Subscription payments made easy for SMEs with Stripe Billing

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If you want to sell subscriptions then a new service from Stripe, Stripe Billing, launched in Europe today. As a product built on top of Stripe’s core payments infrastructure, Stripe Billing simplifies the recurring billing process for SaaS and subscription-based companies, such as Slack and Meetup in the US.

With Stripe Billing, European businesses of all sizes now have access to enterprise-grade tools to implement subscription models quickly and at scale. Billing uses Stripe’s advanced machine learning infrastructure to help businesses increase revenue, move more quickly and significantly reduce engineering effort. Instead of manually retrying cards, Stripe Billing’s smart retries use machine learning to figure out the best time to retry failed cards. In the US, where Stripe Billing launched last year, smart retries have led to a 7% lift in recovered revenue, on average, for businesses using Billing. This is revenue that the business would not otherwise have earned.

In addition, Stripe Billing automatically generates invoices on business’ behalf. Instead of being static bills, Stripe’s hosted invoices are interactive payment pages, making it easy for customers to submit a payment instantly, without even opening a new browser tab. In fact, Stripe’s hosted invoices get paid 3 times faster than typical invoices.

As an added benefit for European businesses, Stripe Billing also provides the easiest path to SCA compliance for online subscriptions. Later this year, Europe’s second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) will require Strong Consumer Authentication (SCA) for most online transactions. This radical change will require more than 300 million European consumers to confirm their identity using a second factor (such as a password, phone, or fingerprint) in order to complete a purchase. For businesses accepting recurring payments, this is a particular challenge, as their customers are accustomed to being charged automatically. Stripe Billing will help companies automatically identify precisely which charges require SCA and send customizable emails to subscribers when additional authentication is needed, reducing customer attrition and revenue loss.

Stripe Billing also includes support for value added tax (VAT) across the European Union. VAT can be especially onerous for businesses to validate, collect and report, as rates vary across different countries and industries. With Stripe Billing, European businesses now have tools for handling VAT that are fully integrated with their Stripe account.

“Subscription and SaaS companies have been some of the internet’s greatest success stories up to now, but we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible, especially here in Europe. With Stripe Billing, companies of all sizes now have access to advanced invoicing tools that will also help them comply with SCA and VAT requirements. We’re excited to power the next generation of European subscription companies as we continue building the economic infrastructure that will grow the GDP of the internet.”
– Tara Seshan, Product Manager, Stripe Billing


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