The media industry has long driven the adoption of innovative technologies, from the embrace of movable type to the migration to the internet. And now, Japan's leading business media company, Nikkei Inc., is working with Stripe to pioneer new ways of reaching readers across Asia and around the world.
Nikkei publishes many of the leading media brands of the business world, including its signature financial newspaper, The Nikkei. The company has also been an industry leader in content delivery. In 2010, it launched Nikkei ID, a digital service platform that now has more than 10 million members.
Yet even as the platform was adding users, Nikkei noticed that barriers in the payment and registration process were constraining its growth. To remove them, the company turned to Stripe.
Removing signup barriers
Nikkei ID provides a single point of entry to a range of content. Members can subscribe to publications and television content—like Nikkei Channel Markets and Nikkei xTECH—and sign up for events and seminars on topics related to career planning, personal finance, and professional education.
But the registration process was burdensome. It required prospective users to input a lot of information and only accepted credit card payments, resulting in high abandonment rates, even among people with a strong interest in joining.
Nikkei decided to simplify the experience by offering Apple Pay. And rather than modify its existing billing engine at significant engineering cost, it implemented the new payment method by adopting Stripe.
"Stripe always had a large presence in the engineering community and I personally had a strong interest in the company. Stripe's service is highly scalable and will allow us to offer flexible billing plans," said Masao Saga, deputy manager at Platform Business Office of Nikkei.
Fast, flexible payments for growth
Nikkei integrated with Stripe payments and Stripe Billing in six months. The process was much faster, and resulted in a more comprehensive suite of payment options, than anything offered by other payments processors. Now, Nikkei has a payments infrastructure that can adapt to its future needs.
"In a short period of time, we acquired a payments infrastructure with more functionality than anything we have seen in the past. When we need more functionality or payment methods to add in the future, we know that we will only need a few weeks," said Saga.
Nikkei can now offer complex customizations like free trials or grace periods for payment failures. It has gained in other ways, too: The intuitive visualization of the Stripe dashboard improves the overall user experience and saves Nikkei from having to build a separate administrative system for customer service.
“We are proud to support a storied and beloved Japanese publication like The Nikkei. As a media company, Nikkei had their own priorities beyond simply implementing a new payment method. We worked closely with Nikkei to solve their challenges together,” said Daisuke Aranami, representative director of revenue and head of growth for Stripe in Japan.