junio 8, 2016 8:30 am
Over the past few years, the sharing economy has gone from something that a few tech-savvy idealists were excited about to a fundamental part of our everyday lives. And although the idea behind the sharing economy or the peer economy isn’t new – Napster and eBay were built on its basic principles – companies such as Uber and Airbnb have taken collaborative consumption to a new level. These pioneering companies created affordable solutions for strapped for cash consumers during the Great Recession and offered unique income sources for people who needed extra money or flexible work schedules. Airbnb, for instance, was born from its CEO’s idea to help pay rent, while Uber enabled people to turn their vehicles into streams of profit rather than financial burdens. During the last five years the sharing economy has enjoyed remarkably rapid growth and looks set to scale new heights over the next decade.
Wepay, originally launched to make it easier for groups to collect money and make payments together, has pivoted over the last 3 year to provide a payments API for platform businesses. Specifically, WePay specializes in coordinating payments for marketplace or crowd funding platforms, basically enabling individuals to transact and process payments at scale between a lot of individuals.
In case you are lost in tech translation, API stands for application programming interface, and is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software and applications. And a platform is a business model that creates value by facilitating exchanges between two or more interdependent groups, usually consumers and producers. Uber and Airbnb would be two of the most popular examples.
Video: Do You Platform?
And while WePay supports a seamless experience for their end-users, it also protect its partners from risk and regulatory exposure. Online platforms, typically facilitate card-not-present transactions (card payments made without physically swiping a card), that are highly susceptible to fraud and abuse, for which merchants and payment facilitators are held liable. WePay’s CEO Bill Clerico says that the startup’s patented risk and fraud detection is sophisticated enough to catch most, if not all, of these types of theft, saving the sites’ money. If WePay’s technology doesn’t catch the fraud, the company will take financial responsibility for the transactions.
And the latest and exciting news for mobile payments is that Wepay announced a month ago the launch of a white label mobile point of sale solution that enables platforms to seamlessly handle in-person payments in addition to online payments. Now any platform can offer its own branded mobile card reader as an integrated part of its overall product, without having to build, maintain, and certify hardware.
The solution consists of three key components that work with platforms’ software and mobile apps:
Customizable card readers that plug into iOS and Android devices to accept traditional magnetic stripe cards and EMV chip cards
iOS and Android software development kits (SDKs)
Fulfillment services that manage reader inventory and ship custom readers directly to users with a single API call
Platforms can get started by adding just a few lines of new WePay code to their software and mobile apps. WePay’s mobile payment solution provides the same high-level fraud protection and compliance coverage that comes standard with the company’s online processing service.
Video: Mobile POS by WePay
WePay is venture-backed with more than $74.15 million and was named to the Inc. 500 list in 2015 as 62nd fastest-growing private company in the US.