New developments in the internet economy reflect rapidly evolving ideas around business models, payments, and the very concept of money. Join our founders, John and Patrick Collison, for a discussion of the most significant new trends, and find out what we’re building to help businesses adapt.
Watch now for:
- Conversations with Amazon, Twitter, Ford, Mountain Warehouse, Intercom, Figma, and Ramp about how they’re using Stripe
- Deep dives on topics including payments fragmentation, the explosive growth of fintech, and enterprise reinvention
- The launch of Stripe Apps and overviews of our most significant product news, including crypto payouts, our modern finance OS, and the Stripe Terminal hardware roadmap
Patrick Collison (Co-founder and CEO, Stripe): Hello and welcome to Stripe Sessions. We’re experimenting with a new innovation this year. This talk is coming to you slightly sped up by default. Most talks are just too slow. And you can adjust that speed in the bottom right at any time, if you like.
Okay, where are we? Well, John and I grew up in Limerick, Ireland. The pandemic has made companies less tethered to any one place, and so we’re starting out here at the Shannon Free Zone, Saor Phort Na Sionna, which is just a couple of miles from where we were born.
The Shannon Free Zone was established in 1959, with special rules that lowered barriers to investment and trade in the area. And over the subsequent decades, the Shannon Free Zone became a hub for American companies to build manufacturing and R&D facilities. A lot of the VC-backed companies that drove the technology revolution, including Dell, Analog Devices, Intel, and Atari, set up manufacturing hubs in the region.
And by the 1990s, some of the world’s most advanced semiconductors and electronics were being assembled here. Ireland was a big beneficiary of this investment. Irish per capita GDP grew at one of the fastest rates in the world between 1980 and 2000, and Ireland became one of the most prosperous countries in Europe. The Shannon Free Zone also inspired other countries, including China, to pursue similar policies.
The Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, for example, was modeled on Shannon’s. Why am I telling you all this? Well, Shannon is a story of a few dynamics. It’s a story of how technological innovation produces spillover benefits in places far from where the creation first happened. It’s a story of the beneficial effect of globalization and low barriers to trade. And it’s a story of how successful and innovative companies helped transmit valuable skills in new places. And it’s a story of how quickly standards of living can get better when the conditions are configured correctly.
Needless to say, we see a lot of parallels between the story of Shannon and what we’re trying to enable with Stripe. Our goal is to grow the GDP of the internet, to help power economic development, and the Shannon story inspires us with a very tangible reminder of how transformative these development forces can be in practice.
Okay, let’s shift to Stripe itself. Growing the GDP of the internet is not just our mission; it’s also our product strategy. We assemble our roadmap by working backwards from what we hear from all of you. And based on your feedback, we’ve gotten a lot done over the past year.
We launched the Express App to make Connect more powerful, we’ve expanded our global coverage, we added Revenue Reconciliation and a number of other new products, we launched new payout countries, crypto payouts, we improved our fraud prevention, and a whole lot more. And, as our functionality grows, we’re seeing a significant increase in the volume of businesses adopting Stripe.
On average, 1,400 new companies—including 100 nonprofits—joined Stripe every single day last year. Alongside those, we’re delighted to partner with a growing fraction of the largest companies in the world. A statistic that we’re particularly proud of is that 60% of the technology companies that went public in the US last year are building on Stripe.
Now, the basic reason that people come to Stripe is the environment in which businesses operate is changing rapidly, and Stripe helps you stay ahead of the curve. And so, today, we’ll talk about some of those changes and about how Stripe can help you navigate them. We’ll very briefly cover payments and payments fragmentation, why online payments are getting more complicated, and how Stripe helps businesses adapt to that.
We’ll talk about enterprise reinvention, and how some of the world’s largest and most established companies are upgrading their business models. We’ll talk about fintech and why we think it’s going to be woven into every sector of the economy. The modern finance OS—and this is actually an idea that we haven’t discussed before. And, lastly, we’ll talk about our growing partner ecosystem. And so to kick us off, here’s John.
John Collison (Co-founder and President, Stripe): Thanks, Patrick. Back in the 1920s and ’30s, at the dawn of flight, you could basically build an airplane out of your backyard and start selling it. Shannon Airport was just a few grass runways.
Today, Shannon Airport is a major hub. And the aviation industry is far more complex and way more regulated. It’s a lot harder and more contrived to build a plane. But, not coincidentally, the planes are a lot better now.
This is what happens in any industry as it matures: the products go from simple to very complex and full of nuanced optimizations. The plane built in the backyard to the A380. You get teams of highly specialized experts building planes for the rest of us. The folks who know the detailed specifics backwards and forwards and carefully track the latest advances in everything from composites to additive manufacturing. Online commerce is no different. It’s a much bigger industry than 10 or 20 years ago, and much more evolved.
The internet economy used to be a fairly simple place, whereas now it’s a significant and growing fraction of the total economy—with the attendant complexity to boot. I’ll give you an example: Twice a year, the four major card networks revise their operating rules, the whole system that makes the network run. Just a few weeks ago, the latest update dropped: 1,966 pages.
That’s the combined length of the first five Harry Potter books all together, and it’s chock-full of tech specs on everything from eight-digit BIN support to ISO 3166 updates. And that’s just for the US. Not many companies want to keep on top of this themselves.
You’ve got better things to do. So, Stripe is a team of over 7,000 payment maniacs from all around the world who obsess over these details on your behalf. We’re like the crazed Potter-heads queuing around the block for the midnight book launch, but for payments.
These days, you wouldn’t board a plane made in someone else’s backyard. And you shouldn’t choose a payments provider that doesn’t sweat every last detail of global money movement. Both are liable to crash. Instead, you need a partner that gives you leverage and helps you accelerate your business in a world where payments are ever more complex with each passing year.
And that’s true for any company, whether you’re the smallest startup or the largest enterprise. To hear more about this, I spoke with my favorite bookseller, based here in Seattle, that knows a thing or two about increasing complexity.
Amazon does such a breadth of different things when it comes to payments. Maybe you can tell me a little bit more about that.
Ben Volk (Director, Global Payment Acceptance & Customer Experience, Amazon): In many ways, the payments organization at Amazon is really Amazon’s version of our own fintech. And so, we’re not only building the things that customers see in checkout and outside of checkout, but we’re also building a set of services that map across hundreds of different teams and businesses.
John Collison: Can you tell me a little bit about your international expansion and how Stripe fits into that?
Ben Volk: We’ve really been on a pretty fun international expansion journey over the past six to seven years of thinking about innovations around how we get money to a seller that’s selling cross border. How do we make that currency conversion process trivially easy for them? How do we make sure that they get paid as expected on time? And there’s a lot of complexity in that. One of the things that we really valued about Stripe was that it got us to a lot of different countries quickly and really helped lower the barrier of entry for us.
John Collison: How does Amazon’s scale change your thinking about the kinds of partners you work with?
Ben Volk: Finding a partner that can keep up with not only our volume spikes but other aspects of scalability is absolutely critical to us. If I think about what we’ve done recently in Poland, we worked together to launch BLIK, which is one of the popular growing local payment methods there. And so we’ve partnered closely to be able to make the experience more convenient for the customers and reduce the amount of time that it takes them to go through checkout.
John Collison: Appreciate it. Great to see you.
Sophie Sakellariadis (Product Manager, Payments, Stripe): Amazon’s challenges are not unique and, as John mentioned, the payments landscape is only getting harder to manage. That’s why we’re hyper-focused on building a payments platform that’s designed for ubiquity, interoperability, and performance.
First, ubiquity. We’re making payment methods available to merchants worldwide, so you can localize your checkout page without spending months setting up foreign entities, bank accounts, tax reporting systems, and more.
Whether you’re a Canadian business selling to Polish buyers, a Singaporean business with Japanese customers, or even the SoroSuub Corporation selling a landspeeder in a galaxy far, far away, you can turn on new payment methods in minutes.
Second, interoperability. We’re weaving together regional networks, payment methods, and banks—and filling any gaps as we go. With other providers, 20 different payment methods might mean 20 different operational workflows.
And, if you’re a platform, you’d need to do this not just for your own business, but for the hundreds or thousands of businesses that use your software. With Stripe, you get unified operations, settlement, and reporting for each of the 52 global payment methods we support.
Third, performance. It’s not enough just to offer a large number of payment methods. Performance is about showing the right payment methods to the right buyers in the right way. To optimize conversion, all Stripe UIs programmatically and intelligently localize for each customer.
Here’s Checkout giving a German customer the option to pay with SOFORT and giropay. And now it’s localizing for a Japanese customer with Konbini. We make hundreds of feature updates each year to optimize conversion and get you every last basis point of revenue. Here are a few of my favorite examples.
First, we’ve completely overhauled how buyers pay with ACH Debit in the US, creating a faster and more reliable payments experience. With our new Financial Connections product, buyers can check out in seconds just by inputting their banking credentials, instead of waiting days to complete cumbersome micro-deposit verifications. And platforms can verify and pay out direct to their users’ bank accounts. Using Financial Connections, they see 75% fewer payout failures.
Presenting prices in your buyers’ local currency and formatting them correctly can increase conversion by up to 15%. Businesses could do this manually, but they’d need to integrate foreign exchange APIs and then format prices in local currencies.
So we’re building a product that will allow businesses to localize and format prices with a click of a button. You’re still paid by Stripe in your preferred currency, but your customer pays in theirs, too.
To deliver even better fraud prevention outcomes on Stripe Radar, we’re rolling out a new intelligent card verification feature later this year. Let’s take a sneak peek. If a transaction is flagged as suspicious, instead of blocking that charge entirely, Radar will ask the customer to upload a picture of their credit card. In less than one second, Stripe will determine if the card is real, helping you reduce fraud while still retaining good customers.
It’s one more way we’re customizing the checkout experience to be ubiquitous, interoperable, and high performing. Now, over to Will to share some exciting features we’re shipping in Stripe Connect.
Will Gaybrick (Chief Product Officer, Stripe): Thanks, Sophie. Let’s start with a trip down memory lane to how Stripe Connect got started. Way back in 2012, we had a conversation with a user called Zimride about how to support payouts to drivers on their nascent ride-sharing platform.
That conversation led us to build APIs to power third-party payouts for our users. These APIs, now better known as Stripe Connect, have since been adopted by thousands of marketplaces and platforms around the world, including Zimride, now better known as Lyft.
Over the past few years, the creator economy has exploded, with the likes of Twitter, Substack, Spotify, and GitHub—all of whom are Stripe users—making it easy for creators to monetize their work.
Last year, we launched Stripe Express, a mobile app for creators built on top of our core Connect primitives. The combination of Stripe Connect and Stripe Express helps these platforms support more creators, more easily.
Out of the box, Connect handles onboarding, payouts, reporting, taxes, and all the common things creator platforms need. And with Stripe Express, creators have an easy way to manage their account details, track earnings in real time, and see upcoming payouts.
Creators, of course, can be anywhere in the world. Businesses rely on Connect to send payouts to over 70 countries in local currencies. We’ll keep increasing this number, but many countries will remain out of reach, especially where banking infrastructure is underdeveloped.
Global platforms, like Twitter, need natively global solutions. But, as Sophie mentioned, payments have become more and more localized over the past several decades. Fortunately, blockchains are global by default.
So we set about solving this problem for creator platforms via crypto rails. A few weeks ago, we announced crypto payouts. Platforms and marketplaces using Connect can instantly send funds to sellers, freelancers, service providers, and content creators using USD Coin, a stable coin pegged to the value of the US dollar.
And yes, more chains and coins will follow. I had a chance to catch up recently with Esther Crawford at Twitter to talk about how they’re using crypto payouts to help creators monetize. Esther, thank you so much for having me and thanks for being the first user of Stripe crypto payouts. Can you tell me a little bit about what you do here at Twitter?
Esther Crawford (Product Lead for Creators, Twitter): My team’s job is really thinking about how we help creators build an audience, make money, and have engaging conversations with the audiences that they’ve built on Twitter. And, in order to do that, we have this vision of helping them turn followers into fans and fans into funds.
Will Gaybrick: How do creators make money on Twitter?
Esther Crawford: Ticketed Spaces is a feature for audio creators, things like Q&As, meet and greets. And the second feature is Super Follows, which is a subscription service for creators to be able to charge a monthly amount to access exclusive content.
Will Gaybrick: So how does crypto play into monetization more broadly for your creators?
Esther Crawford: Over two billion people do not have traditional banking accounts and don’t want to be paid in local currencies. And so we love that, with crypto, we can offer payouts that serve the entire population of our creators around the world—and that’s really important to us.
Will Gaybrick: I’d love to take a look.
Esther Crawford: Yeah, let’s walk through it. So let’s say I’m a Twitter creator and I have some earnings from my last Ticketed Spaces event. I can pull up my creator dashboard where I can see those earnings.
As a creator, I can then use the Stripe Express app to see my account details, track earnings in real time, manage upcoming payouts, and taxes. So let’s check out how that would look. I have my previous payments here, but let’s say I now want to get paid out in crypto.
If I navigate to my settings for Twitter, I can add a new payout method, and there, alongside getting deposits to bank accounts or debit cards, I get a new option for getting paid into a crypto wallet in USDC. Back to my dashboard.
Now, let’s assume Twitter just paid me out some money. For creators, these payments settle in just a few minutes. Here’s mine coming in. And that’s crypto payouts for Twitter creators.
We’re excited about how it will help make Twitter’s new creator features much more accessible to users around the globe and provide our creators more flexibility.
Will Gaybrick: Esther, thank you so much for having me today. And we’re so excited to be partnering with you and your creators.
Esther Crawford: It’s been great to work with Stripe on helping Twitter creators around the world get paid.
John Collison: We just talked about creators and crypto payouts for the new generation of micro-entrepreneurs. Now let’s shift to the other end of the spectrum: the biggest businesses in the world. Historically, the large companies that could stay large and successful have been the ones that continually reinvented their product offerings.
And the pandemic made reinvention an existential priority. Over the last couple of years, enterprises have leaned on Stripe to achieve that. H&M introduced virtual fittings and a marketplace for used clothing. Le Monde, the great French newspaper, is now publishing an English-language online edition.
And here at Ford, they are starting to use Stripe Connect to build direct relationships with consumers and facilitate sales between consumers and dealerships. I sat down with Ford to learn more about their digital transformation strategy. Do you want to maybe paint a picture of the macro landscape that Ford sits in?
Julien Jacquet (Chief Product Officer, Ford Credit): So Ford is really transforming itself from this traditional automaker with a build-and-sell model into an always-on relationship with a customer—a lifelong relationship.
If you ask me what our customers are dreaming about right now, they want to be able to buy in a completely different way. They want to be able to buy their vehicles online. They still want to touch them and test drive them, but they want to be able to complete all of that online.
And it’s not just about the buying process. It’s also about the experience once you’re in the vehicle. If you have to charge this Mustang for 20 minutes at the station, there’s got to be entertainment onboard the vehicle. If the vehicle is not behaving the way it should, the vehicle should detect that on its own and inform for it.
And we should drive someone to repair the vehicle at your house without bothering you during a Zoom meeting. So really, not only the vehicle that people are purchasing, but the way they’re purchasing the vehicle and what they’re doing with the vehicle is completely changing right now.
John Collison: And so Ford is effectively becoming a payment network itself between these various parties, in this example.
Julien Jacquet: A hundred percent; payments becomes a platform.
John Collison: Can you talk about Ford’s relationship with Stripe and where Stripe fits into this plan?
Julien Jacquet: We looked at all the expertise and the scale we needed, and payments is definitely not our expertise. So it became natural to think we need to develop relationships with experts in the domain and scale their knowledge on the topic.
Stripe became the premier payment relationship that we’re developing. So we’re going to put our ecommerce platform, which is where we sell vehicles on ford.com, on Stripe to process payments. It’s a transaction that happens between a dealer, a customer, and Ford.
John Collison: How did you choose Stripe?
Julien Jacquet: We really had three criteria. The first one is reliability, and making sure the system is always on. Then, we’re looking at user experience. So, really fast checkouts, really efficient checkouts, and never any problems with that process. And the last one is time to market: As a payment processor comes up with cool new use cases, like subscription and others, we want to move really fast on these use cases.
John Collison: Which Ford do you drive?
Julien Jacquet: I am about to get an F-150 Lightning.
John Collison: Oh.
Julien Jacquet: Very, very, very excited about that.
John Collison: When can I buy an F-150 Lightning?
Julien Jacquet: By the end of the year, you’ll be able to get your own.
John Collison: Okay. Online powered by Stripe?
Julien Jacquet: Yes.
John Collison: That’ll be awesome.
Lily Q Jolly (Express Product Management, Stripe): It’s not just automakers like Ford who are adapting the way they do business. There are now more than 50 category leaders processing over a billion dollars each on Stripe, using our products to reinvent their business models.
What we’re hearing from these users is that they’re adapting in seven major ways: They’re going direct-to-consumer. They’re selling via subscription services. They’re embracing on-demand delivery. They’re expanding to offer multi-sided marketplaces. They’re layering financial services into their SaaS platforms. They’re shifting revenue from strictly ad sales to direct content monetization, as well. And they’re embracing true omnichannel strategies.
Of course, Stripe has a full suite of payments and financial products to help enterprises with all seven flavors of digital transformation. You’ve already heard about Connect. Later, we’ll talk about Stripe Billing, our solution for SaaS and subscription businesses.
But first, let’s hear from Roshan about what’s new with Stripe Terminal, our in-person payments product.
Roshan Sadanani (Product Manager, Terminal, Stripe): Thanks, Lily. We built Stripe Terminal to help our users create unified payments experiences across all channels. Online-first retailers, like Warby Parker and Glossier, and marketplaces and platforms, like Mindbody, Wix, and Shopify, all use Terminal today.
There’s so much new in Terminal that we can’t cover it all. But quickly, last year, Terminal was available in two countries. We’re now in 15 countries on 4 different continents. From kickstarting a subscription in person with Terminal and Billing to software platforms providing payments hardware to their users with Terminal and Connect, our users are building unified commerce experiences by pairing Terminal with the rest of Stripe.
This year, we’ve added and improved dozens of features designed to help businesses in all industries use Terminal, from the point-to-point encryption needed for healthcare settings to tipping integrations and authorization flows for hospitality.
Just last month, we made integrations with Terminal even easier with API-only and React Native support. That means you can use Terminal no matter what your tech stack looks like. We’re also excited to share several updates on our hardware roadmap.
Earlier this year, Apple chose Stripe as the first partner to support Apple Tap to Pay, which lets businesses accept payments using just an iPhone and no extra hardware. But we know that purpose-built payments hardware isn’t going anywhere. So, earlier this year, we acquired BBPOS, one of the world’s leading payments hardware manufacturers.
Last year, we introduced our first Stripe-designed card reader, the M2. Based on demand from our users, we’re adding a new form factor to the lineup. Today, I’m thrilled to preview the second Stripe-designed reader coming later this year. It’s a smart reader, designed to help businesses support their customers wherever they are—in line, at the table, or in the field.
Businesses will be able to accept payments from a single device running on Terminal in any location. And the experience isn’t just limited to payments. Businesses can use the reader to run custom Android apps. Let’s look at an example.
Roastery is a platform that makes software for independent coffee shops and roasters. With Terminal, Roastery’s coffee shop users can run order management directly on the card reader. It looks like we have a new curbside pickup! As a barista, I can get a notification and check the status of pending curbside orders. When my customer arrives, I can take the reader outside to complete the sale. They can tip and pay using that same reader.
And we’re done! Order management, scheduling, loyalty program set up—and whatever else you can dream up. The new reader will let you build exactly what your customers need. We’re starting with a beta this year, and we’ll share much more about custom apps in 2023. Time for a delivery! Here you go, here’s your coffee.
Lili Q Jolly: Thanks so much, Roshan. I’m going to be honest with you, I think you should stick with payments. A few weeks ago, Forrester once again recognized Stripe as a leader in their Wave report, giving us top marks on strategic vision and describing Stripe as a best-fit for enterprises “intent on innovating on their business model.”
When you’re selecting a payments partner, their long-term vision and ability to support innovation matter. And so does performance. When you’re processing billions of dollars a year, every basis point counts.
Earlier, Sophie mentioned some of the UI enhancements we’ve made to the checkout flow to boost conversion. Behind the scenes, we also use machine learning to optimize everything, from when to retry a failed payment to how to store credentials. We know how much this matters, because as many as a third of falsely declined customers never come back.
One way we’re improving auth rates is with Network Tokens, a new, far more secure replacement for PANs, the numbers printed on the front of your credit card. Each card’s network token is unique to a business, so network tokens can’t be used across businesses.
So even if your customer forgets to update an expired card, like we see here in the customer portal, Network Tokens pull the information straight from banks and card networks, so recurring payments still go through—and fast.
Stripe’s implementation of Network Tokens is built to reduce latency, improving your customer experience and your authorization rates at the same time. The features we’re building to improve auth rates add up to millions of dollars of extra revenue for our users.
And while we’ve put a lot of effort into improving auth rates, we recognize they don’t get you far if your underlying financial infrastructure is not secure and reliable. For more on that, here’s Adam, our security lead.
Adam O’Donnell (Deputy CISO, Stripe): When it comes to keeping money safe, it used to be enough to just have a really thick vault. We’ve worked to build that for Stripe by implementing a secure ephemeral architecture with our own native controls.
This allows for agile security operations and ensures that connections to data stores and network resources are mediated by our own libraries. But today’s criminals don’t always go straight for the vault. They find a company’s weakest links, like its customer service partners and individual employees, and attack their hardware with malware and their work accounts through spear phishing. Without a carefully considered and rigorously constructed environment, it’s hard to prevent employees from being compromised.
That’s why everyone at Stripe, including support staff, works in a full zero trust environment. We all use strong cryptographic tokens and restricted hardware, with access guarded by minimized permission groups, for which each individual request is separately authorized. All routine customer support work is conducted under technical controls that prevent sensitive account access without customer consent or senior signoff. We’ve also enlisted outside help through our security bug bounty program.
Now let’s turn our attention to reliability. Our teams have built elastically scalable infrastructure that can readily support growth spurts. Because even the most optimized payments infrastructure is worthless if it’s not available when you need it. Stripe now handles more than one billion API requests every day, with 99.999% uptime.
During last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we handled 99.9998% of API requests successfully. That’s just 1.2 seconds of unavailability over that entire week. Amazing. Now, let’s hear how important reliability is to Mountain Warehouse, the global outdoor retailer.
Ed Whatmore (Chief Digital Officer, Mountain Warehouse): My name is Ed Whatmore, and I’m the chief digital officer at Mountain Warehouse. Mountain Warehouse is a global business, and we have over 350 stores around the world, supported by a rapidly growing ecommerce business.
Our mission at Mountain Warehouse is to help everyone enjoy the great outdoors. In the lead up to Black Friday, we did unfortunately experience a few hours of downtime with a previous provider. As you can well imagine, Black Friday can be a really stressful, high-pressure period for us—and there’s a lot riding on the sales in that period.
So, to have a stable platform with a high rate of uptime without any business interruption is really key for us. Now, we had already integrated with Stripe, so fortunately we were able to make a switch to push all of our traffic through the platform. If we hadn’t made the switch, we believe we’d have lost somewhere in the region of multiple tens of thousands of pounds.
So, now that we’re with Stripe, we definitely don’t have to worry about reliability. It’s one of the things where we can rest easy, knowing that our platform is going to have a 99.99% uptime.
John Collison: We’ve talked about how payments are getting harder and about how enterprises are using Stripe. But what we haven’t touched on yet is one of the most fundamental, exciting trends in our industry—the explosive growth in fintech. When we started Stripe over a decade ago, the internet was a very different place.
Nobody was doing any TikTok dances, and the word “fintech” wasn’t even a thing. What’s changed? Well, actually, what hasn’t changed? I’m still not doing any TikTok dances. And small businesses around the world still are underserved by traditional banks.
Even today, 55% of businesses have to visit a local branch in-person, and a quarter have to send a fax in order to open a bank account. A fax! I mean, come on, it’s 2022!
So, how should financial services work for modern businesses? We think it’s really important they be integrated; they should be intelligently tied to a business’s existing revenue and operations. And they should be internet-first.
Fintech products should be designed from the ground up for internet native usage. They should be built to scale internationally, and getting a loan should just be as easy as booking a flight. That’s why we’re building our suite of banking-as-a-service (BaaS) products.
Our BaaS APIs allow any fintech company to provide modern, accessible financial services to their users. Ramp, based here in New York, is a great example of this. They’re using our BaaS APIs to solve major pain points for finance teams.
Eric Glyman (CEO and Co-founder, Ramp): Ramp is a finance automation platform. Our mission is to help companies grow into better, more profitable versions of themselves. We fundamentally design financial software with the intent of helping businesses, from startups to small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, spend less.
Today, we offer the fastest-growing corporate card in America, with integrated expense management, bill payments, accounting automations, automated savings, and more. We help the average company cut their expenses by 3.5% per year and speed up their month-end closing process by eight days each month.
We are proud to be one of the largest customers on the Stripe Issuing platform. We use it to power billions of dollars of purchases each year. When we use Issuing, we can write code, deploy it, and, within seconds, upgrade and improve the experience for hundreds of thousands of users.
The sophistication of Stripe’s issuing platform has enabled us to move fast and unlock the ability to build cutting edge products. We offer the first-of-its-kind ability to one-click approve or block merchants on cards.
And, with Stripe’s platform, we’re able to ship custom-printed, high-quality metal cards with short delivery timelines to over 100 countries all around the world. Just as Stripe is building software that helps developers be higher performing, write better code, and build better platforms, we are extending that to finance teams and financial software.
That’s why we’re excited to deepen our partnership with Stripe.
Tanya Khakbaz (Head of Product Marketing, Stripe): I love those beautiful cards but, to be honest, Ramp, you had me at “spend less.” But seriously, Ramp is a great example of modern fintech. And just like kale, carbon removal, and Tom Cruise, fintech is showing up in new and sometimes unexpected ways.
There are thousands of platforms building tailored software for every kind of business imaginable—from pizzerias to pet hotels. These software platforms are ushering in the fintech revolution. They’re using Stripe to embed financial services directly in their products.
And many mature software platforms are now earning more revenue from fintech services than from subscription fees. Take Lightspeed. They build software for restaurants and retailers.
And, with the Stripe Capital API, they’re offering loans to their users right in the Lightspeed dashboard. This is a win for restaurants, who can use the loan to invest in growth. And it’s a win for Lightspeed, who generates a new revenue stream without taking on all the compliance, risk, or financing work needed to build their own lending program.
But there may be no better example of a software platform embedding financial services than Shopify. Since they launched Shopify Balance on Stripe in January, over 100,000 small businesses have opened accounts. Let’s hear from their VP of Merchant Services, Kaz.
Kaz Nejatian (Vice President, Merchant Services, Shopify): We think it’s our job at Shopify to make the world a better place for small businesses. Shopify Balance is a suite of money management products that helps businesses start, run, and grow their business.
It’s what we want merchants to think about when the most important part of business, i.e., making money, comes to their mind. Their money leaves their store and goes to the account that they trust. That arrives fast. That isn’t confusing, that isn’t unfair, that isn’t full of hidden fees.
Our merchants overwhelmingly love Balance and love the fact that it’s embedded right within Shopify. You want to fulfill an order? You go to Shopify. You want to buy marketing? You go to Shopify. You want to talk to a customer? You go to Shopify. You want to move money? You go to Shopify.
The reason we partnered with Stripe was to create a more fair, more even playing field for our merchants. And what Stripe has enabled us to do is to focus on our merchants rather than our money movement. We at Shopify have been doing this with Stripe for almost a decade.
And we trust Stripe’s DNA to always do the right thing for its customers. And we don’t have to worry about getting nickeled or dimed. We don’t have to worry about APIs crapping out. We don’t have to worry about it being slow. And we don’t have to worry about a bunch of bean counters being in charge of our software.
When you think of building banking products, you think of money. But if you’re good at building software, you think of APIs. You think about the architecture. You think about speed and resilience. And that’s the most important thing about building good software. It’s not really about money. It’s about the experiences that you can build on top of money.
And that’s what Stripe is so goddamn good at, about making the complexity of money go away, about being resilient, about having uptime, about having beautiful APIs. Thank you, cheers.
Tanya Khakbaz: Shopify built a fantastic suite of ecommerce products for businesses of all sizes. They started working with us when they were quite a bit smaller, and now they’re a successful company with thousands of engineers.
But, what if you don’t have a ton of engineers? Well, Stripe is exploring new ways to make embedded finance much more accessible. A.k.a., to help us help you. Let’s take a sneak peek with Felix. Felix, show me the money!
Felix Fung (Software Engineer, Stripe): Thanks, Tanya. I had no idea how much you loved Jerry Maguire. As Tanya mentioned, we’re building no-code solutions to enable any software platform to add fintech revenue streams. That’s with minimal eng work, and to help users take frustration out of their finances.
Did you know that 37% of small businesses earn their first dollar before they have a business bank account? And 62% have unmet financing needs over the course of their first year. There’s a clear opportunity to help. So imagine you’re Homebox, a fictional software platform for home service pros, like landscapers or plumbers.
The platform already helps with scheduling, billing, and payments. But now they want to offer more financial services to their users. Rather than divert scarce engineering resources, they can quickly start offering financial accounts, payment cards, and lending with no code. Let’s start with cash management accounts.
With just a few clicks, Homebox can configure and activate Treasury and Issuing for their customers, on top of their existing Stripe integration. Check out how one Homebox user, City Landscaping, can set up a business account without leaving the platform.
City Landscaping is just getting started. They don’t have a business bank account yet. So, instead of asking them for routing numbers they don’t have, Homebox offers to create a new business account in the signup flow, with the details already provided.
And, just like that, a single, streamlined KYC process has enabled City Landscaping to process payments and create a cash management account, all without a fax! From here, City Landscaping can instantly create a virtual payment card and request a branded physical card delivered right to their door. Upload a logo, pick your card color, and ship.
It’s that easy. From unbanked to custom business spend cards, faster than it takes to start a lawn mower. Put it all together, and what do we see? City Landscaping has fast access to every dollar they earn through Homebox and an integrated spend experience for all of their bills.
Now, let’s look at how Homebox can easily enable lending for their users. Homebox pros are already processing payments on Stripe, allowing Stripe Capital to automatically pre-qualify pros for loan offers.
And Homebox can set up co-branding and then activate Capital all in the dashboard, no engineering required. And we’re off! Pre-qualified pros have just been sent loan offers. So, let’s see the customer experience for City Landscaping.
Stripe delivers a Homebox-branded loan offer email, directly to their inbox. With a few clicks, City Landscaping can review their offer and select the amount that’s right for them. Notice what’s going on here: Because this business is already running on Stripe, we’re not starting from scratch. We’re already familiar with them and their cash flows. We eliminate the paperwork of a traditional loan and give them a customized application with pre-populated business and personal details. From an offer email in their inbox to financing in their account.
The entire process can take less than a day. And Stripe does the heavy lifting, from bank partnerships to risk to back-end compliance—even sourcing the funding. So, with no engineering, a software platform has become a fintech, adding new revenue streams while helping its customers manage money and grow faster. In fact, businesses that accept a Stripe Capital offer grow 114% faster than their peers!
And when Homebox is ready to invest their engineering resources, they can customize to their heart’s content with Stripe’s banking-as-a-service APIs. Pretty cool, don’t you think, John?
John Collison: Felix, I’d say that’s as cool as it gets in financial infrastructure. So, not very cool at all, but super useful. We’ve talked about payments and how they’re highly strategic and rapidly fragmenting. And we’ve talked about the business model innovations of adaptive enterprises and fintech, everywhere.
These trends are great news for the internet economy but a challenge for finance and business operations teams. The rate limiter for so many new opportunities isn’t the idea for a great product. It’s the mundane foundations.
Can we bill for this? Can we get international operations off the ground? Can we expand when we’re still not closing our books on time? It’s never just about having the idea for a great product; it’s about being able to operate it.
And that’s why we’re building a modern operating system for finance. And like any good OS, we’re focused on nailing the basics, with three core principles in mind: First, to scale with your business, from your first dollar to your billionth dollar. Secondly, to adapt as inevitable changes arise, like new pricing or new product lines coming along. And third, to automate manual toil by driving data integrity.
One company that’s using Stripe’s finance OS to great effect is Figma.
Will Gaybrick: So Praveer, tell me a bit about Figma and what you offer to your users.
Praveer Melwani (Head of Business Operations and Finance, Figma): Yeah, so Figma is a collaborative design tool aimed at helping product teams build products together. Our vision is to make design accessible to all, and our mission is to help teams collaborate visually.
Will Gaybrick: And are there any sort of business initiatives or objectives that Stripe has played a key role in helping to enable?
Praveer Melwani: Yeah, so, when I joined Figma about 5 years ago, we were about 25 people. I was the only person at the time who was working on the finance and accounting side. And Stripe enabled me: Alongside the Stripe Dashboard, me and a spreadsheet are what had me going.
And, from there, we were able to build and scale efficiently. I mean, Stripe has been the tool that has enabled us to grow and reach our very-international customer base today and add new product and new role types over time, too.
Will Gaybrick: So, Praveer, only 30 people across all of biz ops and finance. What has enabled you guys to stay so lean and efficient?
Praveer Melwani: Our team over there is, I think, roughly three or four people today, and what they’re able to leverage is the power of Stripe to automate things like collections and invoicing, so that they can spend their time and attention on higher-value activities.
Will Gaybrick: So, obviously Stripe’s being used by your developers, but also a lot by biz ops and finance. What makes it the right tool for Figma across the board?
Praveer Melwani: So, similar to Figma, it’s fairly flexible. We’re powering a whole bunch of our business applications using the data that we’re receiving from Stripe. We’re able to quickly and iteratively add new product and new role types and new plan types and see our product evolve over the number of years.
Will Gaybrick: Praveer, thank you so much for this. It’s been great to learn more about Figma.
Praveer Melwani: Of course.
Will Gaybrick: Figma is a great example of how to get the most out of our OS for finance. Let’s take a whirlwind tour through some of its newest and most-powerful features. With Stripe Invoicing, you can start invoicing your customers just seconds after you sign up, using no-code hosted invoices.
Stripe automates everything from reconciliation to generating and sending PDFs and even calculating and collecting taxes. All this adds up to faster payments. Seventy percent of Stripe invoices get paid within 24 hours.
And that’s lightspeed compared with the industry average of 30 days. Now, onto Stripe Billing, which helps you implement recurring revenue business models, with flexible APIs and powerful hosted surfaces.
With Billing’s customer portal, you can give your end customers an easy way to update payment information, download invoices, or change plan—all in a brandable, pre-built UI. If a payment fails, our smart retry tools use machine learning powered by Stripe’s vast global network to try again at the optimal time.
Last year, Billing helped businesses recover 38% of failed transactions. That’s more revenue straight to your bottom line. And Billing’s new Salesforce connector allows your reps to work directly in Salesforce while automatically creating and updating subscriptions in Stripe.
So, that’s Billing. Stripe Tax simplifies sales tax and VAT collection globally. It works right out of the box with Stripe-hosted surfaces like Invoicing, Checkout, and Payment Links. And it’s an easy add-on to Stripe Subscriptions and the Payment Element. In the Dashboard, we’ll show you where you have tax obligations, based on tax nexus rules and variable volume thresholds.
Then with just one line of code, Stripe Tax will automatically calculate and collect sales tax, based on highly localized and often-inscrutable regulations. We also provide auto-generated tax reports to help you with filing in states and countries where you’re collecting tax.
Next, Revenue Recognition. Rev Rec gives you a real-time view of your revenue, whether you’re just getting started, or you’re a public company complying with rules like ASC 606 and IFRS 15. It’s highly customizable, allowing you to set rules for your business and import data from outside of Stripe.
We are adding a ton to Revenue Recognition, including a Contracts API to model contractual agreements in Stripe, as well as automated support for order fulfillment and bundled pricing. We’ve heard over and over again that revenue and cash are the most important vectors for financial analysis.
While Rev Rec gives you crystal clarity into your revenue pipeline, businesses also need tools to track their cash. So last week, we launched Stripe Data Pipeline to help you analyze your Stripe data directly in your data warehouse.
Today, we support industry-leading warehouses like Snowflake and Amazon Redshift. No more precious engineering resources building and operating ETL pipelines for the gobs of data you’re generating via Stripe. Just select your data warehouse, connect your account, and you’re done.
Your Stripe data will land in your data warehouse every day, so you can do the analysis you need without burdening your engineers. So, that’s a quick spin through Stripe’s finance OS: a modern operating system for revenue, cash, and their adjacencies.
John Collison: Okay, so we just heard about core revenue management capabilities like invoicing, subscription billing, and handling tax. Even if you’re not using Stripe, these are the things you should want running like clockwork.
But what about everything else? It’s like any operating system: Core functionality needs to work perfectly out of the box, but the breadth of functionality of the platform is also really important. Having an app to solve every use case.
For things like customer messaging, you might want to use something like Intercom. For contracts, DocuSign. Or you might just want to build your own tooling. But often these workflows are highly integrated.
So, for years, our users have been asking us to allow the tools of their choice to interoperate with Stripe. If you’re one of those people who emailed us or called us or tweeted at us or sent us your flock of carrier pigeons, I’ve got good news for you.
First off, we’re finally sending all your pigeons back. And, secondly, we’re thrilled to launch today Stripe Apps and the Stripe App Marketplace, where you can find or build best-of-breed tools that work naturally with Stripe. Leslie, take it away.
Leslie Griffin Robertson (Product and Developer Experience Lead, Stripe): Thanks, John. As John said, today we’re launching Stripe Apps—a brand new way for developers to integrate Stripe with the critical tools that you use to run your business.
For the first time, we’re opening up the Stripe Dashboard so that apps can be built directly into Stripe. This means you’ll be able to customize Stripe in ways that have never been possible before. And, of course, apps can leverage the full power of the Stripe API.
We’re launching today with more than 35 apps in the Stripe App Marketplace, including Xero, Mailchimp, DocuSign, Intercom, Dropbox, and more. So now, let’s take a look at how apps work, starting with Intercom. I’d like to introduce you all to Ali Biggs, Intercom’s head of product marketing.
Ali Biggs (Head of Product Marketing, Intercom): Hi, Leslie.
Leslie Griffin Robertson: Hey, Ali.
Ali Biggs: Really glad to be here.
Leslie Griffin Robertson: Thanks for coming. Let’s see what the Intercom app can do.
Ali Biggs: Absolutely. Many Intercom users are also Stripe users, so we want to give them a truly integrated experience. One of the most important things we wanted to build was shared context across our platforms.
Like here. You get a full picture of support history right within the customer details page in Stripe. And you can jump straight to the customer’s profile in Intercom without having to open a new tab to look up the customer.
On top of providing context and deep linking, the Intercom app also streamlines common workflows, like issuing a refund without having to hop back and forth between Stripe and Intercom. And, while we’re at it, let’s make sure she’s notified. And that’s it.
Leslie Griffin Robertson: That’s super convenient, and it’ll save our users so much time. Thank you, Ali!
Ali Biggs: Absolutely! Thanks for having me.
Leslie Griffin Robertson: Thanks for coming! The Intercom app you just saw appears in the Stripe Dashboard, but apps can also integrate Stripe into their own products.
For example, here’s the ProfitWell app, where you can see Stripe data powering their dashboards, giving a full picture of the customer. Or another great example: DocuSign. The new app connects DocuSign and Stripe, streamlines workflows, and replaces tracking in spreadsheets.
Looking here in the Stripe Dashboard, you can see each payment and its associated e-signature agreements—or what DocuSign calls an “envelope.” But, not just that. You can even see the status of each envelope and, if it’s signed, the timestamp of the signature.
And if you want to create and send a new DocuSign agreement, you can do that right from the app too. Early feedback from beta users of the app has been quite positive: It helps them close contracts and get paid faster. So, with Stripe Apps, you can simplify operations and share context across your business tools.
As a developer, you can build an app two ways: one, an app for just your own team to use. Or two, you can publish an app to the new Stripe App Marketplace, where any Stripe user can discover and install your app—like the Intercom app that Ali just showed us.
We’ve also optimized the developer experience for Stripe Apps, making it as easy as possible for you to get started. This includes things like a set of reusable UI components for building a beautiful app that feels native to Stripe. Granular data permissioning, so you can request only the information your app needs. And Figma toolkits for rapid design and faster UI prototyping. In short, it’s everything you’d expect from a company whose original name, on our incorporation paperwork, was “/dev/finance.”
If you want to learn more, check out the Developer breakout session. We’ll show you how to build an app to simplify work for your team or for the millions of businesses that use Stripe. We’re so excited to partner with developers to launch Stripe Apps today. Back to you, John.
John Collison: I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been this excited to purchase apps since ordering the Dynamite Shrimp at the Cheesecake Factory.
So, what did we cover today? The biggest trends happening in the internet economy, and how Stripe can help you get the best out of them. When we started, Stripe was purely a payments company. But, today, we have a whole suite of global payment solutions—including Radar, Terminal, and many of the optimizations Sophie highlighted.
For finance teams looking to automate their operations, we offer our finance OS, revenue and financial management tools that include Billing, Invoicing, Tax, Revenue Recognition, and much more. For fintechs and SaaS companies, we have our banking-as-a-service products, like Issuing, Capital, and Treasury. And, for marketplaces and platforms facilitating multi-party payments—relevant to everyone from Twitter to Shopify to Ford—we have Stripe Connect, which now includes crypto payouts.
And of course, as of today, we also have the Stripe Apps Marketplace, allowing you to find third-party tools, or build your own, that seamlessly integrate with Stripe. What all this adds up to is a complete financial infrastructure platform for businesses of all sizes, all around the world. Patrick, back to you.
Patrick Collison: Thanks, John. Before we wrap up, I want to thank you all for joining us today. I really mean that: Our success is entirely contingent on yours. We spent the last 45 minutes, or a bit less if you’re one of the 2x people, telling you about improvements we’ve been making to Stripe. But Sessions is really about hearing from you all about what else still needs improving.
Last November, I tweeted asking for your requests of Stripe, and I got well over 1,000 responses—some of which we’ve already implemented, and some of which we’re still working on. So, please keep them coming and take this opportunity to tell us about how we can serve you better. Nothing is too big or too small.
And all of Stripe, myself and John included, look forward to hearing from you. If you have time, consider dropping into some of the breakout talks and workshops. We’ll be discussing a range of topics in more detail, including Stripe Apps, banking-as-a-service, and some of what we’re doing in carbon removal.
And if you’ve never been to Ireland, I really do recommend visiting at some point. In addition to the tea and the music and the countryside and the excellent woolen socks, Ireland offers some very thought-provoking attractions for anyone who believes in the imperative of broad-based prosperity, technological progress, and society-wide economic advancement.