Twilio and Stripe connect for over-the-phone digital payments

19 Oct 2018

From left: Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson with Stripe co-founder John Collison. Image: Twilio

The API economy is rapidly becoming the real economy.

Cloud communications platform Twilio has joined forces with payments platform Stripe to enable companies to accept payments via voice with just one line of code.

The two companies have created Pay, a new application programming interface (API) that allows developers to easily set up payments via interactive voice response (IVR). The API is currently in beta and will be available in the first half of 2019 in the US and a few select markets.

“Historically, taking payments over the phone has been either unsecure or painfully difficult and complex for businesses to support. With Twilio Pay, we think there’s a better way,” said Kris Gutta, senior product manager of programmable voice at Twilio.

“Twilio Pay gives developers the tools needed to build secure and intuitive payment experiences. Now, developers will only need to add one line of code to begin processing payments over the phone.”

Gutta told that programmable voice means developers can customise the experience of a call dynamically through APIs.

The programmatic movement of money

Last year, Twilio announced plans to expand its Dublin EMEA headquarters over three years with 100 new jobs.

Stripe, the payments company founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison, was recently valued at $20bn after the company raised $254m in investment from Tiger Global Management, Sequoia and DST Global. More than 3,200 versions of its core API have been rolled out over the past year. Its technology powers the global payments operations of customers that include Google, Mindbody, Spotify and Uber, to name a few.

“Stripe is uniquely focused on enabling the programmatic movement of money,” said Bob Rosin, head of partnerships at Stripe. “We do that by eliminating the complexities of compliance and ongoing shifts in payment methods. With today’s partnership, any business or platform can easily integrate secure payments for interactive voice response or live agent assistance.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years