Stripe launches new payments and financing tools to accelerate UK business growth

  • Stripe Capital unlocks access to funding for the UK’s small businesses and creates new revenue streams for platforms.
  • Available in the UK first, Stripe’s Open Banking-powered payment method and faster manual payouts provide businesses with quicker, cheaper ways to access their earnings.
  • Alongside product launches, a new flagship London office opening today will support Stripe’s expansion in the UK.

LONDON—Stripe, a financial infrastructure platform for businesses, today launched new payments tools and financing options in the UK that will improve access to capital and accelerate the growth of hundreds of thousands of UK businesses.

The new product features include business financing through Stripe Capital, lower-cost Open Banking-powered payments, and faster payouts. The announcements took place at Stripe Tour London, the company’s annual internet economy conference in the UK, attended by founders, developers, and enterprise leaders.

“UK businesses are inventing and building, but getting access to capital at the right time is a rate limiter on their growth. The payments tools and financing options we’re launching today will help money move around the economy faster and make it easier for businesses to invest when they see an opportunity to grow,” said John Collison, cofounder of Stripe.

The UK is Stripe’s second largest market, and its growth is accelerating. Around 600 UK businesses join the Stripe network every day, a significant increase even from pandemic highs, when swathes of companies were forced to move online to survive. Stripe’s UK users include disruptive innovators like Monzo, Octopus Energy, and over half of the UK’s top AI startups, as well as established companies such as ITV, River Island, Nando’s, and Hargreaves Lansdown.

Unlocking capital to unleash growth

Only 50% of bank loan applications by UK small businesses were successful last year, down from 80% in 2018. Without the funds to invest in new products, or modernize their processes, many small firms are forced to rein in their aspirations. In a recent study, less than half of UK businesses said they aspire to grow this year.

With the launch of Stripe Capital in the UK, small businesses can access flexible financing to invest in their own expansion—whether that’s buying new equipment, growing their staff, or upgrading their customer experience. Stripe Capital uses a company’s transaction and business history on Stripe to proactively qualify businesses for financing. Funds hit approved accounts the next business day, and businesses repay the amount as they earn.

Stripe Capital is proven to accelerate growth. An analysis of Stripe users in the US found that businesses that took financing from Capital grew their revenue 114% faster than peers, with the smallest businesses seeing revenue growth of 140% more than peers.

Stripe Capital is now available to UK businesses that run directly on Stripe. Later this year, UK marketplaces and platforms that use Stripe Connect will also be able to use Stripe Capital to offer financing to their own users.

Platforms are an important part of the UK’s small business economy, with more than half (55%) of online payments to small businesses in the UK today being handled by platforms like Shopify (for retailers) or Treatwell (for salons). Small businesses use these platforms on a daily basis to handle sales, bookings, and other operations. They’ll soon be able to access near-instant financing on the platforms they’re already using, powered by Stripe Connect. This is helpful both for the small businesses, who can grow faster, and for the platforms, who can open a new revenue stream. For the largest platforms running on Stripe today, financial services revenue is now growing 11x faster than payments revenue.

Faster, lower cost payments built on UK infrastructure

UK businesses on Stripe will be the first to access new payment methods and capabilities built on payment infrastructure that the UK pioneered.

Today, Stripe launched its first Open-Banking-powered payment method, Pay by Bank, in the UK. Pay by Bank is a low-cost, real-time payment method that allows consumers to pay directly from their bank account. Online car marketplace Cinch and insurance brokerage AJ Gallagher are among the large companies that are already using Pay by Bank to reduce their payment costs and improve their cash flow. Businesses selling high value goods and services could save tens of thousands of pounds in payment fees every month.

Stripe is also helping UK businesses to access their funds more quickly. Using the UK’s Faster Payments Scheme, Stripe has reduced the time it takes for a business to receive earnings from two days to a couple of hours, helping companies to manage their cash flow more easily. These improvements, which are free for businesses, will be rolled out in the EU and US later this year.

These new payment capabilities arrive as Stripe has doubled the number of payment methods it supports from 50 to more than 100 in the last year, including London-based Revolut Pay. New AI-powered tools in Stripe’s Optimized Checkout Suite help businesses determine which payment methods to show customers. Businesses that migrate to the Optimized Checkout Suite see an 11.9% increase in revenue on average, as more shoppers are converted into buyers.

Investing in the UK for future growth

Alongside its growing product suite, Stripe is also expanding its footprint in the UK. The company’s new flagship London office, which opens today at 201 Bishopsgate, will house expanding teams in engineering, sales, partnerships and operations.

Positioned between the global financial center in the City of London and the technology hub around Old Street, the space will allow Stripe teams to deepen relationships with a range of partners, from innovative tech companies to leading financial institutions.

“The UK’s talent, infrastructure, and financial center make it an excellent place to build Stripe from, but that’s only half the story. We’re also seeing huge growth amongst UK businesses who are excited to modernise their financial systems and expand globally. That’s what gives us the conviction that now is the time to double down in the UK,” said John Collison.

Stripe launched in the UK in 2013 and opened its first office in Shoreditch, London in 2014.