Pie wants to make commercial insurance affordable, simple, and trusted. Its proprietary pricing models and data-driven approach helps it offer insurance to small business owners who seek the frictionless and secure experience of paying premiums directly from their bank accounts. Pie needed the right infrastructure to maintain and improve its seamless customer experience while continuing its impressive growth.
“Simplicity is not native to insurance,” said Melissa Eaton, VP of Customer Success at Pie. “We want to deliver the best customer experience and keep hitting our growth goals. We need solutions that enable us to make buying insurance, as we say, as easy as pie.”
Pie was averaging just 24% ACH usage for new customers because its previous account authenticator would not support its commercial accounts requirements. It needed a solution that aligned Pie’s billing logic, internal insurance platforms, and insurance-specific compliance. Fortunately, Pie was already using Stripe Payments for payments processing and decided to put Stripe’s powerful APIs to use to develop an ACH solution, and more.
Pie leaned on its previous experience with Stripe to develop a new solution that would integrate with the company’s complex internal billing infrastructure. Using Stripe APIs, Pie built a custom solution that made ACH sign-ups much easier for customers and more than doubled ACH penetration to 58%.
“We had to align the complex billing logic of our internal insurance platforms while maintaining the insurance-specific compliance, billing, and fee structures necessary,” added Eaton. “Stripe was our payment processing partner from the onset, and now we use Stripe across our entire payments infrastructure, for payments, for secure tokens as customers set up accounts, and invoicing.”
Pie has also recently expanded its use of Stripe. It now uses Stripe Invoicing to easily create and send invoices in minutes and uses the Stripe Invoicing API to automate payments collection and reconciliation. With Stripe Sigma, Pie can quickly analyse its Stripe data for faster business insights using predefined SQL queries or custom queries right inside the Stripe Dashboard. Pie also takes advantage of Stripe Radar to detect and block fraud using machine learning that trains on data across millions of global companies.
On top of Pie’s expanded use of the Stripe platform, the company continues to benefit from the advanced Stripe Payments features, such as:
- Automatic card account updater, which works directly with card networks to update payment details when cards are replaced or expire;
- Smart retries, which uses machine learning on information across the Stripe network to retry failed payments attempts and increase the chance of success; and
- Adaptive Acceptance, which also uses machine learning to selectively retry declined payments in real-time, before a response is even returned to the customer.
As a fast-growing, venture-backed business, Pie Insurance has lofty goals and expectations to transform the small business commercial insurance space. Stripe’s broad payments platform lets it maintain ease-of-use at scale while offering customers flexible payments options. The combination has driven significant growth impact for Pie:
>6% increase in payments acceptance rates plus streamlined ACH signups
Pie relies on Stripe’s advanced authorisation features such as card account updater, smart retries, and Adaptive Acceptance to ensure more payments make it through. Fewer declined payments improves the overall customer experience, showcased in Pie’s impressive customer retention rate of over 80%.
Eaton said: “Over the past year, these Stripe features gave us a 5% uplift in payment acceptance. That's 5% of payments that would have otherwise been declined. Over the past 4 weeks, we've seen over 6% in uplift. Stripe has been able to keep up!”
>250% increase in ACH account usage
Pie focuses on small business customers that want to pay vendors directly from business bank accounts. A friction-filled ACH process frustrated small business customers and could push them to Pie competitors. With Stripe, Pie quickly created a streamlined onboarding and customised payment setup process to easily capture ACH details, reduce internal costs, and cut down on fraud.
Eaton said: “We saw a huge change in acceptance of ACH when we developed our own process using Stripe. We were averaging about 24% ACH penetration for new customers and now we’re averaging 58%. This has been a great experience for our end users as well as for Pie.”
We’re in a period of hyper-growth and Stripe has been able to keep up as we continue to scale and achieve our mission of empowering small business to thrive by making commercial insurance affordable and as easy as pie.