US Payments Giant Stripe Goes Invite-Only In India

SUMMARY

Without offering any clarity on the move, Stripe said that it was working to build its infrastructure to support more users by the second half of 2025

Citing the evolving regulatory landscape in India, Stripe also said that it was not able to currently “promise” easy onboarding for all new users in the country

Earlier this month, reports surfaced that the US-based fintech major was looking to enter into a JV with State Bank of India to enter the country

Days after reports surfaced of Stripe’s entry into India, the global digital payments platform has temporarily gone invite-only in the country. 

In a blog post, the company said that it has made the “tough decision” to temporarily offer its services by invite only in India. Without offering any clarity on the move, Stripe said that it was working to build its infrastructure to support more users by the second half of 2025. 

“We’ve made the tough decision to temporarily offer our services by invite only in India. This means that businesses from India will not be able to sign up for a new Stripe account through our website, and will instead need to request an invite. We will only be able to support a select number of businesses, with a focus on international expansion, for the time being,” said the company. 

Citing the evolving regulatory landscape in India, Stripe also said that it could not currently “promise” easy onboarding for all new users in the country. However, the fintech platform added that it was strongly committed to India and building its infrastructure in the country. 

The digital payments giant has also informed its Indian applicants about the invite-only move. In an email sent to one of its users and accessed by Inc42, Stripe said, “As a result of this change, your Stripe account for [name of the user] will not be activated at this time. We know this is disappointing, and we’re working to be ready to support you soon”.

This comes more than a week after media reports claimed that the US-based fintech major was looking to enter into a joint venture with the State Bank of India to enter the country and acquire a significant stake in the bank’s payments arm, SBI Payments.

At the time, it was reported that Stripe was keen on acquiring a 30%-40% stake in the JV that operates SBI Payments. While SBI holds 74% stake in the JV, Hitachi Payments owns the rest. The deal is expected to be undertaken by Stripe’s Indian subsidiary, Stripe India Private Limited, which received the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) nod to act as a payment aggregator in  January this year. 

As per the report, Stripe is said to have held deliberations with the central bank, with the latter offering feedback to the US-based major on matters related to risk management and data protection. The San Francisco-based company is said to be addressing these issues and plans to approach the regulator soon to secure approval for the investment in SBI Payments.

If the deal goes through, it will pit Stripe directly against Razorpay, CC Avenue, Cashfree, among others, depending on what kind of services the US-based company offers. 

Founded in 2010, Stripe is a full-stack fintech platform that offers a suite of billing, tax and other tools. Last year, it secured $6.5 Bn in a round from GIC, Goldman Sachs, Temasek, among others at a $50 Bn valuation. 

Stripe is looking to enter India at a time when Indian fintech platforms have scaled up their offerings aggressively to tap into the growing number of merchants looking to use online payment solutions.

Despite regulatory headwinds, a host of new players have emerged out of the country, building high-quality fintech SaaS tools for businesses and enterprises alike. As per a report, India’s enterprise tech fintech space is projected to touch a market size of $20 Bn by 2030. 

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