PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Stripe Co-Founders Say They’re Building ‘Software-Defined Financial Services’

Today’s customers of the FinTech industry are no longer asking just for ways to accept online payments; they’re asking for “software-defined financial services.”

So said Stripe co-founders Patrick Collison and John Collison Wednesday (April 24) during the opening keynote of the company’s annual user conference held in San Francisco.

While they founded Stripe in 2009 to enable the acceptance of online payments, they soon got requests for additional, unexpected features, Patrick Collison said. For example, over the years, the requests included features for automating driver payouts, building spending accounts and issuing corporate cards for merchants, and lending to doctors’ clinics.

“These new uses cases aren’t about aren’t about payments in the traditional sense,” John Collison added. “The problem is broader. What businesses want, we realized, is software-defined financial services — a layer that knits together the existing financial ecosystem in such a way that money becomes programmable, in real time, and with comprehensive global coverage. With rich data to enable business insights and ML [machine learning].”

“That is what Stripe is building,” he added.

This keynote was delivered for an event at which Stripe announced more than 50 features, the company said in a Wednesday press release.

The new features include artificial intelligence (AI)-powered payments features designed to increase checkout conversion, boost authorization rates and block fraud; Stripe Connect upgrades that make it easier for platforms to embed financial services; and greater interoperability that helps businesses adopt Stripe products while processing payments with other providers, according to the release.

“Our mission is to grow the GDP of the internet,” Patrick Collison told the event’s attendees during the keynote. “Our strategy is to look for common patterns across Stripe’s global ecosystem, to hunt for important new uses cases, even when they’re nascent, and to listen for new needs among you, the most innovative companies in the world.”

Stripe reported in March that it surpassed $1 trillion in total payment volume in 2023, a milestone that meant that businesses running on Stripe accounted for about 1% of global gross domestic product (GDP).

That figure also marked a 25% increase from the previous year’s payment volume.