Hargreaves Lansdown reduces failed payments by £540m in partnership with Stripe

Hargreaves Lansdown, the UK's biggest investment platform, administers over £120 billion in assets for over 1.7 million clients with Stripe.

Products used

Europe
Enterprise

Challenge

Hargreaves Lansdown needed to evolve its approach to payments, integration, security, and customer service. Its customers were adding and withdrawing funds using a custom in-house platform, but it had to adapt to shifts within the fast-moving fintech industry. This meant migrating from cumbersome legacy systems to cloud-based applications and services. At the same time, Hargreaves Lansdown also faced a critical deadline for implementing changes after a new regulatory requirement in Europe to introduce 3D Secure (3DS) Version 2, an authentication standard that aims to reduce fraud and provide added security to online payments.

As a trusted investment platform, it was critical for Hargreaves Lansdown to achieve these goals without any disruption to their clients.

Solution

Moving away from its legacy systems for payments immediately brought Hargreaves Lansdown closer to the operating space it envisioned for the business and helped the company build a solid foundation for continuing its digital transformation journey.

“We think Hargreaves Lansdown is the best way to invest and save your money as a retail investor, but to support this proposition we need to work with industry-leading partners,” said George Rodgers, senior product manager at Hargreaves Lansdown. “Payments is a great example, because partnering with Stripe lets us focus on what we do best, which is the overall investment experience.”

Seamless transaction processing

Hargreaves Lansdown serves a wide range of investors, so the experience of processing payments and withdrawals needed to equally account for single high value transactions or frequent lower volume transactions across a range of different devices.

Hargreaves Lansdown used Stripe to ensure it was 3DS-ready by the June 2021 deadline without any drop-off in payment success. Together with Stripe, it seamlessly transitioned its payments experience without any customer hesitation about the new authentication requirements. “One of the biggest compliments I can pay to Stripe is that the rollout of this new regulation went largely unnoticed at Hargreaves Lansdown. It was handled seamlessly,” said Rodgers.

Hargreaves Lansdown can now surface more specific error messages to its clients when failed payments occur. This might be a client attempting to use an expired credit card, for example. A simple change in error messaging can create an overall better customer experience.

Fast-track development and integration

At the core of the fast and successful rollout was the speed and simplicity of integration. Hargreaves Lansdown’s development team benefited from a wealth of available API documentation and a public sandbox. The team had confidence that regulatory deadlines could be met, as well as the larger integration with legacy systems in the longer term, and they were impressed by how quickly they could implement a streamlined user feedback loop to make changes and release them out to production. “When we have changes to make to the Stripe application, the development team enjoys it because it’s one of the easiest places to make changes in the systems we have,” said Rodgers”

Security and customer service

Keeping the investments of its 1.7 million customers safe is a top priority for Hargreaves Lansdown. While fraudulent transaction rates have always been exceptionally low, the business pays constant attention to any possible fraud risks, and it has extremely high-level detection protocols in place. Stripe Radar has added an extra layer to this by weeding out fraud attempts before they reach internal checks and measures. Additionally, Radar provides extra detection data to Hargreaves Lansdown’s fraud team.

From a customer service and support perspective, the help desk team can easily view their Stripe Dashboard on the rare occasion that issues arise. This gives them an overview of the client’s payments and the ability to reassure and troubleshoot quickly and effectively.

Results

Hargreaves Lansdown processed £192 million in a single day without any issues during this tax year-end. By using Stripe’s dynamic real-time error messaging, it saw a 93% reduction in attempts to make payment by credit card. Overall, integrating with Stripe reduced failed payments by £540 million per year. Internal teams at Hargreaves Lansdown find working with the solutions, from the front-end Dashboard to back-end development tools, easy and efficient. And, most importantly, Hargreaves Lansdown’s clients are receiving the best possible service with a 99.999% processing uptime since partnering with Stripe.

“Delivering that core payment journey to the highest standard possible is front and centre of what we want to do, and Stripe is the way to do that,” said Rodgers.

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