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Stripe to use Singapore as beachhead in Asian payments expansion

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 06:39

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Stripe Inc, the US payment startup backed by Sequoia Capital and PayPal founders Peter Thiel and Elon Musk, is bringing its service to Singapore to help local startups build online businesses.

[SINGAPORE] Stripe Inc, the US payment startup backed by Sequoia Capital and PayPal founders Peter Thiel and Elon Musk, is bringing its service to Singapore to help local startups build online businesses.

The Tuesday launch kick-starts the San Francisco-based company's plan to expand in Asia following forays into Europe and Australia, president John Collison said. Stripe plans to eventually enter Japan and Hong Kong, where it's undergoing beta-testing.

Stripe - valued at US$5 billion when it raised funds from Visa Inc last year - is joining a crowded market with Braintree as well as traditional financial companies barreling into mobile payments.

Singapore's e-commerce market is expected to increase five-fold to US$5.4 billion by 2025, according to a report by Google and Temasek Holdings.

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Stripe is trying to stand out by going beyond offering processing services for online and mobile transactions, Mr Collison said. It also helps local startups manage security in storing customers' data and fraud prevention, as well as accepting money on behalf of other people. It also provides other services such as accounting and billing.

"What Stripe provides is a bunch of software tools for running your online business," said Mr Collison, 26, who started Stripe with his brother Patrick, 28, in 2011.

"That's the key thing that differentiates Stripe."

Stripe helps businesses accept nearly all forms of digital payments including Alipay, bitcoin, Apple Pay and Android Pay. It has grown in tandem with customers such as Lyft Inc, which has been valued at US$5.5 billion.

In Singapore, Stripe will take a 3.4 per cent fee, plus 50 Singapore cents, from each successful transaction. Its customers in the country include ride-hailing app Grab, online property portal 99.co and MetroResidences, which rents out private apartments to corporate clients.

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