the Stripe "S" logo on a puzzle piece being put into a large puzzle with the GoHighLevel logo.

Stripe for GoHighLevel: Pros and Cons


Stripe and GoHighLevel are two powerful tools that have revolutionized the way businesses operate online.

While both offer their own eases and functionalities, they may not be as compatible as you think. Let’s get into what the best solution for agencies and creators using GoHighLevel is in terms of payment processing.

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Stripe’s Restricted Businesses List and Content Creation

In a recent update, Stripe added “Content Creation” to their restricted businesses list. This move has significant implications for content creators who rely on Stripe for payment processing—including agencies.

Stripe’s restricted businesses list outlines industries and products that cannot use Stripe’s services. The addition of “Content Creation” to this list means that content creators now face heightened scrutiny and potential limitations when using Stripe.

According to Stripe’s policy, the specific restriction for content creation is as follows:

“Transactions that provide compensation to creators without an underlying piece of digital content associated. Examples include subscriptions to free, public content or a tip button on a profile page.”

This means that Stripe prohibits transactions where users are asked to pay for subscriptions that do not provide any new or exclusive content, but rather just give access to content that is available online through continued payments for access.

Content creators are considered high-risk by Stripe for several reasons:

  1. Content creation businesses often have high chargeback rates, as dissatisfied customers may dispute charges for content they deem unsatisfactory or not as described.
  2. The digital nature of content makes it harder to prove the actual delivery of goods or services, increasing the risk of fraudulent transactions.
  3. Some content creation niches, such as adult content, are inherently higher risk and more prone to chargebacks and legal issues.
  4. The proliferation of online scams and get-rich-quick schemes often masquerade as legitimate content businesses, making this category riskier for payment processors like Stripe.

However, it’s important to note that not all content creation businesses are prohibited on Stripe. The key restrictions focus on transactions that lack a clear exchange of value, such as charging for access as opposed to ownership.

Legitimate content creators who charge for access to exclusive, members-only content like paid newsletters, private videos, courses, or digital downloads can still use Stripe, but may face additional verification requirements. These businesses are still high risk and subject to Stripe account freezes.

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Why GoHighLevel Offers Stripe Integration

GoHighLevel, as an all-in-one marketing and sales platform, aims to provide its users with a seamless experience when it comes to accepting payments online. One of the key integrations offered by GoHighLevel is with Stripe, one of the most popular payment gateways in the world.

Stripe has gained widespread adoption due to its ease of use, robust API, and extensive documentation. It allows businesses to accept various payment methods, including credit cards, debit cards, and digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Recognizing the importance of Stripe in the online payment ecosystem, GoHighLevel has made it simple for users to connect their Stripe account and start accepting payments within the platform. This integration allows GoHighLevel users to create a seamless checkout experience for their customers without the need for complex coding or third-party tools.

By offering Stripe integration, GoHighLevel enables users to:

  1. Quickly set up payment processing: With just a few clicks, users can connect their existing Stripe account or create a new one directly within the GoHighLevel platform.
  2. Accept payments in their funnels and workflows: GoHighLevel’s powerful clickfunnel builder and workflow automation tools can be enhanced with Stripe integration, allowing users to accept payments at key points in their customer journey.
  3. Manage subscriptions and recurring payments: Stripe’s subscription management features can be leveraged through GoHighLevel, enabling users to easily set up and manage recurring payment plans for their products or services.
  4. Ensure secure transactions: Stripe handles all sensitive payment information, providing a secure environment for both businesses and their customers. This allows GoHighLevel users to focus on their core business without worrying about the complexities of payment security.

The Stripe integration in GoHighLevel is particularly beneficial for beginners who may not have extensive experience with payment processing. The user-friendly interface and step-by-step guides make it easy for anyone to set up and start accepting payments online.

Moreover, the integration allows users to manage their payment processing directly within the GoHighLevel platform, eliminating the need to switch between multiple tools and dashboards. This streamlined approach saves time and reduces the potential for errors.

The Risks of Relying on Stripe

While Stripe is a popular and convenient payment processing solution, many online businesses should be aware of the potential risks associated with relying solely on Stripe for their business.

One of the primary risks is that Stripe can suddenly terminate accounts that are deemed high-risk or in violation of their terms of service. Stripe’s automated risk assessment systems continuously monitor accounts for suspicious activity or potential violations. If an account is flagged, Stripe may take swift action, including account termination, without prior warning.

If your Stripe account is terminated, you will lose access to your funds and be unable to process payments from your customers OR refund them. This can result in significant financial losses and damage to your reputation.

Furthermore, when Stripe terminates an account, the funds associated with that account may be frozen for an extended period. This means that you may not have access to your hard-earned money for weeks or even months. In some cases, Stripe may even withhold funds permanently if they suspect fraudulent activity.

Large and small businesses alike should consider diversifying their payment processing by using multiple providers, such as PayPal as a backup and dedicated merchant accounts as their primary solution.

Don’t risk it! Connect with a powerful payment processor today.

Building a Robust Payment Ecosystem with GoHighLevel

To mitigate the risks associated with relying solely on Stripe, business owners can still build a robust payment ecosystem using GoHighLevel.

The Importance of a Dedicated Merchant Account

For high-risk businesses, having a dedicated merchant account is one of the most important things you can have. A merchant account is an account with an acquiring bank that allows you to accept payments directly, rather than relying on a third-party processor like Stripe.

Benefits of a dedicated merchant account include:

  • Greater stability and reduced risk of sudden account termination
  • More control over your funds and faster access to your money
  • Ability to negotiate rates and terms based on your business needs
  • Enhanced credibility and professionalism in the eyes of your customers

Choosing a Compatible Payment Gateway

To connect your dedicated merchant account to GoHighLevel, you’ll need to choose a compatible payment gateway. A payment gateway is a technology that securely transmits payment information between your website and your merchant account.

Some popular payment gateways that integrate with GoHighLevel include:

  1. NMI (Network Merchants, Inc.)

When selecting a payment gateway, consider factors such as:

  • Compatibility with your merchant account and GoHighLevel
  • Transaction fees and pricing structure
  • Security features and fraud prevention tools
  • Customer support and documentation

Connecting Your Merchant Account and Gateway to GoHighLevel

Once you have your dedicated merchant account and compatible payment gateway set up, you can connect them to GoHighLevel. This process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Obtain your payment gateway API credentials (API key, token, etc.)
  2. Navigate to the payment settings within your GoHighLevel account
  3. Select your chosen payment gateway from the list of available integrations
  4. Enter your API credentials and configure any additional settings
  5. Test the integration to ensure smooth payment processing

ALWAYS test your gateway and processor before launching.

GoHighLevel provides detailed documentation and support to guide you through the integration process, making it easy to connect your merchant account and gateway.

Open your dedicated merchant account now!

When to Use Stripe with GoHighLevel

While it’s important for businesses to be aware of the risks associated with relying solely on Stripe, there are still situations where using Stripe with GoHighLevel can be beneficial. The key is to understand when and how to use Stripe strategically to minimize potential issues.

Ideal for Low-Risk Products and Services

Stripe can be an excellent choice for businesses who offer low-risk products or services. These are typically items that have a clear value proposition, low chargeback rates, and do not fall into any of Stripe’s restricted categories.

Digital products are seen as higher risk because of higher chargeback rates and customer dissatisfaction. In comparison, physical products (in stock, specifically; not dropshipping) are lower risk.

Useful as a Secondary Backup Processor

Even if you have a dedicated merchant account and primary payment gateway, Stripe can still be a valuable tool to have in your payment ecosystem. Using Stripe as a secondary backup processor can provide an additional layer of redundancy and ensure that you can continue processing payments if your primary system experiences issues.

Here’s how you can use Stripe as a backup processor:

  1. Set up a Stripe account and connect it to your GoHighLevel account
  2. Configure your payment settings to route transactions to your primary gateway by default
  3. Set a small amount of your monthly transactions (below $1000 per order) to go through Stripe to avoid shut down.
  4. In the event that your primary gateway is unavailable or experiences technical difficulties, you can quickly switch to Stripe as a temporary solution
  5. Once your primary gateway is back up and running, you can switch back and continue processing payments as usual

By having Stripe as a backup option, you can minimize downtime and continue serving your customers even if your primary payment system encounters problems.

Avoid Using Stripe for Core High-Risk Offers and Subscriptions

While Stripe can be useful for low-risk offerings and as a backup processor, it’s crucial to avoid using Stripe for your core high-risk offers and subscriptions. As mentioned earlier, many businesses can be considered high-risk, and relying on Stripe for these critical components of your business can lead to account terminations and frozen funds.

When it comes to your main content offerings, subscriptions, and recurring revenue streams, it’s best to use a dedicated merchant account and compatible payment gateway. This approach provides greater stability, control over your funds, and reduced risk of sudden account closures.

If you do choose to use Stripe for certain aspects of your business, be sure to:

  • Carefully review Stripe’s terms of service and restricted businesses list
  • Ensure that your products and services comply with Stripe’s acceptable use policies
  • Maintain clear communication with your customers and provide excellent support to minimize chargebacks and disputes
  • Have alternative payment options available in case of any issues with your Stripe account

By using Stripe strategically and in combination with a robust payment ecosystem, content creators can take advantage of its benefits while minimizing the potential risks. Always prioritize the stability and longevity of your business when making decisions about payment processing.


About the author

As President of DirectPayNet, I make it my mission to help merchants find the best payment solutions for their online business, especially if they are categorized as high-risk merchants. I help setup localized payments modes and have tons of other tricks to increase sales! Prior to starting DirectPayNet, I was a Director at MANSEF Inc. (now known as MindGeek), where I led a team dedicated to managing merchant accounts for hundreds of product lines as well as customer service and secondary revenue sources. I am an avid traveler, conference speaker and love to attend any event that allows me to learn about technology. I am fascinated by anything related to digital currency especially Bitcoin and the Blockchain.