Tokyu chooses Stripe to launch TsugiTsugi, its new accommodation subscription service

  • The creation of a digital platform opens up a new business model for the Tokyu Corporation, a 100-year old conglomerate with annual operating revenue of more than $6 billion.
  • Tokyu improved its checkout conversion 20% by switching to Stripe.

TOKYO—Stripe, a financial infrastructure platform for businesses, today announced that it has been selected by Tokyu to power the multinational conglomerate’s new flat-rate subscription accommodation service.

Tokyu oversees more than 200 businesses across Japan spanning transportation, real estate, and hospitality. By partnering with Stripe, it will launch TsugiTsugi, a subscription service to help Tokyu and its partners fill vacancies at their hotels and resorts during off-peak periods. The service opens a new revenue stream for Tokyu and is among the first of its kind at scale in Japan.

“Stripe is not just about payments, it’s about giving large businesses like ours the tools to innovate quickly. Using Stripe, we reduced customer friction and gained more efficient revenue management,” said Takaji Hataba, senior manager of business strategy for Tokyu hospitality division.

Launching a new business model

Last year Tokyu launched a broad plan to increase revenue from its hospitality businesses. One opportunity: filling more vacancies, particularly those caused by day-of-the-week and seasonal fluctuations. Tokyu had previously launched an in-house entrepreneurship initiative to spur employees to come up with innovative ideas for the company’s future. One idea that emerged: TsugiTsugi.

TsugiTsugi offers subscription plans that allow customers to book anywhere from 2 to 30 nights per month at any of Tokyu’s more than 140 locations, which include city hotels, resorts, ryokans (Japanese traditional inns), and glamping facilities. Customers receive travel and accommodation recommendations through an AI-backed concierge service adorned with ukiyo-e design.

To launch TsugiTsugi successfully, Tokyu needed to be able to easily add new subscription plans, change fees during sales promotions, collect recurring fees, and manage customers’ plans. The conglomerate initially tried to do this with its existing payments provider, but found the process to be slow and unreliable. Tokyu turned to Stripe for its flexibility, automation capabilities, and speed.

“Stripe’s highly customizable solution was extremely compelling. Its flexibility to adjust the system to suit the various variables of the service is what sets it apart,” said Hataba.

TsugiTsugi chose to implement multiple Stripe solutions: Billing to manage subscription billing, Checkout to create checkout pages that can be easily modified to display new subscription plans, and Radar to prevent credit card fraud.

“Thanks to the comprehensive support from the Stripe team, we were able to switch our payment structure over in just two months. We’re very grateful for Stripe’s incredible speed,” said Hataba.

Boosting revenue with Stripe

With Stripe, Tokyu's customers are completing bookings faster than ever and experiencing fewer issues with recurring payments. The result is a better user experience and more revenue for Tokyu.

“Compared to the previous payment provider, the conversion rate of our checkout page with Stripe has improved by 20%,” said Hataba.

While TsugiTsugi started out as a consumer-facing platform, Tokyu recently began offering it to businesses. New subscription plans allow corporations to purchase nights in bulk and share them with employees. Tokyu is also planning to expand TsugiTsugi to include more accommodation facilities as well as workspaces, plane tickets, and local guides.

“For good reason, Japan is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, and the travel industry there is ripe for disruption. We are delighted to support Tokyu as a pioneer in using new technology to improve domestic travel,” said Eileen O’Mara, chief revenue officer at Stripe.