The Payment Settings area is where you can connect a Stripe or PayPal account to Heights in order to accept payments from your students. We chose to integrate with Stripe and PayPal for their ease of use for both creators and students, as well as their security. If you do not have a Stripe account yet, it is very easy to sign up and does not have a complex setup process like traditional payment gateways and merchant accounts.
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While this article covers some of the basics, there are many possibilities for how you can structure pricing for your content in Heights Platform!
See our Payment Guide on:
Selling Paid Memberships
Selling Content Bundles
Selling Individual Products
Before launching and promoting your program, you should be sure that you have connected a payment gateway. You might also want to fill out your refund policy and program details on the Web Pages view of your creator dashboard.
Here you can connect your Stripe or PayPal account, set a program fee, and edit the student billing page content on your payment settings page
If you decide to leave your program free to access, students will be able to create an account and access all of your programs without entering billing details. If you select to charge for enrollment in the payment settings, then immediately after entering their name, email and password, students will be directed to a second step in the enrollment process that will require them to enter payment details before being able to access your program.
NOTE: Ensure that you have a payment gateway connected before setting up your program enrollment fee. If your program has an enrollment fee, but is not connected to Stripe or PayPal, students will not be able to complete enrollment and will see a message that your program is not open for enrollment.
When you connect your Stripe or PayPal account to Heights, any transaction fees charged (Stripe's default is 2.9% + 30¢) are the payment gateway's fees alone. Heights Platform does not charge any additional transaction fees on the payments you collect from your students!
You must charge at least $1.00 USD for any of your enrollment fee plans.
After you have connected your account, you may wish to try a test transaction to yourself with a very small amount of money to ensure that they have configured your gateway correctly.
Students Payment Options
On the payment settings page, you can choose how to charge students for enrollment. Here are the options you have with Heights Platform:
1. 100% Free Enrollment
This option will let students into your program for free forever. If you want to offer everything for free, you do not have to connect your PayPal or Stripe account, and you can leave everything as default (as shown in the picture below)
2. Free Enrollment and Paid Individual Courses, Products, or Content Bundles
Use this option if you want to assign different prices to different online courses or products you sell in your program. In this case, students will be able to access your program for free and view which courses you have, but they will have to pay to access every single online course. You have the flexibility to choose the price for every single product you sell individually. You could also give some for free and charge a fee for others.
To do this, select the same option as above ("Sell individual products, content bundles, and offer free content").
You can then set the price of each individual online course, bundle or digital product separately under the products setting page.
For more information, read this article: Payment Guide: Individual Courses/Products
3. Enrollment Fee for Your Whole Program
Use this option to charge a one-time fee for enrollment and access to your entire program. After students pay the enrollment fee, they will have access to ALL of your courses and products in your program.
To do this, under the Program Pricing tab select the second option, as shown below.
You can then choose if the enrollment free should be:
- One-Time-Payment: Use this option to charge a one-time fee for enrollment and access to your entire program. After students pay the enrollment fee, they will have access to all of your courses and products in your program.
- Installment Plan: Use this option to charge a set number of installments. This option is commonly combined with the one-time payment option so that you can give students the option of paying a lump sum or paying in multiple installments.
A common strategy is to have the total of your installments equal an amount slightly more than your one-time payment amount so that you reward those who pay you the full amount upfront.
- Subscription Plan: Use this option to charge a monthly or yearly fee to be part of your program. Your student will have to continue paying in order to continue to have access to your program. While you can combine this payment plan with one-time and installment plans (for example: pay $49/month or pay $999 for lifetime access), it is more common to use subscription plan payments as the sole option if you decide to enable it.
Inside your Stripe account on https://stripe.com you will be able to see your enrolled students in your "Customers" page. If you need more information about a customer beyond seeing their email address, you can click on them in Stripe and the "Description" text under Details and Account Information will show the customer's name, and the coupon code they used to sign up (if any).
You can also track students who have started to register through your program but have not yet completed the payment process via your student list page. See the Students help section for more details.
The Invoices section below describes how you can view student payments and send email receipt copies.
Heights Platform supports charging in more than 100 currencies. The currencies you are able to accept payments in may vary depending on what Stripe or PayPal supports in the country of your business. When you change your program currency, all future student enrollments will charge students in that currency. Changing your program currency does not affect a student who is already on a paid enrollment plan and has remaining payments in their plan (ie: installments or subscriptions).
The currency you charge students during enrollment does not have to match the currency used in your bank account. Stripe and PayPal will convert payments you receive into your bank's settlement currency.
PayPal does not support the same number of currencies as Stripe. If you select a currency that PayPal cannot process, but have PayPal connected as a gateway, you will see a message that PayPal payments are disabled for students until you change your program currency to one that PayPal supports. Even if you do not see this message, there is a chance that the selected currency is still unavailable depending on the country of your PayPal business account.
For a list of currencies that PayPal supports for your country of business, see this link: https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/country-worldwide
For a full list of currencies supported by Stripe and how they work see: https://stripe.com/docs/currencies.
Stripe Account Setup
It is important to take care when setting up your Stripe account. Make sure that you have set a relevant statement descriptor in your Stripe account settings, as well as adjusting your branding settings if you decide to use Stripe's invoice feature in addition to or instead of the Invoices in Heights. These steps are important to ensure your customers are not confused and will reduce the chance of students making a chargeback.
You'll receive payouts from Stripe directly to your bank account in as quick as a 2-day rolling schedule, depending on the country of your business.
If you plan on charging for enrollment to your program on Heights Platform, make sure that Stripe supports the country your business is in: https://stripe.com/global. If your business is in an unsupported country, Stripe offers Atlas which allows you to easily incorporate a US company and start accepting payments with Stripe.
PayPal Account Setup
In order to receive payments via PayPal from your customers, you must have a PayPal business account. If you have a personal account, see the following guide to learn how to easily convert your personal account to a business account: https://www.paypal.com/us/smarthelp/article/How-do-I-upgrade-my-PayPal-account-type-FAQ900.
After you have checked that your PayPal account is a business account, you can start accepting payments to it when you add both your PayPal email and your PayPal merchant ID to the PayPal gateway fields in your payment settings. See this article for how you can find your merchant ID: https://www.paypal.com/us/smarthelp/article/FAQ3850
If your account is not configured correctly then students will not be able to enroll in your program.
How to Find Your PayPal Merchant ID
After logging into your PayPal account click on the settings cog icon in the top right and select "Account Settings" in the dropdown. On PayPal's account settings page, click on the "Business Information" link on the left sidebar. The following page will show your PayPal Merchant ID. Copy it and paste it into Heights along with your PayPal email address to connect your account.
Your account must be a PayPal business account to connect with Heights. Personal PayPal accounts will not have a merchant ID and will not be able to receive payments.
Whether or not you need to collect tax on course/program/product sales depends on whether or not your courses offer a live or interactive component, where your business and customers are located, and other factors. Heights Platform cannot provide tax advice. We strongly recommend you speak with a tax professional to determine if you need to collect taxes or not. If your business does need to collect taxes in a way that our checkout feature does not currently support, you can always connect Heights Platform to an external checkout service that meets your needs: Enroll Students from an External Checkout