Subscriptions are a driving force in the internet economy. The subscription e-commerce market has grown more than 100 percent a year over the past five years, and 32 percent of people would prefer to buy goods via subscriptions than one-off purchases. In Europe, subscription businesses are growing even faster than in the US.
With Stripe Billing, European businesses of all sizes now have access to enterprise-grade tools to implement subscription models quickly and at scale. Billing uses Stripe’s advanced machine learning infrastructure to help businesses increase revenue, move more quickly and significantly reduce engineering effort. Instead of manually retrying cards, Stripe Billing’s smart retries use machine learning to figure out the best time to retry failed cards. In the US, where Stripe Billing launched last year, smart retries have led to a 7% lift in recovered revenue, on average, for businesses using Billing. This is revenue that the business would not otherwise have earned.
In addition, Stripe Billing automatically generates invoices on business’ behalf. Instead of being static bills, Stripe’s hosted invoices are interactive payment pages, making it easy for customers to submit a payment instantly, without even opening a new browser tab. In fact, Stripe’s hosted invoices get paid 3 times faster than typical invoices.
As an added benefit for European businesses, Stripe Billing also provides the easiest path to SCA compliance for online subscriptions. Later this year, Europe’s second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) will require Strong Consumer Authentication (SCA) for most online transactions. This radical change will require more than 300 million European consumers to confirm their identity using a second factor (such as a password, phone, or fingerprint) in order to complete a purchase. For businesses accepting recurring payments, this is a particular challenge, as their customers are accustomed to being charged automatically. Stripe Billing will help companies automatically identify precisely which charges require SCA and send customizable emails to subscribers when additional authentication is needed, reducing customer attrition and revenue loss.
Stripe Billing also includes support for value added tax (VAT) across the European Union. VAT can be especially onerous for businesses to validate, collect and report, as rates vary across different countries and industries. With Stripe Billing, European businesses now have tools for handling VAT that are fully integrated with their Stripe account.
“Subscription and SaaS companies have been some of the internet’s greatest success stories up to now, but we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible, especially here in Europe,” said Tara Seshan, Product Manager for Stripe Billing. “With Stripe Billing, companies of all sizes now have access to advanced invoicing tools that will also help them comply with SCA and VAT requirements. We’re excited to power the next generation of European subscription companies as we continue building the economic infrastructure that will grow the GDP of the internet.”
“SaaS, subscription and recurring revenue business models have become a major force for economic growth on the internet across Europe. However, for the vast majority of companies, running a billing and subscription system at any scale is both laborious and costly. This function will become even more complex once the SCA regulations take effect on September 14, 2019 in Europe,” said Jordan McKee, research director at 451 Research. “Stripe Billing aims to mitigate this complexity and expense for European companies of all sizes by smoothing the path to SCA compliance, and democratizing access to enterprise-grade billing tools. Ultimately, tools like Stripe Billing represent an important element of the economic infrastructure that will facilitate the creation of a Digital Single Market across Europe.”
Typeform has been a beta tester of Stripe Billing in Europe. “Stripe Billing provides us with the flexibility we need for our business model. The tax functionalities remove operational inefficiencies by enabling us to remove some internal tooling and manual processes”, said CFO Xavier Castellana.
Beginning today, the new Stripe Billing features are generally available for all European customers.