Stripe embraces in-store payments, talks up cryptocurrencies

Company brings out product for ‘born on the internet’ companies opening physical stores

Stripe co-founders Patrick and John Collison. The Limerick brothers’ firm has moved into in-store payments

Stripe co-founders Patrick and John Collison. The Limerick brothers’ firm has moved into in-store payments

 

Stripe, the fast-growing technology company founded by Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collison, is moving into in-store payments with a new point-of-sales (POS) product known as Terminal.

The company revealed details of the move in a blog post late on Monday. Terminal, which is initially available only for US retailers, is built for so-called “born on the internet” brands that are expanding into brick-and mortar stores. These include the likes of online opticians Warby Parker and beauty products-focused Glossier, which have both opened up physical stores in recent years.

According to Stripe, Terminal enables in-person payments with pre-certified card readers but by BBPOS and Verifone, as well as JavaScript and mobile software development kit, and cloud-based hardware management.

Retailers are to be charged a 2.7 per cent fee, plus five US cents per transaction, the company said.

Very excited

Separately, John Collison has spoken of his belief that cryptocurrencies could succeed as a payments method. In an interview at Recode’s Code Conference in New York, Stripe’s president said the company was “very excited” by the long-term potential for cryptocurrencies, particularly in regions where payments infrastructures aren’t well established.

Stripe, which handles payments for more than 100,000 businesses, was the first major payments company to support bitcoin. However, it ended support for the cryptocurrency in April due to slower transaction rates and higher fees.

“There are fewer and fewer use cases for which accepting or paying with bitcoin makes sense,” said Tom Karlo, Stripe’s product manager at the time.

The company remains a big supporter of cryptocurrencies generally however, having previously invested $3 million (€2.57 million) in a seed fund for the launch of Stellar, an alternative decentralised payments network.

“The future of crypto – especially as it applies to the means of exchange – that future is undetermined,” said Mr Collison at the Recode conference.

Stripe, which was founded by the Collison’s in 2009, employs more than 1,000 people globally and handles billions of dollars in transactions each year.