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Ford signs five-year payments deal with Stripe for e-commerce drive

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A Ford F-150 pickup truck is offered for sale at a dealership on September 6, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

Online payment processor Stripe has signed up Ford Motor Company as a customer, in a five-year deal aimed at bolstering the automotive giant’s e-commerce strategy.

Ford Motor Credit Company, the carmaker’s financial services arm, will use Stripe’s technology to process digital payments in markets across North America and Europe, the companies said in a statement Monday.

Stripe will handle transactions for consumer vehicle orders and reservations, as well as bundled financing options for Ford’s commercial customers. The automaker also plans to use Stripe to route a customer’s payment from its website to the correct local Ford or Lincoln dealer.

The tie-up marks one of the biggest client wins yet for Stripe, and forms part of Ford’s turnaround plan under CEO Jim Farley, who took the helm in October 2020.

Founded in 2010 by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison, Stripe is the most valuable start-up in Silicon Valley, with a $95 billion valuation. The company sells software that makes it simple for businesses of all shapes and sizes to accept payments over the internet.

The firm, which makes money by taking a small cut on each transaction it processes, counts the likes of Shopify, Salesforce and Deliveroo as customers. But it faces growing competition from rival fintechs such as Adyen and Checkout.com, which was valued at $40 billion in a $1 billion funding round last week.

“We are making strategic decisions about where to bring in providers with robust expertise and where to build the differentiated, always-on experiences our customers will value,” Marion Harris, CEO of Ford Motor Credit Company, said in a statement.

Ford expects to start rolling out Stripe’s technology in the second half of 2022, starting with North America.

“During the pandemic, people got comfortable paying online for groceries, health care, even home haircut advice from barbers,” said Mike Clayville, Stripe’s chief revenue officer. “Now, they expect to be able to buy anything and everything online.”

Ford’s market capitalization topped $100 billion for the first time last week, as investors cheered the firm’s electric vehicle strategy and its Ford+ restructuring plan. The company was the best-performing auto stock in 2021, beating the likes of Tesla and General Motors.

Stripe, meanwhile, is still privately held. There’s long been speculation about when the company will go public. A Bloomberg report in September said Stripe had held talks with investment banks about going public as soon as 2022. But John Collison, Stripe’s president, told CNBC a month later that the company is “very happy” staying private.

Stripe hired Dhivya Suryadevara, the former chief financial officer of General Motors, as its finance chief in August 2020.

– CNBC’s Michael Wayland contributed to this report

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