Wade Roush reports:
[WePay] has realized that its secret weapon—the thing it can do better than PayPal or any other online payment provider—is its ability to sign up new merchants quickly, without lots of paperwork or time-consuming background checks.
In fact, its onboarding process is so fast that other Web businesses that need to help their users process money—such as Fundable, a Kickstarter-like crowdfunding site for startups—are signing up by the dozens to use WePay as their payment infrastructure.
According to Clerico and Aberman, the startup is able to offer these quick sign-ups because it has figured out a fast and reliable way to evaluate whether new customers pose a fraud risk. Rather than running slow and expensive credit checks and other inquiries, it simply looks at applicants’ social networking profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other sites. Says Aberman: “The benefit of digging into Facebook and Twitter is that when a new user signs up, they don’t have any transaction history on WePay. But they do have a history on other networks. We can see goodness or guilt by association.”
That means WePay can make a quick decision about whether a new applicant might be a fraudster. Assuming they’re not, it can enable them to receive money as soon as the day after they sign up.