Ford Motor Credit: Stripe partnership to support e-commerce, aid reservations

A new partnership with Stripe will help Ford expand its capability for e-commerce and dealership transactions such as vehicle reservations, Ford Motor Credit said Monday.

The companies signed a five-year arrangement for Stripe to act as a “premier payment service provider” to Ford dealerships in North America and Europe, Ford Credit said. The captive finance company also has responsibility for other Ford payments.

“We have been working with Ford to reimagine our e-commerce payment infrastructure,” Ford Credit CEO Marion Harris said in a statement. “Stripe’s platform will help us deliver simpler, outstanding payment experiences in any channel customers choose and scale improvements faster.”

Ford Credit Chief Product Officer Julien Jacquet told Automotive News last week that the partnership with the digital financial platform provider would allow Ford to deliver new products and services to customers faster.

Stripe will help Ford manage payments as it unfolds new services such as subscriptions — “a complex, recurring payment use case” — under the Ford+ initiative, he said.

Ford CEO Jim Farley told a 2021 earnings call Ford+ involved an “always-on” strategy of constant interaction with customers and “building new capabilities like connected services to enrich the customer experience and drive recurring revenue streams.”

Ford Credit said Stripe would improve the efficiency of customer digital payments to dealerships related to ordering, reservations, digital services and electric vehicle charging. Stripe would permit Ford to send customer payments to the relevant local Ford or Lincoln dealership.

For dealerships, “the big one is reservations,” according to Jacquet.

Ford Credit spokeswoman Margaret Mellott said Ford’s partnership with Stripe could allow easy vehicle charging payments at the Blue Oval network.

“Immediately, your vehicle talks to the charger, to the network and to Ford, and automatically lets you know it paid for the transaction without you having to try and find your credit card,” she wrote in an email Friday.

Ford expects to start introducing Stripe’s technology in North America during the second half of this year. It will roll out to dealerships market by market, Jacquet said.

The Ford-Stripe arrangement supports commercial customer applications as well, such as a situation where an employee would charge an E-Transit at home and need reimbursement from the fleet owner. According to Mellott, this could be arranged without manual processing.

“These are complex payment models,” Jacquet said.

Harris told Automotive News the Stripe deal demonstrated another element of the Ford+ plan: relying on third-party providers for certain items, particularly “the commodity portions of our tech stack,” rather than building those capabilities in-house. Using Stripe freed up Ford resources for “high-value” financial product and service development, Harris said.

“We’re thrilled to be the payments engine under the hood powering the next stage of Ford’s digital transformation,” Stripe Chief Revenue Officer Mike Clayville said in a statement Monday.