Stripe Connect upgraded to help businesses scale worldwide

Stripe is targeting participants of what has become known as the "sharing economy," such as Uber drivers, Kickstarter entreprenuers, and Instacart delivery agents.

Stripe is upgrading its service for digital marketplaces with the intention to not only help merchants and businesses reach new customers globally, but scale the payments platform itself worldwide.

Stripe Connect is touted as a one-stop shop of sorts for facilitating and managing the nitty-gritty but necessary financial ends that often get forgotten -- or at least become confusing -- for freelancers and individual merchants.

The new iteration of Stripe Connect being unveiled this week is promising to handle identity verification, tax reporting, and other compliance requirements across 18 countries where Stripe currently operates.

Stripe is also freeing up more room for customization with both country-specific functions for international sellers as well as Managed Accounts, a new line of service enabling sellers to determine the flow of payment schedules, such as who pays fees and when information is collected.

Brian Krausz, a product engineer at Stripe, explained in a blog post on Monday how the new version of Stripe Connect essentially acts as a silent infrastructure partner, meaning that individual sellers don't need to sign up with Stripe directly.

"When creating charges, you can also specify the seller receiving the funds," wrote Krausz. "Stripe will handle paying out the seller on the schedule you specified, and you won't need to manually reconcile payments and transfers, making accounting and bookkeeping easier."

First launched in 2012, Stripe Connect has grown to process payments for more than half a million sellers worldwide since then.

The e-commerce company is especially targeting participants of what has become known as the "sharing economy," such as Uber drivers, Kickstarter entreprenuers, and Instacart delivery agents, among other rapidly-growing, venture capital-funded startups.

This time last year, Stripe launched a new version of its Checkout widget with a revamped mobile checkout experience focused on developers, content creators and Internet companies needing to process transactions online.

More recently in January, Stripe found its e-commerce APIs integrated with QuickBooks Self-Employed, the latest iteration of cloud accounting software from Intuit.

The partnership enables on-demand marketplaces (i.e. Lyft and Airbnb, etc.) streamline a contract worker's income data via Stripe into QuickBooks Self-Employed, giving them free access to the appropriate tax details and compliance requirements.

Available now, Stripe Connect comes with the same rates for accepting payments as before while setting up managed accounts costs 0.5 percent of funds paid out. The flat rate covers ID verification, generating tax documents and international accounts.

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