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You are vastly underestimating the effort required in setting up a payment gateway in a country.

But if you are Stripe and you get millions in investments ( i.e. http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/09/sexy-payments-startup-strip... ) you can afford to hire specific european nation experts, lawyers etc.. to get into these markets quickly

Thats a dangerous strategy for such an early stage startup. They need to validate their business THEN expand. Which is what they are doing now... Stripe just started beta testing internationally.

I can't reply to the child comment, but this is also relivant: http://news.ycombinator.org/item?id=4376193

The post also mentions being a CA beta tester.

Can you provide a link where there is information about the international beta testing?

You're underestimating bandwidth. You can't buy time, it's just not that easy. If it were, every start-up that raises millions would do it.

Hell, every listed company in the world would be global.

Why? It's just some contracts and APIs. And it doesn't explain all those other startups that deliberately limit themselves (and then later have to buy local clones because they did not expand quickly enough).

>> just some contracts and APIs

Again, you sound like a very optimistic person. :)

In reality, contracts make forever to set up, and it's better not to talk about APIs from commercial banks. Whenever monitory transactions are involved, you will have to confirm to a huge amount of regulations and conditions to meet which you will have to get involved with even more bureaucracy.

Coming from India, I am sad to say that I have got a fairly grim perspective about these things.

It takes us about a week to get another account established in the target currency and set up an account with our payment vendor to take orders in that currency.

Translating the site to the target country takes longer than establishing another currency.

It's more than just contracts and APIs. It's ensuring that your practices follow that specific country's rules and regulations. Every country has a different set of regulations for handling money.

The US has something called PCI compliant and I would assume that every other country has something similar but with a different subset of rules.

In the UK it is called PCI compliance :)

(a lot of the relevant standards are now international in nature)

PCI [1] is actually an international industry standard that defines security practices for payment card processing. For example, it requires that your system is behind a firewall, that credit card numbers are stored securely, etc. Your system must be audited annually by a certified consultant. Stripe is -- presumably -- already compliant, since they already run a business that processes credit cards.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payment_Card_Industry_Data_Secu...

It is more than that, it is tax rates, money laundering the archaic regulation that differs between countries (even in the EU) a lot of boilerplate stuff needs to be in place.

Those difficulties and processes would be the same for Stripe as Samwers.

Yes, but they're each just trying to do it in a single country. It's a PITA to set up a payment gateway _anywhere_, but when you try to do it in multiple locations simultaneously it just becomes exponentially harder.

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