August 14, 2014 1:46pm
It’s often a hard prospect to build a business on top of another platform. In the case of Strypebox, the Toronto startup aiming to improve the way individuals and businesses collect payments from multiple people, the two-person team decided to rely on Stripe‘s payment API — and doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
“We’re trying to make payment processing as easy as possible,” said Sanjee Sathasivam, co-founder and CEO, who discovered the need for such a product after having to settle up the cumulative funds for a weekend cottage trip.
The app, which is mobile web-based at the moment, is a layer on top of the Stripe API that creates either a public or private “box” in which to collect payments. The two domains, public and private, ensure that Strypebox can be used for anything from splitting a dinner between three people or collecting charity donations at a company of 300.
At the moment, Strypebox doesn’t have a great business model: it collects $0.15 of every transaction, for which Stripe itself takes 2.9% and $0.30. Sathasivam aims to add other layers to the product, but the bootstrapped company is currently working through what other layers it could add to the Stripe API.
Payments are currently limited to Canadian credit cards, and processing times are typically between two to seven days, depending on the bank. But Strypebox’s narrow focus shouldn’t be mistaken for lack of scope; it is currently one of many mobile payment frontends building a futures on the back of established payment processors like Square, Strype and PayPal.
The app-ification of mobile payments has helped smartphone users feel more comfortable transacting — buying, selling and exchanging — on smaller form factors, and with companies like Uber and Seamless proving that transportation and food are ripe for disruption, the potential for other areas to get similarly overhauled is huge.