August 29, 2013, 11:05 AM

CustomMade e-marketplace increases payment transaction activity with WePay

WePay helps it securely and quickly process complex transactions, CustomMade says.

Amy Dusto

Associate Editor

Lead Photo

Handmade goods marketplace CustomMade increased its ability to quickly and securely process payments for client merchants by adding WePay payment processing to its e-commerce site last week, CustomMadechief operating officer Matt Zisow says. Previously, CustomMade shoppers arranged payments directly with merchants, which the marketplace calls makers, such as by mailing a check or using a private payments tool like eBay Inc.’s PayPal, he says.

“This was a pain point for many of our makers and our customers, as makers were spending their time working on invoicing, while customers wanted a more seamless payment experience,” he says. “This new platform allows both parties to transact directly through the CustomMade site so that customers know exactly where their money is going and makers know exactly when they will receive their payment.”

The marketplace selected WePay because it can process both credit card and bank transactions and it includes support by phone, live chat or e-mail for sellers and shoppers on its site, Zisow says. Being able to take payments within the site is helping CustomMade to better compete with mainstream retail sites, he adds.

“Our payments flow is particularly challenging, as we process large transactions in multiple steps over a multi-week period, and need a solution that appeals to both our makers and our customers,” he says. “Using WePay, we can now collect payments from customers in a way that’s completely secure, and then pay out our makers in a timely and convenient manner.” Zisow notes that transactions on CustomMade can take multiple steps and run into large order values because they can involve projects such as remodeling a bathroom, for which a customer will work with a designer to choose several items such as sinks, shower stalls, mirrors and flooring.

WePay’s technology is designed to help e-marketplaces boost both the number of merchants selling on their platforms and total sales by providing a quick and easy way for those merchants to accept payments, according to Rich Aberman, WePay co-founder and chief operating officer.

Crowdfunding web site GoFundMe has increased its sign-up rate by 17% of organizations and individuals seeking public funding, and its conversion rate on donation check-outs by 28% after moving to WePay from another payment system, Aberman says. GoFundMe was not available for comment.

The two-year-old vendor works with 280 e-marketplaces and transactional sites like GoFundMe, Aberman says. WePay provides e-marketplaces free access to its application programming interface, or API, to connect their check-out pages with the WePay payment processing system. An API is a set of software instructions for sharing data between two software systems. For each payment that goes through the API, WePay takes a processing fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 per credit card transaction or 1% plus $0.30 per bank transaction.

Additionally, the vendor handles all the back-end security details of processing transactions on its clients’ sites. “WePay takes on all the financial and regulatory risks for you but you still have control of the experience,” Aberman says, adding that WePay provides full compliance with PCI standards as it transfers payment card data to financial institutions PCI refers to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards—a set of rules created by payment card networks for securing consumer payment account data.

WePay can approve merchants to start accepting payments within 30 seconds because it uses data provided by an e-marketplace about the merchant’s past selling history, ratings and reviews and other data like Facebook profiles to verify identity and reputation, Aberman says. That helps increase the number of merchants that complete the process of signing up to sell through the e-marketplace, because otherwise those verifications could take days or weeks, he says.

For merchants, setting up a tool to receive payments on an e-commerce site with WePay requires only filling out two fields in a pop-up window, Aberman says. WePay has processed payments for more than 250,000 merchants so far, he says.

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