Den Dribbles

Creating your first Stripe Charge with Ruby on Rails in 5 minutes

June 26, 2020

In this short series, we are going to look at how to create a charge to Stripe in a number of their officially supported languages!

Today, we are going to look at how to do so with Ruby on Rails.

The expectations are that you have both Rails installed and have your Stripe API keys setup and ready to go.

The following comes in part from my documentation website.

Getting Started

Assuming you have Rails installed, run the following:

rails new ruby-rails-stripe
cd ruby-rails-stripe

Add the following to the top of your Gemfile for us to read local .env file values and bundle Stripe.

gem 'dotenv-rails', groups: [:development, :test]
gem 'stripe'

On the console, run bundle.

Setting up your environment variables

For your Stripe account, add in your PK and SK test values.

PK_TEST_KEY=
SK_TEST_KEY=

Scaffolding the Charges Route

From the console run:

rails generate controller Charges create

This will scaffold our app/controllers/charges_controller.rb controller.

Inside that, let’s update the code:

require 'stripe'

class ChargesController < ApplicationController
  # POST /charge
  # POST /charge.json
  def create
    # `source` is obtained with Stripe.js; see https://stripe.com/docs/payments/accept-a-payment-charges#web-create-token
    charge = Stripe::Charge.create({
      amount: params[:amount],
      currency: 'aud',
      source: 'tok_amex',
      receipt_email: params[:receipt_email],
      description: 'My First Test Charge (created for API docs)',
    })
    render json: charge
  end
end

This code will make a charge to Stripe using the JSON body params amount and receipt_email.

If the charge is successful, it will return the charge information as JSON.

Updating config/routes.rb

Ensure routes has the following for POST:

Rails.application.routes.draw do
  # ... the rest is omitted for brevity
  post 'charges/create'
  # For details on the DSL available within this file, see http://guides.rubyonrails.org/routing.html
end

This ensures that we can send a POST request to http://localhost:PORT/charges/create when we run the server.

Running the code

Run rails server to get our server up and running (defaulting to 3000).

In this example using HTTPie, call http POST http://localhost:3000/charges/create amount:=1700 receipt_email=hello_rails@example.com and we will get back our charge results sent as JSON. Hooray!

I chose to use HTTPie because I feel it is a fun tool that more should know about! Alternative, you could do the above using curl as well (or anything that can make a POST request for a matter of fact).

curl --header "Content-Type: application/json" \
  --request POST \
  --data '{"amount":1700,"receipt_email":"hello_rails@example.com"}' \
  http://localhost:3000/charges/create

If you now go and check your Stripe dashboard, you will be able to see a charge.

Stripe Dashboard

Resources and further reading

  1. Using Rails for API only
  2. Stripe Ruby Github
  3. Dotenv Ruby Github
  4. Scaffolding routes
  5. HTTP Requests in Rails Apps
  6. Action Controlller Overview
  7. HTTPie

Image credit: Alexandru Acea


A personal blog on all things of interest. Written by Dennis O'Keeffe, Follow me on Twitter