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Stripe is Rewriting the Card Issuing Business

The years of playing both sides of the fence and being torn between the online and offline worlds have been boiled down to a few months by the pandemic. Unfortunately, most businesses haven't been ready for this. Consequently, for offline conservatives and digital newbies, the current disruption turns into a real challenge. Setting up a fully digital ecosystem, building a mobile or web solution, optimizing the supply chain, training employees, adding and fine-tuning online payments, all while ensuring superior security at every stage of the process. Even this brief workflow looks redundant, doesn't it? 

Ordering credit cards is one of the most time-consuming stages since it may take months for you to contact a provider, create designs, and produce cards. Not to mention the current situation with the social distancing and self-isolation amid the pandemic and another forecasted outbreak in winter since, in most cases, the card-issuing process requires in-person communication. 

Stripe has seen a room for growth here. Considering the fact that often digital newcomers choose it as an online payment gateway, the company decided to dangle a carrot for its business clients and take on the role of a credit card issuer. So far, the new function is available for the US firms only, but let's see what it has to offer and what it means to your business. 

Instant Access to Physical and Virtual Cards: The Key Features of Stripe Issuing 

In fact, Stripe Issuing is an end-to-end platform that empowers businesses to create custom cards "in the self-service mode." With it, users can:

  • Set custom rules to control expenses and prevent fraud. Business owners can not only fix spending limits but also create cards for particular merchants, block specific business categories, and even create extended combinations of rules for distinct cards or cardholders. 

  • Approve transactions in real-time. With the use of a synchronous webhook, companies can either approve or decline each and every authorization request in real-time. Consequently, business owners are provided with full control over card transactions. 

  • Create on-demand branded cards and carriers. The creation of designs for credit cards and letters is available online, in the Dashboard or API. It allows business owners to highlight their brands by including a logo and replicating corporate coloring. While virtual cards can be used immediately, physical ones are delivered in two business days. 

  • Add cards to digital wallets. Stripe issuing cards can be added to Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay wallets right away. So if your customers prefer one-touch payments, it won't be a problem. 

How Stripe Issuing Credit Cards Works and How Much It Costs

Business owners get access to Stripe Issuing directly from the Dashboard and can start their custom card program immediately. What used to take around two months, is now available in two seconds or days, depending on the card type (virtual and physical, respectively). In the Dashboard, users can create cardholders and cards, activate them, prepare branded designs, set spending limits, and later control transactions. Meantime, Stripe takes on production and shipping, which is rather handy amid the epidemic.

When it comes to pricing, Stripe credit card issuing services will cost you $0.10 per virtual card and $3 per physical one. Transaction fees for the first $500k are waived, and after that will cost you standard 0.2% and $0.20 per transaction. For companies with larger volumes of payments or exclusive business models, Stripe offers individualized economics.

The Rise of Stripe Card Issuing Business and Its Role in Doing Business

The introduction of the self-service Stripe card issuing platform is a great step forward, especially in the context of the coronavirus crisis and hasty digitalization. Business owners can now create branded credit cards online whenever they need them, and since we're all rethinking our business processes, it can become a new source of revenue or a nice way to build customers' loyalty. But first things first and let's analyze what this Stripe innovation has to offer to your business:

  • End-to-end self-service platform. At this point, there is no need to engage with two or three service providers to issue branded cards. Everything is done online, where and when it's convenient for you. Stripe covers the entire process starting from card creation and design to bulk or individual shipping. 

  • Immediate start. It used to take about two months to get custom credit cards ready, but that's water under the bridge. Now businesses can create virtual cards in a few taps, and they will be available in a few seconds. For physical cards, the terms of delivery range from two to eight business days, depending on the selected shipping parameters (standard, express, or priority). 

  • New revenue streams. Amid the current financial crisis, businesses are racking their brains over new sources of income. Whereas, partnerships with other companies and the use of their services to create additional value for customers are among the initial ways to achieve that. That's where Stripe Issuing comes in handy. For instance, Zipcar places credit cards in their vehicles for drivers to quickly and safely refuel cars (cards can be utilized to pay for gas only). Meanwhile, NexTravel offers branded credit cards for clients to pay for hotels, car services, or airlines.

  • Better financial management. As a business owner, I'm also involved in a myriad of processes, so is my credit card. Better control over General & Administrative (G&A) costs is one of the cases we're currently testing in our team. The ability to create individual cards for office managers, set spending limits, and define merchant categories ensures better security and provide a clear overview of all the expenses so that I can analyze and optimize them in the future. 

At a time when most payments are effected online or contactless, for companies, being digital isn't a 'nice-to-have' feature but a must-have to stay in the game. The rise of new credit card issuing companies like Stripe makes it easier for business owners to stay on track, and we'll definitely see more interesting and unique use cases in the foreseeable future.


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