the "Transactions" icon. You can then choose filters to limit what you display in the transaction report.
The screen shot below shows 4 of the 5 transactions that I have in Square for the month of August. I've redacted the dollar values and names that I didn't want to share here. Note that the colorful additions are mine to help explain what's shown.
On the upper right of this screen, my business name is listed. Although my filters allow "2 locations" (the 2 locations I've created where each represents a specific rental property), I didn't have any transactions for one of my properties. The information in the green box of each transaction holds my location name. This location name is the one I assigned to my Houfy #1545 property.
Square Invoice Payment Compared to Houfy Payment
In this example report above, the first 2 transactions are payments I received and the last 2 transactions are refunds I issued. In each group, the first is via the Houfy eCommerce integration and the second is related to email invoicing using the Square interface directly.
On the Houfy payment, the "ROIRZ..." value (underlined in blue).is the reservation code as generated and stored with this reservation in Houfy. I can also see that this payment is for my Houfy #1545 listing. But to understand for which reservation these payments and refunds correlate, I need to click on that transaction to get additional details as recorded by Houfy.
For my email invoiced payment, the transaction includes the invoice number that I can look up on "Invoices". Plus it also includes the full subject line of my email invoice. I've underlined that value in red.
On the Houfy refund, the report description indicates it's a refund but no real details. To understand for which reservation this refund correlates, I have to click on the transaction to see the details.
On the refund I issued via Square dashboard, the "item" from the invoice that I'm refunding is listed (underlined in red). But again, it's not evident for which invoice/guest this refund is being issued and I'll have to open the details by clicking this transaction.
See Transaction Details
Let's look at the Houfy payment transaction. I just clicked on the transaction and a detail window opens on the right allowing me to see most of the transaction report at the same time. I know which transaction I'm looking at because the report row that I selected is now shown as white lettering on the blue background.
The green box area shows that the source of this transaction is "eCommerce Integrations" (i.e. Houfy). My Square email invoice transaction shows "invoices" as the source.
The red boxes show "Paid by: Unknown Name" on the Houfy transaction whereas on my Square email invoice transaction, my guest's name is listed.
The Houfy guest name does show up in the "Custom Amount" section in the red box area. This section also shows the total amount from Houfy. There is no breakdown showing rental charge, any fees and taxes. I'd have to go back to Houfy and look at my reservation record to see those details.
The Square email invoice detail includes a copy of the invoice with the specifics of the transaction. You'll know what portion of the collected amount is rent or taxes or fees.
The refund transactions also specify the source of the refund - either eCommerce Integrations or Invoices.. Both also include records of the original invoice/payment from which the refund is being issued. Again, the Square original invoice is detailed but the Houfy invoice is just a total originally charged.
At the bottom of this detail section (blue box) is the total transferred to my bank account and the value of the fee charged me and deducted from the guest's payment.
The Square fee is the same whether using Square Email Invoicing or eCommerce Integration with Houfy.