Adii, Thank you for the amazing reason to finally launch my own blog… so I can speak freely about this subject (hopefully it will be more than just financial transaction technology, as that would be boring as hell). I agree 100% that Paypal is absolute shit. Can they change?… yes. The issue is, there is NO competition globally. They have gotten very myopic, treat their customers like shit, and innovate in places that don’t necessarily solve the serious issues of companies that rely on their services every day. It’s time for a revolution, but rather than building a “PayPal killer,” I’m hoping InspirePay can help them change for the better while really empowering other payment methods on the market.
At Inspire Commerce, we see people every day that want to receive payments online, but internationally, 99% of the companies that call are too small to really go through the process of setting up an international processing account (underwriting is long, tedious, and painful). For them, the only solution is PayPal.
In the US things are different. Because of the US ACH system, there are many options on the market now, including Dwolla (great phone call with them today), Zong (purchased by PayPal… boo), Amazon Payments, Stripe, Google Checkout, and many more. With so many options, however, things actually get more complicated. Who to choose? Most have hidden fees, so what’s the actual cost for moving money? They are all “closed systems,” so if you’re sending an invoice for payment, how do you know if the person paying is in the “closed system” you want to use? Do you really want to force your customers to choose a single option? We need a simple way to request money that leverages options WITH transparency. That is InspirePay.
Looking globally, there is nothing but opportunity for crafty entrepreneurs wanting to get in this game, but because there is so much demand in the US, and the ACH system is relatively brainless to build on top of, leaving the US is often a huge hurdle for new payment companies. As soon as they move internationally, Ugh. It gets oh so painful.
My opinion is that we need options + transparency in order to democratize this mess. Add those together, and all of a sudden the payment companies need to grow to meet their customer needs. Without competition, the system is unfair, expensive, and lacking evolution. Without transparency, it’s confusing, and hidden fees run rampant. We need a revolution.
For now, InspirePay has no vision of becoming a paypal competitor. As a matter of fact, we’d like to help paypal meet the needs of it’s users… PayPal is an option to choose from in the InspirePay system, and will be so indefinitely. InspirePay is focused on three things:
- Simple – Helping people simplify the art of requesting, receiving, and making payments online. With so many choices (in the US at least 🙁 ), we need a way of simplifying the user experience. InspirePay is an integrator in this regard. One logs in, sets up a pay me page (or API user) and from their they can connect all of their payment methods. They then send the request… could be tweet, post, email, fax, phone, button, api call, napkin with scribbles, whatever. It’s so simple, and makes it easy to integrate all methods in one instance/integration.
- Options – InspirePay is committed to offering as many options as possible globally. InspirePay will work with the payment providers to speak on behalf of the people. At launch, the company is hoping to have not only traditional merchant account integration through Authorize.net and our Inspire Commerce Gateway, but also PayPal, Google Checkout, Amazon Payments, Dwolla and possibly Zong (less motivated to do so now, however, as they are the same as PayPal). From there, InspirePay will listen and add what is requested by the people. Setup up an account once it launches, get involved, and share your opinion! Until then, get on the mailing list. ( On a side note, the app was written in Ruby, so IF there is a payment method in the Active Merchant library you can’t live without, write in and it will be placed on the roadmap. )
- Unique – You’re you, we encourage that. InspirePay is built to let anyone (consultant, entrepreneur, big business, dudes, baby sitters, doctors… heck even lawyers) setup their own pay me pages and brand them to at least the same extent one can brand, say, twitter. Did I say there is a free version that will work for most people? The system is easy to allow you to be uniquely you, and will continue to grow with massive power to bring simplicity and options off site via our API in months to come.
I think that if you hate PayPal and want options, no matter who you are, sign up for InspirePay when it launches (get on the mailing list now). If you love PayPal, but want a branded payment page for free, sign up for the InspirePay launch (and get on the mailing list now). InspirePay won’t replace PayPal, ever, but we might do our best to convince them to be better (by making it easier for the other companies to compete). The people have a voice here, and if we all stand up and demand change, I’m sure we can make it happen.
InspirePay is using the power of volume and democracy to prove the demand. Hopefully this will make the payment companies resting in the comfort of the US banking system step over the border and start providing excellent services globally. Already, I’ve started strong arming one of our partners thanks to Adii’s post today. They are our primary international partner on the merchant services side and as of today have a $25K / month minimum for business to get on board. I’m hoping they can work with us to find a solution that is for the people, not just for those business that “survived” growth through PayPal, 2CO, etc. We need options. We need simplicity. And you need a way to get paid, your way.
Let us know what you think! If you have a new up and coming international payments platform you think everyone should have access to, let us know and InspirePay will integrate it!