FinTech began to flourish in the 1990s, as the Internet and e-commerce business models surged in popularity. The increasing importance of security and transparency in banking systems, and the advent of cloud computing gave rise to a new era of customized FinTech solutions.
These innovative solutions revolutionized simple yet vital banking processes such as access to user profiles and exchange of money with automatically converted currencies. Today, the mission of FinTech companies is to devise and implement solutions that are feasible in the long term.
Launched in 2011, after a private beta, Stripe is a pioneer in the FinTech space, not just in the United States, but worldwide. In fact, Forbes named Stripe as the second-most valuable startup in the world in 2021, with a valuation of $95 billion.
Stripe builds top-notch economic infrastructure for the internet, with its top-notch payment processing software, and application programming interfaces (APIs), for businesses, mobile apps, and e-commerce websites, including tech giants like Zoom and Microsoft.
With its range of solutions, Stripe puts data at the very core of business operations, irrespective of the size of the business. From fresh startups to public companies, Stripe’s software is used to accept payments and manage business operations virtually, across 120 countries.
The vast potential of the online economy makes Stripe’s mission statement is to increase the GDP of the internet, attainable. While the growth of internet businesses is a steep, upward curve, only 3 percent of global commerce takes place online, according to the IMF. The disparity can be attributed to a byzantine global financial system, shortage of engineers, and complexities due to regulatory restrictions.
“There is a misconception that somehow the issue of accepting payments online has been resolved, but the amount of commerce done via the internet is still low, with cross-border transactions in particular almost minimal,” says John Collison, President. “We work with regulators, financial institutions, banks, payment networks, and wallets, so that businesses that run on Stripe, don’t have to, and thus, eliminate financial complexity,” he adds.
Stripe’s mission is to remove these obstacles in the path of online commerce to facilitate the establishment of new businesses, to expedite growth for existing enterprises, and ultimately contribute to an increased economic output through a seamless global trading network.
Its mission always had, and always will inculcate a technology-first approach to finance and payments, which distinguishes it from its competitors. Stripe’s solutions are crafted in such a manner that they can be operated and optimized at every level of a financial stack, be it direct integrations with card networks or banks, to checkout flows on browsers.
The platform is also continually improving, with hundreds of new and improved features being deployed annually, to help its customers stay ahead of the industry trends. Stripe is also defined by its intelligent optimizations, using which, its machine learning models efficiently train on billions of data points to facilitate revenue maximization across conversion, revenue recovery, fraud, and more services.
Along with its industry-leading performance, Stripe’s systems operate with a proven uptime of more than 99.9% and are highly scalable, and secure. It is certified to the highest compliance standards and was named a leader by The Forrester Wave for achieving the highest score amongst providers ranked across 23 criteria, in the Current Offering, and Future Strategy categories.
Stripe’s diverse portfolio of solutions can be primarily categorized into three – Payments, Financial Services, and Business Operations. The Payments category encompasses online payments, Payment Links or no-code payments, Invoicing, Billing or subscription management, Connect which covers payments for platforms, and Terminal which deals with in-person payments.
Terminal was an invite-only service, till 2019 when it was made available to U.S. users, as a point of sale service offering physical credit card readers designed to work with Stripe. Its suite of Financial Services includes Corporate Card and Capital, which facilitate spend management for companies, and fast, flexible business financing, respectively.
Stripe Issuing which enables businesses to control expenses, create new revenue lines, and minimize operational burdens, is also part of this category. Stripe Treasury, banking-as-a-service API, lets corporations embed financial services in their preferred platform or marketplace.
Radar, Sigma, Atlas, Climate, Tax, and Identity together form the Business Operations category. While Radar includes anti-fraud tools to detect and block deceitful transactions, Sigma helps businesses efficiently analyze their Stripe data, to provide them with valuable insights.
Originally launched as an invite-only platform, Atlas is a powerful, user-friendly, and safe solution that helps startups register as U.S. corporations while eliminating lengthy paperwork. Launched in 2020, Stripe Climate is a platform to aid environment-conscious businesses in directing a fraction of their revenue to help fund emerging carbon removal technologies and research.
Stripe Tax facilitates the calculation and collection of sales tax and VAT automation, whereas Stripe Identity is an online identity verification tool that lets enterprises confirm the credibility of global users, to prevent security breaches.
To support and promote innovative ideas that help businesses thrive, Stripe also has a publishing company named Stripe Press. Stripe’s extensive documentation and client libraries encompass everything that an emerging business would need to build a personalized integration, within a fraction of time. The FinTech leader also actively supports the developer community, by contributing to open-source projects through patches, development, and sponsorships.
“Stripe’s vision is to make it easy for anyone anywhere to participate in the internet economy. We thought we’d been making it clear we’d do something along these lines as part of our strategy, which is essential to build a global payment and treasury network that works everywhere,” states John Collison.
In line with its future goals, Stripe began offering automatically approved loans and credit cards to businesses in need, in 2019, in the United States, eliminating human intervention, and speeding up the system.
Its vision of supporting new businesses as they adapt to dynamic business models, unfamiliar geographies, and trending disruptions, is indeed well-aligned to the realities many owners face, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the lockdown period in 2020, more than 300,000 new enterprises started their journey aided by Stripe’s platform. Even in Britain, the pandemic saw a surge of growth in the e-commerce market as activities nearly doubled to 33 percent.
Stripe is the world’s fastest-advancing developer platform, giving businesses big, and small the tools and technology they require to build better. In 2020, the company expanded its footprints into five new markets in Europe and announced its goals of offering its services in Africa and the Middle East. In addition to its plans to launch in more markets globally, Stripe also has several new software products in the pipeline.
There is no doubt that Stripe is a platform for ambitious businesses around the world, to seamlessly handle money through the simple, convenient, borderless, and programmatic medium of the internet.
It helps companies achieve effective, measurable results, and it builds market-first solutions that cater specifically to its customers’ needs. Stripe is a magnificent architect in the FinTech space, accelerating the growth of all types of businesses, from Marketplaces and SaaS to Platforms, and e-commerce sites.
Stripe’s powerful range of solutions is the perfect concoction of functionality and convenience, giving companies more time to focus on their core products and customer experience. Stripe stitches together complex systems, to facilitate ease of use, making simplicity central to its continuing global success.