Stripe Apps is another example of my thinking that eventually every software we use will have automations built in. See part 1 (Airtable), part 2 (Notion), and part 3 (Webflow) of the every tool has automations now series.
But Stripe Apps isn't your usual "if this then that" workflow builder. It's both more and less than that. Let's dig into it.
What are Stripe Apps
Stripe Apps are in fact two "things". A UI extension that lives in your Stripe dashboard and a back-end that can use the Stripe API. With these two you can build "Apps" on top of Stripe that display information from other apps and interact with that data.
These "Apps" live on the right of your Stripe dashboard. They can extend Stripe's UI—contextualize information on your Dashboard coming from other apps, take action on that data, and much more. An example would be showing the status of a Docusign document related to a customer in your Stripe dashboard. This is similar to Airtable Apps that live on top of your Airtable information (but with data from third party applications).
In addition to opening up the UI, Apps can interact with the Stripe API and other APIs. An app can keep in sync your status in Stripe with a status in another app. See your lapsed customers in Stripe and in Mailchimp. Respond to a customer through Intercom while looking at their Stripe information!
By merging the concepts of "automation" and "apps" in one, you can pretty much build anything on top of Stripe. That includes automation platforms! You could build Zaps right from Stripe if Zapier wants to allow that!
Is this an automation platform?
Stripe's approach to automation is unique to say the least. Stripe today is not the application you expect spend much time in even though it's probably the most crucial app to your business' existence. It's the origin point for so much of your business' data so much so that you're constantly trying to keep stripe data in sync with other apps. As a Zendesk user, I want to know the payment history of the customer I’m supporting. Or if I'm a Shopify store owner needing to refund customers, I'm going to be in Stripe a lot. Why not make it easy for me (in fact why not allow Shopify to make it easy for me) to trigger my refunds while I'm in Stripe?
By making it super easy to build native "integrations" on top of Stripe, Stripe is pitching that it should be nervous system for a lot of workflows. If you find yourself spending lots of time in Stripe for whatever reason, it should be easy to execute your workflow right from the Dashboard. And if so, that might just increase the time you spend in Stripe and therefore your reliance on Stripe.
I'm working with the Stripe team to schedule time on the stream to dig into Stripe Apps (and maybe even build our own on the stream). So make sure you're subscribed to Automate All the Things Youtube channel for that.
I'll be back next week with our regular scheduled programming and workflows.
Until then, keep building!