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How Stripe is helping fuel the mobile commerce boom

In mobile commerce’s ongoing struggle to convert the flow of dedicated mobile users into actual paying customers, the most critical – and frustrating – point in the process is the point of sale (POS). If an in-app purchase, mobile commerce website, or mobile ad succeeds in getting a user and their entire shopping cart to checkout, a business owner’s (or business developer’s) worst nightmare applications) is to lose that sale to a Point of Sale Process.

Mobile payment platform startup Stripe wants this process to be simple. Co-founded in 2010 by brothers John and Patrick Collison (from Y Combiner seed accelerator), Stripe has since built its tech layer to carve a specific niche in the mobile commerce space, while racking up six rounds of funding totaling $ 280 million. Via Stripe Checkout, Stripe Connect and the new version Striped relay, the company aims to bridge the gap in applications and mobile platforms where conversions slip through the cracks, turning a tedious analog process into a seamless and adaptable infrastructure to facilitate online commerce.

During panel titled “Contextual Commerce and the Future of Buy Buttons” at the inaugural TAP conference earlier this month, Cristina Cordova, Business Development Manager at Stripe, spoke about the paradigm shift in online sales. She explained how consumers use these “buy buttons” as points of contact to make purchases in the native app or often on the social network they’re already in. In an interview with PCMag, Cordova expanded on this concept and how it relates to Stripe Relay. .

“The consumer discovery point is moving quickly from Main Street to apps on their mobile phones,” Cordova said. “But until now, merchants have had no way of listing and selling products on an app network, social feeds, or even ads. Stripe Relay is a piece of Internet infrastructure that allows merchants to download products from one location and list and sell them directly upon discovery. “

Most users only spend time in a handful of apps and don’t have a lot of business apps like the Amazon app downloaded to their devices. The applications they have are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Stripe Relay is designed to allow users to complete transactions as quickly as possible in a native app experience and without re-entering payment information.

Stripe Relay launched in September with Twitter, the ShopStyle fashion commerce app, and the Spring shopping app as launch partners. Stripe is also partnering with retailers such as Adidas, Best Buy, PacSun, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Warby Parker on Stripe Relay’s “buy buttons” as well as the inMobi mobile advertising network to integrate Stripe Relay into Stripe Relay. native mobile ads.

“There is no reason why advertisements cannot provide the same near instantaneous purchasing power as mobile apps,” Cordova said. “[InMobi serves] over six billion ad requests per day, across more than 30,000 apps on over one billion mobile devices. Every app developer who integrates with InMobi can now instantly activate Relay purchases right in their app rather than redirecting people to mobile sites. “

Another Stripe Relay launch partner is enterprise software company SAP, which now enables integration of Stripe Relay with a company’s existing asset or inventory management systems. Retailers can manually download product listings through the Stripe dashboard or download products programmatically in bulk using the Stripe Relay application programming interface (API) to aggregate offering and enable plug-and integrations. -play on multiple applications.

For independent app developers trying to Monetize at the scale of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Stripe Relay allows you to insert a native “buy button” in your application, connected directly to the inventory of retailers; this allows you to keep users in your app throughout the transaction.

“Relay was born from an issue that marketers around the world are all too familiar with: how to improve sales and conversions as consumers spend more time in mobile apps than ever before,” Cordova said. “Although 60% of browsing is done on mobile devices, only 15% of online purchases are made on mobile devices. [according to comScore]. By providing a more natural shopping experience for customers, Relay reduces the sales funnel and improves mobile conversions. Consumers can now purchase a product as soon as they see it, with a few clicks rather than multiple screens. “

Stripe and the evolution of POS
Stripe was born on the internet and in the age of smartphones, and its very existence is made possible by the new business model that technology has created. The Internet and smartphones form a coordinating force that aggregates supply and links it to individual demand.

During the app boom in the late 2000s, newly launched start-ups and independent app developers looking to get paid had to physically visit a bank and complete paperwork for a merchant account, while also dealing with logistical issues such as PCI compliance and reseller agreements. The initial idea behind Stripe and its flagship product Striped case was to create a technological layer to deal with this financial bother for businesses, as well as to set up a payment infrastructure with different method options in hours or days rather than weeks or months.

“Before Stripe, you really had two options for accepting payments online,” Cordova said. “First, you could work within the traditional limits to set up a merchant account and gateway, which was unnecessarily slow and cumbersome. The second option was to send customers to PayPal, which didn’t work for many business use cases. Stripe is the first payments company to allow businesses to start transacting online instantly while giving them full control over the entire process. “

Stripe Checkout’s simple payment infrastructure immediately appealed to start-ups, especially on-demand economy applications and markets. Some of Stripe’s early customers were the Lyft rideshare app and Instacart grocery delivery service, as well as apps like Doordash, Postmates, Shyp, Sprig, and TaskRabbit. Companies in the growing Stripe ecosystem have started making requests for specific features around multi-sided transactions, which means they have started integrating the bank accounts of contractors such as drivers and delivery people into the network. process.

It turned into Striped connection, released in 2012, a market-specific product that helped Stripe go global. In addition to major credit cards and international currencies, Stripe also supports Apple, Android, and Samsung Pay as well as online currencies such as Bitcoin.

“Stripe Connect enables online marketplaces to extend their network of sellers to any of the 21 countries where Stripe operates today, ”Cordova said. “Markets in the United States or Canada have been able to accept payments from buyers around the world, but now they can help sellers get paid around the world as well. Behind the scenes, Stripe manages identity verification and other compliance in accordance with applicable regulations. All marketplaces need to do is build their experience once and then deploy it to where they want their platform to take their platform next. “

In January, Kickstarter switched its payments infrastructure from Amazon Payments to Stripe, and has since launched offshoots of its crowdfunding platform in eight additional countries. This is part of Stripe’s vision to increase GDP to create a truly global economy, in an environment where mobile will be the first point of contact for the next wave of consumers.

As Cordova explained, payments and commerce represent what Stripe sees as the internet’s latest tough infrastructure problem. Stripe is gradually breaking down barriers to enable the next generation of entrepreneurs to start global businesses no matter where they are in the world, making payment transactions as universal and borderless as the internet.

From a technological standpoint, what sets Stripe apart from something like PayPal is that it’s not customer-centric. These are APIs and back-end infrastructure that, if built efficiently, should be transparent to the consumer, whether it’s paying Lyft tariffs, paying their check in the OpenTable app. while still sitting in a restaurant or buying a pair of Warby Parker sunglasses straight from their Twitter feed.

“The internet and the rise of mobile devices are fueling business models and types of commerce that barely existed a decade ago,” Cordova said. “It could be crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Tilt which bring together creators and funders, social platforms like Twitter which allow consumers to buy from retailers on their site, mobile marketplaces like Lyft or Instacart which connect drivers and shoppers with people who need a ride / groceries, mobile commerce communities like Wanelo or Spring, and store builders like Squarespace or Shopify. Stripe gives these businesses the tools and infrastructure they need to run their businesses.

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