Paythen is a verified Stripe partner that extends Stripe’s feature set to let you offer your customers easy payment plans and payment links in under one minute, with no code.
Here’s what we cover in this post:
- Do I need to offer split payment plans to my customers? Why?
- Should I offer my own split payment plan or use a buy-now-pay-later service like AfterPay, Affirm, Klarna, or others? We explain the pros and cons of each approach.
- Can I offer split payment plans directly using just Stripe and nothing else? What are the pros and cons?
- How can I offer split payment plans using Stripe & Paythen? How long does it take to get going? We break down the steps below with instructions and screenshots.
Do I need to offer split payment plans to my customers?
As a general rule, you should definitely consider offering split payment plans – especially if you like increasing your sales and revenue. Split payment plans make your service or product more accessible to more people.
Having said that, whether or not you ultimately decide to offer split payment plans comes down to the type of product or service you’re selling. If you’re selling products on your ecommerce site, like Shopify, WooCommerce or similar, customers from most countries will almost certainly expect you to offer at least one split payment plan option. Not having this can reduce your sales and revenue.
If you’re selling a service, like training courses, consulting or just high-value physical products, split payment plans are less of an expectation – but businesses that offer them can use them as a key selling point, appeal to more customers, and increase margins too (by charging more for the payment plan option).
Should I use a buy-now-pay-later service like AfterPay, Affirm, Klarna, or others? Are there other options? What are the pros & cons?
Buy now pay later is a fast growing alternative for traditional credit cards. Some of the most well known companies in this space are AfterPay, Klarna, and Affirm. There are dozens of other country-specific ones too.
Most buy now pay later providers operate with a standard model:
- You have to register as a merchant with these providers.
- Your customers choose the “Pay in 4 or 8” option at the point of payment and are taken to these provider’s sites to create an account or log in. They complete the payment and are redirected back to your site.
- You get paid the full amount, less a big slice for their fees (often over 6%), almost immediately.
- Your customer repays the buy now pay later provider over a few weeks.
The benefits of buy now pay later
This sounds (and often is) a good solution for your customers – who get the ease of use of a credit card or loan, without interest or fees (as long as they pay it back on time). You as a business owner get more sales and can sell to a larger number of potential customers since your product becomes more affordable.
The downside: Seller beware. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine.
While buy now pay later is popular and growing rapidly (for many good reasons), the business model, and the companies in the space have a few fundamental conflicts between the buy now pay later provider, and the people paying them – you. Here are the downsides of using buy now pay later customers.
- They want your customers
- They are geographically limited
- They are limited to a certain maximum amount – typically around $1,000
- Only certain types of businesses can use them
- They grow their brand at your expense
- They take a big slice of your revenue
- You are a commodity to them
Buy now pay later alternatives to offer split payment plans to your customers
There are three main types of alternatives to traditional buy now pay later providers:
Companies that offer the ability to have credit card payment plans – like SplitIt.
- lower fees vs buy now pay later
- limited flexibility
- geographic restrictions
Companies that offer you the ability to have credit or debit card payment plans, however you want.
With any amount, any billing interval, extra fees, and much more. You control the plan. Like Paythen 🙂
- low fees
- lots of flexibility
- 40+ countries & 130+ currencies
- all types of payments (payment plan, one-off, subscriptions OR let your customers choose)
Build your own
- can be lower fees vs. any other but huge upfront costs and high ongoing costs
- ongoing compliance and maintenance costs
- internal tools like this will never be priority – and often get neglected over time, leading to a poor customer experience
- can be worth it for very large volumes and if very specific functionality and flows are needed. You can build on top of tools like Stripe that offer a lot of the base functionality. We expand on this approach a bit more below.
Can I offer split payment plans directly using just Stripe and nothing else? What are the pros and cons?
Yes you can. But similar to the build your own functionality, it can cost a lot to build and maintain – both upfront, and over time. Stripe has an excellent set of core payments functionality, but Stripe is primarily focused on subscription payments for software companies or large platforms.
- Build your own payment flow exactly how you want
- Per transaction fees can be slightly lower vs. using another platform
- Takes a huge chunk of time, money and attention away from your core business
- Expensive to maintain, keep up to date and evolve over time, with development resources and various supporting software needed to support payments (emails, alerts etc)
- Custom internal tools and workflows that aren’t the main business tend to be neglected and under-funded over time, leading to a poor customer experience and security issues
- Custom built internal workflows are almost never as good from a customer experience perspective vs. dedicated tools built by companies whose entire business is payment plans.
How can I offer split payment plans using Stripe & Paythen?
Offering split payment plans using Stripe & Paythen is painless and quick.
- Create a free Stripe account
- Create a free Paythen account and connect it to your Stripe account (you can disconnect any time with one click)
- Create your payment plan in Paythen (choose a billing interval, amount, additional fees, etc)
- Share your payment plan link anywhere – on social, messaging, your website and more.
- Start accepting payment plans. That’s it!