API-centric payment provider WePay has launched a payments solution, WePay Clear, that gives companies the ability to create their own payment products under their own brands.
According to WePay, payments are becoming an integral part of many online offerings. "You only need to look at the most successful and fastest growing e-commerce platforms of the past few years" to see that payments are increasingly a central part of some of the Web's most popular services, the company's website says. "Take Uber, which has created a marketplace uniting people who need rides with contractors who can provide them in real time, with zero friction around payments. Or look at Airbnb, which created a way to turn any dwelling into a money-making bed and breakfast, with payments that just work."
Crowdfunding platforms, marketplaces and companies offering small-business tools can partner with WePay to create similar payments products in their own applications. These payments products are completely white labeled and free of WePay branding, and, using the WePay Clear REST API or one of the company's SDKs, partners can implement an experience that meets their exact needs. For instance, WePay Clear partners have the ability to create and optimize their own checkout flow. With WePay's existing offering, the checkout flow is controlled by WePay and contains WePay branding.
WePay points to FreshBooks as an example of what can be done with its new offering. FreshBooks, a cloud accounting service, used WePay Clear to build a robust payments solution directly into its core experience. Thanks to the integration, FreshBooks subscribers can send invoices to their customers, allow those customers to pay them via credit card and withdraw money to their bank accounts, all without ever leaving the FreshBooks website. According to FreshBooks, during its beta test of WePay Clear, 52% of invoices were paid on the same business day, and 70% were paid within two business days.
A Different Kind of Payments Platform
WePay's value proposition is that companies can build a "payments business without actually having to become a payments company," and "in weeks rather than months."
As part of that, the company handles all of the regulatory tasks, such as tax reporting and compliance, that are associated with facilitating payments for businesses that don't have their own merchant accounts. In addition, the company's anti-fraud platform, Veda, which is also available as a standalone API, is incorporated into WePay Clear.
Because it handles the red tape and risk management, WePay insulates WePay Clear partners from the costs of fraud and chargebacks. Instead of taking a percentage of each transaction plus a flat processing fee, WePay Clear use is negotiated under a revenue-sharing agreement between WePay and its partners.
The functionality of WePay Clear and how WePay is structuring its relationship with WePay Clear partners differentiates this new offering from those of other API-centric payments providers like Stripe, most of which are focused on traditional direct payments between merchants and consumers. If WePay is right and the kind of payments products that can be built using its offering become a critical part of the next generation of popular online services, expect more competition to emerge in this space as payment upstarts vie to be the platform on which the next Ubers and Airbnbs are built.