Historically, Universe focused on the online ticketing experience around events, but has expanded into in-person tools that help customers shape the experience of the event itself. Universe is now allowing event hosts to not only accept card payments for walk-up ticket sales, but to also sell ticket upgrades, add-ons, and merchandise at the door.
Universe was cautious of navigating the compliance burden of card present transactions, and needed a partner that could abstract away the associated complexity. “When we approached card-present transactions, it was really a new level for us and something that was concerning from an effort and investment perspective,” said Joshua Kelly, Chief Technology Officer at Universe.
Universe partnered with Stripe to take the complexity out of in-person payments for the event organizers on its platform. Some organizers on Universe, for example, don’t own the physical event space, so they can’t install complicated infrastructure. By offering mobile devices and interfaces, Universe ensures organizers will have a seamless setup process for onsite sales. With this in mind, Universe needed a partner who understood how to keep things simple for customers. The team opted for Stripe Terminal as a natural, simple extension of their existing integration.
"For the simplicity of our infrastructure, it was critical that we did not introduce a new, separate POS system or terminal, because for us to be efficient and grow our business at scale we need to be really selective about the payment vendors we integrate with,” said Kelly.
Stripe’s web and mobile SDKs allowed Universe to easily and quickly extend its existing Stripe integration to support in-person payments. The team went from initial development, to demoing, to live production in just over a month using Stripe’s developer-friendly tools.
Stripe provided Universe with pre-certified EMV card readers loaded with PCI compliant sofware, and Stripe’s security keys, enabling end-to-end encryption on their transaction data. This impact, according to Kelly, is material: “Stripe has allowed us to not just make card not-present compliance a lot easier, but it’s bringing that ease of compliance into the card-present realm and that’s allowing us to extend our business into places we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.”
It only took us a few sprints to produce something, and the team working on the Terminal integration isn’t 20 or 30 developers, it’s just three, which speaks to the velocity and agility of Terminal. As far as a plug and play with the existing platform, it was a really natural extension; we didn’t have to build any custom support in our back-end or infrastructure. Everything just worked.