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How to Use Stripe's Test Mode

Before you begin processing live, real-money transactions, it's an excellent idea to test your Stripe account to make sure everything is working as intended. Stripe has a test mode that allows you to use regulatory test credit card numbers to process transactions up to but not including the point the bank is actually charged. These are not real card numbers, but rather, industry-wide, official test card numbers which will provide specific responses based upon the number used.

On account setup, HostLaunch requires a Stripe API key pair. When setting up your API key in Stripe, they will provide you with both a test API key pair and a live pair. Which API pair is saved in HostLaunch at the time any transaction is processed will determine whether test or live mode is used. You can change your API keys in HostLaunch at any time, as often as you need.

For more information on Stripe's API keys, please see their official documentation here. Official test cards can be found here.

There is also a toggle switch in Stripe to view test or live data close to the bottom of Stripe's left menu. When viewing test data, it is clearly displayed as Viewing test data in orange:

When disabled, you are viewing live (real transaction) data. That mode looks like the image below, which reads View test data:

When you've completed testing and are ready to take your HostLaunch account live, you must replace the test stripe API keys in HostLaunch with the real pair you received when you signed up for Stripe. Live payments cannot be processed with a test API key pair in place.

Once your live Stripe API pair is in place, you can begin processing real transactions immediately. If you would like to confirm, you can set a temporary plan at a $1 rate, then use a valid credit card to make payment.

We have already done all the configuration for you in HostLaunch, so you can skip right down to the credit card numbers and ways to test different response codes with them.

If you encounter questions or concerns, please feel free to let us know; we're always happy to help.

Last updated: March 7, 2020

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