Stripe is poised to open up its dead simple payment API to a lot more customers now with the release of Stripe Connect, a new tool which allows website builders, marketplace owners and other businesses to enable their merchants and customers to start accepting Stripe credit card payments.
With Stripe Connect, an online store creator like Shopify or a service like Skillshare, both of whom are customers, can easily enable their sellers to accept payment immediately via Stripe without having to go through the drawn out process of getting a merchant account. Previously, some of their merchants might have manually added Stripe as a payment tool by copying and pasting in API keys, but now these platforms can offer Stripe to all of their sellers. Stripe Connect will be available in the US and Canada, which received Stripe service last month.
Stripe hasn’t said how many customers it has but Stripe Connect is likely to increase the number of merchants that turn to Stripe for payments. Reddit will use Stripe Connect to help communities accept donations while online form builder WuFoo will make it easy for customers to accept one-click payments in their online forms. Fundraising platform Razoo will be able to make payments easier for its non-profit customers.
Stripe Connect won’t just widen payment acceptance, it will also allow customers to connect their payment data easily into analytics tools, CRM systems and accounting software. With Stripe’s API opening up a standardized way to access payment data, customers can plug in a number of tools to better understand what their payment data is telling them. SumAll, for example, will allow Stripe Connect users to see their real-time transaction data along with their web and social data.
In its first year on the market, Stripe has won over a lot of developers and enterprise customers, who appreciate the way the San Francisco company has simplified payment acceptance, making it as easy as connecting to any other API. Stripe has raised $38 million to date including a $20 million round in July with a valuations whispered as high as $1 billion.
Patrick Collison, Stripe’s co-founder, said Stripe Connect, which has been in private beta for six months, is the biggest thing the startup has done since it launched. He expects Stripe Connect can enable a lot more people to participate in the Internet economy.
“So many people on the web should be transacting but they aren’t. This should increase that exponentially,” Collison said.
Collison said previously that the Internet is opening up a lot of opportunities to promote commerce, everything from collaborative consumption startups like Airbnb to online marketplace like Shopify and Etsy.