Modernizing Payments Capabilities with Stripe
A payment platform is much more than successfully accepting a customer transaction on a website. Finding the right solution is complex due to changing regulations, increased consumer expectations for easy, personalized buying experiences, as well as the need to scale, localize and consolidate payment transactions for customers. To solve the challenges of modern payment processing means:
- Adopting a technology solution that can meet your immediate payment flow needs and allow you to pivot (e.g., move from pay ins to subscriptions or other payment flows);
- Gaining the ability to accept a wider range of payment methods;
- Leveraging technology that is responsive to regulatory changes and industry innovation;
- Using technology that supports globalization.
The Q3 2020 Forrester WaveTM rated Stripe at the very top among the leading merchant payment providers. There are good reasons for this from my perspective as a consultant implementing Stripe solutions, but first let’s address the basics: what Stripe is and what it does.
What Is Stripe?
Stripe is a technology company that builds economic infrastructure for the internet. That’s a simple statement, but the complexity behind it is staggering. Stripe makes accepting or making payments online intuitive and seamless, allows modern commerce to accelerate their ability to realize income, protect valuable data, and interact with 3rd party providers.
What Does Stripe Offer?
Modern Commerce Experience
Realizing the modern commerce experience extends from physical stores to digital-only platforms, Stripe includes customer and user experience components (many of which are pre-built) that companies can use as part of Stripe to enhance their own payments, checkout, billing and invoicing experience for their customers or providers. Stripe also makes it easy for companies to integrate with other tools — such as sales platforms, enterprise resource planning, accounting and finance software — to run their business and manage their revenue operations effectively and efficiently.
The First Online Payment
Payments and currencies have been around for hundreds of years, but the first online payment is believed to have been made in 1994. Despite how ubiquitous the internet and smartphones have become globally, about 3 percent of global commerce happens online today. 90% of U.S. adults have bought from businesses using Stripe. If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve used Stripe and might not even have known it.
Over 200 Payment Methods Worldwide
There are over 200 payment methods worldwide and 180 currencies recognized by the United Nations. Stripe supports 135 currencies and payment methods. Each payment method and currency can have its own nuances such as different settlement dates, different numbering schemes, different network protocols and behavior. Businesses may each have their own ways of making or receiving and processing payments.
Key Transaction Components
Perhaps the most critical components on top of those are data privacy, security, and protecting personal and financial information. For any company to build, maintain and manage all those parts of the process to service their customers and take payments can take significant financial and human capital. For small and medium-sized businesses in particular, this can be a significant barrier to competing with digitally-inclined merchants and ecommerce businesses.
Intuitive Payment Platform
Stripe has taken all that complexity and built a platform that makes it manageable for anyone to use payment methods and networks around the world in an intuitive interface, including Stripe Elements (a suite of User Interface building blocks that are customizable to a business' branding) and Stripe Payment Element (an embeddable UI component that enables "acceptables" of 18+ payment methods with a single integration).
Protecting Sensitive Data
To ensure secure transactions and protection of sensitive data, Stripe has built easy-to-use and powerful tools like the Stripe.js library to tokenize customer information, collect sensitive payment details using customizable Stripe Elements, and accept payments. Businesses that would otherwise be subject to rigorous (and potentially costly) compliance considerations (PCI in particular) can use Stripe for securely handling and processing data. This allows businesses to focus on their core business and on serving their customers.
With the prevalence of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform model companies, the additional pieces of the puzzle like paying out service providers and other third-party interactions add additional complexity. Stripe Connect is built specifically with platforms and online marketplaces in mind to take payments and to handle the risk and compliance tasks like Know Your Customer (KYC) rules.
Getting the Highest Value from Stripe
With the vast functionality Stripe offers, there can be a lot to think about in implementing Stripe. While Stripe offers robust documentation and open APIs, having an expert functional and technical implementation partner can accelerate the time to value for Stripe users and de-risk an implementation and launch. Myers-Holum, Inc. (MHI) is a trusted, certified Stripe partner.
We understand how truly visionary and robust Stripe is, and we’re obsessed with helping Stripe users realize their business goals through using Stripe Payments, Billing and Invoicing, Connect for platforms and marketplaces, and many other functions like Radar for fraud monitoring and prevention, Sigma for detailed reporting, and Stripe Rev Rec for accounting and reporting of revenues for subscription-based ASC 606 compliance. Contact us to find out how we can help you with your next project.