Follow Stripe on Twitter

Photo of Tara Seshan

SCA, invoicing, and tax tools for Stripe Billing

Tara Seshan on April 25, 2019

Since our launch last April, we’ve seen a wide range of businesses use Stripe Billing to manage their recurring revenue and send invoices, including European businesses like Deliveroo, Front, Channel 4, Shadow, and Typeform. Today, we’re launching new features for Stripe Billing to help recurring revenue businesses in Europe expand internationally and minimise the impact of upcoming Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) regulatory requirements.

Minimise churn with SCA-ready tools

SCA requirements go into effect in September 2019 and will require additional authentication for many European online payments. This will be particularly challenging for recurring revenue businesses because most subscription payments are processed automatically using stored payment information. When these payments require SCA, businesses will need to contact their subscribers and ask them to provide two-factor authentication (i.e. they may need to enter a password or verify the payment on their phone). Banks will begin to decline payments that have not collected this additional authentication when it’s required.

Stripe Billing makes meeting these new requirements easier in a few ways:

  • If a recurring charge requires SCA, Stripe Billing can now email subscribers automatically with a link to complete two-factor authentication via 3D Secure 2. These emails can be customised to match your brand. (Soon, you’ll also be able to send them from your own domain.)
  • For invoice payments that require SCA, Stripe Billing’s hosted invoice page will now prompt cardholders for two-factor authentication automatically—no changes required by your business
SCA confirm payment email graphic

Under the hood, these new features take advantage of Stripe’s new Payment Intents API, which allows us to automatically apply any SCA exemptions available for a given payment. Our goal is to help you comply with SCA requirements while minimising the number of charges requiring additional authentication.

Send customised and compliant invoices in multiple languages

When scaling internationally, it can be challenging for recurring revenue businesses to comply with local accounting rules and meet global customer expectations. These challenges are much more complicated for B2B businesses that sign custom pricing deals and send invoices for manual payment. To help make international invoicing easier, we’ve made our invoices much more flexible:

  • In addition to matching the logo and colour scheme of the invoice to your brand, Stripe Billing now lets you add memos, footers, and custom fields to your invoices.
  • Sequential and unique invoice numbers can be customised with a customer prefix.
  • Credit notes can be issued to refund an invoice or reduce the amount owed.
  • Invoices can now be sent in 13 different languages: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Hebrew, Arabic, and Japanese, as well as English.
PDF and hosted invoices in French
PDF and hosted invoices in French

Collect and report on VAT without leaving the Dashboard

We’ve added a new tax rates feature to help businesses collect the right amount of tax and remit it to the government.

You can now create inclusive or exclusive tax rates for VAT, GST, and US sales tax for different jurisdictions. These tax rates can then be applied to individual invoice line items, invoice subtotals, or all of the invoices for a subscription. Invoices can also now display the customer’s tax ID and Stripe Billing now automatically validates EU VAT numbers to make sure they are correct. As you’d expect, CSV reports detailing which tax rates were applied and how much tax was collected can be downloaded from the Dashboard.

Tax rates in the Dashboard

To get started with Stripe Billing, visit the quickstart guide—you can use all of these new features either from the Dashboard or via the API. If you’re already using Stripe Billing and want to learn more about updating your integration to be SCA-ready, we’ve put together a short migration guide.

We’ll continue to add more features to Stripe Billing to help you manage the complexity of running a global business.

Please let us know if you have any questions or feedback—we’d love to hear from you.

April 25, 2019

Photo of Will Gaybrick

SCA readiness: building infrastructure for regulatory compliance

Will Gaybrick on April 23, 2019

Starting in September, new regulatory requirements called Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) will be rolled out for businesses who have customers in Europe. SCA is a pillar of the EU’s second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and will require two-factor authentication on most payments made by European customers in an effort to decrease online fraud. Complying with SCA will be complex, as it will be implemented differently by individual banks and payment providers across Europe. And beyond the compliance burden, these new rules will also come with a cost—the new authentication step can add friction to checkout, reducing conversion.

Spurred by SCA and other similar global regulations on the horizon (the requirements of SCA resemble those in India, and similar rules have been proposed in Australia, and other countries globally), we’ve upgraded our products across the board in order to help insulate businesses from this complexity and to minimize the impact on conversion. As soon as SCA is mandated, our payments platform will analyze each transaction to ensure that additional authentication is requested only when it’s required. And when it is required, we use new technologies to make the authentication as user-friendly as possible. Our new SCA-ready products and updates include:

  • The new Payment Intents API to help businesses more easily build fully customized, dynamic payment flows that are ready for SCA
  • A new version of Stripe Checkout that can dynamically detect when SCA is required and trigger authentication when necessary
  • Support for 3D Secure 2, one of the easiest ways to authenticate purchases for SCA, with support for in-checkout authentication flows and biometric verification
  • Updates to Stripe Billing with SCA-ready subscription and invoicing tools that will automatically capture authentication for recurring payments and apply exemptions when possible

In the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out tools in the Stripe Dashboard for businesses already using Stripe to help you prepare for SCA. You can also get started by reading the docs and our guide on building SCA-ready payment flows.

Stripe exists to grow the GDP of the internet. Simply put, this means making it easier for businesses to transact with customers anywhere in the world. Increasingly, fulfilling this mission entails helping our users overcome the challenge of navigating a payments regulatory landscape that is becoming both more complex and more Balkanized. To make this transition easy for businesses built on Stripe, we’re making our products more powerful and dynamic than ever before. We’ll be making a host of additional improvements to our products in 2019 to help our users prepare for regulatory changes, ensuring that operating a global internet business is as easy and as seamless as possible.

April 23, 2019

Photo of Madison White

On building a new engineering hub in Dublin

Madison White on March 21, 2019

Stripe builds economic infrastructure, and we’re designing for a global audience and market. In doing so, we carefully consider our technology and tools, organizational structure, and employee representation. Successful global organizations establish this mindset for different reasons. For some, it’s foundational—their mission, product, and addressable market crosses time zones. Others develop an international customer base, hire remote employees, or begin to open offices abroad to extend their physical presence.

Stripe subscribes to all these definitions—and, in some markets, has been shaped by these choices. For example, Stripe first launched its products in Ireland in 2013. Two years later, we set up a Dublin-based office, which is now home to over 140 Stripes. And last summer, a landing team arrived in Dublin to establish our first engineering hub outside the United States.

We’ve learned that building a global company means building global products—and that those products improve even faster when they’re developed on the ground, closer to customers. In five months, we’ve helped our first customers go live in Estonia, Poland, Greece, Lithuania, and Latvia. We’re building products for Europe, and scoping our entry into the Middle East and Africa.

Scaling an engineering team requires new strategies for hiring engineers in new markets, developing products across time zones, and nurturing a distributed engineering culture. It’s not a sure fix, but we’ve found the best primer for success starts by forming and deploying a great landing team. Here’s what we’ve learned.

Read more

March 21, 2019

Photo of Justin Tulloss

New Dashboard updates

Justin Tulloss on December 19, 2018

Many of our product features, like sending invoices or setting up plans with Stripe Billing, applying rules in Stripe Radar, or creating custom reports in Stripe Sigma, can be used directly from the Dashboard. We’ve recently made a number of updates to improve common workflows in the Dashboard and to make it easier to manage your business—no API requests required.

NewBulk refunds from the Dashboard

We’ve made it much faster to refund several payments at the same time from the Dashboard. You can now select multiple payments and refund them with a single click. Try out bulk refunds from the Payments page, in search results, the customer details page, or the Radar Reviews page.

NewCustomizable columns in exports from the Dashboard

If you’re downloading reports from the Dashboard, you can now customize the export by selecting exactly which columns of data you’d like to include. (This works on any page with lists of data.)

NewIssue refunds from the Android Dashboard app

Android users can use our Android Dashboard app to view earnings and payouts or search for particular payments and customers. With the latest version, you can also issue refunds directly from the app.

NewSubscription management in the iOS Dashboard app

The latest version of our iOS Dashboard app lets you manage your subscriptions on the go. You can now start or cancel a subscription for any customer directly from your iPhone.

UpdateBest practices for using the Dashboard

Get more out of the Dashboard with our new docs: learn more about topics like advanced search features, different types of reports, or setting up roles and permissions for your account. (If you’re new to Stripe, we also recommend watching our video to explore all the features of the Dashboard.)

We hope that these new updates help you do even more with Dashboard. These features were built based on feedback from our users, so if you have any ideas or flows you’d like us to improve, please let us know!

December 19, 2018

Photo of Meghan Grady

Stripe + Twilio <Pay>

Meghan Grady on October 17, 2018

Today, we’re adding support for Twilio <Pay> to let businesses easily and securely accept payments over the phone.

Phone payments are especially common in industries like food, travel, healthcare, retail, and nonprofits, but payment details are often keyed in manually by a human agent. This flow can be riddled with errors and expose companies to security and compliance risks. That’s why we’re partnering with Twilio to help companies integrate phone payments quickly while ensuring the checkout flow remains secure and PCI compliant.

With Twilio <Pay>, businesses can now securely collect payment details with an interactive voice response flow, which is useful for automating payment experiences such as bill collection or donations. For a more personalized experience, employees can also walk customers through an order over the phone: when it’s time to collect the payment, the agent activates Twilio <Pay> to let the customer enter payment info using their keypad—agents can follow the customer’s progress, but won’t see or hear the card details.

Twilio will automatically prompt the customer for their card number, expiry date, postal code, and security code. Stripe’s integration ensures that sensitive data never hits your servers and generates a token that you can use to charge the card. Here’s an example Twilio <Pay> flow:

  <Say>Thanks for calling Rocket Rides!</Say>
  <Pay paymentConnector="RocketRides"
    <Prompt for="payment-processing">
        Thank you, please wait while we
        process your jetpack payment.

The generated token can be used not only for a single payment, but also stored on Stripe to make future purchases frictionless for customers. Since our support for Twilio <Pay> is fully integrated with the rest of the Stripe platform, businesses can even start a subscription plan with the saved card using Stripe Billing.

As you’d expect, payments made over the phone will show up alongside payments made online or in person in your unified Stripe Dashboard.

If you’re interested, you can get started by adding the Stripe Connector in your Twilio console and connecting your Stripe account to Twilio. Then, create a TwiML Bin with a Twilio <Pay> prompt. There’s more information in the <Pay> tutorial.

We’re excited to see what new experiences businesses will build with Stripe’s integration for Twilio <Pay>. If you have questions or feedback, please let us know!

October 17, 2018