This weekend I'm about to invite the first users to try FocusTask.
It's super early to think about payments, but I decided add an optional subscription - early bird. If you decide to support the project, you'll be locked into this price forever.
I was thinking about Stripe vs Paddle for a while, and decided to go with Paddle. It makes more sense for European business.
First, I don't have to care about VAT at all. Paddle takes care of that. When you select a country in Paddle, it automatically decides whether it should add VAT.
In my case, it shouldn't add VAT for anyone, because I'm starting out by accepting payments as an individual. (Bad idea? Should I just bite the bullet and set up an LLC?)
The second reason is bookkeeping. As European business, I need to have each invoice in case of audit. If I were to go with Stripe, I'd have to cut an invoice for every customer. I'll be charging $5/mo, so with just $500MRR that could be 1200 invoices per year. Not fun.
With Paddle this problem goes away. I only need one invoice per month - for Paddle. That makes things significantly easier!
Last reason is that I notice all European businesses use Paddle. To give a recent example, I noticed it on Plausible analytics (which I like).
Problems with Paddle
First of all, they take 5% + 50¢ per transaction, which is a lot more than Stripe's 1.5% or so. If I have monthly pricing of $5, that's whopping 15%. I'll be pushing users towards yearly pricing aggressively.
Second, I noticed it's a lot less polished than Stripe. Their UIs sometimes feel like a side project. There was one issue that I had really hard time with: When I tried to open the Checkout UI, I kept getting this error: The checkout id must be a valid checkout id.
I checked it three times, and couldn't figure out what was going on. The next day I read the documentation again, carefully, and it turned out you have to create a new separate account for you sandbox environment!
So easy fix, but kinda annoying to go through it.
It doesn't matter
In the end, it doesn't matter at all at this stage. I can always switch payment providers. The important thing is to implement it fast. I still don't know if anyone will want to pay for my product!