Digital payments company Stripe made what seemed to be a garden-variety announcement this week about a new service, but the news has unleashed a “kerfuffle” with its long-time customer and partner Plaid. On Friday, Stripe’s CEO, Patrick Collison, was trying to de-escalate the situation.
The squabble started with Stripe releasing a new service Wednesday designed to help merchants link directly to their customers’ bank accounts, eliminating third-party integrators or manual input of that information. Stripe’s new offering didn’t sit well with Plaid, which provides those types of connections to accounts and had partnered with Stripe on such functionality.
Plaid CEO Zachary Perret turned to Twitter to express his displeasure, specifically calling out Stripe Executive Jay Shah, according to a report from TechCrunch. “Wow! Jay, You took interviews with Plaid & asked probing questions multiple times over the past few years, and your team sent repeated RFP’s (under NDA!) to us asking for tons of detailed data. I wish y’all the best with these products, but surprising to see the methods,” Perret said, referencing requests-for-proposals and non-disclosure agreements.
Stripe’s co-founders and brothers responded Friday with an internal company message that defended Shah, but also offered a mild mea culpa. Stripe President John Collison tweeted the internal message sent by his brother, CEO Patrick Collison, regarding what he called the “kerfuffle.”
Patrick Collison said in the internal message that he was eager to trumpet the new service, called Financial Connections, but his excitement was “tempered” by Perret’s accusations. He then recounted how Shah’s relationship with Plaid unfolded and why it was in keeping with Shah’s upstanding reputation.
He added: “We should certainly be open to the possibility that we could have handled things better…we’ll try to learn what we can by reaching out to people at Plaid.”
Perret later removed the offending Tweet, and offered this: "Deleted tweet. Misunderstanding or different styles perhaps. Presuming positive intent." And went on to welcome the new competition: "Next take: Welcome to the fintech party, @stripe."
Correction: This article has been updated to correct the sibling relationship between Patrick and John Collison.