Payments company Stripe is beginning its operations in India and will be starting an invite-only beta with a group of companies. “These businesses will help us test our platform in the Indian market and provide feedback on features that we’ll need to build to support all Indian businesses looking to accept online payments and run their companies on Stripe,” Anand Balaji, India lead for the company said in a blog post.

Currently, the company is hiring for positions for its engineering team but did not mention how big a team it is looking to build. The company said that it is building the ability for Indian companies to connect their local bank accounts to Stripe and get paid out in rupees. It is also looking to support more businesses such as local marketplaces.

Note that it is unclear under what regulatory regime Stripe is starting its India operations, but we hazard a guess that they are entering as a payments aggregator, similar to PayPal’s operations in India. It’s also unclear what payment methods Stripe will be supporting. Will it allow payments through netbanking, cards, IMPS, UPI or existing wallets? MediaNama has written to Balaji and will update once we hear from him.

Stripe has operations in 25 countries across the world. It has a strength of 900 people and headquartered in San Francisco. The company has received around $450 million in funding to date and includes investors such as Sequoia Capital, Visa, American Express, Peter Thiel, and Elon Musk.

Merchant fees

Stripe has not mentioned how much it will be charging customers and businesses for processing payments in India. However, in the US, it charges 2.9% and 30 cents per successful card charge.  International cards will be charged an additional 1% for a transaction. It also supports Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions and charges 0.85% per transaction capped at $5. Bitcoin transactions are capped at 0.85% per transaction and capped at $5. It also supports Alipay and WeChat Pay as well with charges similar to cards.

Note that PayPal did not give specifics on how it would charge merchants but did say it would charge a little above its peers in India.

Indian payment aggregators such as Razorpay and Instamojo charge merchants a flat fee of 2% per transaction. Other value added services such as recurring payments, reports etc will be charged extra.