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Opposing racism

Patrick Collison on June 2, 2020

Racism is antithetical to Stripe’s mission. Our founding purpose is the broader, fairer distribution of opportunity—opportunity accessible to and inclusive of everyone, everywhere.

While no person’s or company’s statement will change society by itself, that limitation shouldn’t paralyze. Social change requires coordinated, broad participation.

We share the deep sadness that so many are currently feeling and the upset at the injustices that lie at the root. Too many innocent people have lost their lives. Too many sickening murders, most recently that of George Floyd, attest to brutal and unjustified treatment. Too many Stripe employees have themselves been the victims of unfair treatment, discrimination, harrassment, and bigotry. And while the US is the current focal point, we are a global company, and issues around race persist as problems in every part of the world.

While it’ll take us time to identify the highest-impact actions, we don’t want to wait to do anything. In the immediate term, we are going to waive $1M of fees to nonprofits that are raising money to combat systemic racism, with a particular bias towards those relevant to the current moment. We will also contribute $100,000 each to five organizations working on reforming US policing practices or the criminal justice system.

Inside Stripe, the fraction of US employees who are Black is substantially lower than that of the American population. We wish it were otherwise and are going to increase our efforts to hire and develop Black employees in all teams and at all levels. Our goal is to meaningfully grow representation over the coming year.

Stripe won’t solve these problems alone. But we share the concern motivating so many others and would like to make crystal clear our support for building a society that solves these challenges, and where safety, security, and access to opportunity are properly accessible to all.

June 2, 2020

Stripe's remote engineering hub, one year in

Jay Shirley on May 28, 2020

Last May, Stripe launched our remote engineering hub, a virtual office coequal with our physical engineering offices in San Francisco, Seattle, Dublin, and Singapore. We set out to hire 100 new remote engineers over the year—and did. They now work across every engineering group at Stripe. Over the last year, we’ve tripled the number of permanently remote engineers, up to 22% of our engineering population. We also hired more remote employees across all other teams, and tripled the number of remote Stripes across the company.

Like many organizations, Stripe has temporarily become fully remote to support our employees and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Distributed work isn’t new to Stripe. We’ve had remote employees since inception—and formally began hiring remote engineers in 2013. But as we grew, we developed a heavily office-centric organizational structure. Last year, we set out to rebalance our mix of remote and centralized working by establishing our virtual hub. It’s now the backbone of a new working model for the whole company.

We think our experience might be interesting, particularly for businesses that haven’t been fully distributed from the start or are considering flipping the switch to being fully remote, even after the pandemic. We’ve seen promising gains in how we communicate, build more resilient and relevant products, and reach and retain talented engineers. Here is what we learned.

Read more

May 28, 2020

Photo of Caoimhe O'Regan

Stripe launches in five more European countries

Caoimhe O'Regan on May 27, 2020

Stripe is now generally available in the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Malta. This means Stripe can now support businesses in 39 countries (29 in Europe) with our complete payments platform, enabling them to sell to customers around the globe.

Stripe has been investing in our European engineering hub since 2018, and this launch was built almost entirely by those teams. That’s everything from new integrations with financial institutions to extending support for Stripe’s products.

Europe has a thriving startup ecosystem and one of the highest densities of software engineers anywhere in the world. Investing in global engineering hubs closer to users helps us better understand and build for their needs. This launch is the result of feedback from a number of businesses across Europe—MEWS, Ramon Nastase, Aesthetic by Science, and Mana are just a few of the many companies that helped shape this product during its beta phase.

The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the shift from offline to online commerce, making the need for financial infrastructure and accessibility more urgent than ever. In the past few months, European entrepreneurs in Central and Eastern Europe have already processed hundreds of millions of euros in payments on Stripe. We’re glad we can support these businesses and are working diligently to make Stripe available to every business across Europe.

May 27, 2020

Expanding support for JCB payments

Daniel Heffernan on May 27, 2020

JCB is a credit card network with over 135 million cardholders worldwide and a particularly high share-of-wallet in Japan. We have made JCB acceptance available to more businesses and decreased payout times.

Businesses using Stripe in Japan can now automatically accept payments with JCB, in most cases without any additional work.

One step closer to ubiquity

Technology on the internet tends to be available everywhere. Payments do not work like this, yet, but we are one step closer.

We are rolling out JCB acceptance to businesses in more countries, starting with Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with more to come. This lets global businesses, from e-commerce sites in Canada to subscription services in Australia, easily transact with JCB cardholders.

Stripe is live in 39 countries today. We want every payment method, and feature of the platform, to be available everywhere we do business. This helps bring businesses transacting online to global parity, and brings them closer to their customers, even when they are oceans apart. We will continue working to expand access to JCB acceptance.

No assembly required

Stripe was the first payments company to defer underwriting for most businesses, letting them get started taking payments without a lengthy application and review process.

We have extended this experience to JCB. The onboarding is automatic after a Stripe account is activated and, in most cases, doesn’t require any additional steps from users.

The API call to charge a JCB card is identical to that for charging any other card, so users should not need to make any code changes to support these customers.

Tremendous opportunity for global businesses

E-commerce continues to expand rapidly in Japan, and cross-border e-commerce is increasing at an even faster second derivative. We have seen annualized growth rates of over 45% in international payments from users in Japan since 2018. This explosion in user demand is now addressable by global businesses using the same payment platform they use for other payments, without requiring any code changes or, in most cases, back office work.

Infrastructure bridges gaps between nations. Fittingly, this engineering work was also done by teams spanning the globe, led by our engineers in Singapore and Tokyo. We will have more products built with local sensibilities to share soon.

JCB は、世界中に 1 億 3500 万人を越えるカード会員を持ち、特に日本で高い顧客内シェアを持つ主要なクレジットカードネットワークです。弊社は、より多くのビジネスによる JCB カード決済の取り扱いを可能にし、入金サイクルを短縮しました。

日本で Stripe を使用するビジネスは、自動的に JCB カードでの支払いが受け付けられるようになり、ほとんどの場合、追加の申請作業は不要です。

グローバル展開を加速

インターネット上のテクノロジーの多くは、世界中で利用可能です。決済関連テクノロジーはまだ世界中で利用可能とは言い切れませんが、Stripe は今回の開発によりまた一歩前進しました。

弊社では、JCB の取り扱いをより多くの国で展開していきます。カナダ、オーストラリア、ニュージーランドをはじめに、さらに多くの国が追加される予定です。カナダの E-コマースサイトからオーストラリアの定期支払いサービスに至るまで、世界での対応拡大により、グローバル企業は JCB カード会員との取引を簡単に行うことができるようになりました。

Stripe は現在、39 カ国で稼働しており、すべての支払い方法とプラットフォーム機能がこれらの国々で利用可能になるよう努めています。このことが、オンライン取引における国際市場の平等性を促進し、世界中に散らばるビジネスと顧客をつなげるのに役立つと考えています。これからも JCB の取り扱いを拡大していく予定です。

複雑な手続きは必要ありません

Stripe は、ほとんどのビジネスに対するリスク評価を先送りにした最初の決済業者です。これにより、ビジネスは長期間にわたる申請と審査プロセスなしで支払いの受け付けを開始できるようになりました。

弊社ではこの対応を JCB の取り扱いにも適用しました。Stripe アカウントの本番環境への切り替え後に審査手続きが自動的に行われ、ほとんどの場合、ユーザによる追加の手順は必要はありません。

JCB カード支払いの API は、他のカード支払いのものと同じです。ユーザはコードに変更を加えることなく、JCB カードの利用を希望する顧客をサポートすることができます。

グローバルビジネスにとって絶好の機会

E-コマースは日本で急速に拡大し続け、国際 E-コマースはさらに急速に増大しています。2018 年以降、日本のユーザからの国際決済には、年間 45% 以上の成長率が見られました。グローバル企業は、このユーザ需要の急増を、バックオフィスでの作業やコード変更を必要とせず、他の決済方法と同じプラットフォームで対処できるようになりました。

決済インフラは、各国との橋渡し的な存在になり得ます。今回の弊社による開発も、シンガポールと東京のエンジニアをリーダーとし、世界各地に散らばるチームの共同作業によって構築されました。今後さらに多くの製品を地域に根ざした感性で構築し、提供していく予定です。

May 27, 2020

Stripe’s first negative emissions purchases

Ryan Orbuch on May 18, 2020

To mitigate the threat of climate change, the majority of climate models agree that the world will need to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere on the scale of approximately 6 gigatons of CO2 per year by 2050. That’s roughly the equivalent of the United States’ annual emissions.

Last year, Stripe announced our Negative Emissions Commitment, pledging at least $1M per year to pay, at any price, for the direct removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and its sequestration in secure long-term storage. We’ve since built a small team within Stripe to focus on creating a market for carbon removal by being an early customer for promising negative emissions technologies.

Today, after a rigorous search and review by a panel of independent scientific experts[1], we’re excited to announce our first purchases. Our request for projects garnered a wide range of negative emissions technologies which came in two broad categories.

  • Carbon storage in the biosphere: These projects include planting trees or modifying agricultural practices to store more carbon in soil. These projects are relatively less expensive and benefit from immediate scale (we can plant trees today), but have shorter long-term permanence since trees can be easily burned down and carbon storage in soil can be short lived. These solutions alone are unlikely to sustain the necessary 6-15 gigatons of annual CO2 removal.

  • Carbon storage outside of the biosphere: Projects in this more nascent category store carbon in places besides plants and soil. Examples include directly capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and injecting it into stable rock formations underground or sequestering CO2 in concrete via mineralization. These solutions are scarce and dramatically underfunded. If they can proliferate and scale, they’ll complement in-biosphere solutions by bringing new benefits: thousand-year or longer permanence and vast carbon storage using minimal arable land.

The world will need a portfolio of negative emissions approaches across these two categories to meet the 2 degree warming target sensibly adopted by many governments. We believe Stripe can make the most impact by focusing our purchases on the latter category to help these solutions improve.

Stripe’s first purchases

From 24 promising applications, we’ve selected four high potential projects that exemplify the kinds of innovation required to advance the field. We’re especially excited to be the first purchaser from three of the four projects. In cases where the projects are still quite early and have low capacity in 2020, we’ve pre-purchased volume for future years.

Climeworks
Capture + storage
Zurich, Switzerland • 322.5 tons at $775 per ton[2]

Climeworks uses renewable geothermal energy and waste heat to capture CO2 directly from the air, concentrate it, and permanently sequester it underground in basaltic rock formations with Carbfix. While it’s early in scaling, the capacity of this approach is theoretically nearly limitless. It’s also permanent and straightforward to measure. Climeworks has an ambitious cost and volume curve, with a long-term price target of $100-200 per ton. Though this technology is expensive today, we’re optimistic it will decrease in cost quickly with more early purchasers.

Project Vesta
Capture + storage
San Francisco, USA • 3,333.3 tons at $75 per ton

Project Vesta captures CO2 by using an abundant, naturally occurring mineral called olivine. Ocean waves grind down the olivine, increasing its surface area. As the olivine breaks down, it captures atmospheric CO2 from within the ocean and stabilizes it as limestone on the seafloor. This is a compelling approach because it provides permanent sequestration with the potential for very high volume at low cost. Questions remain about safety and viability: to validate coastal enhanced weathering, more lab experiments and pilot beach projects must be performed. Stripe is Project Vesta’s first customer and our purchase will accelerate their safety study and deployment timeline.

CarbonCure
Storage only
Halifax, Canada • 2,500 tons at $100 per ton

CarbonCure’s technology sequesters CO2 in concrete by mineralizing it into calcium carbonate (CaCO3)—as a bonus, this has the side effect of actually strengthening the concrete. This solution is compelling because it’s permanent, relatively low cost, and could scale to the size of the global concrete market, sequestering >0.5 gigatons of CO2 annually. Today, CarbonCure captures most of its CO2 from industrial emitters such as ethanol, fertilizer, or cement plants. In the future, CarbonCure’s technology could use CO2 from direct air capture technologies once they become more readily available and economical, forming a full negative emissions technology. Stripe is CarbonCure’s first customer to purchase carbon sequestration, and the transaction will enable them to subsidize their costs.

Charm Industrial
Storage only
San Francisco, USA • 416 tons at $600 per ton

Charm Industrial has created a novel process for preparing and injecting bio-oil into geologic storage. Bio-oil is produced from biomass and maintains much of the carbon that was captured naturally by the plants. By injecting it into secure geologic storage, they’re making the carbon storage permanent. Stripe is Charm Industrial’s first customer for this approach, and Stripe’s purchase lets them begin testing this year.

Open-sourcing our materials

Over the last few months, we’ve brought together experts across a series of disciplines and institutions to guide us. We have published our process, applications, and project database on GitHub to equip other potential purchasers with better information and encourage transparency in negative emissions purchasing.

Project applications, project database, original purchase criteria, expert review forms and more.

We’ve also partnered with CarbonPlan, a non-profit that evaluates carbon removal technologies and maintains a public database of project reports with independent analysis and visualization of public data, including each project application considered by Stripe.

Expanding our commitment

Much like the early-stage businesses that get started on Stripe, we recognize that many of the future impactful projects are still quite nascent today.

In addition to reducing our own emissions, and helping projects transition from R&D to commercial deployment by purchasing at any price per ton, Stripe will expand its commitment to advance negative emissions technologies by:

  • Funding early-stage research to increase the number of projects with a credible path to achieving ambitious impact.
  • Raising money to create a large-scale market for carbon removal. We’ve been encouraged by how many businesses, including many Stripe users, have offered to purchase alongside us. We’d like to make it easier for companies to contribute to the most promising and impactful negative emissions technologies and measure their impact.

We’ve developed a set of project criteria that characterize the kinds of solutions needed to help round out the existing gaps in the negative emissions portfolio. Stripe is excited to support projects that have the potential to achieve these criteria by 2040, even if they don’t yet achieve them today.

We hope that this approach will accelerate technological developments to remove and store carbon at the required scale, cost, and quality level.

Call to action

Our goal is not only to remove carbon from the atmosphere, but to become an early member of an ecosystem of funders and founders who will invent ways to solve the world’s largest collective problem. We continue to search for great projects, purchasers, and experts. Please reach out to us to work together on this effort or to give us any feedback. We can be reached at climate@stripe.com. (And if you’re an engineer or designer who cares about climate impact, consider joining our team).

Projects

Let us know how Stripe can support your negative emissions project.

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Funders

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Experts

Share your feedback to make our process better going forward.

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May 18, 2020

More flexibility with Stripe Billing

Arne Roomann-Kurrik on May 6, 2020

Stripe Billing is designed to be the fastest way for ambitious businesses to set up recurring subscriptions or one-off invoices. Companies such as Slack, The Atlantic, Notion, and Postmates use Billing so they can focus their engineering resources on their core business instead of building and maintaining a subscription-management system. And they get key advantages because Billing is deeply integrated into the Stripe payments stack—for example, our customers recovered 41% of failed payments last year through automatic card updates, smart retries, and other included capabilities.

Over the past few months, we’ve added several new features to Stripe Billing to help you support more business models, shave time off of your operations, and let you bill customers globally with advanced invoicing features:

More flexible billing logic

  • Subscription schedules: With subscription schedules, you can more easily configure changes to subscriptions, including starting a subscription on a future date, backdating a subscription, or upgrading or downgrading a subscription on a future date.

    Subscription schedules in the Dashboard.
  • Sub-cent billing: Decimal amounts for pricing let you charge unit prices of a fraction of a cent for a subscription or invoice. For example, a cloud storage SaaS business might want to charge $0.0005 per MB used.

  • Subscription pending updates: Pending updates let you make a change to a subscription only when a payment succeeds. For example, if your customers add a seat or upgrade to a more expensive plan, you can now charge them a prorated amount right away (or restrict access to your service if the payment fails).


Shortcuts to save you time

  • MRR by product and plan: The Billing analytics dashboard provides time-saving charts and analytics right out of the box so you don’t have to spend time building them yourself. You can now view monthly recurring revenue (MRR) by specific products and plans to measure the health and trajectory of distinct parts of your business.

    MRR by product and plan.
  • subscription.new and invoice.new: Does your team create a lot of invoices or subscriptions from the Dashboard? We added some shortcuts. You can just type subscription.new or invoice.new in any browser to save a few clicks.

    And once you’re there, Billing’s new invoice and subscription editors are faster to use and let you create customer records in-line. Saving just a few seconds for each transaction adds up fast for your operational teams.


Customized and compliant invoicing

  • Send invoices from your own domain: Your business might send a lot of invoices, receipts, and other emails via Stripe. In order to maintain a consistent brand experience, you can now send these from your own custom domain.

  • Line item credit notes: We’ve improved our credit notes functionality to make it fast and easy to adjust specific line items on a finalized invoice via the Dashboard or the API. This helps keep your records accurate and gives you an easy way to issue refunds or credit customers when an invoice changes.

    Line item credit notes can be adjusted.
  • Flexible invoice numbering: Invoices can now be numbered sequentially across your entire account—this is particularly useful for businesses that have to stay compliant with local invoicing regulations in Europe. If you’re migrating from an older invoicing system, you can start with any arbitrary invoice number to continue an existing sequence.

    Invoices can be numbered sequentially.

We’ll continue to add features to Stripe Billing that give your business flexibility as it grows. To get started with Billing, visit the overview—you can use all of these new features either from the Dashboard or via the API. As always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback—we’d love to hear from you.

May 6, 2020