Volume woos internet shoppers with ‘Pay Now, Spend Less’ promise

Volume, the payments fintech startup, exists in stealth mode today after raising $2.4 million with the launch of its internet payment fee killer Pay Now Spend Less in April.

This is the first solution that encourages shoppers to pay with their banking app by offering an instant discount on everything they buy at checkout.

Volume’s Pay Now Spend Less goes beyond direct, one-click, A2A (account-to-account) payments between merchant bank accounts and online shoppers. It enables participating e-commerce merchants to offer shoppers tailored discount tiers based on savings by bypassing the fees charged by traditional payment intermediaries such as debit and credit cards, e-wallets and buy now, pay later.

These charge between about 2% and 8% on each sale to each company. This means that for every £100 spent online, up to £5 will be retained by payment companies, whether the shopper books a taxi, orders food or buys a new t-shirt. Most companies admit to passing these costs on to consumers. Even with these high fees, it can still take up to seven days for the money owed by the seller to show up in the merchant’s bank account.

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Payment fees also continue to rise. For example, in October 2021, both Visa and Mastercard increased cross-border interbank fees for purchases in Europe. The impact of high transaction fees on merchants – totaling $100 billion annually according to McKinsey – was clearly visible in a public dispute in 2021, now settled when Amazon threatened to stop using UK-issued Visa credit cards. By enabling direct payments between buyers’ and merchants’ bank accounts, Open Banking reduces these fees, potentially approaching zero.

By eliminating payment intermediaries, the startup calculates that shoppers will save £3.2 billion a year1 in the UK alone, with merchants achieving instant settlement and a significant reduction in fraud.

Simone Martinelli, co-founder and CEO of Volume, says: “Volume aims to create a financially sustainable internet where money flows freely from consumers to businesses and vice versa. To do this, both traders and consumers must be given incentives. Pay Now Spend Less is the next obvious development for debit cards. We’re revolutionizing payments in the same way Klarna did for credit cards 10 years ago.”

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Volume predicts that the rebates enabled by Pay Now Spend Less will dramatically increase the number of consumers who choose open banking. A2A payments remain relatively under-researched, being used by less than 4% of digitally-enabled consumers in the UK2 – one of the most advanced markets in this regard.

In addition to a very poor user experience to date compared to traditional banks, another major obstacle to adoption was that buyers had no incentive to switch payment methods. “Currently, with open banking, merchants can avoid interbank fees,” Martinelli continues, “but these savings are not passed on to consumers. By overcoming this limitation at a time of rapidly rising inflation, we anticipate that our discounted payments solution will reduce the adoption of traditional payment methods as shoppers turn to low-cost open banking purchases.”

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In minutes, any business around the world with access to Open Banking Pay Now Spend Less by Volume can add at checkout to reduce inflation, with easy and fast integration by merchants with a 5-line code plugin. The discount level is customizable by SKU. How the discount is displayed can also be customized according to each merchant’s interface preferences.

Volume includes native biometric security and the payment process takes less than a second, five times faster than traditional card payments.

Unnecessarily high payment fees also contribute to consumers’ reluctance to make a purchase, with the main reason for cart abandonment being price. For the average ecommerce store, lowering the price with Volume’s Pay Now Spend Less could result in up to 250% more conversions.

Volume also explores partnerships beyond payments, such as B. Sustainability in areas such as reducing the carbon footprint, cashback and loyalty programs and alliances with social networks.

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