Twitter plans to make a deal with mobile payment startup Stripe, according to a report from Recode. If this deal goes through, Twitter will be able to accept credit card payments from its users, and would allow Twitter fans to shop online through the micro-blogging service.
Stripe is a startup, but it has already attracted customers in the tech community, like ride-sharing service Lyft and e-commerce service Shopify. If the Twitter deal goes through, it will give Stripe even more cachet in the e-commerce community. And it could provide a huge new revenue stream for Twitter.
There aren’t many details about this deal – we don’t know exactly how this kind of arrangement would work. But if it goes through, it will clearly be a major step into e-commerce for Twitter, which has been reticent to venture into online payments. Twitter’s largest step into online payments before this was its deal with American Express in early 2013. In the Amex partnership, Twitter users who synced their accounts with their Amex cards could send out a tweet in response to a few deals on Amex websites, including Kindle Fire and Xbox 360. It was a very limited trial, but it showcased how buying stuff with a tweet could look in the future.
In the Amex situation, Twitter was merely the platform where users paid for Amex merchandise, so Twitter wasn’t actually selling anything. I imagine that will continue to be the case with the Stripe deal – that it will allow Twitter to facilitate purchases between users and vendors – although that would immensely benefit Twitter because it would provide a whole new hook to attract advertisers and marketers to the network.