Braintree already counts Uber, Fab, and Airbnb among its clientele for processing payments and it’s seeing $1 billion a year in mobile transactions.
Now it’s trying to give rival Paypal even more of a run by cutting fees and easing the sign-up process for developers. They’re offering instant approval for new merchant accounts, which means a developer can add payments to their apps in about 30 minutes. This is instead of either having to wait several days for approval or partnering with a payment aggregator.
The risk of working with a payment aggregator is that while these companies can give instant approval, there is a chance that if an app explodes (like a Fab.com), a developer could have their service later disrupted as transaction volume rises too quickly.
“If a developer wants to put in a slick one-click checkout process, they have access to that on Day 1 instead of waiting several days,” said Braintree CEO Bill Ready.
Braintree is also removing a $100 monthly fee, and matching fees of rivals with 2.9 percent rate and $.30 per transaction. They’re also growing internationally, with reach in 31 countries. Braintree supports 80 local payment methods in these markets.
Before, Braintree would take a few days to vet potential partners, which meant they potentially lost out on customers that needed an instant solution. Now with the sign-up flow much more streamlined, this could help the company scale its customer base much faster. Ready won’t share the exact number of customers except to say that the company has more than 50 businesses among the largest 500 Internet retailers in its clientele. Ready also estimates that about 10 percent of mobile commerce transactions are going through Braintree.
Braintree, which is far away from Silicon Valley on Groupon’s home turf of Chicago, was bootstrapped until last year. At that time, it took a big slug of funding from Facebook’s first venture investor Accel Partners with a $34 million round. What made them stand out against other rivals like Paypal was a very hands-on and attentive approach toward customer service that has helped the company win larger, brand-name clients. Another rival, YC-backed Stripe, also has good support among the Y Combinator family of startups, but it’s still young and relatively small.
Since the funding round, Ready came on as CEO, and the company recently snagged some high-profile talent from Google’s lackluster mobile Wallet effort, which had been bleeding talent to Square and other startups already. They also recently bought New York’s Venmo to add a consumer-facing mobile app on top of the B2B business.