WePay becomes first provider to integrate Google Wallet

Steven Loeb · January 26, 2015 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/3b9a

WePay will offer Google Wallet as a payment option to its 1,000 platform partners

In the last few years, we have seen the rise of both mobile, and of online payments. So, it would stand to reason that the two could come together, meaning that more people would start using their phones to start paying for things. That simply has not been the case, though. And there are probably a few reasons for that, with the biggest being convenience.

Google and Apple are looking to change that, and have been leveraging their position as the two biggest mobile operating systems to help make mobile payments frictionless. Now Google has just entered into a new deal that will help it extend its reach much further.

WePay has been chosen as the first payment provider to integrate Google Wallet Instant Buy into its checkout experience, it was announced on Monday. The deal will allow platforms on WePay to offer Google Wallet as a payment option to their customer bases.

WePay has 1,000 partners, including Care.com, Meetup, FreshBooks, CustomMade, and GoFundMe. Its platforms have over half a million merchants, with customers in the multi-millions. WePay has processed over $1 billion in transaction volume, so obviously this partnership will go a long  way toward extending the reach of Google Wallet to a host of new businesses and customers. 

The first partner to adopt Google Wallet Instant Buy was invoicing platform InvoiceASAP, with more now expected to sign on with this announcement.

The platforms benefit from the deal through the simplification of the mobile payments experience, Rich Aberman, WePay Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, told me in an interview.

"InvoiceASAP wants to make easy as possible for their small business users to start accepting payments,' he said. "They want it to be easy as possible to pay those invoices because more people will pay them, which means more money in the company's pockets."

At the same time, Google benefits because for Google Wallet, as well as Apple Pay, "to be successful they have to be supported by merchants," and "consumers need to use them."  

Unlike Apple Pay, which has an open API, which means that companies like WePay can easily integrate it, the same was not true for Google Wallet. For any small merchant who wanted to accept it would have to have more technical knowledge than the average small business has. 

The reason that Google has chosen WePay as a partner is that it allows Google to get easy distribution to merchants due to the fact that the company has "already done the work to onboard platforms and has a running infrastructure," said Aberman. With this move, Google is finally opening up Google Wallet to a broader set of businesses and customers.

Ultimately, what the deal really does, though, is make online payments broader by making them less of a hassle on mobile, thereby pushing it ahead and giving it traction is has, so far, been unable to achieve. 

"Look at mobile traffic: in the past few years it has exceeded desktop. However, that has not happened with payments, where less than 50% happen on mobile," Aberman said. "The problem is that entering payment info onto a mobile device is a pain."

Now, the process will be much easier for million of customers, and it will be frictionless for them. Here is how it will work: when a customer opens an invoice from InvoiceASAP in their mobile phone, for example, they will have the option with a credit card, a bank account or with Google Wallet. The merchant does not have to do anything; the only requirement is that the customer has a Google Wallet account to pay from.

"Companies like Apple and Google are in great position to make checkout process easier for consumes, and make it much easier to make a payment online from mobile device," said Aberman. 

Founded in 2008, WePay has raised over $34 million in funding, most recently a $15 million Series C in January of 2014. Investors in the company include Phil Purcell, Max Levchin, Webb Investment Network, Raymond Tonsing, Highland Capital Partners, August Capital and Ignition Partners.

(Image source: wepay.com)

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