GoCardless tries to disrupt the credit card industry

May 15, 2012

For small business owners, frustration with credit card companies is nothing new.

“You are a slave to the lender,” said Doris McMillon, owner of a communications consulting business, in a recent Reuters article. “What some of these banks have done to small business owners is unconscionable.”

Luckily for entrepreneurs like McMillon, one UK based startup, fresh with $1.5 million in venture capital, is trying to shake up the credit card industry. GoCardless is building a way for UK businesses to cut out the credit card middleman, and instead allow customers and businesses to deal directly with banks by tapping into banks’ APIs, which were previously reserved only for larger companies and organizations, reports Wired.

GoCardless joins the ranks of companies, like Square and Dwolla, that are trying to challenge and out-innovate traditional payment/credit companies like Visa, Mastercard and even PayPal, which was acquired by eBay in 2002. With the ubiquity of mobile devices, and new technologies like the Square payment system, the credit/debit payment space seems wide open and ripe for innovation.

“As a merchant, card companies are a rip-off and the application process is eye-wateringly complex,” said Matt Robinson, founder of GoCardless in an interview with Wired. “We charge 1 percent per transaction — a step-change cheaper than alternatives. We can do this and still have attractive economics because we’re able to cut out the cost and complexity of the card networks.”

To read the full Q & A with GoCardless founder Matt Robinson, click over to Wired.

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