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European payment methods available worldwide in minutes, not months

Sophie Sakellariadis on October 27, 2020

A great promise of the internet is to eliminate the impact of physical distance on our lives. But 35+ years after the internet’s founding, selling cross-border remains shockingly difficult. Why?

Online commerce is fragmented. The top 50 ecommerce markets have over 75 popular payment methods—including wallets, bank methods, and even cash at convenience stores. Accepting more payment methods is important: buyers often abandon checkout if they can’t use their preferred way to pay. But it can take months to add local payment options. Before engineering work can even begin, you need to register foreign corporate entities, open new bank accounts, pay local taxes, and fill out reams of compliance forms. It shouldn’t be this hard.

Reach more European customers in minutes

Starting today, Stripe businesses around the world can accept payments from more European buyers in minutes. Whether you’re a retailer in Hong Kong or a subscription service in Mexico, you can boost revenue from European buyers, who drive nearly 20% of the world’s ecommerce. No matter where you are in the world, there’s now no foreign incorporation, no new bank accounts, and no manual activation steps to get started with Bancontact, EPS, giropay, iDEAL, Przelewy24, and Sofort.

Adding the iDEAL payment method to Checkout

Adding payment methods in Stripe Checkout is as easy as updating a parameter.

You’ll receive payouts in your local currency with unified reporting for all payment methods. Stripe manages cross-border money movement, currency conversion, and local compliance—so you don’t have to.

Increase revenue and lower payment costs

We’ve piloted European payments with businesses around the world, and they immediately saw higher conversion and lower costs. For example, a SaaS company in Hong Kong integrated iDEAL and conversion from Dutch customers increased by nearly 50%. All they had to do was update a single line of code in Stripe Checkout. Businesses also saved as much as 1% in transaction costs and saw fewer chargebacks, since these payment methods don’t support disputes.

“Accepting local payment methods on Stripe has been a game-changer. Not only has it saved us time and money, but we’re getting much higher conversion with European customers.”

— Becs Percasky and Kate Bezar (Founders, The Better Packaging Co., based in New Zealand)

Winning more sellers for platforms and marketplaces

Businesses are increasingly relying on platforms and marketplaces to grow globally. Offering European payment methods is a great way for marketplaces and platforms to win and retain businesses. Now, platforms like BigCommerce can make payment methods available by default, with no extra verification requirements, incorporation hassle, or activation steps for their users.

“To appeal to today’s international shopper, merchants need to offer a variety of payment methods at checkout to encourage a purchase regardless of the customer’s location. Working with Stripe, BigCommerce has added more payment methods to expand our international capabilities for merchants looking to sell globally.”

— Mark Rosales (Vice President of Payments, BigCommerce)

This is just the beginning. Over the next year, we’ll be making more payment methods available worldwide. Our goal is to make it seamless for customers to pay how they want and help more businesses sell globally in minutes.

Visit your Dashboard to see the payment methods available for your business and read our docs to get started. Let us know how we can help your business grow globally.

October 27, 2020

New Dashboard features to save you time

Sashko Stubailo on October 8, 2020

The Stripe Dashboard is the hub for millions of businesses to take action—whether that’s a founder at a small startup that interacts directly with customers or support teams at larger organizations working to address thousands of customer inquiries each week.

Over the past few months, we’ve launched dozens of new features in the Dashboard to improve common workflows such as managing subscriptions, issuing refunds, sending invoices, and keeping track of customers. Read on for the highlights or log in to see them in action.

More context and quick actions on customer pages

We’ve rebuilt the customer pages from the ground up to make daily operational tasks more efficient and better surface the most useful customer information.

We’ve increased the visibility of useful information such as coupons, subscription progress indicators, and payment methods used. You’ll now find new aggregate stats about each customer on their page, including the total amount they’ve spent with your business and—if you use Stripe Billing—their monthly recurring revenue.

You can also find common actions related to customers like creating a payment or applying a coupon in a single “Actions” button at the top of the page.

An easier flow for creating payments

We’ve redesigned the flow for manually creating payments in the Dashboard. In addition to the new design, you can now choose to enter new payment details, use saved payment details for a customer, or send a Stripe-hosted invoice via email for a given transaction.

Improved dispute management

Compiling and submitting evidence to contest a dispute can be time consuming and require information from across the Dashboard and other business systems. To help, we now autopopulate the form with relevant information such as the customer name, email address, and billing address for the dispute. We also autosave the form in case you need to come back to it later.

Slashing steps for repetitive tasks

Some frequent tasks have required multiple steps to get done. We’ve focused on streamlining common operational workflows to make them faster and easier for users:

NewSend receipts with a click

We’ve simplified the process for sending receipts to customers manually. We even prepopulate the customer’s email into the dialog to help save you time.

NewDuplicate invoices

If you need to send a new invoice with just a few edits, you can use the new duplicate button to jumpstart creating the invoice.

UpdateCancel + refund

We found that subscription cancellations are often followed immediately by a refund. Now, if you are canceling a customer’s subscription, you can refund from the same dialog with a single click.

NewShortcut to copy the object ID

Many users use the object ID for searching in the Dashboard and to match customers with payments. You can now use ⌘+I or Ctrl+I anywhere in the Dashboard to copy the ID of the current object into your clipboard.

We hope these changes make it faster and easier to manage your business. We’re constantly working to make the Dashboard more productive for you—please send us ideas and feedback on what we should improve next!

October 8, 2020

We built Checkout so you don’t have to

Sam Gerstenzang on September 10, 2020

When Stripe first launched, we made it easier for businesses to design their own payment forms while minimizing the PCI burden. In the past 10 years, however, online commerce has become more complicated.

Businesses are now expected to offer any number of mobile wallets, like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Alipay. New regulations (like PSD2 in Europe) have led to broader 3D Secure adoption, which has made payment flows more complicated. And that’s when cards are used at all: eighty percent of new internet users are based in regions where local, non-card payment methods with custom payment flows are the norm. When you consider having to adapt to changing browser standards, making payment forms responsive to mobile devices, and translating them into local languages, the cost of maintaining a high-conversion, compliant payment form quickly becomes significant and growing.

In short: Stripe made it easy to build a basic credit card form. But it’s getting increasingly hard to build a first-class checkout page.

When we first launched Stripe Checkout, our prebuilt, hosted payment page, we imagined that it would be useful for people who didn’t want to write any frontend code. While Checkout is indeed very easy to use, we’ve since realized that Checkout’s real value is in making checkout pages more powerful. Unless you intend to support all of the edge-cases yourself (address-autocomplete that works with native autofill, 3D Secure on mobile, Alipay on Desktop…), you’ll likely increase your revenue and save many engineering hours by using Checkout.

“Stripe Checkout is one of my single favourite products ever made and it has allowed us to do so much with Ghost that we would not have been able to accomplish otherwise.”
— John O’Nolan, Founder and CEO at Ghost

“Using Stripe Checkout just made it a lot simpler to think about payments—it’s like an entire component that we can mentally hand off to Stripe.”
— Victoria Kirst, VP of engineering at Glitch

“Throughout my 20 years in e-commerce, checkouts were the last thing you wanted to touch and the first to go down. With Stripe Checkout we don’t maintain this ourselves anymore. It’s the future savings—I can’t emphasize enough how big that is.”
— Bryan Mahoney, Co-founder & CTO at arfa, Inc

Increasing your sales with a better checkout flow

What does that mean in practice? Well, teams of Stripe engineers and designers obsess over every aspect of the checkout page, from reducing load time to streamlining how customers fill in their address. We sweat the details to an extent that would be irrational for nearly any company building their own checkout.

Stripe Checkout adapts to each customer down to their location, device, browser, and individual user settings. For example, Checkout automatically surfaces the right payment methods based on your customer’s location—you don’t have to run A/B tests to identify the highest converting payment methods in Belgium. We just handle it for you. If a customer in Japan accidently has their keyboard set to full-width characters, we’ve done the work to ensure they can seamlessly complete their purchase without needing to build CJK numeral support. (If you don’t quite know what that means, that’s the point! We’ve handled the edge case.)

Always improving

Today, we’re adding support for coupons, tax rates, and two new payment methods. These mark the latest in a series of over 20 major releases in the last year. Checkout now offers a seamless purchase experience with out-of-the-box support for mobile wallets and address auto-complete, helps scale your business globally with over 25 languages and 10 international payment methods, and lets you customize payments for your business with support for tax rates, promo codes, brand configuration tools, and more.

You get the benefit of all this and everything that’s to come: even faster load times, additional payment methods we add, compliance with future payments regulations, and every optimization we make to maximize conversion—all without major code changes on your end. This helps you increase sales with less work, benefiting from our investment in making the world’s safest, best converting checkout experience.

Explore Checkout or let us know how we can make Checkout work better for you.

September 10, 2020

To design and develop an interactive globe

Nick Jones on September 1, 2020 in Engineering

As humans, we’re driven to build models of our world.

A traditional globemaker molds a sphere, mounts it on an axle, balances it with hidden weights, and precisely applies gores—triangular strips of printed earth—to avoid overlap and align latitudes. Cartographers face unenviable trade-offs when making maps. They can either retain the shape of countries, but warp their size—or maintain the size of countries, but contort their shape. In preserving one aspect of our world, they distort another.

These are terrestrial globe gores reissued by Giuseppe di Rossi in 1615.

As visual designers and software engineers, we’re modeling a piece of the world every time we build software. In some cases, it’s the entire world—and that digital world is animated and interactive. There are tools that render 3D objects on the web, but they’re considered sorcery by many. And conjuring that magic doesn’t come without sweat. In WebGL, displaying a single triangle—like a globemaker’s gore—with no lights, textures, interactivity, or motion requires 50+ lines of code.

For the new, we built a 1:40 million-scale, interactive 3D model of the earth. We wanted to convey the interconnected nature of the internet economy and the global scale of our service, while acknowledging how much ground is yet to be covered. Despite expansion to 40 countries and payment processing from 195 countries, we grapple with the complexity of cross-border operations and expansion every day.

We set out to build a globe that inspires a sense of awe, invites people to explore, and conceals details for discovery. Along the way, we evaluated existing tools, designed our own solution, solved four interesting technical challenges, and improved the way we collaborate. Here’s what we learned.

Ways to build the world

It wasn’t a given that we’d build an interactive 3D globe on our landing page. We designed our first version of the globe to communicate nuanced data about the amount of online, cross-border commerce happening between each country. For this reason, it includes extra visual details like country borders. For our landing page, the goal of the globe was to capture our global scale and bring a visual metaphor to life. A week before launch, we had a nice animated map where the globe now sits but we didn’t love it. Despite the impending release, an executive (it was Patrick) posed to us: what would you build if you had the time to do it the way you wish you could?

Read more

September 1, 2020

Introducing the Billing customer portal

Theodora Chu on June 29, 2020

Every recurring revenue business works with customers who want to change a subscription, update a payment method, or view their billing history. But there’s a dilemma most startups face: Divert engineering resources to build this functionality, or not build it at all and rely on support to manually manage updates. The first option slows down your business by taking focus off your core product, while the other provides a less-than-ideal customer experience and doesn’t scale.

That’s why we built the new Billing customer portal.

Stripe Billing is already the fastest way for businesses to set up subscriptions or invoices. The customer portal makes it even easier to create a great experience for your customers while minimizing engineering investment.

Give your customers more control

The customer portal is a secure, Stripe-hosted page that lets your customers manage their subscriptions and billing details. Your customers can:

  • Upgrade, downgrade, or cancel a subscription
  • Update their payment methods
  • View their billing history

customer portal screen

Get started fast

The customer portal is fast to configure, preview, test and deploy—most of our beta users went from start to finish in under an hour. Check out the integration guide for step-by-step instructions.

Tuple integrated the customer portal to allow their customers to easily update a credit card. Ben Orenstein, the CEO of Tuple, noted “it was a no-brainer for us to use Stripe’s pre-built solution. This isn’t our core competency, so it would have been distracting for us to scope and build this ourselves.”

Customize to match your brand

Your customer portal should feel like a natural extension of your product experience. You can customize the appearance of your customer portal by editing the logo, headline, brand color, and accent color.

customization controls

Get the little details right by adding links to your terms of service, privacy policy, and other helpful info for your customers.

We update and iterate so you don’t have to

Integrating the customer portal unlocks a roadmap of new features with no additional engineering work. We already have several improvements in progress, such as support for updating billing & shipping addresses.

The customer portal was also built to help you stay ahead of ever-evolving global requirements. Recent examples of rule changes include Strong Customer Authentication in Europe and updated rules from Visa for free trial and promotion-driven subscriptions. The logic to handle these regulatory and network requirements is built into Billing and the customer portal by default. Rules will continue to change—we’ll do the work to help keep your setup compliant.

To start using Stripe Billing, visit the docs. If you already use Billing, check out the customer portal integration guide to get set up.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback—we’d love to hear from you.

June 29, 2020