U.S. technology company Stripe has announced it will soon open its merchants' websites for commerce with hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers.
The payments startup has paired with online payment platforms Alipay and WeChat Pay, making it possible for merchants worldwide to accept payments from both. News of the partnerships coincided with Stripe's Hong Kong launch.
Credit cards are still only used by a fraction of Chinese consumers, whereas Alipay and WeChat Pay boast more than 520 million and 600 million users, respectively.
"If you are an internet business, this unlocks a new, vast customer base," said John Collison, president and co-founder of Stripe, in an interview.
Stripe's technology has been enabling merchants to accept a variety of digital payments since 2010. The firm is currently active in 25 countries and valued at more than $1 billion.
"If we can help a business double [its] sales, then it doubles our revenue from that business," Collison said, referring to Stripe's monetization model. The model charges merchants a small fee on every transaction processed.
The new partnership with Alipay is not a first for Stripe. The two firms previously collaborated to enable U.S.-based merchants to accept payments on its platform, and the global partnership will further open that experience.
"Demand for services from Chinese consumers is at [an] all-time high," said Souheil Badran, president of Alipay for North America. Badran also noted the new partnership between the firms will allow Chinese consumers first-time access to hundreds of thousands Stripe-powered merchants around the world.
Stripe's rapid growth and expansion are largely credited to its popularity with software developers who tend to favor the easy-to-use design of the Stripe API experience.