With rapidly growing demand over the past few years, Slack expanded to serve more global customers, including large-scale enterprises such as Amazon, IBM, and HSBC. To support this growth, Slack needed to enable ACH and credit cards payments globally, automate a custom usage-based invoice per customer that accepts multiple payment methods, let customers adjust billing plans and frequency, and apply proper taxes globally—in short, offer every customer a best-in-class purchasing experience.
Slack determined that building its ideal experience in-house would require diverting immense engineering resources away from its core product. Slack Product Manager Britt Jamison found himself asking, “Can we deliver more value to our customers if we let Stripe handle what they're experts at, so we can focus on our core competencies?”
Slack determined that by partnering with Stripe, which it runs on AWS, it could build the enterprise payments experience its customers required without trading off its other priorities. “The initial launch took about two weeks, and during that time, Stripe’s deployment and support teams acted as our expert advisers,” Jamison said. “We even leveraged a shared Slack channel for assistance, advice, and payments best practices when launching new currencies internationally.”
Slack implemented Stripe Payments, Billing, Radar (fraud prevention), and Sigma (SQL reporting). “Having a billing system that lets you stay nimble to respond to customers' needs is really critical. Stripe gives you that flexibility,” said Jackie Rocca, Director of Product.
Slack usage and demand surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced millions to adjust to remote work. Prioritization of internal resources was even more crucial—and so was ensuring a smooth experience for millions of Slack users. During this time, Slack was able to ensure nearly 100% uptime during the heaviest usage period in company history and launch much-needed functionality on its ambitious product roadmap. By letting Stripe handle all things payments, Slack was able to have all engineering resources focused on its core product.
Stripe helped Slack set up and optimize payments in 15 countries, implementing local payment methods to increase acceptance rates and maximize Slack's FY20 $630M earnings. Stripe has also helped Slack recoup engineering bandwidth in perpetuity: Sigma provides Slack’s accounting team with reporting to review customer fair billing questions, reducing engineering time spent on customer usage queries.
If you look at every company larger than us, they all use multiple payment processors —but Stripe didn’t exist when these companies were growing up. Our feeling is that we can't just look to what our larger peers have before us—because now Stripe is here. We’re buying into Stripe’s platform and long-term vision.