American payments start-up Stripe has made its way across the Atlantic, launching a closed UK beta ahead of a wider European rollout.
Stripe provides merchants with an API that they can embed into their Web sites to easily accept credit card payments. Users don't need merchant accounts and can set up their own payment forms without having to worry about PCI compliance requirements.
Thousands of sites, including foursquare and shopify, are using the technology and, having raised around $40 million in funding so far, the start-up already has an estimated value of $500 million.
With thousands of UK companies on a waiting list, a closed beta is now getting underway, enabling GBP and USD payments through Visa and MasterCard cards. Other European countries and euros are set to follow in the coming days.
Says a statement given to TNW: "Stripe's UK launch will provide the same batteries-included stack that we offer in the US: full API for web and mobile payments, recurring billing support, stored payment credentials, instant activation, and easy PCI compliance."
Stripe will face competition in Europe from Paymill, which has launched a similar service across the continent and secured EUR10 million in funding in January.