Anything that heckles the fun of a bachelor party deserves to be mended. At least this is what Rich Aberman, one of the co-founders of WePay, thought when he saw an opportunity for WePay. Aberman’s knotty affair of raising money for a friend’s bachelor party ended when he was finally able receive money through a series of cash, checks, and PayPal money transfers [not without technical difficulties of course]. But, it left some important questions to answer and an opportunity to evaluate in starting a direct payments processor. In 2008, Aberman along with Bill Clerico founded WePay. The company is currently based in Palto Alto, California.
In the past one year, WePay has emerged as a leading online service provider that allows crowdfunding platforms to accept hassle free payments. With its donation tool, it processes up to $1.5 million per day in hundreds of campaigns. Utilizing its years of experience in underwriting business, WePay invested heavily in the development of its Application Programming Interface (API). At present, it offers a high merchant and payer conversion while also taking care of fraud detection and operations support. Unlike e-commerce, its scope is relatively less, but the payments start-up has done well. It is drawing on an average 648 percent more crowdfunding volume every month than in 2012 with daily transactions up to $1.5 million. People are paying much attention to Braintree and Stripe but WePay believes that it is no different from them in terms of size. WePay CEO and co-founder Bill Clerico believes that no one has realized the true potential of WePay from volume perspective.
There is huge difference between WePay and e-Bay-owned Braintree, which boast of processing more than $12 billion per annum. But, WePay exhibits strong growth in the crowdfunding market, with platforms like Fundly, Fundable, Honeyfund, YouCaring and GoFundMe, adorning its client list. Since Oct 2011 when WePay got its first crowdfunding API partner, it has attained an average monthly growth of 35 percent. Clerico further added that they’re getting more and more partners to help them grow. WePay boasts of powering six of the top 15 crowdfunding platforms, with a seventh major partnership underway. According to a Massolution research report, the market for crowdfunding is predicted to grow at 81% in 2013. At these figures, WePay is also upbeat about its growth story.
The company asserts that it understands crowdfunding. If a crowdfunding campaign rises from nil to a million dollars in a week then it’s nothing scary for them [as it looked with PayPal]. This year in August, PayPal refused to release $100,000 raised by Italian Google Glass competitor GlassUp. Although later on, PayPal reinstated the account and released the funds for GlassUp. In 2010, in an almost similar instance, PayPal froze the account of Flux Foundation and refused to release unless the group would attain the non-profit status. After a public outcry, Paypal went on to release the funds. All these events have impacted PayPal’s reputation in this market segment. A month ago, PayPal updated its policies to provide a fair opportunity for the crowdfunding players.
Fraud prevention and Expanding focus
WePay prevents fraud by verifying user’s real identity by social data connections. To be specific it is their Veda risk engine that handles the fraud detection.
When WePay started their traget customers were service groups & organizations. However, of late it has begun to target all types of small & informal merchants.