Over the past couple of years, Stripe has quickly become one of the largest and most successful payment companies that the world has ever seen. Its scale and impact across the globe and all industries have made it a shining example of what FinTech innovation can look like when it’s done well.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the key reasons that are at the foundation of Stripe’s success thus far.
Prior to Stripe coming around, accepting payments online was a very complex affair. You had to deal with a merchant services company, integrate their various tools and add-ons, disrupt the existing customer journey on your site – and then hope that everything worked as advertised. It was an unnecessarily complicated process that got in the way of a seamless experience for both the customer and the company receiving the payment.
Stripe bucked this trend and built a product that removes the friction and makes it incredibly easy to receive payments in any circumstance. With just a few lines of code, Stripe can fit directly into the existing systems, website, and marketing collateral of their clients delivering all the features they need without being intrusive. This is a major reason why they have dominated the market and that advantage still compounds today.
Every company claims that they value customer service because it’s one of those business cliches that you have to talk about – but so few actually back up their words with real action. This is where Stripe stands apart from its competitors because they really do invest in customer service. They want to be seen as business partners, rather than merely a software vendor and that shows in the way that they interact with clients.
They are very proactive with their support and have gone a long way to simplifying the process for their clients so that they can get results fast. But even if things go wrong, they have the technology and personnel in place to help customers fix things as efficiently as possible. It should be obvious, but Stripe is one of the few companies that spend disproportionate resources on this component and it shows.
The vast majority of payment gateways see the checkout process as an opportunity to brand themselves and get their name in front of customers – because it’s a valuable way to attract new clients. However, this gets in the middle of the transaction between the vendor and the end customer which can make it a frustrating experience for both parties – and doesn’t add any value to the vast majority of buyers.
Stripe did away with that and made a strategic decision that they would stay out of the way and remain completely out of the picture. When you pay using a Stripe gateway, you probably won’t even know it – and that decision is sub-optimal from a branding and customer acquisition perspective. But what it does do is improve the overall experience for the buyer and the vendor – which makes a big difference in the product’s perception. Stripe stood out by doing this and has garnered tremendous respect and support as a result.
Because Stripe was designed to be integrated into any business workflow, they built it from the ground up to be accessible via code in as wide a berth of applications as possible. This meant that they had to create an API that could deliver the key functionality of a payment processor in a way that could be configured and adapted for as many use cases as they could.
Stripe’s API has since become a bastion of excellence in the payments industry – providing a level of customization and technical lock-in that cannot be underestimated. For large clients who want a completely custom payments experience – the Stripe API is the best way to go. There’s nothing else that comes close. And that’s another reason why Stripe has become the market leader not just for small and medium businesses, but for large enterprises too.
The financial services industry is one of the most highly regulated industries in the world – and for good reason. Any company dealing with financial transactions and sensitive personal data is responsible for maintaining robust security across their entire process. Stripe has led the way in this regard with industry-leading SSL protection and PCI-compliant security across all of its products. By utilizing the best encryption out there, Stripe demonstrates that it cares about the data it has and does everything it can to protect it.
Having this level of comfort makes a customer much more likely to trust their payment processor – and it’s another reason that Stripe has become such a global behemoth.
Those are just a few of the reasons why Stripe has been so successful as a company. They continue to innovate on the product and they are always taking steps to make their offering more efficient, more user-friendly, and more customer-focused than ever before. The way they operate is a business case study waiting to be written and there’s a lot to learn for all of us.
The information in this article is well-researched and factual. Still, it contains opinions also, and IT IS NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE and should not be interpreted as such, do not make any financial decisions based on the information in this article; we are not financial advisors. We are journalists. You should always consult with a professional before making any investment decisions.
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