Stripe Crosses Atlantic With European Expansion
San Francisco-based online payment service Stripe has seen no shortage of success in the United States. Since its stealth launch in 2011, it has grown its merchant base to include notable names like Vice, Reddit and New York's Museum of Modern Art, passed the $1 million-a-day processing mark and achieved a $1 billion valuation.
On August 15, Stripe took another step toward major processor status when it announced its launch in Great Britain. The United Kingdom is the company's second international market, and its first European market. Stripe expanded to Canada in 2012.
“Prior to Stripe, merchants had to work with various third parties, including merchant banks, gateways, compliance and recurring payments services, just to begin accepting payments online,” Stripe told PYMNTS.com. “By implementing Stripe’s technology, businesses only ever need to work with Stripe, and they're never caught between the hassles of third parties.”
While the move marks a major milestone for the emerging card processor, Stripe will have competition in the new space from heavyweights like WorldPay and SecureTrading. In a sign that the company recognizes this challenge, a representative told TechCrunch it is planning to triple its U.K. presence by the year's end.
Stripe has been beta testing its services in the United Kingdom for a few months, and revealed it partnered with Steer, Teddle, Thread and Virgin Pure to ensure a smooth launch. Stripe told PYMNTS.com that it's also planning on expanding to Australia, and that it's in beta in Belgium, Ireland, France and The Netherlands as well.
"We've worked hard not to compromise with this expansion. U.K. users get the same instant activation that we provide in the [United States] and Canada. We support all major card types, including American Express. You retain complete control over your payment experience. And, as ever, it’s all covered by simple, flat pricing," the company wrote in a blog post on August 15.
While much will be unchanged, there will be some notable differences between the company's U.S. and U.K. services. Stripe said it will support multiple currencies in the United Kingdom, including U.S. dollars, British pounds and Euros, and handle conversions between currencies on behalf of clients. This means U.K. online merchants will be able to show potential customers pricing in their domestic currency.
TechCrunch noted that its pricing will be cheaper in the United Kingdom, costing merchants 2.4 percent + £0.20 per transaction + VAT per transaction. The processor's U.S. pricing is 2.9 percent + $0.30 per transaction.
Bigcommerce, Shopify, Squarespace and Wave are among the companies that have updated their U.K. eCommerce sites to include the new features.