WePay is a third-party payment facilitator that has a flexible approach to integrating payments into your service.
- Good developer and marketplace tools
- Chip card hardware
- No setup or application fees
- No pricing is disclosed online
- Account stability issues
- Not a payment solution for individual merchants
WePay is a third-party payment facilitator (rather than a direct merchant account provider), placing it in the same category as Stripe, PayPal, and Square. Currently, WePay, which is owned by JP Morgan Chase, differentiates itself by serving both as a payments processing website and a platform partner.
Let’s take a moment to define the term “platform partner.” A platform partner is an online space where lots of business owners, sellers, or fundraisers conduct some aspect of their business. Here are some of the types of platforms WePay partners with, along with an example of each:
- Event Management (ConstantContact)
- Accounting/Invoicing (FreshBooks)
- eCommerce/Shopping Carts (Ecwid)
So say you are a merchant who uses the FreshBooks software platform for your accounting and invoicing needs, but you also need a way to accept credit cards for your invoices. Or you are managing a list of attendees for a conference in ConstantContact and need a way to collect payment from them. Perhaps you’ve got an online shop all set up via Ecwid, but you still need to decide how you’re going to accept payments from your customers.
That’s where WePay comes in. WePay’s goal is to have its payment facilitating capability already embedded inside the platforms that merchants use every day. Merchants can then quickly and easily start accepting payments without ever leaving the software platform they’re already using.
As a small business owner, you can’t sign up for WePay in isolation as you might with PayPal or Stripe. Instead, you’d only encounter WePay if you happened to use one of its partnered platforms.
Let’s take a closer look.
Table of Contents
Products & Services
As you read about WePay’s features, don’t forget that WePay targets the platform owners themselves, not merchants using the platforms. Like WePay’s website, this section of the review is written so that platform owners can understand what WePay offers. Still, merchants will benefit from knowing more about how platform payments work.
WePay is divided into three packages that customers can choose from. Essentially, these correspond to the level of association your platform will have with Chase and how much of the integration work you’ll have to do as opposed to mostly just redirecting customers to Chase payments infrastructure.
- Link: At the Link level, you’ll mostly be a referral partner, with Chase responsible for the payment UI, support, flow of funds, risk and compliance, and merchant pricing. Integration is minimal; you’ll just be making a few API calls.
- Clear: Clear leaves Chase responsible for the flow of funds and risk and compliance, but your platform will be responsible for the user experience, support, and merchant pricing.
- Core: At the Core level, Chase fades into the background, with your platform functioning as a payment facilitator.
WePay’s website is sparse on descriptions of specific products and features. The company is more interested in explaining the overall value proposition of integrated platform payments. Here’s a summary of WePay’s key offerings for platforms:
- Payment Processing: WePay is a third-party processor, like Stripe or Square, as opposed to a traditional merchant account provider. WePay’s FAQs state that it currently only supports US-based merchants and a growing number of Canadian merchants on a few platforms. However, we’ve noticed that WePay also has a merchant agreement for UK-based merchants listed on its Terms of Service page. WePay also has developer documentation for setting up UK merchants. That tells me UK merchants can also use WePay and the information on its web pages is most likely out of date.
- “White-Label” Payments: You’ll get your own, self-branded payment solution when you partner with WePay, without the hassle of actually becoming a payment facilitator yourself. Your brand-name payments service will still probably have “Powered by WePay” as part of its logo. I like to think of it as more of a “gray-label.” Another common industry term is co-branded.
- Developer Documentation/API: WePay describes itself as a payments API company. As such, the website’s developer section is the best place to find concrete information about WePay’s capabilities and how they can be customized to suit your needs.
- Simultaneous Onboarding: Platforms can set up their onboarding process to include WePay’s onboarding process, minimizing extra steps for merchants. As the Merchant Onboarding Overview explains, the partner platform has the option to set up WePay for all new merchants, with further verification steps required after merchants are already selling.
- Revenue From Payments: Platforms may have the opportunity to add their markups to transaction fees. See more on this in the WePay Fees & Rates section of this review.
- Risk Management & Fraud Protection: WePay claims to provide 100% coverage of a platform’s payments-related risk. That means the company will cover fraud losses and chargebacks. WePay also secures payment and customer information, which helps platforms achieve and maintain PCI, KYC, and OFAC compliance.
- Mobile Point Of Sale (mPOS): WePay enables white-label mobile POS for platforms. Merchants use the platform’s app and mobile hardware to collect payments. Here again, I’d refer you to the mPOS developer section of WePay’s site for the best information. A few highlights:
- Customizable EMV-Certified Card Readers: Choose between the Moby 3000 reader or RP350x, both by Ingenico/ROAM.
- iOS & Android SDKs: Integrate payments into the platform’s mobile app.
- Fulfillment Service: This lets the platform ship readers directly from WePay’s warehouse to merchants.
- Apple Pay: Add this capability to the platform’s regular website in addition to the mobile app.
- Customizable Payouts: Platforms can choose to allow merchants daily, weekly, or monthly payouts.
- Automatic Account Updater: Merchants can retain more recurring customers with an account updater for expired and replaced cards.
- Referral Program: With Link, WePay encourages platform customers to refer merchants to Chase Integrated Payments in exchange for leveraging the Chase brand and ecosystem for marketing. The platform customer will also get a cut of the transaction fees.
WePay Fees & Rates
WePay does not list any pricing information on its website, but that’s not that shocking given that it’s aimed at platforms, not individual merchants. Since WePay is a “white-label” payments provider, it works with each partnered platform individually to determine the pricing. Then, that platform communicates pricing plans to its merchants.
Once platforms have their pricing worked out with WePay, they are free to set their fees for processing both transactions and exceptions. That means platforms may choose to charge an additional fee on top of WePay’s rates. The exception, of course, is the Link plan, which uses Chase’s Integrated Payments rate of 2.9% + $0.25 per transaction.
WePay also mentions that it will pass through fees for “Payment Network Liabilities” to the merchants. You can read more about those fees in Section 8 of the Terms and Conditions.
Contract Length & Early Termination Fee
Here, we will mainly focus on the merchants using WePay’s partnered platforms.
These documents rightfully point out that even if a platform offers white-label payments, the platform itself probably also has a separate merchant agreement with terms and conditions for using the software. Bottom line: Both the platform’s general-use agreement and WePay’s Terms of Service (just for payments) are important documents to understand.
Sections 26 through 28 of the WePay Terms of Service address account termination. As a merchant, you may cancel WePay’s payment service at any time with no early termination fee. While you’re looking through the rest of the terms, be sure to note WePay’s policies on payout holds and account closures. You should also look at WePay’s Reserves FAQ, which covers both reserves and payout thresholds. These are common points of contention and misunderstanding when it comes to merchant aggregators — WePay included.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
Despite its unusual niche, WePay isn’t particularly opaque. That said, you won’t find all that much information about pricing in a nice, easy-to-read FAQ.
The great news about fully-integrated payments with WePay is that merchants are spared from aggressive sales agents, flashy ads, and gimmicky deals. It’s up to the software platform to “sell” its own co-branded payments provider over any others it may offer. WePay’s Terms of Service are available publicly, and they’re pretty easy to read. You should still do your due diligence, though, and read the Terms of Service in its entirety.
Customer Service & Technical Support
In theory, WePay and its partnered platforms work together on behalf of merchants and their customers to provide support. It should help that WePay and the platforms have access to each other’s data and support records. It’s all a great theory, but it makes you wonder how well it works in reality. The answer seems to be: It depends.
From a merchant’s perspective, you’ll either be talking to Chase or the platform operators, depending on the arrangement those two entities have worked out. As such, your experience may vary widely.
For platforms, there’s chat and email support, as well as a Help Center. Live support is available from 9 AM to 9 PM ET.
WePay User Reviews & Complaints
Negative WePay Reviews & Complaints
WePay maintains an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, with 115 registered complaints in the last three years (42 in the previous 12 months). Overall, that is a fairly low number for a third-party processor that serves so many people. That said, many of these involve the usual complaints you’ll find with third-party processors, such as account holds and freezes. It doesn’t hurt to read more about how to avoid holds, freezes, and terminations.
Here are some common complaints in WePay reviews:
- Withheld Funds: Holds related to “high-risk” transactions often result in account cancellation. Relatedly, disputes over WePay’s reserve accounts also crop up occasionally. Several merchants have reported delayed and inadequate explanations for holds and terminations.
- Frozen Or Terminated Accounts: After quick initial approval, some accounts have been subsequently frozen or terminated. Merchants and WePay often dispute the proper interpretation of WePay’s business-type restrictions or whether or not subsequent verification requirements were completed properly. Problems refunding payments to customers and donors sometimes ensue.
- Long Processing Time: Some users are unhappy with the two to five-day (or beyond) wait to receive funds when a “hold” is not in place.
- Poor Customer Service: Merchants say WePay’s customer support is slow to respond. In particular, merchants are frustrated by the lack of phone support.
This is a good time for another quick reminder to read both the platform’s and WePay’s Terms of Service and list of Prohibited Activities (Section 7 in Terms of Service). High-risk merchants may need an alternate, specialized merchant account.
Positive WePay Reviews & Testimonials
Positive feedback from merchants tends to highlight a few different factors. Here are the positive comments I’ve seen most often from merchants in WePay reviews:
- Seamless Integration: WePay’s ability to integrate with established platforms makes it very easy for merchants to set up and use. Partners also love this quality of WePay.
- Lower Rates Through Some Platforms: Merchants commented that they were able to access lower processing rates with WePay than with another payment provider. These merchants tended to be using WePay through Zoho and Classy.
- Easy Checkout: WePay’s checkout process is simple and intuitive for the end-consumer.
Final Verdict on WePay
WePay’s niche is so specific that it is difficult to compare to other services, even other third-party processors. To make direct comparisons, you’d have to look at the platform-embedded, co-branded version of each payment service. Still, it can be helpful to know what’s going on under the hood of some of the payment platforms you’re considering.
For platforms, WePay is a flexible approach to integrating payments into your service, whether you want to just link to a Chase checkout page or simply use Chase for your back end. We’re giving WePay 4 stars for its novel approach to payment solutions.
If you’re a merchant looking for a third-party processor outside of a platform, you may want to consider Stripe, Braintree, and Adyen. If you are concerned about account stability, you might consider finding a dedicated merchant account provider, such as CDGcommerce or Fattmerchant.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.