Mobile payment platform Stripe, which allows any website or developer to start accepting payments online through the addition of a few lines of code to their webpage, has updated its core functionality to include the ability to automate the process of sending bank transfers to anyone with a US bank account.
The extended API is intended to ease the payment pains for third-party developers that depend upon multiple payments and payees, such as Lyft and Sidecar, two existing Stripe customers.
“These marketplaces require payments on two sides. As ever, you have to charge the customer, but as the provider shifts from being a single entity to a multiplicity of suppliers, you also need to coordinate complex payouts,” Stripe said in a blog post on Wednesday. “Our goal is to expand commerce on the internet. When we saw what these businesses were doing and what they needed, we decided to extend the Stripe API to support them.”
Of course, while altruistically supporting the needs of other businesses is one reason for Stripe’s expansion of the service it’s also a smart way for it to generate a little extra revenue – each transfer costs a straight 25¢.
In order to use the new features, Stripe said its users simply needed to charge customers as they normally would, enable production transfers and then they will be able to pay any number of accounts, rather than it being deposited in your single, main account.
Similarly, bank account details of payees can be easily collected with the extended API, or Stripe.js, and once a recipient has been created funds can easily be transferred with a single API call, significantly cutting down the complexity of taking and sending payments to and from multiple sources.
The automated payment service is only open to businesses in the US currently but has been undergoing testing for the last few months by companies like Lyft and Sidecar, but has also been used by others like Exec and Postmates as well as a number of other small businesses.
“The Stripe API has completely transformed the formerly painful, time-consuming and error-prone process of getting money to drivers on Lyft’s peer-to-peer ride sharing platform,” Logan Green, co-founder and CEO of Lyft, said. “Drivers are now paid automatically each week and are able to set up their bank information through Lyft’s own interface.”
While the automated banking service is limited to the US for now, Stripe did launch a European beta of its platform in March this year, following it in May with the added ability to send email receipts directly to their customers.
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