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Elon Musk-backed payments firm Stripe kicks off beta operation in India


With an aim to simplify online payment in India, international payment firm Stripe has started an invite-only beta operation in the country with a group of companies.

“We’re thrilled to bring the Stripe platform to India and build new products specifically for Indian businesses”, wrote Anand Balaji, India lead for the company in a blog post.

The invite-only service is to get the sense of the market to build the product around the requirement of payment businesses. The company will add more users to the beta in the next few months to test specific functionality, he added.

At present, Stripe is hiring for its engineering team. It said that it is building the ability for Indian companies to connect their local bank accounts to Stripe and get paid out in rupees. It is also looking to support more businesses such as local marketplaces.

San Francisco-based Stripe has operations in 25 countries across the world. It has a strength of 900 people. The company has received around $450 million in funding to date and includes blue-chip investors such as Sequoia Capital, Visa, American Express, Andreessen Horowitz, and PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel, and Elon Musk.

Stripe processes transactions using its own servers so it takes care of sensitive data and legal documents. Right now, the company team is focusing on making the technology more mobile-friendly.

Stripe move into payments will bring it in direct competition with payment services in India such as MobiKwik, Razorpay, Paytm, Amazon Pay, Flipkart’s PhonePe, Oxigen, Hike and Samsung Pay. Apple is also planning to get a slice of the digital payments business in India

The company has not said anything about charges it will take from customers and businesses for availing their services in India.

In the United States of America, the firm charges 2.9% and 30 cents per successful card charge. International cards will be charged an additional 1% for a transaction. It also supports Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions and charges 0.85% per transaction capped at $5.

Bitcoin transactions are capped at 0.85% per transaction and capped at $5. It also supports Alipay and WeChat Pay as well with charges similar to cards. Indian payment aggregators such as Razorpay and Instamojo charge merchants a flat fee of 2% per transaction.

Stripe aims to simplify payment

According to experts in the payment industry, Stripe could be the next big thing in the online payment industry.

The company aspires to simplify the online payment system through code and design to make it easier for merchants and buyers to make a sale or purchases for a mere rate of 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. John Collison and Patrick Collison founded Stripe in 2010. The two started coding in outside the Irish city of Limerick in the 1990s. Now they are reported to have net worth of $1.1 billion each.

The founders aim to build Stripe to be a faster payment system. A merchant’s account could be done in just five minutes compared to the three-week waiting period before.

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