Stripe today announced a new version of its Connect platform with the hope of empowering more companies to conduct business online. The updated Connect API adds a handful of features that bring global payment capabilities to its customers and beyond.
One of the big updates in the refreshed API is support for managed accounts. These let the operators of various payment platforms -- Instacart, Kickstarter, Shyp, Tilt, Lyft, TaskRabbit, and Hand, to name a few -- customize the experience for sellers. According to Stripe, some of these include how the setup flow and payment schedules will appear, as well as who pays fees and when the information is collected. Stripe does the heavy lifting, such as verifying identification and managing compliance with local tax laws.
Another new feature is expanded support for international sellers. Stripe notes in the past that supporting sellers in other countries forced payment platforms to run all international transactions through the U.S. or registering businesses locally. This often led to credit card declines and currency fees. Now, Stripe's customers can provide a local experience for their own sellers while at the same time keeping the development efforts under control. Stripe has figured out the details needed to complete transactions in various markets, and has made it a snap for customers to enter those details in the account.
Stripe supports sellers in 18 countries already, and says more are on the way later this year. The setup tools are so lightweight that Stripe's customers can get sellers started with just a country and email address.
Customers are still able to securely access their data, which which they can build dashboards, invoicing tools, and other add-ons. Stripe knows not everyone wants to handle those tasks on their own. That's why the updated Connect API also now supports integrations for external payment applications, such as QuickBooks.
As for pricing, nearly all the features are available for free. Stripe charges 0.5% of the funds paid out for setting up managed accounts, while the cost for accepting payments remains the same.
"The new Stripe Connect is the result of everything we’ve learned from powering these platforms," said Stripe in a blog post. "The changes we’ve made make setting up accounts for sellers even easier—they don’t need to even come to Stripe. You can now support sellers in more countries. And Stripe helps with everything involved in operating the platform."