The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Stripe–simple online payments levering technology banks are missing

Here is a brilliant example of how online payments should work.  I have always maintained banks should be dominating this space.  But no.  Banks lost this battle by refusing to adopt new technology that works with the web.  Banks are still too focussed on platforms that support legacy systems, and that’s where a company like Stripe excels versus banks.


What is Stripe:

In typical developer form (take that as a compliment) they forget to tell site visitors who they are and what they do.  Any home page which includes reference to Stripe.js or anything *.js makes me smile.  The home page goes on to state ‘we are developers too‘ Smile

Yes you are developers but more importantly you have a developer instinct to see through the un-natural constraints and hurdles that banks place in the way of elegant solutions.

Both sides:

I have seen both sides.  Bank software development and start up.  The nature of this post and knowing my audience, this will be read by bankers and by non bankers interested in financial services.  There is a point here that is essential, and one that banks are trying hard to come to terms with. 

Banks biggest success online has been with user interface.  It is fair to say a decent job has been accomplished with making online functional and easy both with web and mobile.  I am personally most familiar with BMO and RBC and great job there.

This point that Stripe brings to the fore is something else.  It is the next beach-head for banks to attack.  Banks are getting comfortable they have solved the web and solved bringing a customer centric view of cross bank customer information and functions to the customer. 

But this is only the start.  That was the 1996 problem.  Stripe highlights the 2013 problem for banks.  In fairness the technology in 1996 or even 2006 was insufficient to support complex financial activity on the web.  The newest versions of Ruby and js have sophistication levels that are dramatically enhanced in the areas of web capability along with security.

This is where Stripe has succeeded. They have full PCI compliance.  They have built from their base and are now taking on continents at a time.

Is Stripe PCI compliant?


Stripe has been audited by a PCI-certified auditor, and has in turn been certified as a PCI Level 1 Service Provider, the most stringent level of certification available. You can confirm our certification in Visa’s registry of service providers.

Stripe is also a participant in the PCI Security Standards Council.

Relevance to Bankwatch:

The capabilities of technology is moving ahead very quickly.  We are talking months, not decades, The example of Stripe is one that exemplifies the potential disintermediation of one more core bank function.

Much more to come.  Thank you Stripe for the brilliant example, and getting me excited about banking again!

Written by Colin Henderson

August 16, 2013 at 00:38

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. […] Stripe–simple online payments levering technology banks are missing – The Bankwatch – “Banks are still too focussed on platforms that support legacy systems, and that’s where a company like Stripe excels versus banks.” […]

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