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Stripe's v3 API introduced a controversial change: you can no longer use Stripe with custom payment forms, you must use the new Stripe Elements interface. This change is brutal from a developer experience perspective, because you need to figure out how to rewrite your app to use the new API, and the existing docs are written for vanilla JavaScript. There is a React library, but it is heavy and there's no information as to whether it actually works with Preact. In this article, I'll present a basic proof of concept of using the vanilla Stripe Elements library and Preact.

Setting Up Preact and Stripe Elements

Preact bundles might be lightweight, but the dev setup certainly isn't. To get started, you'll need to install Preact itself, Webpack as a compiler, Babel to transform JSX, and serve to start an HTTP server.

npm install preact babel-loader@8.x @babel/core@7.x @babel/plugin-transform-react-jsx@7.x webpack@4.x webpack-cli@3.x serve@10.x

Next, let's set up a basic index.html that loads the Stripe.js file. Stripe suggests that you load the client-side stripe.js library via script tag rather than via require().

<html>
  <head>
    <title>Preact/Stripe Test</title>

    <script src="https://js.stripe.com/v3/"></script>
    <style>
      #content {
        width: 300px;
        padding: 10px;
        border: 1px solid #e3e3e3;
      }
    </style>
  </head>

  <body>
    <div id="content">
      <div id="cc-form"></div>
      <input type="submit" value="Submit" />
    </div>

    <script src="bin/index.js"></script>
  </body>
</html>

Now, let's create a basic index.js file that will set up Stripe Elements. For now, this file won't use Preact at all, it'll be a proof of concept for getting a payment token from a Stripe Element.

const { h, Component } = require('preact');

const stripe = Stripe('pk_test_CY6HxyQkOolO1B3h43MvkJE5');
const elements = stripe.elements();

const card = elements.create('card');
card.mount('#cc-form'); // The `cc-form` div from `index.html`

// Stripe Elements only collects the credit card info, you still need to support
// a "submit" button
document.querySelector('input[type="submit"]').addEventListener('click', () => {
  stripe.createToken(card).
    then(res => {
      const el = document.createElement('div');
      el.innerHTML = res.error ? `Error: ${res.error.message}` : `Token: ${res.token.id}`;
      document.querySelector('body').append(el);
    }).
    catch(err => console.log('Unexpected error', err.message));
});

Next, let's add a webpack.config.js to bundle index.jsx into bin/index.js:

module.exports = {
  entry: {
    index: './index.jsx'
  },
  target: 'web',
  output: {
    path: `${process.cwd()}/bin`,
    filename: '[name].js'
  },
  module: {
    rules: [{
      test: /\.jsx$/,
      use: {
        loader: 'babel-loader'
      }
    }]
  }
};

Let's also add a .babelrc file to tell Babel to use the JSX loader:

{
  "plugins": ["@babel/plugin-transform-react-jsx"]
}

Run ./node_modules/.bin/webpack to compile, and then visit http://localhost:5000 and you should be able to enter in payment info. Just use one of the fake credit cards from Stripe's list of test cards.

<iframe src="https://www.useloom.com/embed/4c5b634b9139483db4dece654765685b" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%;"></iframe>

Integrating Preact with Stripe Elements

The key to making a Preact component that works with Stripe Elements is to create a component that mounts the Stripe element when the component mounts, and then never updates. The shouldComponentUpdate lifecycle hook lets you make sure the component never updates, so you can mount the Stripe element in componentDidMount() without any problems.

class StripeElement extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return <div id="cc-form"></div>;
  }

  shouldComponentUpdate() {
    return false;
  }

  componentDidMount() {
    card.mount('#cc-form');
  }
}

The downside of this approach is that the ID is hard coded, so you can't do multiple StripeElement components on one page. You can easily work around this with a counter, but that's outside the scope of this article.

Now that you have a StripeElement component that sets up a Stripe Element to accept credit cards, here's the main App component that actually uses the StripeElement component and displays the results:

const React = require('preact');

const stripe = Stripe('pk_test_CY6HxyQkOolO1B3h43MvkJE5');
const elements = stripe.elements();
const card = elements.create('card');

class App extends React.Component {
  componentWillMount() {
    this.responses = [];
    this.setState({ responses: [] });
  }

  onSubmit() {
    stripe.createToken(card).
      then(res => {
        this.responses.push(res.error ? `Error: ${res.error.message}` : `Token: ${res.token.id}`);
        this.setState({ responses: this.responses.slice() });
      }).
      catch(err => {
        this.responses.push(err.message);
        this.setState({ responses: this.responses.slice() });
      });
  }

  render() {
    return (
      <div>
        <StripeElement />
        <input type="submit" onClick={() => this.onSubmit()} />
        {
          this.state.responses.map(res => <div>{res}</div>)
        }
      </div>
    );
  }
}

Here's the video of entering in a fake card number with the new Preact component:

<iframe src="https://www.useloom.com/embed/497ee069b35f402c9a0b6676a3406266" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen style="position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%;"></iframe>

Moving On

You often don't need heavy binding libraries if you're building an app that needs to integrate with a library whose API assumes vanilla JS. A component that never re-renders and instantiates the library in componentDidMount() is often enough to get a vanilla JS library to work with Preact or even React. Next time you want to Google for an officially supported React component for library X, consider writing a simple one yourself.