Skip to main content

Payments are pretty simple

I'm amazed that a company like Stripe is making such a big splash and looking at the headshots I'm further amazed that a company this young and median employee age is still expanding. And finally if you've ever been a merchant or a merchant processor then you know that there is always a line in the sand and Stripe is not even talking about it. They have done everything they can to remove the friction from your payment process.

I have been soliciting my friends and connections in order to build an open source issuer or acquirer system. One of the reasons is because it's just outright simple. Moving a transaction from a merchant-based API to ISO8583 is pretty simple and parsing an 8583 message and processing a debit or credit transaction is even easier. The hardest part of the issuing side is the HSM which is also the most expensive component next to the software delivery. With the PCI audit, colocation, networking, and network minimums a close 3rd or 4th.

At the end of the day it's just a simple data-in / data-out problem with a tiny bit of math and encryption.

As for how Stripe accomplished the task; that is anyone's guess. Mine, however:

  • keeping the friction means less code and less hassles for the merchant.

  • keeping the fees down will attract more merchants

  • keeping salaries and expenses down reduces the desire to raise prices

  • at some point in the process the code starts to pay an annuity and requires less maintenance or enhancement.

  • In order to keep the cost down (KYC) they must be assuming some of the risk themselves, however, many of the (new) banking regulations must be in their favor.

I'm sure there are some insider reasons why Stripe is successful but for my money these gotta be the biggies. But if you compare Stripe to the likes of First Data Corporation it's all about the overhead or lack thereof.

This stuff is simple and as new companies enter into the vertical market or defining new vertical markets it's going to be about the lower barrier of entry.


Popular posts from this blog

Entry level cost for CoreOS+Tectonic

CoreOS and Tectonic start their pricing at 10 servers. Managed CoreOS starts at $1000 per month for those first 10 servers and Tectonic is $5000 for the same 10 servers. Annualized that is $85K or at least one employee depending on your market. As a single employee company I'd rather hire the employee. Specially since I only have 3 servers.

The pricing is biased toward the largest servers with the largest capacities; my dual core 32GB i5 IntelNuc can never be mistaken for a 96-CPU dual or quad core DELL

If CoreOS does not figure out a different barrier of entry they are going to follow the Borland path to obscurity.

UPDATE 2017-10-30: With gratitude the CoreOS team has provided updated information on their pricing, however, I stand by my conclusion that the effective cost is lower when you deploy monster machines. The cost per node of my 1 CPU Intel NUC is the same as a 96 CPU server when you get beyond 10 nodes. I'll also reiterate that while my pricing notes are not currently…

eGalax touch on default Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS

I have not had success with the touch drivers as yet.  The touch works and evtest also seems to report events, however, I have noticed that the button click is not working and no matter what I do xinput refuses to configure the buttons correctly.  When I downgraded to ubuntu 10.04 LTS everything sort of worked... there must have been something in the kermel as 10.04 was in the 2.6 kernel and 4.04 is in the 3.x branch.

One thing ... all of the documentation pointed to the wrong website or one in Taiwanese. I was finally able to locate the drivers again: (it would have been nice if they provided the install instructions in text rather than PDF)
Please open the document "EETI_eGTouch_Programming_Guide" under the Guide directory, and follow the Guidline to install driver.
download the appropriate versionunzip the fileread the programming manual And from that I'm distilling to the following: execute the answer all of the questio…

Prometheus vs Bosun

In conclusion... while Bosun(B) is still not the ideal monitoring system neither is Prometheus(P).


I am running Bosun in a Docker container hosted on CoreOS. Fleet service/unit files keep it running. However in once case I have experienced at least one severe crash as a result of a disk full condition. That it is implemented as part golang, java and python is an annoyance. The MIT license is about the only good thing.

I am trying to integrate Prometheus into my pipeline but losing steam fast. The Prometheus design seems to desire that you integrate your own cache inside your application and then allow the server to scrape the data, however, if the interval between scrapes is shorter than the longest transient session of your application then you need a gateway. A place to shuttle your data that will be a little more persistent.

(1) storing the data in my application might get me started more quickly
(2) getting the server to pull the data might be more secure
(3) using a push g…