Wednesday, 19 June 2019 12:07

Xero, Stripe partner on payment ‘innovations’ for small businesses

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 Accounting software company Xero is partnering with online payments provider Stripe to develop what they say are innovations that help small businesses get paid faster, in more ways, and gain more visibility over their business performance.

Xero and Stripe say the global partnership, announced at Xerocon San Diego 2019, will enable new payments experiences that are “more seamless and efficient for small business owners and their advisors”.

The first two innovations announced on Wednesday to be developed under the new partnership include:

  • A new Stripe feed, designed to bring comprehensive transaction data for all Stripe payments into Xero for easy reconciliation and greater insights, whether a small business invoices from the Xero platform or an ecommerce site, and
  • Auto pay, allowing small businesses to set up and receive recurring payments for repeat billing customers directly through Xero

The announcement notes that aggregated and anonymous data from Xero found that, on average, 51.88% of US small businesses were cash flow positive each month, and they were paid 8.49 days late on average during 2018.

And Xero says that small businesses that enable Stripe payments in Xero invoices are currently paid up to 15 days faster globally, and up to 16 days faster in North America compared to those without a payment gateway.

“Small businesses are fundamental to the growth of major and developing economies around the world; and that ensuring they get paid on time is vital to their survival and growth,” said Craig Walker, founding chief technology officer & executive general manager Platform Business Technologies at Xero.

“We built the Xero platform to help small businesses grow with better tools, smarter insights and comprehensive connections to the information they need to run their business. Our partnership with Stripe today brings us even closer to helping small businesses spend less time chasing payments, and more time focusing on doing what they love.”

A new data feed from Stripe — claimed as a first-of-its-kind integration with a major cloud accounting platform — “will make it easier than ever for small businesses to receive comprehensive transaction data on sales and invoices within Xero”.

Xero previously enabled automated Stripe reconciliation for customers who accepted credit card payments with Stripe through Xero online invoices.

And, with the new Stripe feed, the small business user will see all transactional data processed through Stripe — whether an online invoice from Xero or an e-commerce platform such as Shopify — includ autoingmatically seeing all payment transaction data, processing charges, flow into Xero as individual items.

Xero says its smart machine learning features in can automatically reconcile transactions in the ledger, enabling greater data accuracy and providing an up-to-date view of their cash flow in one place.

“Accountants and bookkeepers will be able to work with more accurate data through the Xero Assurance Dashboard, so they can spend less time chasing information or fixing errors, and more time helping their clients grow,” the company says.

Xero says the Stripe feed will be available in the next few months and small businesses will be able to set up and accept recurring payments from customers who do repeat business, enabling greater on-time payment of invoices. According to Xero, on a monthly basis, more than 1.6 million repeating invoices globally are paid through its payments service.

“While small businesses can already schedule and automatically send recurring invoices from Xero, the new auto pay feature means they can now be paid automatically by their own customers as well. Professional services and other business-focused firms will particularly benefit from the ability to set-and-forget regular billing cycles with customers who opt in, resulting in receipt of regular payments without worrying about forgotten bills or invoices,” Xero says.

Auto-pay will be available soon to businesses in the United States before rolling out globally.

Xero and Stripe say they are continuing to explore new payments experiences and will announce more features in the coming year.

“At Stripe, we build payments infrastructure that enables new kinds of businesses to start, run, and scale,” said Jeanne DeWitt, Head of Revenue and Growth for North America at Stripe.

“Together, Xero and Stripe will bring sophisticated payments tools to the growing community of small businesses, advisors and entrepreneurs who use Xero daily and who are critical drivers of our Internet economy.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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