American payments startup Stripe has launched a card-issuing service for its US clients as part of updates to its core payments platform.

The card issuing service is designed to enable businesses to create their own contactless cards tailored to the specific needs of their customers.

Dubbed ‘Stripe Issuing’, the service is said to lower the time for card creation from two months to two minutes for virtual cards and two days for physical cards.

Stripe revealed that companies like Zipcar, Carrot and Postmates are already creating hundreds of thousands of cards every month for drivers, employees and couriers.

Andreessen Horowitz general partner Alex Rampell said: “Businesses can now use an API to create and issue cards exactly when and where they need them, and they can do it in a few clicks, not a few months.”

Apart from the card-issuing service, the company will process card transactions by directly integrating with major card networks globally.

Stripe’s platform connects directly to card issuers like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, and China Union Pay. This eliminates the requirement of intermediaries.

Currently, the firm takes more than 250 million API requests every day and maintains an uptime of 99.99%.

Lastly, Stripe is offering a revenue optimisation engine which minimises false card declines for businesses.

Stripe leverages machine learning technology built for its fraud-prevention tool Radar to route, adapt and retry transactions and maximise authorisation rates.

The revenue optimisation engine is anticipated to generate $2.5bn for participating businesses this year.