When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in 2020, the Persona team saw that many individuals were reinventing themselves as self-employed professionals. From personal trainers to nail artists, professionals across many fields were launching their own businesses – whether out of necessity, a need for more job flexibility, or a multitude of other reasons. There are over 15 million self-employed workers in the US, and this number swelled during the pandemic, with over 4.4 million new businesses being created in the US just during 2020. The Persona team recognised that many of these new business owners didn’t have the time, tools, or expertise to manage their backend operations. As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, co-founders Omer Menashe and Eran Artzi decided to start Persona in 2020 to help self-employed professionals and independent business owners run their businesses.
Persona set its sights on building a platform that would make it easy for independent business owners and contractors to manage their businesses’ finances. Because Persona knew that building a financial product would be complex and resource intensive to do on their own, it was looking for a partner to provide the banking-as-a-service infrastructure that would enable them to create a tailored financial offering and quickly go to market.
The Persona team evaluated multiple vendors in the market, but they ultimately chose Stripe for its comprehensive product suite and its demonstrable reliability. With Stripe, Persona would also be able to offer its clients checkout capabilities, payment processing, invoicing, identity verification, and user onboarding – all through a single vendor. Because customer experience is of the utmost importance to the Persona team, they didn’t want to leverage different vendors that would require customers to complete multiple onboarding and compliance requirements. “We found that only Stripe offered a broad spectrum of offerings of what we needed now and what we might potentially need in the future,” said Menashe.
Stripe’s banking-as-a-service offerings, which include Stripe Issuing and Stripe Treasury, provided Persona with the infrastructure to build an all-in-one financial solution for its customers, with a financial account for storing funds and business cards for expenses. Persona also leveraged Stripe Payments to help its businesses process payments for services rendered. By using all three products together, Persona has a comprehensive view of each business’s activity across the platform, which gave Persona customer insights that drove their team to offer other capabilities like tax and expense management.
Persona found the entire integration process with Stripe to be easy and seamless. The team was able to integrate Stripe and build the core financial capabilities into Persona’s native app within four weeks.
“When you get into the Stripe ecosystem, the APIs are clear, the documentation is perfect, and you’re in a world where everything has been made very easy for you,” said Artzi.
After building financial services into their product with Stripe Issuing and Stripe Treasury, Persona launched and grew their user base by 10x in just 3 months. Additionally, they found that embedding core financial services directly into their product was resulting in increased user engagement; they saw a 20x increase in generated invoices and a 50x increase in spending on issued cards during that same time period.
“If we didn’t have Stripe Issuing and Treasury, this entire vision wouldn’t have been realistic or possible. Stripe’s offerings enabled us to build a set of features that we couldn’t have built with anyone else,” said Artzi.