Those of us that are paying attention know that mobile and online payment services are heating up the world. From Square's pioneering dongle that allowed small businesses to welcome credit card carrying customers, to Visa and PayPal mobilizing their he credit card infrastructure, and even small apps like LevelUp and PayDragon entering the space to make it easy to have a POS system without all the clutter, it is clear that all a business will need to make a transaction happen is a smartphone.
But one of the remaining concerns, for all businesses, is the cut that these mobile services and the credit card companies get from each transaction. From 1% to 3.5%, every mobile payments service has negotiated their own agreement with the credit card giants and business owners are now debating which service has their best interests in mind.
In the race to stay attractive, one mobile payment service, WePay has announced that it is lowering its pricing and releasing new API features, as it celebrates the one-year anniversary of its WePay Payments API.
Previously, WePay charged businesses a flat 3.5% on every transaction going through the system plus a 30 cent transaction fee -- this is now 2.9% plus the same 30 cent fee.
The Palo Alto-based company, which has raised $19.2 million in venture funding since it graduated from Y Combinator in 2009, is looking to become even more attractive to small businesses trying to keep costs down while welcoming all types of customers and their preferred payment methods.
Along with this lowered cost to business owners, the new API features enable merchants and individuals to integrate WePay’s service in their own websites and applications which lets them accept payments without the need for a pre-existing merchant account. The API currently accounts for roughly 25% of WePay’s business.
"We built the WePay API in the same spirit as we built our consumer-facing tools, which make it super easy for small businesses and individuals to start accepting payments online," said Bill Clerico, WePay CEO and co-founder, in a statement. "Our API now allows third-party platforms to integrate WePay payment services into their applications, so that their users can start accepting payments just as easily. Shopping cart providers, website builders, and crowdfunding platforms, for example, can create accounts and facilitate payments for their users through our API."
Over 1000 applications have been created on the existing API including those for the companies Bookfresh, GoFundMe and Fundable.
This API allows WePay to grow in different sectors than just targeting on mobile payments services. One of the other features offered in this update is the tokenization API. Tokenization is geared toward larger companies that would like WePay to be invisible to their customers, while still using the service to process payments.
WePay stated that it grew the revenue generated by the API by 15 times in 2011, and it exited the year with a multi-million dollar revenue run rate.