Payments

Stripe updates payments platform and rolls out card issuing

  • The payments platform announced three major updates.
  • Stripe Issuing, the first self-serve card issuing API, is now available to all US businesses
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Stripe updates payments platform and rolls out card issuing

Stripe announced three major updates to its payments platform to help its millions of users increase their revenue: worldwide direct connectivity to six major card networks; Stripe Issuing, now available to all US businesses; and a revenue optimization engine.

Direct platform connectivity: Stripe now processes card transactions through direct integrations with all six major card networks.

  • Direct connections to the card networks can reduce latency and remove potential points of failure for customers compared to relying on intermediaries.
  • Stripe’s platform connects directly to Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, and China Union Pay across global markets.
  • Stripe claims it now handles more than 250 million API requests a day — and often upwards of 10,000 per second — while maintaining 99.999 percent uptime.

“Over the last several years, Mastercard has been collaborating with Stripe,” said Sherri Haymond, Mastercard’s executive vice president, digital partnerships, North America. “Stripe’s direct connectivity to Mastercard not only allows us to bring innovative payment technology to market faster but also builds an environment of connected intelligence that reduces fraud on suspect transactions and increases approval rates on valid ones.”

Emphasis on enterprise: Stripe wants to continue to support the growing needs of customers like Shopify (handling Black Friday-level traffic every day) and Instacart (experiencing a 300 percent increase in customer demand year on year).

  • Stripe has added new enterprise clients Zoom, Westfield and Just Eat in 2020.

Card issuing: Stripe recently released Issuing, a fully programmable infrastructure for card issuing.

  • It’s the the first self-serve product for issuing new contactless cards,
  • Stripe Issuing reduces the time required to create a card from around a couple of months to two minutes for virtual cards or two days for physical cards.
  • Zipcar, Carrot and Postmates are using Issuing to create hundreds of thousands of cards every month to manage how drivers, employees and couriers spend money.
  • Stripe Issuing is now available to all Stripe users in the US. 

“Stripe Issuing is a big step forward,” said Alex Rampell, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz.

“Not just for the millions of businesses running on Stripe, but for credit cards as a fundamental technology. Businesses can now use an API to create and issue cards exactly when and where they need them, and they can do it in a few clicks, not a few months. As investors, we’re excited by all the potential new companies and business models that will emerge as a result.” 

Impact of the changes: The COVID-19 crisis is rapidly accelerating the move to digital.

  • For young businesses, today’s announcements mean increased revenue, reliability, and global reach.
  • For Stripe’s enterprise customer base, which includes Wayfair, Peloton, Zoom and Instacart, today’s updates can help maximize authorization rates as they respond to spikes in demand. 

“As businesses around the world respond to the new normal, they’re rethinking how they engage with customers more than ever,” said Mark Nelson, vp of billing platform at Twilio. “It’s critical that our payments infrastructure is highly reliable as we elastically scale in response to customer demand.”

Revenue optimization: For firms responding to surges in demand, Stripe deploys micro-optimizations to help them generate extra revenue by improving authorizations.

  • By applying machine-learning technology used in its fraud-prevention tool Radar to develop bank-specific profiles, Stripe dynamically routes, adapts and retries transactions to maximize authorization rates.
  • This is a big data challenge, as each of several thousand individual banks interprets and processes transaction requests differently.
  • Stripe’s revenue optimization engine is expected to generate an incremental $2.5 billion for Stripe business customers this year, according to the company.

“This extra revenue would’ve been welcome under normal circumstances, but it’s critical in times like these,” said John Collison, president and co-founder of Stripe. “The Stripe team will keep shipping updates like these — from home — so our customers receive every penny they’re due.”

Directly connecting to payments networks can help improve authorization rates while keeping fraud constant. “Inappropriate declines are expensive by-products of the legacy payment infrastructure,” said Thad Peterson, Senior Analyst at Aite Group.

“By connecting directly with the payment networks and optimizing authorization rates with machine learning, Stripe provides merchants with a real opportunity to increase revenue and transaction speed.”

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