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The next update to our Web Based Room Booking and Resource Scheduling software MIDAS is fast approaching. Throughout March we’re giving you a first look at some of the new features and improvements you can look forward to in MIDAS v4.12.

Back in October 2010, we released MIDAS v3.10 which introduced a new feature allowing your clients to pay invoices generated by MIDAS online using either PayPal or Google Wallet (or Google Checkout as it was known back then).

Whilst the ability for customer’s clients to pay their invoices online using PayPal was popular, Unfortunately, Google changed direction with their Google Checkout/Wallet service. This meant it was no longer a viable payment processor for customer’s client’s invoices. As such, the option to pay invoices via Google Checkout was removed as of MIDAS v4.07 in September 2014. You can read more about the sad demise of Google Checkout in this blog post.

Since then, PayPal has been the sole payment option natively provided within MIDAS to allow your clients to pay their invoices online. Of course, with our optional API available, customers have been able to develop their own specific integrations with other 3rd party payment processors as required.

However, ever since we removed the Google Checkout/Wallet option, we’ve wanted to include a “PayPal alternative” as standard within our software.

For nearly two years now, we’ve made card payments simpler through our own website, by partnering with Stripe as our preferred payment processor.

We’ve been very impressed with Stripe, and we’re pleased to announce that Stripe will now also be a native payment option for invoices within MIDAS itself, along with the existing PayPal option!

Here’s a few of the things we really like about Stripe:

  • Stripe allows you to take a payment on the current page, without the customer being transferred to a separate “hosted” payment page (as with PayPal)
  • Despite allowing card payments to be taken on the current page, no card details pass through or are stored the server where your MIDAS resides – all the processing is handled by Stripe, ensuring you fully comply with PCI DSS 3.1
  • Stripe automatically withdraws funds to your bank account on a rolling 7 day basis (with PayPal, funds remain in your account until you manually withdraw them)
  • Stripe never forces the customer to “create an account” in order to make a card payment (with PayPal, depending upon your geographic region, or the number of times you’ve used PayPal “unregistered”, you may be forced to create a PayPal account in order to make a card payment)
  • In our experience, Stripe’s fees have been lower than PayPal’s

Now, reading the above, you make think that we’re anti-PayPal. Don’t worry though, we’re very aware of the popularity of PayPal which is still arguably the most common online payment processor across the globe. We have no plans to remove the PayPal payment option from our software. But we do believe in giving our customers choice over their payment provider. This is why we’re really exciting to be able to offer native Stripe integration starting with MIDAS v4.12!

You’ll be able to choose which payment provider you wish to use to allow your customers to pay their invoices online. You can also configure both, to give them a choice of completing their payment via PayPal or Stripe:

Online Invoice Payment Settings
Online Invoice Payment Settings

In order to accept payments through PayPal, you’ll need a PayPal account.

In order to accept payments through Stripe, you’ll need a Stripe account. You’ll also need Stripe API keys. For more information on obtaining these, please see our KB article “Configuring Stripe Integration

Once you’ve set up your PayPal and/or Stripe account, and configured them via MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Invoicing → Online Payments, your customers will then be able to pay their invoices online via https://your_midas_url/pay:

Online Invoice Payment Selection
Online Invoice Payment Selection

With Stripe integration, as soon as a client completes their payment, their invoice will automatically be instantly updated in MIDAS to reflect their payment.

With PayPal integration, you’ll need to configure Instant Payment Notifications (IPN) within your PayPal account in order to allow MIDAS to automatically update a client’s invoice following a successful PayPal transaction.

Making card payments simpler

Following feedback from our customers, we are pleased to announce we are trialing a new card payment processor on our website for those who’d like to purchase our web based room booking & resource scheduling software (or renew or upgrade their existing subscription) using their Credit/Debit card but without having to complete their purchase through PayPal.

Whilst PayPal is arguably the largest and most popular card payment processor on the Internet, one of the concerns some of our customers have is that in order to complete a card payment via PayPal they are first forced to sign up for a PayPal account. Many do not want to do this.

PayPal advertises that customers can make card payments without also requiring a PayPal account. In some cases this is certainly true. However, it’s not true in all cases!

For example, after you’ve used PayPal a number of “one off” card payments without a PayPal account, PayPal then insist you create an account to continue making card payments through their system:

“You will only be able to use PayPal … for up to [10] transactions before we will require you to open a PayPal account … to enable further use of the PayPal system. At that point you will be required to enter into our standard user agreement to govern the ongoing relationship with PayPal”

Additionally, the country you’re in can also affect whether PayPal will allow you to make a card payment without a PayPal account, or insist you create one first.

On a PayPal payment page, if your country is set to United Kingdom, you might see:

PayPal card payment without requiring a PayPal account
PayPal card payment without requiring a PayPal account

…Whereas change your location to Canada, and you’ll see:

PayPal card payment requiring a PayPal account first
PayPal card payment requiring a PayPal account first

…spot the difference?! Yes, the option to pay directly by card directly has been replaced with an option to create a PayPal account!

We want to make things simpler for all our customers who just want to pay by Credit/Debit card without signing up for any 3rd party accounts!

Stripe.comSo whilst PayPal remains a payment method option for our customers, we’ve now also integrated Stripe into our secure site.

Stripe securely handles card payments directly from our website. So unlike PayPal, you’re not transferred back and forth between a hosted payment page on another site and then back to our site. You can complete your card purchase securely and directly from our website. Plus, you won’t need to sign up for a Stripe account to make your payment either!

We will be trialing Stripe for a number of weeks, and we’d appreciate your feedback!

We’ve also updated our site’s Privacy Policy accordingly.