4 minutes, 45 seconds

23 September 2021

Introducing Stitch Payments

by Andrew Ma, COO

Stitch was born with the belief that unlocking access to bank data would accelerate the rate of innovation across the continent, a concept often referred to as open banking. We believed that enabling businesses to easily build on top of banking data would lead to the development of revolutionary financial products.

So far, we’ve been spot on. Since emerging from stealth in February of this year, we’ve been completely floored by the ingenuity of the businesses that we work with, from apps supporting novel ways to save, to bricks-and-mortar vendors finding ways to offer loans to their customers. We’ve been able to witness how the power of open banking data has unlocked product opportunities across hundreds of businesses.

However, we quickly realized that access to data alone wasn’t meeting all the needs of our customers. Today, we’re proud to announce the launch of our second product line: Stitch Payments.

From access to open banking data to an improved pay by bank experience

It became clear to us early on that, beyond the difficulties of retrieving user data, businesses struggled to find affordable ways of accepting payments on their platforms – with more and better options for the user. Card payments, for instance, are not extremely common on the continent, and in some markets, like South Africa, they incur high fees. As noted in Quartz earlier this month – bank transfers represent a significant portion of payment options in major markets, like South Africa and Nigeria.

Other options for bank payments, however, presented additional challenges. For instance, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – a robust interbank transfer rail – enables direct account-to-account payments for a fraction of the cost compared to card technology. However, manual EFTs are prone to user error, leading to high drop-off and potential fraud. Many InstantEFT players that have launched in the market in the last few years face UI, UX and security barriers to mass adoption, such as conflicting branding, multiple unnecessary screens, and long load times.

We set out to solve this challenge by leveraging the infrastructure we had constructed for open banking data to help businesses move money more quickly, securely, and for lower fees – with a better user experience that could also improve conversion rates and reduce drop-off.
Users log in via Stitch once, and pay with just one click every time after

Stitch Payments can:

  • Eliminate UX friction and user error by embedding pay-by-bank within your existing checkout or payment flows: today, most users need to manually navigate out-of-flow to pay with their internet or mobile banking app, often leading to user input error and drop-off.

  • Fully white-label pay by bank payment method so your users only  see your brand. Our pay by bank solution is a component businesses can plug into their application without having to worry about branding conflict.
  • Tokenise a bank account to generate one-click and user-not-present payments: one of the benefits of card payments is the ability to charge a card that’s stored on file. With our technology, Stitch can tokenize a user’s bank account to enable repeat payments, without the security, consent, and cost issues of a debit order placement.
  • Reduce fraud by 60 – 90%: Card-not-present fraud is one of the major drivers of loss for businesses accepting high volumes of online payments. By leveraging the power of our data product, we could verify user information against bank KYC simultaneously alongside payment initiation, severely reducing fraud risk on the platform.
  • Generate millions of dollars in savings for businesses: Bank payments incur lower chargebacks. Plus, our payments product can be offered for a lower cost compared to card alternatives, and as a result, generate massive savings for our customers.

Sky’s the limit – the opportunity for Payments is growing quickly

As we’ve begun to roll out our Payments product to customers (new and old), we’ve seen that the demand for a more cost-effective and frictionless payments solution is growing, not only among the newest and smallest businesses, but also for the largest fintechs, retailers, marketplaces and platforms, in South Africa and beyond.

Stitch has always focused on building robust financial infrastructure. As a result, we’re launching a number of new Payments offerings to continue to meet the needs of our customers, including:

  • Pay-ins: the fastest and most secure way for customers to pay, whether checking out at point of sale, or topping up a digital wallet. Businesses can accept zero-fraud, one-click payments directly from customers’ bank accounts in their checkout flow, app, or website.
  • Recurring & subscription payments: makes automated recurring and subscription payments easier, increasing customer lifetime value and reducing churn. Businesses can accept both scheduled and ad-hoc payments from customers without the friction and high costs of debit orders or saved cards.
  • Payouts: makes paying out to customers as easy as paying in by leveraging the same account linkage to generate a direct payout to the customer’s financial account of choice. Businesses can initiate, track, and reconcile refunds or payouts to their customers in seconds.
  • Instant reconciliation: eliminates discrepancies in business accounts by allowing businesses to match payments received without manually sifting through account balances by hand.

Of course, we’re just getting started on our mission to transform the way people move money. Between disbursements, instant settlement, recurring payments, reconciliation support, and merchant dashboards; we’re bringing on a ton of new features in the coming months that we believe can better help the businesses we work with to grow and serve their users. Look out for a website update that will share more on our latest offering.

Want to learn more about how Stitch Payments can help your business accept one-click bank transfers? Get in touch.

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