Payments gateway Braintree is launching a new service today called Marketplace, an API designed for mobile – you guessed it – marketplace operators. The new platform is already being used by TaskRabbit, a service for outsourcing errands and temporary work projects, which recently began shifting its focus to mobile and enterprise.
Braintree CEO Bill Ready says there are other companies using Marketplace as well, but TaskRabbit is the only one the company it can announce today.
Marketplace is being offered to Braintree clients, currently at no additional cost beyond the company’s standard pricing of 2.9 percent and $0.30 per transaction for payment acceptance. Instead, the idea is about making Braintree more applicable in a particular vertical. Specifically, it’s targeting marketplace operators who want to do a little outsourcing of their own. Instead of them serving as the middleman in transactions – getting the funds from the buyer, holding them in escrow, validating the seller’s banking info, sending funds on to seller when transaction completes, etc. – Braintree Marketplace handles the end-to-end flow of the money being moved.
It also handles the 1099 tax reporting, and supports customization options which allow the merchants to specify how and when members are paid, whether or not payments are held in escrow, whether transaction fees should be assessed and more. In addition, sellers can choose to either receive payments through ACH bank transfer (within 2 days) or sign up for Braintree’s Venmo (next day) to be paid more quickly. Buyers, meanwhile, can pay for their purchases using Venmo Touch, the company’s mobile payments platform which recently expanded to Android and iOS 7, but this is not required.
To get started, the sign-up process is the same for a Marketplace operator as it is for Braintree’s instant applications, and Marketplaces are approved and running in around an hour, the company tells us. Sellers within the Marketplace are instantly approved.
Marketplace can run anywhere Braintree is already supported, including web and mobile platforms like iOS, Android and Windows. Server-side libraries are available, as well.
The debut of Braintree Marketplace comes on the heels of Stripe’s move into this area, first announced this June. The company also launched an API which allows for ACH transfers, and charges a flat $0.25 for each payout in addition to its standard pricing (which is the same as Braintree’s). Startups including Lyft, Exec, Sidecar, Postmates, Homejoy, Kitchensurfing, HomePolish, Flightfox, Weddings.com, and Shoptiques are on board, and as of late June, Stripe said it was processing up to $500,000 per day in transactions.
Ready explains that Braintree wanted to address many of the collaborative consumption companies’ biggest pain points, and worked collaboratively with its customer base on the new service. “Collecting checking account information is now just a mobile number, escrow is handled by Braintree, and funds are delivered faster than PayPal and others that can take 3 to 7 days,” notes Ready.
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