Checkbook.io Launches InstantPay

Digital check innovator Checkbook.io unveiled Instant Pay today. The new offering streamlines the funds transfer process for businesses that want to send money to individual and business bank accounts.

Instant Pay works by circumventing the need for payment recipients to go through a sign up process to receive their funds. Instead, Instant Pay requests information directly from the recipient’s Mastercard or Visa branded debit card. This eliminates the requirement of other sensitive information such as their personal details, account number, or routing number.

The technology works because Checkbook.io doesn’t use the antiquated ACH infrastructure, which requires recipient onboarding and takes three to five business days to move funds from one account to another. Instead of running the payment on ACH rails, the funds are transferred using VISA Direct rails, enabling the recipient to see the money in their account within 18 seconds (though the company discloses that the process could take up to 15 minutes).

Businesses can integrate the solution using Checkbook.io’s RESTful API. Along with Checkbook.io’s other tools, the API is publicly available and can easily be integrated into a business’ existing payment process. The company charges a flat, $1 fee per transaction, regardless of the check amount, and allows a maximum of $10,000 per transaction.

Checkbook.io most recently presented at FinovateSpring 2017, where company CEO and founder PJ Gupta showcased the company’s Digital Checks solution. Founded in 2015, Checkbook.io has raised an undisclosed amount of funds from investors such as Tim Draper, AngelList, and more. For more on Checkbook.io, check out our recent feature of the company’s accomplishments.

Finovate Alumni News

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Checking In with Checkbook.io

In the year since our last look at Checkbook.io, the company has partnered with Baxter Credit Union, teamed up with fellow fintechs, and topped more than two million users of its Digital Check technology.

Checkbook.io also partnered with LuLaRoe to enable the e-commerce provider to issue a million-plus check sales tax refund disbursement. “That was another major milestone for us,” said founder and CEO of Checkbook.io, P.J. Gupta.

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Checkbook.io has dozens of enterprise partners, and has already processed hundreds of millions of dollars since inception in 2015. The company demonstrated its Digital Check technology at FinovateSpring 2017, and we caught up with Gupta recently to talk about the way accounting firms in particular have taken to his company’s Digital Check solution.

“Paper checks are a major irritant for accountants,” Gupta explained, highlighting some of the key advantages of Digital Checks for accounting professionals in a conversation this fall. The technology integrates readily with widely-used accounting platforms including Quickbooks, he said, as well as the in-house systems of partners like Accountants World. Co-founder and CEO of Accountants World Dr. Chandra Bhansali noted that his firm had a designated project manager “specifically to leverage all of the benefits of Checkbook.io.” Bhansali added, “We’re committed to a future where no paper check or paper reconciliation will ever slow us down.”

Opening up the technology to accountants as a white-label solution via API was important. “They wanted to do it from their portal, their application,” Gupta said. “And there aren’t dozens, but hundreds of accounting software packages. So we have provided an API where companies can build a white-label integration, and they are now able to send or request Digital Checks from their own accounting packages.”

And because Checkbook.io replicates the paper check writing experience, there is no learning curve, on boarding, or enrollment.  As a more affordable and efficient alternative to paper checks, Digital Checks can save companies time and money, including when it comes to having to issue stop payments or re-issue checks.

As an example, Gupta points to the “extremely simple and lucrative” use case with Baxter Credit Union mentioned earlier. “They were spending more than $20 to $30 per check, overnighting these checks to their recipients for auto loans,” he said. “And with us, it’s going to be less than $1. End-to-end tracking. No more ‘check is in the mail’, ‘got lost in the mail’, etc.”

Looking toward the future, Gupta pointed to both new funding and new platform features as part of the plan for 2019. He said that the company had reached the “millions” stage using just seed funding and early stage, and was now looking to “go to the next level” of “tens of millions” in the year to come. More partnerships with banks and financial services companies, including potential collaboration with a fellow Finovate alum, are also on the agenda.

Gupta also talked about new ways to help customers get paid quicker. “Right now when you get your Digital Check in your email, you can do a direct deposit and the funds can take anywhere from overnight to three days to clear depending on how the originator is set up,” he said. “What we’re doing is instant pay, the ability of the recipient to input their debit card and get the cash instantly. Literally. As soon as they log in, the money will be in their bank account.” The feature is expected to be introduced early in 2019.

Learn more about Checkbook.io and P.J. Gupta in our extended 2016 interview.

Finovate Alumni News

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

FinDEVr APIntelligence

FinDEVrSV16-withdateOur FinDEVr New York developer showcase was a success! FinDEVr Silicon Valley will be held 18/19 October 2016 in Santa Clara. Register today and save.

On FinDEVr.com

  • From the Tech Side: Interview with Checkbook.io CTO PJ Gupta

The latest from FinDEVr New York 2016 presenters

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Alumni updates

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Stay current on daily news from the fintech developer community! Follow FinDEVr on Twitter.

From the Tech Side: Interview with Checkbook.io CTO PJ Gupta

CheckbookIMG1

Ever wonder what’s on the other side of some of the fintech we showcase on the Finovate blog? That’s the entire premise of our FinDEVr conference series. To get an idea of what I’m talking about, check out this interview from PJ Gupta, CTO and founder of Checkbook.io.

We recently interviewed Gupta, who founded Checkbook.io in 2014, about the company’s digital check platform. You can try out a digital check at checkbook.io/?type=finovate

Finovate: Where did you start your career and how did you gain experience needed to found Checkbook?

PJ: My most recent corporate role was Chief Network Architect at VISA, where I was responsible for the VISA USA commercial and corporate network. From the outside, the VISA network works seamlessly; however, on the inside, the payments ecosystem is very inefficient, both from a business as well as technology perspective. Things move slowly at large established bureaucracies—while fundamental changes always come from the outside—so I decided to leave my cushy job to venture out on my own.

Finovate: What has been the most important technological development in your field in the past few years, and how has it impacted/influenced your work at Checkbook?

PJ: There have been quite a few, but I would say that the two key tech developments for our work at Checkbook are:
Access to bank APIs which allow us to verify bank account credentials and balances in real-time
Ability to use front-end technologies (i.e., tokenization) to seamlessly complete a payment transaction without payment information having to be shared with the merchant’s web servers.

RecipientValidatesAccount

Finovate: What is the most difficult aspect of Checkbook from a compliance standpoint and how do you simplify it for developers and merchant clients?

PJ: Our API has tokenization built into it, so that whether accepting a payment or making one, the user’s sensitive payment information is not shared with the merchant. This allows the merchant to bypass compliance altogether. Furthermore, we are audited and maintain compliance on our side thus reducing the compliance burden for our developers/merchants.

Finovate: Tell us about your favorite integration of Checkbook’s API.

PJ: We have numerous integrations of our API, so it’s hard to give you just one example. Here are a handful of my favorites:

A) We have an Accounts Receivable plug-in available for Shopping Cart platforms, and other private-label applications. Below, you’ll see a screenshot of one of our corporate customers who uses our APIs to receive payment from their shopping cart (in this case they use WooCommerce/Word Press).CHeckbookIMG3
B) Cleanly, which is the ‘Uber’ of dry cleaning, is another one of our clients that uses our Direct API. Cleanly uses it to support both accounts receivable and accounts payable to their contractors/workers. Here is a testimonial from them:

“Checkbook has been a huge help for us in providing a scalable solution for sending out payments with an elegant look, easy integration, and one-click payments. It is by far the most cost-effective and easiest way to get payments taken care of, whether you’re reimbursing customers or paying vendors. We’re happy we made the switch.”
– Alex Prober, VP Engineering

C) Another client, Suretrader.com, was able to easily integrate our iframe for accounts receivable using less than 10 lines of code.

D) We are integrated with Quickbooks, which allows business customers to send digital checks through their QB account with the click of a button. Check out the integration video.

E) We also support accounts payable with SalesForce’s Accounting Seed, where our UI/UX is especially user-centric. Furthermore, we have been able to work closely with their product team to make further enhancements (like invoice reconciliation). Check out the integration video.

Finovate: How do you respond to people who claim that checks are dead?

PJ: Completely agree. Paper checks are dead. They are inefficient, slow, and very costly; however, there is no alternative available. ACH has multiple issues namely: payee/payor bank account verification, 3-day settlement delay and not all DDA accounts are ACH enabled. Using our digital checks obviates all of the above problems while also offering a modern user experience that people expect nowadays.

CheckbookIMG4

Finovate: What are some upcoming initiatives from Checkbook that we can look forward to over the next few months?

PJ: Think of seamless integrations with major accounting packages. If you’re a user of one of these packages, your bank account will already be verified so you’ll be able to send a digital check with a single click, and the recipient will get it delivered instantly by email. And the next step would be going international!

Finovate: Aside from the major players, what company do you admire for its approach to technology?

PJ: I like the upstarts. Privacy.com is a very early stage startup that has a cute business model and simple problem to solve. It has a browser plugin which allows the user to pay using a disposable credit card number and they, in turn, withdraw money from the user’s account. The business model is interesting because they share the interchange with the issuer. I don’t know how successful it’ll be, but it’s good to see startups coming up with completely new ways to solve persistent problems.

Finovate: What do developers love most about Checkbook’s API?

PJ: To describe this in two words: simplicity and versatility, illustrated by our flexibility in doing the following:

1. Using Checkbook.io for A/P and/or A/R

2. Sending one check or a million with the click of a button

3. Using Checkbook.io’s APIs for shopping cart integration

4. Using Checkbook.io infrastructure as a private-label solution for your payroll needs

5. Sending digital checks through your existing accounting software platform like Quickbooks (integration video) and AccountingSeed (integration video)

For more information on Checkbook, visit the company’s Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and watch PJ Gupta’s FinDEVr Silicon Valley presentation, API for Digital Checks.

For more developer content, check out FinDEVr Silicon Valley this 18/19 October 2016 in Santa Clara.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

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On FinDEVr.com

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.