WePay turns 6!

Today is a big day for WePay! It was exactly 6 years ago today that our founders, Bill and Rich, left their jobs with nothing but an idea for a group payments service, an idea that became WePay.

And while there have definitely been some twists and turns along the way (You can read a little more about some of the things that happened and the lessons we learned in this blog from Bill) we’re excited to be where we are now: in position as the payments company to power the next wave of innovative e-commerce platforms online. 

So thanks for 6 great years, and here’s to many more! 

WePay takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

If you’ve been on social media lately, you’ve probably encountered the Ice Bucket Challenge, a viral awareness and fundraising campaign started by Boston College athlete Pete Frates aimed at fighting Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The rules are simple: once the challenge is received, you have 24 hours to either post a video of yourself dumping a bucket of ice water on your head or to donate to ALS research, and then once that’s done, you challenge someone else to do the same. Everyone from pro athletes to movie stars to prominent political families is taking the challenge.

And now, there’s at least one tech company. Here’s WePay accepting the challenge:

In addition to braving the bucket, we’re making a $500 donation to the Pete Frates fund, and a separate $500 donation to the ALS Association, a national non-profit organization that conducts research, care services, public education, and public policy aimed at putting an end to ALS.

We’ve challenged David Hornik at August Capital, Paul Purcell at Continental Investors, Chris Howard at Ignition Partners and our partners at GoFundMe to take the challenge themselves. ALS research is an eminently worthy cause, and it would be great to see the tech community step up and help put a stop to this terrible disease.

You have 24 hours to respond!



Why we changed our withdrawal policy

We recently announced a new policy for how we collect information after processing a payment. In the interest of transparency, we thought it could use a little further explanation.

What You Need to Know

As of July 9th, all new merchants  will be required to either link a bank account or give us a place to settle money via recurring check within 30 days of accepting their first payment.  If a merchant does not do this in that time, then they will be unable to accept new payments until they do. Once the merchant gives us a way to settle funds, they’ll receive all the money  from the payments they’ve already accepted, and they’ll be able to accept new payments again as well.

This is actually more liberal than the policy we had originally considered, whereby we’d automatically refund all payments received by a merchant if they failed to link their bank account within 30 days. However, given the high potential for this policy to result in a poor user experience, we arrived at a compromise that would satisfy both WePay’s internal requirements and the needs of our customers.  

Even with the new change, WePay’s policies are still more user-friendly than those of most payments companies. Most require merchants to provide a ton of sensitive personal information before they can accept their first payment. WePay allows merchants to start accepting payments instantly, as long as they link their bank account within 30 days.

Why the Change

There’s some very good reasons why we’ve adopted this policy. To understand them, you have to realize that WePay is not a bank, and we’re not a digital wallet company. Rather, we’re a payment facilitator — we provide an easy way for money to get to from one person to another while minimizing fraud and regulatory risk for the platform that’s connecting those people.

Our mission is to allow the merchant to receive their payment as quickly as possible, and that includes settling the funds to the merchant’s bank account in a timely manner. Hence, the requirement that we have a bank account to settle to within 30 days.

By being laser-focused on that one goal, we can design without distraction — our focus is what allows us to create the best possible payments solution for platforms and their users. At the same time, we realize that providing a lot of information up front is hard for users and a major point of friction for our platform partners, who naturally want to design the most seamless user experience possible.

So that’s the compromise we hoped to strike with the new 30 day policy — it gets us the information we need in a timely manner, but it’s still flexible enough to provide our partners with the streamlined checkout process they’ve come to love from us.

We are, of course, constantly refining our policies to better serve our partners and their customers. If you have any questions or comments about the new policy and how it affects you, we want to hear them. Drop us an email at api@wepay.com.

 

WePay’s Terms of Service as it relates to Adult Entertainment

Over the past 48 hours, there have been a flurry of conversations and activities related to the Eden Alexander campaign via our partner GiveForward.  WePay honors the privacy of all our merchants and our intention is not to divulge the intricacies of campaigns but to set the record straight. 

The Facts

The campaign was set up on May 11, 2014 and the money collected through May 14, 2014 has been settled to her bank.  Upon reviewing payments starting May 15, 2014 WePay discovered tweets from others retweeted by Eden Alexander offering adult material in exchange for donations.  This is in direct violation of our terms of service as our back-end processor does not permit it. WePay has worked with other adult entertainers who use our service and abide by our terms of service without any issues.

WePay is extremely empathetic to what Eden Alexander is facing and her hardship is unfathomable.  We are truly sorry that the rules around payment processing are limiting and force us to make tough decisions.

WePay notified GiveForward and the campaign has been shutdown as of May 17, 2014.  Upon further review, WePay suspects Eden may not have been aware of the terms of service and we are offering her the ability to open a new campaign for further fundraising.  We have reached out directly to Eden to help.

Thank you, 

WePay

First Look: WePay’s Risk API

Today at the Finovate Spring conference, we’re announcing WePay’s new Veda Risk API publicly for the first time. InvoiceASAP is our demo partner - they’re helping highlight some of the API’s new features.

The new Risk API is an extension of WePay’s longtime risk engine, Veda. For awhile now, Veda has been able to factor in data from a diverse range of sources: how a user behaves on WePay, that user’s “identity footprint” (official business registrations, identity databases, credit reports, etc.), and also that user’s social web footprint (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.).

WePay’s Risk API will now give Veda access to a new data source: custom partner data. Soon any WePay platform partner will be able to pass us risk-related information so that Veda can make better risk decisions.