JPMorgan Chase has demonstrated a number of different ways for banks and other FIs to keep up with the competition: investment, in the form of its capital infusion into Bill.com, partnership, as in the recently extended deal with OnDeck, and outright acquisition, as in today’s case of WePay.
The bank has agreed to acquire the Palo Alto, California-based fintech, which will function as the payments innovation incubator in Silicon Valley for JPMorgan Chase. The terms of the acquisition were not immediately available, but the Wall Street Journal suggests the WePay price tag is just above the company’s most recently established valuation of $220 million.
“With WePay, Chase is taking the work out of payments for both our business clients and the software providers who serve them,” Chase Merchant Services CEO Matt Kane said. “We are powering payments for growth, so businesses can accept payments instantly, get paid faster, and never lose a sale.” Kane added that ISVs will get a “payment facilitator-like experience” with less cost and fraud risk. WePay founder and CEO Bill Clerico said the acquisition would enable the company “to better support (its) growing list of platform partners and the businesses they serve.”
The two companies have set out distinct areas where the merger will provide new opportunities to software providers and merchants. These include instant onboarding for small businesses, instant payments for merchants, and the ability for software platforms to serve as payment facilitators or third party payment processors.
Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Palo Alto, California, WePay demonstrated its Veda Risk Engine/Risk API at FinovateSpring 2014. The company’s API-based technology gives simple payment functionality to software platforms like Constant Contact and GoFundMe. Payment integration can be a significant challenge for many software providers; in a statement JPMorgan noted that software-enabled payments are growing at 4x the industry average.
Earlier this month, WePay announced a partnership with SignUpGenius. Over the summer, the company released new national research that showed 41% of businesses suffered from cash flow challenges and 16% experienced payment fraud in the past year. The research also revealed high adoption of business management software tools or apps among SMBs (84%) and a high preference for faster service from their technology (50%) and improved security (45%). In March, WePay began accepting Apple Pay and Android Pay online.