Balanced is white-labeled web-based dashboard & payments API. It is a payment system designed for marketplaces from the scratch. The company offers two products – Balanced Processing and Balanced Payouts. It’s solutions can also be used for any type of e-commerce model beyond marketplaces and ad networks. On 21st February 2014, Balanced announced its partnership with Coinbase to enable its customers to accept Bitcoin as a method of payment.
Previously known as PoundPay, Balanced was Co-Founded by Matin Tamizi (CEO) and Mahmoud Abdelkader (CTO) in October 2010. The company has received a total funding of $3.5 Mn through investors SV Angel, Brian Chesky, Yishan Wong (Reddit CEO), Yun-Fang Juan, Josh Abrams, Collaborative Fund, Ronnie Cheng, Justin Mitchell, Nick Bilogorsky, Y Combinator, Andreessen Horowitz and Ashton Kutcher.
What this partnership means:
- Balanced operates as an API platform for two-sided payments transactions. Its support for Bitcoin will allow the companies that are accepting payments from one party and making payouts to another, to utilize the feature.
- Over 450 marketplaces utilize the company’s payment solutions. By connecting with the end users’ Coinbase digital wallets, Balanced enables any of these marketplaces to accept Bitcoin as a method of payment.
- Coinbase will be listed as a choice right alongside options for accepting credit card payments. Users who wish to pay via Bitcoin will be asked to log in to their Coinbase digital wallet and have money deducted from their account.
- Although the Bitcoin option now exists, it is the users’ choice on the implementation of the feature alongside credit cards. The fee for Bitcoin transactions is a mere 1% in comparison to the 2.9% + 30cents offered by balanced for credit card transactions.
“I think of bitcoin more of a currency similar to how US dollar of the Euro than an actual payments method. Bitcoin wallets are the actual payment method. So in this case we are giving you the ability to pay from your Coinbase bitcoin wallet,” said CEO Matin Tamizi. Coinbase handles Bitcoin transactions for over 960,000 consumer wallets and 23,000 merchants.
- Balanced works for both sides of a marketplace transaction.
- It provides card processing, fee collection, escrow funds, fraud prevention and tax reporting on the collections side.
- Balanced marketplace model offers a way for companies to quickly make payments to the sellers that provide goods and services through their platforms.
- This includes next business-day funds delivery through direct bank deposits to marketplace sellers.
Over 150 companies tested out Balanced’s beta program. Companies such as Kitchit, TheFancy, CrowdTilt, Zaarly, Copious, Visual.ly and redditgifts are some of its partners. In February 2013, Balanced added sameday ACH payouts to Wells Fargo customers.
Robocoin announced that they would be installing Bitcoin ATMs in Seattle and Austin, Texas. The Kiosks to be installed at these to venues will be equipped with scanners. This is so that government issued IDs such as passport or driver’s license can be read by the equipment to confirm the identity of the user.
Over the month, two major Bitcoin exchanges – Mt. Gox and Bitstamp – announced that they would be halting all Bitcoin withdrawals indefinitely. This caused the value of Bitcoin to stagger down to $644. These developments however do not seem to deter the increasing number of merchants, retailers and people beginning to accept Bitcoin as a method of payment. The latest members are – ‘The Pizza Guys’ – the first in Dubai to accept Bitcoin payments.