GroundScope cuts compliance costs by 50% with Stripe

GroundScope is one of the leading global transportation providers for business travellers, providing access to a fleet of 150,000 taxis, chauffeur-driven cars, and minibuses. Stripe partner DataArt helped GroundScope build a new, more reliable and secure booking platform with Stripe at its core, allowing GroundScope to cut down on overhead costs and focus on offering a safe, dependable ground transport service for its clients.

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In a world where ride-hailing services are just a tap away, GroundScope stands out for the level of care it provides to its business travelers. Not only do customers benefit from the security and convenience of cashless journeys and fully vetted drivers, they also have access to a 24-hour support team to answer any concerns. A key part of GroundScope’s fully-managed service is its end-to-end booking platform. However, in 2018, performance issues meant it was time for a full rebuild so GroundScope could continue providing the convenience its clients expect. The old platform relied on an inefficient legacy payment system that was slow and cumbersome for users, difficult to integrate with modern software, and which burdened GroundScope with its customers’ credit card data and all the compliance paperwork that came with it. GroundScope knew that an efficient, secure, and cost-effective payment service would be key to the success of its new booking platform.


As GroundScope looked for a software engineering partner to rebuild its platform from scratch, the company was impressed with DataArt’s level of expertise, as well as its extensive experience with building solutions for the travel and transportation industry. DataArt understood the importance of an efficient payment system that would integrate easily into the new platform, and recommended Stripe for its ease of connectivity and extensive functionality.

With DataArt’s help, GroundScope integrated Stripe Payments and Checkout into its new booking platform, giving it a modern and easy-to-use payment system that its clients could depend on. Importantly, with comprehensive security tools and practices built into Stripe’s payment system, GroundScope is able to offer its customers the level of data security they expect from a company that prides itself on its customer care.


GroundScope cuts compliance costs by 50% with secure, PCI-compliant payments

Groundscope’s previous provider was unable to offer payment tokenisation, leaving GroundScope holding all its customers’ credit card details. This was not only a security burden, but it also meant a lot of time was spent handling PCI DSS compliance. Now, thanks to its secure payment tokenisation, Stripe handles all of GroundScope’s customer data, along with the bulk of the compliance procedures. This has reduced GroundScope’s compliance costs by 50%, and left its team free to invest in building its core offering.

“As a small business, maintaining full-level PCI compliance is a hugely cumbersome task,” says Russell Jackson, CFO, GroundScope. “I can’t overstate how big a bonus it is having Stripe at the heart of the new platform, in terms of the reduction in overheads, upkeep, and risk. We sleep much better at night, knowing that our data is safe and secure.”

Less time and effort spent on adapting to regulations due to Checkout’s built-in features

Payment regulations are always changing, and it can be hard for businesses to keep up. When Strong Customer Authentication was introduced in 2021, GroundScope worried that it would have to build new functionality to authenticate every payment.

“My heart sank quite a lot, actually, when I heard that, because similar experiences with a previous partner had been hugely painful,” Jackson says. “In reality, though, it was a breeze. By having the hosted payment windows already in place, we didn't have to revamp our system in any way. Stripe had done that work for us and taken the pain out of it. So that was hugely valuable.”

With its ready-made pages, Stripe Checkout made the transition to the new authentication process smooth and painless. GroundScope’s customers have also commented on how fast and easy to use Checkout is, enabling GroundScope to continue to compete with the accessibility of ride-hailing apps.

Actionable insights with granular reporting and flexible dashboards

The GroundScope team has also benefited from Stripe’s reporting and dashboards, which Jackson describes as being in “a different league” to those of its previous payment provider.

“The Stripe Dashboard gives an unrivaled level of reporting,” says Dmitry Aleshin, engagement manager at DataArt. “The team sees every process in full view and, therefore, makes more informed decisions which can be critical when it comes to billing and customer relations.”

The fact that this functionality is an inherent part of Stripe Payments means GroundScope doesn’t need to spend money developing similar functionality within its own portal, so it can invest in developing its core services instead.

Increased reliability means zero downtime

GroundScope has also been impressed with Stripe’s reliability. Downtime was an inconvenient feature of its previous payment system, with credit card processing typically unavailable two to three times a year, for 24 hours at a time. This would create a backlog of failed transactions, which would then have to be manually resubmitted by the finance team, wasting days of their time. Since implementing Stripe, GroundScope hasn’t experienced any downtime, meaning the finance team can use their time more productively and focus on developing the business.

Adding six local currencies powers global expansion

Customer service is extremely important to GroundScope. So as it enters new markets, it is important that the company is able to bill clients in local currencies, to make the service as convenient as possible. Previously, adding new currencies was an arduous process, requiring a large amount of manual adjustment for each new currency added, as well as time spent testing to ensure it was working effectively. As a result, GroundScope limited itself to billing in four currencies.

Now, with Stripe Payments, it is quick and simple to add a new currency, thanks to its built-in tools that remove the complexity from the process. GroundScope now bills in 10 currencies, saving its customers money in exchange rates and fees, which helps to keep costs down and GroundScope’s rates competitive.

“Being able to bill in clients’ local currencies is fantastic for us,” says Jackson. “It makes us feel closer to the clients, and gives them a degree of confidence by making us feel a bit more local to them. We’re a multinational business, so as we grow and move into new countries, being able to add new currencies with Stripe is a real benefit.”

Payment clearance time reduced by 60%

Whatever currency GroundScope is billing in, Stripe’s quick payment terms mean that payments are cleared in just three to four days (down from 10 days under the previous system), allowing GroundScope to reinvest in its business more efficiently.

As GroundScope grows, it is preparing to launch a new function to allow anyone to open their own GroundScope account directly, without applying to GroundScope to do it for them. Using Stripe Radar has given GroundScope the confidence to open its business up to more users, since it trusts that Radar will be able to handle the increased risk of credit card fraud that such a move entails. It’s another example of how Stripe’s functionality is making life easier for the GroundScope team, enabling them to focus on what really matters: building their business, and providing an excellent level of care to their clients.

About Partner

DataArt is a global software engineering firm that takes a uniquely human approach to solving problems. With over 25 years of experience, it provides a complete range of software development consulting services, from evaluating technology to architecting and building solutions.

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