theCut uses Stripe to build its end-to-end payments experiences

Founded by two high school best friends, theCut is a technology platform built for barbers and customers that’s bringing the offline barbershop experience into the modern era. With nearly five million users in the US, theCut has been used to book nearly 60 million appointments with more than 50,000 barbers.

Products used

    Connect
    Terminal
    Identity
    Billing
North America
Platform

Challenge

Since launching in 2016, theCut has been on a mission to modernise the barbershop experience – one of the last industries that still relies heavily on cash, pen and paper, and word-of-mouth.

“We wanted to create a platform for barbers that would empower them to build the best business they can, while focusing on what they do best: cutting hair,” says Kush Patel, theCut’s CTO.

theCut’s “two-sided marketplace” solves the biggest pain points for both barbers and clients, such as long wait times and no-show appointments. Barbers use the app to run all aspects of their business, from managing bookings to processing payments. Clients book appointments with local barbers by viewing their work and reading client reviews. theCut clients can book appointments with their selected payment method to simplify the transaction with their barber.

This year, theCut aims to further improve the payments experience for barbers and clients to increase conversion, attract more users, and support its plans for global expansion.

Solution

In 2020, after using various other providers, theCut switched to Stripe. It wanted a new payments partner that would enable it to innovate with new features to meet the changing needs of the business and its users.

It started by using Stripe Billing to easily bill barbers for a subscription tier plan in the app. “Choosing Stripe to support subscriptions was a no-brainer because of the seamless developer experience,” Patel says.

The Stripe Billing API is easy to integrate with existing websites, mobile apps, and CRM systems. Developers can use the Stripe composable API to get started quickly or design customised subscription logic and pricing models.

Unifying payments across channels with Payments, Connect, and Terminal

Shortly after switching to Stripe, theCut launched Payments and Connect to handle its end-to-end payment needs – from global payouts to creating new revenue streams – all while Stripe manages onboarding and user verification. Together, these products enable theCut to onboard users for online and in-person payments, and unify payouts across channels.

“Having everything under the same umbrella – subscriptions, payments, billing, accounts – created a unified experience and made it easier to run the business,” says Patel.

theCut also uses Terminal, which enables the platform to build an in-person checkout experience to accept physical payments in barbershops. Built with modern retailers in mind, Terminal helps theCut unify online and offline channels with flexible developer tools, pre-certified card readers, and cloud-based hardware management.

“What’s been so great about Terminal is the easy developer experience and not having to build an infrastructure to host online and offline channels,” says Patel.

To keep payments secure and protect against fraud, theCut relies on Identity, which it integrated into the onboarding process with Connect. Identity lets theCut programmatically confirm the identity of barbers opting in to accept payments through its app, which helps prevent attacks from fraudsters while minimising friction for legitimate barbers.

Reaching more users by expanding payment options

theCut recently worked with Stripe to adopt Cash App Pay, a digital wallet with more than 51 million monthly transacting actives*.

Cash App Pay is one of the top three ways that people transact in theCut’s modern barber shops. This is especially true for its customers in urban areas, as well as millennial and Gen Z customers who are less likely to use traditional banking services.

“Cash App is exploding in our demographic, but it was always a black box for us because we couldn’t implement it with our previous payments provider,” says Patel. “It’s huge that we’re able to offer it now with Stripe.”

theCut also worked with Stripe to add Apple Pay and to enable Tap to Pay on iPhone. These wallet payments create a faster way to checkout by eliminating the need for customers to manually enter their card and billing information, thus reducing friction in their booking experience.

Results

Holding strong to its spot as the number one barber booking app on the market, theCut continues to work with Stripe to attract more users, provide a seamless payment experience for barbers and their customers, and plan for global expansion into Canada and the UK. So far, the partnership has yielded great results.

By launching selfie and document verification for new barbers using Identity, theCut is now able to approve 90% of applications for payment processing. Previously, it was only able to verify 40%, which required a significant amount of manual review to verify the remaining 60%.

Adding new payment methods such as Apple Pay has been a game changer in helping theCut create a faster, more secure purchasing experience at scale.

“Overnight, 25% of our transactions started going through Apple Pay, which has become our most popular payment method,” says Patel. “Today, about 40% of payments processed in the last 30 days are through Apple Pay.”

*A transacting active is a Cash App account that has at least one financial transaction using any product or service within Cash App during a specific period. Block Q4 2022 Earnings Call.

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