LIVE FROM RISE, HONG KONG: US-based in-app payment company Stripe isn’t following the standard playbook of online startups and attempting to expand internationally as quickly a possible, but is focused on localising its product for each market it enters.
Stripe co-founder John Collison (pictured, left) said in the opening session this morning: “in contrast to some companies that are in the land-grab mode, we try to make sure that the product experience is right and we’re launching something that is localised”.
Payments are very cultural and local, he said. The company, for example, spent two years beta testing in Hong Kong and ended up adding global support for Alipay and WeChat Pay as well as backing for running a business in US dollars, which is important for local startups.
“We didn’t think the product was good enough to launch before we had those things. It’s going be the same as we expand in many countries [in] Southeast Asia. We first see what businesses need and work that feedback into the product roadmap.”
Stripe’s expansion strategy is not based on being first to market, which he said allows it to be more focused because it’s not rushing to expand.
Collison didn’t reveal which countries it plans to expand into next, but said it started with developed markets most like the US, such as Australia, Japan and Singapore.
The company’s goal, he explained, is to enable companies to run global business, not just local businesses.
More to come
He noted that there are still a huge number of new companies to be created from the smartphone boom, with mobile-enabled companies rapidly shaping consumer behaviour.
He said currently less than 5 per cent of global consumer spending happens online: “The way more payments will be moved online is by people building mobile-enabled companies.”