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Finger on the Pulse is a series where we explore the major trends shaping business technology. In each post, you’ll learn from our key partners and their perspective on an industry trend through the lens of their unique business. Dive deeper into navigating disruption in the last post, The power of proactivity in a disruptive environment. For this interview, the focus is expanding into new business and revenue models. 

Exploring new business models and revenue streams

Has your company introduced new business models or revenue streams to optimize its growth potential? If not, there’s a good chance you’ve felt the pressure to do so – especially with the rise of more innovative purchasing options, like recurring revenue models. In fact, more than half of finance executives from a Salesforce and CFO survey report that at least 40% of their revenues are recurring. 

Wouldn’t it be great to explore more innovative business models and appeal to growing customer expectations at the same time? Fortunately, customer-forward payment strategies are on the rise. Payment plans, subscription-based models, alternative payment methods, and global currencies give customers the flexibility to buy on their own terms while supporting business growth. But expanding your business by offering dynamic purchasing options or tapping into new opportunities requires a lot of time, budget, and resources. 

In this interview, you’ll discover how MuleSoft and Stripe solve these challenges by making it simple to connect your economic infrastructure with other critical systems that support your business. We spoke with Kenneth Chestnut, Global Head of Technology GTM Partners at Stripe, to explore how payment flexibility can open the door for new business models, markets, and revenue streams. 

Kenneth Chestnut, Global Head of Technology GTM Partners at Stripe

How did Stripe’s relationship with MuleSoft and Salesforce come to be? Why does the partnership make sense?

Stripe and Salesforce have been successful partners for some time now. Stripe is embedded into a number of products that Salesforce customers rely on, like Commerce Cloud. With Stripe, customers have access to an economic infrastructure that can simplify everything from subscriptions and billing, to reporting and reconciliation. 

The MuleSoft partnership made sense for us because of the obvious benefits to our customers. With MuleSoft’s ready-to-use connectors, our customers can seamlessly share valuable financial data with their legacy systems, automating key business processes. This frees them from the burden of building these system-to-system connections themselves, which would take an incredible amount of time and resources. 

Because MuleSoft makes it easier to integrate Stripe with existing applications and business processes, it gives our customers the flexibility to go live with Stripe quickly. 

How does MuleSoft make Stripe more powerful?

The joint power of MuleSoft and Stripe comes from the complementary strengths of each offering, plus the robustness of the combined solution. 

Stripe offers a secure, flexible payment infrastructure platform for businesses. MuleSoft brings unmatched expertise in third-party system integrations. When you pair us together, you get two leading technologies working in synergy.

Because MuleSoft integrates financial data from Stripe with the other systems in your technology lineup, you have the freedom to automate and streamline business functions to deliver connected customer experiences faster, while also impacting your company’s bottom line.

When customers are looking to expand their business and develop new revenue streams, what challenges are they facing?

We’ve seen a major acceleration toward online business in recent years. As a result, consumers expect your brand to deliver seamless digital experiences. This calls for richer e-commerce capabilities and new, digitally-enabled revenue models. 

When our customers are interested in building and scaling these new business opportunities, they’re typically lacking the agility needed to do so quickly. Between keeping up with financial regulations and building system connections that enable innovations like recurring revenue, the road to expansion can be expensive and tedious.

And the work doesn’t end when a new revenue model or international market is up and running. There are a range of processes that come along with maintaining that aspect of the business, like revenue recognition, tax calculating, and financial reporting. 

With MuleSoft and Stripe, you have a strong financial infrastructure to accelerate new business opportunities, plus a reliable way to exchange and centralize financial data throughout your operational ecosystem. Stripe and MuleSoft give you the agility you need to offer more payment options while managing some financial complexity for your team. 

How do Stripe and MuleSoft empower customers to achieve their goals surrounding expansion and growth?

One of the most compelling benefits of the partnership is that it makes ideas for expansion and revenue growth more attainable. With Stripe, launching an online business in a new market doesn’t require reprogramming or reconfiguring legacy payment tools – it’s all just a few clicks away. 

MuleSoft enables you to continually connect Stripe with new systems as your business grows. And when it’s time to close your books, you can centralize financial data from new revenue models and global markets to streamline operations and reporting. 

For example, we had a multinational enterprise client with an incredibly fragmented technical setup, consisting of more than 60 different ERPs. With Stripe and MuleSoft, they managed this complexity by creating a repeatable process for integrating Stripe with each ERP. They were able to expand to Asia and accept local payment options there within a month. 

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How do Stripe and MuleSoft keep the customer in mind when it comes to exploring new opportunities and building new revenue models?

Stripe and MuleSoft both have a customer-first philosophy. It’s evident in the way that each solution takes something very complex: payment processing, subscription billing, revenue recognition, and third-party integrations – making it simpler for both IT and business teams. 

Both companies also share a mission to make the end user’s life a little easier. We want to empower our clients to better understand their customers so they can offer smooth, personalized purchasing experiences that naturally lead to customer loyalty and retention.

Recently, a client was able to use MuleSoft and Stripe to build a recurring revenue model for a car maintenance service. With the solutions aggregating data, coordinating booking, and reconciling service costs, the team successfully launched a new subscription offering that’s tailored to each customer. The subscription model went live in about six months, which is a huge win considering this type of project would typically take 12–18 months and a much larger budget. 

Plus, adding automation to business functions like revenue recognition, cash reconciliation, and customer retention tracking, frees teams to spend more time on high-value tasks, like building better customer experiences. 

Security is another area where our customer-first philosophy comes through. Stripe bears the responsibility of Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance while MuleSoft governs and secures every individual connector on the platform. Together, the technologies enable our clients to maintain trust as they expand their global reach and develop new revenue streams.

For more information on Stripe, explore the Stripe Connector in Anypoint Exchange, or catch up with them at Dreamforce.