Presenting today at the LAUNCH festival, Knox Payments is raising the curtains on a new service for merchants.
Similar to Balanced and Dwolla, Knox Payments allows merchants to accept payments directly from their customer’s bank accounts. These transactions are known as ACH payments.
But, while ACH payments are old news, Knox Payments hopes to stand out with an extreme focus on speed.
Dwolla, with all its benefits, suffers from a horrifying onboarding problem: Signing up for Dwolla essentially feels like joining a bank — they even need your social security number.
That barrier to entry makes it difficult for merchants to encourage non-Dwolla users to try the service.
Knox Payments, on the other hand, doesn’t even offer user accounts. It is simply a utility for fast checkouts. For clarity, however, it’s worth noting that Dwolla has many upsides, particularly as a PayPal replacement.
According to Knox Payments cofounder Tommy Nicholas, his service allows users to “make ACH transactions without having to know your account and routing number. We know you have the money before you make a payment.” This, Nicholas claims, gives his service a leg up against competitors such as Balanced.
“Now a business can put our button on their website, and when people go to pay, they can choose to pay with their bank. Our thesis is around making this process way faster and reducing keystrokes. You can go through an online checkout in three clicks. We only charge $0.18 per transactions over $2.”
Here’s a look at the service:
Knox Payments’s key hurdle will be achieving scale without having a strong identity for customers to latch onto. By not offering user accounts, Knox Payments will have to rely on merchant evangelists to spread the word. Additionally, it’s unclear at what scale Knox Payments will become profitable, given its low transaction fees.
Knox Payments has raised $900,000 from undisclosed, Virginia-based angel investors, and is launching in limited beta for merchants. Interested merchants can sign up here.