Stripe is disrupting the traditional financial services industry through innovation and seamless integration with the help of SAP Business Technology Platform.
Millions of businesses of all sizes—from startups to large enterprises—use Stripe's software and APIs to accept payments, send payouts, and manage their financial transactions online.
You have almost certainly used the Stripe platform without knowing it when purchasing goods and services online. (I did just this week when I signed up for OpenAI's acclaimed new large-language model, GPT-4, as part of a new GPT Plus subscription handled by Stripe's platform.)
Stripe's mandate, however, extends far beyond facilitating seamless, secure online purchases—like buying the latest tech gadget or purchasing a subscription—that consumers have come to expect.
The Massive B2B Payments Opportunity
Estimated at $88 trillion annually, business-to-business payments far outweigh the volume of consumer purchases, yet most B2B payments don't leverage the modern cloud infrastructure that has transformed consumer finance. Nearly half of all global invoicing still uses paper invoices, disconnected from core software systems, with higher costs and lower transparency.
A survey cited in a recent Stripe blog post found that "more than 40 percent of finance managers estimated their company loses around 5 percent of revenue each month due to payment processing inefficiencies, and 92 percent said they could increase earnings per share if they had better accounts receivable solutions."
Gnarly Problems, Elegant Solutions
Working with millions of businesses in 45 countries and moving money in 135 different currencies, Stripe understands that running a company is incredibly complicated. Stripe customers are juggling inventory, payroll, marketing, accounting, procurement, expenses, treasury, reporting, sales, and more—that's why they rely on enterprise technology like SAP products to manage their businesses better.
Simple questions like how to get paid, collect invoices, or accept card payments can be confounding, not to mention more complex challenges like expanding to a new market, exploring new business models, building an online marketplace, converting customers to subscribers, accepting bank payments, and know your customer (KYC) or anti-money laundering (AML) initiatives. At the crux of these is a crucial question: How do we securely and efficiently move money from our customers to our business, suppliers, and partners—ideally all at once?
For most companies, the answer is a creative workaround involving a complicated series of software integrations. That approach, however, demands significant operational overhead, and there's no value as a differentiator for the business—it is simply an operational burden.
With the added benefit from SAP BTP, the Stripe solution helps manage and automate money flow between consumers and vendors, accept in-person payments, collect taxes, and protect against fraud so customers can focus their resources on products and services instead of building and maintaining resource-intensive software integrations.
Stripe has helped companies of all sizes worldwide—from Maersk (logistics/shipping) to Peloton (exercise equipment)—orchestrate business-critical finance operations and payment processes.
Maersk is transforming its business to become an integrated supplier of end-to-end solutions. Maersk wanted to make it easier for people to ship and track their orders from one end of the world to the other with a click of a button, and they turned to Stripe to modernize how they process payments. Maersk customers can now pay seamlessly through an intuitive dashboard that supports payment methods Maersk previously could not accept, like credit cards.
The robust integration means customers can manage revenue reconciliation better, differentiate between processing fees, accept in-person payments, and issue refunds—all of which make life easier for the end consumer and internal users of the integrated application.
In this episode of Better Together: Customer Conversations, we sat down with Stripe's Adi Cosma, Integration Engineer, and Ralph Ramos, Partner Solutions Engineer, to explore how SAP and Stripe have co-innovated a platform.
Thought leadership podcast: Tamara McCleary, CEO of Thulium, led a discussion about big-picture changes in the world of B2B payments and why SAP and Stripe are working together to help address customer challenges.
Practitioners' video: I talked with Adi and Ralph about how SAP customers can leverage the Stripe platform and SAP BTP using APIs and low-code interfaces.
Here are a few highlights from our conversations:
We learned that many Stripe customers were already using SAP products and creating ad hoc workarounds to get all their platforms and services to work together. But Ralph Ramos told us, "through new technologies, users are finding opportunities and exploring new types of business models, new markets, and overcoming some of their current digital challenges."
Now customers can create a Stripe account and manage money movement through a straightforward integration with SAP BTP. Stripe's customer-facing application manages every payment processing step for its users: from invoicing to data retrieval, collection and confirmation, direct bank transfers, and delivery of receipts.
"Businesses can now operate on a global scale like they never could before," Ralph explained. "They can easily reach customers all around the world. This has created more competition but also drives innovation, pushing businesses to adapt to stay ahead of the curve."
In a co-innovation use case that Ralph told us about, a company wanted to be able to charge their customers based on API usage. So, the Stripe team used SAP BTP to create a low-code, developer-friendly app powered by SAP API Management. Now Stripe customers can quickly check current API consumption rates during a given time period—a straightforward and automated way to measure incoming data from business consumers.