Stripe deepens product investment in Southeast Asia for digital commerce and finance automation | The Asian Banker
Sunday, 3 March 2024

Stripe deepens product investment in Southeast Asia for digital commerce and finance automation

5 min read

Stripe introduced new product updates to support businesses of all sizes in the Southeast Asia (SEA) region, to meet the surging demand for digital commerce and pursue global growth opportunities.

At Stripe Tour Singapore, the company showcased its expanded product suite that will help minimise checkout friction and reduce gaps between online and in-person payments for businesses. Beyond payments, Stripe also showcased solutions for businesses to modernise their finance stack to increase efficiency and productivity through automation.

Meeting consumer demand for digital commerce everywhere, any time

Southeast Asian consumers have adopted digital commerce enthusiastically. A recent Stripe report on global digital trade showed that 84% of Singapore consumers were open to purchasing physical products online from a company based in another country, and 74% were open to purchasing digital services— significantly above the global average of 68%. Expectations have shifted commensurately and consumers now expect a frictionless digital commerce experience everywhere, at any time, and on any device.

To help businesses respond, Stripe showcased its optimised checkout suite, its single largest bundle of new payment optimisations to date. These upgrades make it easy for businesses to offer their customers a superb checkout experience without having to build it themselves and include access to more than 100 payment methods.

The majority of leading e-commerce sites have subpar checkouts, with many making errors that hinder customer purchases, resulting in high abandonment rates and lost revenue for businesses. According to internal Stripe data, businesses that switched to Stripe's newest payments integration—the Stripe payment element—saw a 10.5% increase in revenue on average compared to those that did not.

Stripe also revealed product enhancements to help unify online and offline commerce, making it simpler and readily available wherever consumers want to pay. This included the Stripe Reader S700, its newest customisable point-of-sale device that allows businesses to accept payments, collect relevant customer details like signatures and email addresses, and make it easy for businesses to customise the device, including branding their splash screen and running custom apps for taking orders. This all-in-one device features a high-definition screen and long battery life and will be available soon in all 23 countries where Stripe terminal is available, including Singapore. The Stripe Reader S700 is the latest demonstration of Stripe’s commitment to in-person payments, following the launch of Stripe Reader M2 in 2021, Stripe’s launch of Tap to Pay on iPhone in 2022 and Tap to Pay on Android in 2023.

Stripe also shared updates about its accelerated checkout solution Link to businesses in Southeast Asia. Link speeds up checkout for customers by saving payment details that can be used at hundreds of thousands of businesses on Stripe and, in turn, increases conversion for businesses.

Jude Kumar, founder and CEO of EatMe Global said: “Stripe helped us create a streamlined experience that supported omnichannel ordering, payment, and reconciliation to deliver just what our customers were looking for - at a reduced cost.”

“These latest solutions are timely for us. As we plan to expand to more countries in Asia, we plan on scaling together with Stripe.”

Enabling businesses in SEA to enter the world stage

Recent Stripe research has uncovered unexpected optimism from businesses in Southeast Asia about their international expansion prospects, despite the challenging economic climate. About 84% of businesses in Singapore expect to expand into new countries over the next 24 months. However, as businesses scale their international operations, there are significant challenges to overcome.

These challenges are creating undue pressure on finance leaders in Southeast Asia, who have to spend a large proportion of their time solving them manually. According to a new Stripe study of chief financial officers (CFO) and finance leaders globally, released today, 89% of finance leaders in Singapore spend more than half of their time on manual back office tasks, which they could be spending on strategic work concerning the overall direction of the company. The cost of manual back office tasks does not only relate to time, it is also impacting business decision-making. Around 65% of finance leaders in Singapore think that expanding into new markets is hard because of the potential disruption to their existing financial systems.

In response, Stripe shared an expansion of its revenue and finance automation product suite, designed to help businesses solve these problems by automating revenue and finance workflows. By coordinating billing, tax, reporting, and data services in one modern stack, Stripe’s revenue and finance automation suite helps drive growth, reduce costs, increase efficiency, and enables CFO to be strategic business innovators.

This also addresses one of the biggest challenges preventing further internationalisation: dealing with an increasingly complex international tax environment. About 68% of finance leaders in Singapore believe that their business’ tax requirements are becoming more complex.

Stripe Tax, a core element of Stripe’s revenue and finance automation suite, is designed to solve these tax challenges by enabling businesses to automatically collect sales tax, VAT, and GST on Stripe transactions in more than 40 countries. Stripe announced a further expansion of the countries covered in SEA to incorporate Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, in addition to Singapore. This enables businesses in the region to expand into rapidly growing neighbouring markets without additional tax complexities.

Gaurav Julka, head of appliance as a service for Asia Pacific and Middle East and Africa at Electrolux, said: “We partnered with Stripe earlier this year to pioneer a completely new business model called Levande, our all-in-one appliance subscription platform for our customers. Working together allowed us to create a great, seamless experience for our customers and earn their trust continually.”

“We are excited to see how all these new product innovations can add to our offerings so that we can offer even more choice, flexibility and reliability for our customers.”

Powering the region’s most sophisticated enterprises

Stripe powers some of the most sophisticated enterprises in the world, such as Amazon, All Nippon Airways, Decathlon, Electrolux, Toyota, and many more. It supports over a hundred category leaders, each generating over $1 billion in payment volume, and this cohort continues to grow rapidly, expanding by more than 50% each year since 2018.

Stripe has recently deepened its support for large users and highlighted its array of enterprise features. Key features include expanding network tokens to 46 markets, global availability for real-time card account updater, an increase in local acquiring in more countries, and support for dozens of global and regional payment methods. At its event, it also previewed upcoming support for multiprocessor setups.

Sarita Singh, regional head and managing director, SEA, India and Greater China at Stripe, said: “Southeast Asia’s rapidly expanding and dynamic digital economy holds tremendous global potential. The ingenuity and entrepreneurship emerging from this region will continue to have a global impact.”

“We’re in it for the long run, constantly innovating to eliminate the complexities of finance and technology, so that businesses can focus on growth.”

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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