Stripe Issuing launches in the UK: Who are the local rivals?


Stripe, the online payments technology provider, has recently launched Stripe Issuing in 20 countries across Europe. 

The list of countries includes Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and the UK.

Why Stripe Issuing?

Stripe Issuing allows users to create, manage, and distribute virtual and physical cards. It also gives businesses more control over how they spend their money.

According to the company, cards created on Stripe Issuing can be programmatically controlled, with dynamic spending limits, blocked merchant categories, advanced combinations of rules, and even real-time authorisations for each transaction, all managed via Stripe’s Issuing API.

Moreover, businesses can design their own branded cards in the Stripe Dashboard, with Stripe handling card production, fulfillment, and shipping. 

Operates at a significant scale in the US

Stripe Issuing already operates at a significant scale in the US, powering billions of dollars of payments for thousands of businesses and millions of cardholders. 

Notably, the companies like Klarna, Ramp, and Flexshopper, which have existing card-issuing programmes, have signed on to Stripe, and users such as Cornershop have taken advantage of Issuing to launch new business opportunities.

While Stripe as a fintech has been present in the UK since 2014, the company plans to expand its product Stripe Issuing in the UK market now aggressively. Using this opportunity, we have listed out some of the local companies, the fintech giant also goes head-to-head with.

Skrill (London)

Founder/s: NA

Funding: NA

Skrill provides global digital payment solutions to consumers and businesses. From trading to shopping, the company helps customers make payments when and how they want to. At present, the company supports 40 currencies in over 200 countries. Headquartered in London, Skrill has offices throughout Europe and the US with over 500 staff. 

Paysafe (London)

Founder/s: NA

Funding: £1.5B

Paysafe is a specialised payments platform, enabling businesses and consumers to connect and transact seamlessly in payment processing, digital wallet, and online cash solutions. 

The company connects businesses and consumers across 70 payment types in over 40 currencies around the world. 


Checkout.com (London)

Founder/s: Guillaume Pousaz

Funding: £655M

Checkout.com is an API-based platform providing online payment solutions that improve the user’s checkout experience. 

The company addresses challenges faced in payments by giving enterprise businesses the most proactive tools to drive performance and more control through advanced data features, fraud management tools, and comprehensive reporting. 

It is used by e-commerce businesses such as Mango, Farfetch, L’Occitane, Victoria’s Secret, and The Hut Group. 

Cardstream (Somerset)

Founder/s: Adam Sharpe

Funding: NA

Cardstream is an independent provider of payment solutions, giving access to all payment modes including credit card, debit card, wallets, alternative payment methods – all from a single platform and open API.

The company supports all worldwide currencies and all major card schemes in over 120 countries for its current portfolio of 100+ Reseller Partners and their 18,000+ merchants.

Image credits: GoCardless

GoCardless (London)

Founder/s: Hiroki Takeuchi, and Matt Robinson

Funding: £176M

GoCardless aims to take the pain out of getting paid for businesses with recurring revenue. The company has built a proprietary tech platform with the sole purpose of facilitating how recurring payments are collected. 

The UK company has 55,000 customers, and partnered with more than 150 billing and subscription software partners globally, including Xero, Sage, QuickBooks, Zuora, and Salesforce.

GoCardless is headquartered in the UK with additional offices in Australia, France, Germany, and the United States.

Image credits: Rapyd

Rapyd (London)

Founder/s: Arik Shtilman, Arkady Karpman, and Omer Priel

Funding: £344M

Founded in 2016, Rapyd aims to focus on core markets that serve B2C and B2B eCommerce payments, the marketplace, and financial services businesses. 

Through this platform, businesses can accept and send payments without having to build their infrastructure through the Rapyd Global Payments Network which supports hundreds of local payment methods including, cards, bank transfers, e-wallets, and cash. 

PPRO (London)

Founder/s: Philipp Nieland, Tobias Schreyer

Funding: £291M

PPRO helps consumers pay with the local payment method they trust and know, wherever they are. The platform enables merchants to offer their customers the widest possible range of local payment types and services in markets worldwide. 

In 2020 alone, PPRO processed over $11 billion (approx £7.9 billion) for its customers, including companies, such as Mollie, PayPal, Worldpay, and many others. PPRO is regulated in the UK by the FCA and in Luxembourg by the CSSF.