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Atlas update

Taylor Francis on June 24, 2016

We announced Atlas a few months ago and we’re so excited by the amount of interest we’ve already received. Since launching the beta, over 440 startups from 91 countries are already using Atlas to get up and running with Stripe. More broadly, we’ve received applications from entrepreneurs in almost every country.

Atlas companies are tackling a broad swath of challenges and industries. Almost all of them are creating products or platforms that can be used by customers around the world. We thought it would be interesting to share just a few examples of the kinds of businesses we’ve been working with so far:

  • Trakto is a software-as-a-service company from Brazil that helps small businesses and freelancers to design, share, and track marketing materials. Inhibited by complex local tax and regulatory policies, Trakto’s founder Paolo Tenorio Filho couldn’t accept payments from international customers. (For the local payments they could accept, Trakto had no option but to manually invoice their clients.) You can read more about Trakto’s challenges in Paolo’s post on his experience with Atlas.
  • Coterique is an internet marketplace for fashion designers. Before Atlas, the Cairo-based startup was restricted to accepting payments in Egyptian pounds. Now, Coterique can accept any currency and use Connect to automatically pay out to international designers on their platform.
  • With Atlas, the Kenyan startup Ongair, which allows businesses to manage customer service via instant messaging platforms, now reaches customers around the world. Trevor Kimenye, Ongair’s CEO, is also finding that initiating conversations with U.S. investors for their upcoming Series-A round is a lot easier.

These companies are ambitious. Over 75% intend to raise funding from investors and in aggregate they plan to double their headcount over the next 12 months. The interest in Atlas, and the calibre of companies currently being built by Atlas entrepreneurs, underlines that there’s a lot of work left to expand access to fundamental startup tools to as many developers around the world as possible.

To that end, we’ve now added over a hundred accelerators, investors, and partners to the Atlas Network. These partners are helping us get Atlas into the hands of the most promising startups. We’re also working with financial institutions, leading tax and legal firms, and with the U.S. government.

We’re working through the waitlist and scaling the Atlas product experience to more users as quickly as possible. In the meantime, please reach out if you have questions or feedback! And, most importantly: if Atlas can help you build a global company, don’t hesitate to apply.

Get access to global startup tools with Stripe Atlas Request access

June 24, 2016

Native support for taxes and shipping

Rasmus Rygaard on June 21, 2016

In the past year, we’ve added deeper support for representing products and orders to the core Stripe API. By working with products and orders, we can start to remove a lot of the unnecessary complexity that companies currently deal with—manually calculating taxes, figuring out shipping costs, or even just keeping product and inventory data in sync with all their systems:

Calculating taxes

Working with customers across many countries can often translate to maintaining complex lists of rules for taxes (state taxes, VAT, GST, and more). Until today, we’d left calculating taxes as an exercise for the reader. Now, we’ll help automatically calculate taxes—just supply your customer’s address when creating an order. (You can also specify a customer object and we’ll look up the address.) Here’s a quick example of creating an order:

  curl \
     -u sk_test_BQokikJOvBiI2HlWgH4olfQ2: \
     -d items[][parent]=sku_8XOBjVaulB0SWy \
     -d customer=cus_4A5UNnP8WgZa91 \
     -d currency=usd

    "id": "or_17pkOFDAu10Yox5ReR89xhT1",
    "object": "order",
    "amount": 7524,
    "items": [
        "object": "order_item",
        "amount": 525,
        "description": "CA STATE TAX (PC040100)",
        "type": "tax",

As you can see, the response includes the total for the order, including the tax required for that particular customer. To make this work, we’ve partnered closely with both Avalara and TaxJar to build integrations that effectively take care of the calculations for you. They also take on the work of maintaining a canonical (and extensive!) database of tax rules.

This works for customers in any country and you’ll also be able to view detailed reports, which include liability calculations to help with your tax reporting.

If you’re interested, we’ve put together guides to getting started with both Avalara and TaxJar. You can enable either integration from your Dashboard.

Calculating shipping costs

Relatedly, calculating shipping also used to require maintaining lists of fees for different products, carriers, and countries. Now, instead of building your own lookup system for shipping costs, we can use the weight and dimension info from your product to automatically return shipping costs when you create an order. Of course, you’ll also need to specify your origin location and the destination address.

To start, we’re working with EasyPost and Shippo to power accurate shipping cost lookups across major carriers like UPS, FedEx, DHL, and more. You can activate the integration in your Dashboard.

Sync product feeds with Stripe

The taxes and shipping calculations rely on having up-to-date product info in Stripe. Currently, many Stripe users either manually add their products to Stripe via the Dashboard or through a repeating upload using the API. To help, we’re now also adding support to automatically keep your products in sync with Stripe using a product feed.

We’re starting by adding support for importing Google Product Feeds as well as Linkshare Data Feeds. (If you retarget customers via display networks, you likely already have a product feed in a format Stripe can parse.)

You can manually import your products to get started and schedule a daily or weekly import depending on how frequently you update your feed.

We hope these updates will help simplify your work to calculate shipping and taxes. Since these integrations are built on Stripe’s open platform, we expect to add more partners for taxes, shipping, and many other features in the future to make running your business on Stripe even easier.

As always, let us know if you have questions or feedback!

June 21, 2016

Stripe en France

Guillaume Princen on June 8, 2016

Français English

Today, we’re happy to remove the beta label and to make Stripe available to tout le monde in France.

We’ve been testing Stripe in France for over a year and have already had thousands of French businesses start building on the Stripe platform. Companies like Withings and Dailymotion, SaaS platforms like Algolia and Dashlane, and even marketplaces like Drivy and KissKissBankBank. We’d like to thank them and the many others who have shared their feedback and suggestions along the way.

Everyone in France can now sign up in minutes and get access to the world-class Stripe stack that we’ve been building and optimizing for more than five years. Developers can charge customers in 100+ currencies (and a growing set of payment types), create subscriptions, or build global platforms with Stripe Connect. Pricing is simple and predictable: 1.4% + €0.25 for European cards and 2.9% + €0.25 for non-European cards.

We’ve also built a local team and now provide support for our users in French as well. Our France team hails from all across the country—Paris, Lyon, Avranches, and even the booming metropolis of Figarella in Corsica. Our office is based in the 2nd arrondissement in Paris.

Now that Stripe is publicly available in France, we’re looking forward to seeing all the new products and services that French entrepreneurs will develop with Stripe. We’ll be continuing to make changes to improve our service in France—drop us a line or tweet at @StripeFrance if you have any questions or feedback.

Lastly, we’re also hiring! Please get in touch if you’re interested in working with us on building the payments infrastructure of the internet.

Start accepting payments instantly in France. Get Started with Stripe

June 8, 2016

iOS and Android updates

Jack Flintermann on May 27, 2016

Over the past few months, we’ve made a few changes for iOS and Android that might be useful for your apps:

NewApple Pay in Canada, Australia, and Singapore

In addition to customers in the U.S. and the U.K., you can now accept payments in your app via Apple Pay from customers in Canada, Australia, and Singapore.

NewAndroid Pay in the UK

As announced at Google I/O last week, you can now accept payments using Android Pay from customers in both the U.S. and the U.K. (We’ve put together a guide to get started.) You can also sign up to get notified when it’s available in Australia and Singapore.

NewSupport for Discover cards

We’ve added support for Discover cards to both Apple Pay and Android Pay. If you’re currently accepting Apple Pay payments, just update to the latest version of our SDK. No changes are required to your Android app.

NewMobile viewport control

We recently released an open-source JavaScript library that helps create full-screen modal views in mobile browsers. This can be especially useful in displaying a distraction-free payment screen, but we hope it comes in handy for other uses as well.

While we’re talking about mobile things, we’ve been adding all sorts of polish and tweaks over the past couple of months to our iPhone Dashboard. For example, if you’ve any transfer issues, we now show a tappable link to call your bank. And based on your feedback, we’ve also added a weekly view to your account charts.

Feedback is always always welcome—we’d love to hear any thoughts on the above, or about anything else you think we should add that’d make building mobile apps with Stripe better.

May 27, 2016


Avi Bryant on April 25, 2016

Do you know anyone who makes you incredibly better at what you do? People who motivate and inspire you, complement your strengths and shore up your weaknesses, help you achieve things you could never do on your own? Maybe it’s your old co-founders, your college roommates, your collaborators on an open source project, or even your siblings; whoever it is, you’re stronger as a team than you are apart. Working together, each of you has a valuable advantage—you could call it a network effect—over anyone who works alone.

Startup investors know this; that’s why firms like Y Combinator discourage solo applicants and focus so much on the makeup of a founding team.

Stripe knows it too. Which is why we’d love you—that is, we’d love you and your collaborators—to apply together to work at Stripe. We call it Bring Your Own Team.

Any group of 2 to 5 people can apply as a team to Stripe, through our application form. Make sure to include resumes or CVs for each person, indicate which role each person is applying for, and a brief description of how you all know each other or have worked together in the past. Links to (or attached samples of) things you’ve built together are especially helpful. We’re expecting teams to be primarily software engineers, but we’d love to see well-established collaborations between engineers and designers, managers, or product managers.

Once you’ve applied, we’ll take you all through the hiring process together: we’ll make sure you hit the same stages of interviews at the same time, bring you all to the office on the same day, and try to design at least one interview problem that you can work on as a team. If we make an offer, we’ll make it to all of you, at the same time; you’d all be free to accept or decline individually, but of course we’d hope you’d all accept — and if you do, we’d work with all of you to find a place at Stripe where you can all start off working together.

This is an experiment and we’ll tweak it as we go. We’re excited to try it out, though—the industry has always focused on hiring atoms; we’d like to try hiring molecules. And we hope you’re excited to apply. We eagerly await your application.

April 25, 2016

Upgrading to SHA-2 and TLS 1.2

Karla Burnett on April 14, 2016

To keep your integration with Stripe secure, we plan to progressively phase out support for old technologies: SHA-1, TLS 1.0, and TLS 1.1. (These protocols currently power the ‘Secure’ in ‘HTTPS’.)

We’re sticklers for API backwards-compatibility and make potentially breaking changes only when absolutely necessary. Our users’ security is paramount, so deprecating these outdated technologies is one of those rare cases. We hope their flawed designs become footnotes in cryptographic history as quickly as possible.

Why SHA-1, TLS 1.0 and 1.1 are insecure

SHA-1 is one of the algorithms you can use to authenticate who you’re talking to. It’s now considered dangerously weak, and might allow an adversary to spoof their identity. This is why all modern browsers have stopped accepting SHA-1 certificates.

TLS 1.0 and 1.1 ensure that your communications stay private. In order to do this, they generate a series of random bytes used to encrypt your connection. TLS 1.0 provides two ways of doing this (CBC and RC4), but several vulnerabilities have been discovered in both of them (including BEAST and the RC4 biases). If you kept using old versions of TLS, someone could theoretically sniff your connection.

As a result, Stripe and the rest of the internet are moving towards SHA-2 and TLS 1.2. These technologies have few known attacks and were subject to more rigorous security design than their predecessors.

What this means for you

The upgrade process will be seamless for most users. At the application layer, SHA-2 and TLS 1.2 behave identically to their older versions. You won’t need to change your code, but might need to upgrade your operating system or packages. To avoid any disruption, we’ll notify you directly if we expect your integration to be affected.

  • Starting July 1, 2016, for new Stripe users, we will only accept API requests made with TLS 1.2.
  • On January 1, 2017, we will drop support for SHA-1 in favor of SHA-2. We will also drop support for TLS 1.0 entirely.
  • On May 1, 2017, we will drop support for TLS 1.1 entirely.

If you’ve upgraded your Stripe library and operating system in the past year, you probably won’t need to do anything. You can proactively check whether your Stripe integration is ready, and how to upgrade, by following the steps on our TLS deprecation page.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

April 14, 2016

Atlas + Cuba

Patrick Collison on March 18, 2016

Since the 1960s, the U.S. has maintained a trade embargo with Cuba. Today, more than half a century later, many of these restrictions are gradually being lifted. At Stripe, we stand for increasing global commerce and enthusiastically support this action.

The embargo has many components, among the most significant being the Office of Foreign Asset Control’s restrictions on access to financial services by Cuban nationals. On Tuesday, these were some of the first restrictions to be relaxed by the White House. This removes one of the biggest impediments to Cubans participating in the global financial system.

It also removes one of the biggest barriers to entrepreneurship in Cuba. The restrictions on access to financial services have made it extremely tough for Cuban developers and founders to start new businesses or to work with U.S. investors or partners. Despite this, more than 70% of Cubans say that they’d like to start a business. In his upcoming historic trip—the first by a sitting U.S. president in 88 years—President Obama will meet Cuban entrepreneurs to learn "how we can help them start new ventures."

When the White House reached out to us about the role Stripe might play in this process, we jumped at the idea. As of today, Stripe Atlas will be available to entrepreneurs in one of the only countries it didn’t previously serve: Cuba.

Stripe Atlas is a new product for us—we announced it less than a month ago. It’s based on our belief that there exist individuals with the ability to be successful entrepreneurs everywhere and that the important tools for internet entrepreneurship should be available to everyone. With Atlas, we aim to offer best-in-class tools to founders no matter where they’re based—from Cambodia to (now) Cuba.

Thanks to Tuesday’s changes, we’ll be working as quickly as possible with our partners, including Silicon Valley Bank, to enable Cuban entrepreneurs to easily incorporate U.S. companies, set up U.S. bank accounts, and use Stripe to start accepting payments from customers around the world. There are more details in our guide about how it works.

Cuban entrepreneurs can apply for access immediately and we plan to send the first invitations soon. We’re also extending the Stripe Atlas network to Cuba and we’re delighted to start out by partnering with Merchise Startup Circle in Havana.

Since we announced Atlas, businesses from more than 185 countries have already applied for access. We’re excited to make that 186.

Get access to global startup tools with Stripe Atlas Request access

March 18, 2016

Open-Source Retreat meetup

Krithika Muthukumar on March 17, 2016

This January, we invited three developers to come work on open-source projects full-time at Stripe. We specifically chose projects for this Open-Source Retreat that we felt would have deep impact in a variety of different areas. Over the past few months, our grantees have made significant progress on their projects:

  • Pascal Brandt has been focused on OpenMRS, a platform that’s widely used to support the delivery of health care in Africa and developing countries. He’s introduced Docker containers for the core platform and reference applications. He’s also written specific containers for a few implementation sites in Mozambique. In preparation for creating a JavaScript API for OpenMRS, he’s rewritten how the API is generated using the OpenAPI standard and has built a Yeoman generator that scaffolds out frontend apps (and includes all the build and deploy tooling required).
  • Christopher Allan Webber has been working exclusively on readying the next release of MediaGoblin, a free software media platform that anyone can run. Focused on launching federation tooling for the platform, Chris has been working to push forward federation standards with the W3C, overhauling MediaGoblin’s database migration structure, improving the project’s packaging and deployability, and more.
  • Nik Graf has spent most of the past few months working on Belle, a component library for React that’s focused on great user experience, accessibility, and compatibility across devices and browsers. He’s spent time exploring several architecture options for the next iteration of Belle. Nik is also launching a new plugin architecture atop DraftJS that’ll let developers improve their app’s commenting and chat sections across mobile and desktop—even in screenreaders!

We’re hosting a meetup in a few weeks at Stripe’s SF office where Nik, Christopher, and Pascal will present what they’ve worked on and answer any questions.

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016, at 6:30 PM
Stripe HQ

Whether you’re an active open-source contributor or completely new to open source, we’d love to have you join us—please RSVP on the event page if you can attend!

If you have any questions about the meetup, the Open-Source Retreat, or the specific projects from this year, please get in touch.

March 17, 2016

Accept ACH payments

Ray Morgan on January 12, 2016

Even though there are many benefits, accepting ACH payments—that is, payments where you charge a bank account directly—has traditionally been pretty difficult. Doing so has generally involved baroque, legacy APIs. There’s additional complexity compared to credit cards because the transaction amounts are typically larger and authorization is subtler. Still, being able to handle ACH payments with Stripe has come up a lot as a feature request over the years. And so, today, we’re delighted to launch support for ACH payments for all U.S. Stripe users.

Our ACH support is tightly integrated with the rest of Stripe. You can, of course, directly create one-off transactions and manage them within the Dashboard. You can also charge for subscriptions (as Slack or Digital Ocean do), while companies using Connect (like Fancy or Tilt) can accept ACH payments on behalf of their customers. No matter what sort of payments you’re dealing with, the reporting pipeline is fully unified with credit card transactions.

Simplifying setup and verification

Our ACH support comes with two key additional features: built-in support for micro-deposits and optional instant verification with Plaid.

With micro-deposits, we send two unique amounts to a customer’s bank account so that your customer can verify their account by entering the amounts they see on their statement.

Alternatively, we’ve worked with Plaid on an integration that provides instant bank account verification. If you choose to use it, your customers can authenticate directly with their bank in real-time—no digging around for routing numbers. (This process also prevents most of the common errors of mistyping bank account numbers or incorrect routing numbers.)

From a technical perspective, ACH is another type of source for a customer. It’s easy to create an ACH charge once your customer authenticates:

curl \
  -u sk_test_BQokikJOvBiI2HlWgH4olfQ2: \
  -d amount=250000 \
  -d currency=usd \
  -d description="Corp Site License 2016" \
  -d customer=cus_7hyNnNEjxYuJOE \
  -d source=ba_17SYQs2eZvKYlo2CcV8BfFGz

ACH payments on Stripe cost 0.80%, capped at $5, with no monthly fees or verification fees. So, a $100 payment incurs a $0.80 fee; any payments above $625 cost $5. This can be especially useful if you routinely charge customers large amounts on a recurring basis. (If you’re operating at scale already and would like to discuss pricing, we’d love to chat.)

We’re excited to make more of the financial system’s functionality accessible to developers and look forward to seeing what people build. If you’re ready to get started, we’ve created a guide for ACH payments. As always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback!

January 12, 2016