Stripe wants you to stop bugging the developers.
The payments processing company is seeking to patent a system for “fault-tolerant no code workflows,” which aims to make it easier for someone without technical expertise to build out workflow task managers without the assistance of a developer. Making these workflows “fault-tolerant” basically allows it to keep running if one part falls through, such as if a computer used to perform a certain task goes down.
Stripe’s patent isn’t too complex, essentially detailing an interface in which users drag and drop what tasks they would like to be performed in what order. Some tasks include writing an SQL query, sending emails or reimbursing accounts. The system then automatically executes the workflow and performs the tasks in that order, and workflow components can be reordered and reused as needed.
“Currently, the workflows need to be created from scratch by trained engineers,” Stripe said in its filing. “A non-technical person need(s) to wait for the engineers to build and test the workflows, which may cause delay and consume engineering resources.”
Along with claiming this tech is meant to reduce “the workload of engineers,” Stripe says it would save on computing resources used to develop workflows when reusing previous tasks, as the system does not need to automatically re-create workflows for tasks that have been done before.
Stripe has won over an impressive roster of clients with its payment processing tech. The company counts Amazon, GitHub and Instacart as customers, and has 100 companies that process more than $1 billion in transactions with its service annually. According to its annual letter, the company processed more than $817 billion in transactions in 2022.
That said, Stripe’s breakneck growth has started to slow: TechCrunch reported in April that the company’s transaction volumes were up 26% in 2022, as opposed to 60% the year before. The company’s valuation was also cut several times, sitting at $50 billion in February after a $6.5 billion funding round, as opposed to $95 billion it was valued at in 2021.
Though the company’s bread and butter is its payments tech, Stripe already offers several other business finance services, including tax collection, identity verification and risk management, and may be looking to diversify those offerings even more with patents like this.
Plus, while Stripe has a large list of tech clients, the last several months have been rocky for the tech industry, as many cut back on their workforces at the start of the year and continue to look at ways to cut costs. Even Stripe itself was forced to trim its employee numbers late last year, cutting 14% of its staff in November and a handful of recruiters in June. No-code tech like this could be especially helpful for companies looking to save money on engineering staff and grow more slowly.
Stripe isn’t the only company that’s shown an interest in no-code tech. JPMorgan Chase has filed for several no-code tech patents, and Google has been building up its arsenal of AI-based development tools, including several that require little-to-no coding experience. The market for these tools is also predicted to soar, with Gartner estimating it will hit close to $27 billion by the end of this year.