August 10, 2012

Combine: get paid faster with Stripe + Heroku

The worst part of freelance work is getting paid. Some clients are great — but some drag their heels, send you bad checks, or don’t pay you at all.*

I wrote Combine in an attempt to make getting paid easier and faster. My clients now get invoices with a link to a simple form where they can pay instantly with their credit card. I get an email when they pay and the money is automatically deposited in my bank account within a week.

Combine uses a free technology stack: Stripe for processing payments, Heroku for hosting and SSL, and Mailgun for sending emails. It should only take a few minutes to set up your own installation.

Combine screenshot
A tasteful payment form from Combine.

Why not use…?

I use Harvest to track my time and send invoices. It’s awesome software and I absolutely recommend it to anyone who does hourly work — but its one shortcoming is online invoice payments. The only options are PayPal and traditional payment gateways. I don’t trust PayPal and don’t want to spend time and money on the old-school gateways.

Stripe seems like a great choice for processing credit card payments. It has a beautiful API and dashboard, and I’m glad to be supporting innovation in this space.

Going forward

My long-term plan is to integrate with the Harvest API and automate things, but I’m pretty happy with the current process (manual, but very lightweight). If you want to make any improvements yourself, pull requests are welcome.

If you set up a Combine installation for yourself, please let me know what you think!

* I'm lucky to have great clients right now that always pay on time. Regardless, I love not having to deal with paper checks anymore.


Comments? Please send me a message.

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