Stripe: How it Works for Hong Kong

An overview of Stripe for Hong Kong and how the global payment platform can help app developers, new businesses, and established brands can quickly serve local and global customer needs.

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If you’re researching how to accept payments online, you’ve probably heard of Stripe as a potential payment gateway, along with Paypal. Founded in 2010 with funding from Y Combinator, Stripe has grown quickly to become a global powerhouse in helping businesses process and manage online payments.

Stripe officially launched in Hong Kong in 2017 so if you’re a business based in the city and looking for a custom online payment solution to accept and manage payments, Stripe may be an option to explore. This post will cover Stripe’s core features, Hong Kong market payment options and platform benefits for Hong Kong businesses aiming to serve local, regional, and global customers.

What is Stripe?

Source: Stripe

At its core, Stripe is a global payment processing platform that is built and designed with the developer in mind. Businesses can think of Stripe as offering Payment-as-a-Service that provides an easily integrated interface and APIs for accepting payments into online stores, websites, and mobile apps.

New businesses can embed Stripe’s checkout interface into their digital products, from in-house apps to websites. At the same time, businesses with more sophisticated needs can easily utilise advanced features such as custom report generation. Stripe offers a robust set of APIs for every aspect of managing digital payment transactions. Stripe also provides the infrastructure to streamline payments for business operations, from acceptance through to reconciliation. In addition, Stripe reduces the ongoing costs around payment processing, such as PCI compliance for data security.

The platform’s features are well suited for localized Hong Kong businesses that need to integrate payments into existing operations as well as regional and global businesses that require sophisticated features, such as multi-currency payouts.

Why has Stripe Been so Popular Globally?

Historically, building a customized online payment solution required an incredible amount of cost and development effort. Stripe significantly reduces the investment barrier by handling the payment processing once transactions are accepted. Stripe offers this payment processing infrastructure as a service that businesses and developers can use to create their own custom online payment solutions. This service makes it easy for businesses, from individual app developers to global brands, to collect payments, whether for products or services.

To start, a business can simply embed Stripe’s basic checkout or they can adapt the checkout design to suit their brand needs. All Stripe users benefit from a unified interface that help merchants process a multitude of payment scenarios, which in turn helps businesses provide flexibility to end users and shoppers. For example, Stripe can help merchants collect desktop and mobile payments, using credit cards, digital wallets, local payment methods, and in multiple currencies. Businesses that incorporate Stripe effectively invest once in a payment infrastructure that unifies local payments and can be instantly used for global expansion.

How Does Stripe Work for Hong Kong Businesses?

Hong Kong’s businesses need to cater to local consumer online shopping preferences as well as wider regional requirements. For example, Stripe integrates into local accounts for the regions it operates in, which means that businesses in Hong Kong can settle in the local HKD currency and accept the latest digital payments in Hong Kong, such as Apple Pay and AliPay. At the same time, beyond accepting payments in HKD, businesses can grow a global presence as Stripe processes charges and displays prices in a customer’s preferred currency to help customers avoid conversion costs and improve sales for merchants. At the time of writing, Stripe charges a flat fee of 3.4% + HK$2.35 per successful transaction while other payment gateways, such as Paypal, have tiered fee charges.

Stripe is not limited to online retail or ecommerce. As Stripe handles payments, businesses can use Stripe to charge for services as well as merchandise. Stripe Billing is a service that provides a convenient recurring billing model that can be used for subscriptions and memberships, which can be suitable for publications, app developers, and other internet businesses.

Since Stripe’s introduction into Hong Kong, it has been adopted by many of the city’s leading technology companies, including companies such as GoGoVan and Klook.

Payment Methods for Hong Kong

For Hong Kong businesses, Stripe accepts a variety of payment methods that include:

Hong Kong readers should note that Stripe is a digital payment platform. At the time of writing, Stripe Terminal is being introduced as an offline POS to the company’s home US market. Currently, Hong Kong companies with physical stores will need to complete a transaction on a mobile phone or desktop rather than a POS system.

Security, Infrastructure, and Reporting

Hong Kong businesses looking to accept credit card payments also need to factor in compliance considerations, such as PCI, which may be a costly investment. Beneath the frictionless payment interface, Stripe has security and compliance-focused features that can help reduce the cost of online business operations, especially those pertaining to risk management. In addition to Stripe’s PCI compliant hosting and security infrastructure, the payment platform also has the machine learning system Stripe Radar for fraud prevention, 3D secure for reducing the risk chargebacks, and dispute handling features. This security infrastructure allows new and established businesses to access online payments without the costly upfront and continual investment in security.

In addition to being friendly to new businesses, Stripe is built to accommodate scale and serve larger companies with established operational procedures. For example, Stripe has built-in reporting to provide convenience for payment reconciliation and accounting requirements. As with other features, businesses can create customized reports for their departments through Stripe’s API. As of the time of writing, Stripe products for Hong Kong includes:

Need Help with Stripe?

If you are looking for a Stripe developer to build integration solutions for your existing business or would like to explore how Stripe could help your ecommerce growth, please get in touch!