GoCardless, the bank-to-bank payments fintech, has launched an open banking feature integrated directly into its global payment platform and functional across all payment models.
Instant Bank Pay will provide merchants with a low-cost method for instant payments collection, to push back the dominance of cards for one-off payments. This is the first step in GoCardless’ open banking strategy, which was injected with $95 million in a Series F raise in December 2020. At the time, this raise valued the processor at $970 million.
Serving 60,000 merchants, the introduction of Instant Bank Pay will allow the fintech to expand its offering into the adjacent e-commerce market where it will take on one-off and ‘card-on-file’ payments.
On the announcement Hiroki Takeuchi, co-founder and CEO of GoCardless states: “We’ve specialised in bank-to-bank payments for over 10 years, with bank debit as the primary payment method. And while it provides many advantages to consumers and businesses, speed of payment authorisation is a drawback.”
“Instant Bank Pay addresses this by giving merchants the best of both worlds: open banking will provide instant confirmation of payment authorisation, enabling them to have immediate visibility of their one-off payments, and bank debit will continue to offer the cash flow, cost and retention benefits they have come to expect.”
According to research from the fintech, 85% of merchants with this business model have a need for collecting additional one-off payments, for example, topping up an account outside of a customer’s regular payment schedule. The new Instant Bank Pay feature addresses this issue which is particularly acute for recurring revenue businesses.
Bank debit is not appropriate for one-off payments, because it does not provide merchants with instant visibility of payment authorisation. This has resulted in merchants instead turning to high-fee card payments or time-consuming bank transfers to make the payments. The transparency and speed of Instant Bank Pay solves this challenge.
Takeuchi concludes: “By enabling businesses to take any kind of payment through GoCardless, we can challenge the dominance of cards and move beyond collecting subscriptions, invoices and instalments. The launch of this open banking feature means we can now serve any merchant, regardless of whether they have an ongoing or one-off relationship with their customers.”