How Kash Will Cash In On Faster Payments

In keeping with its mission to “make payments better, faster and safer,” San Francisco-based payments startup Kash launched its payments API yesterday (Sept. 2).

The API, called liveACH API, is now open to developers everywhere and serves as an alternative to credit cards, which is said to eliminate chargeback and offer cheaper, instant payments.

“LiveACH is built on top of Kash’s proprietary algorithm that underwrites the risk of any transaction and clears it live for merchants, just like credit cards,” Kash CEO Kaz Nejatian said in a company blog post.

Rather than relying on the Visa/MasterCard processing network, liveACH clears transactions using traditional banking networks. This allows Kash to take money directly from a customer’s bank account and send it directly to the merchant.

Developers are only charged 0.5 percent per transaction by liveACH, a drastic cut from the 3 or 4 percent of their revenue that would usually be paid to credit card companies.

“People assume that the only two options to payments is the existing heavy, fraud-full and expensive legacy system or BTC. We think that’s wrong (though I am personally a big fan of BTC),” Nejatian told TechCrunch.

“Credit card companies use FICO scores run every 3–6 years [to prevent fraud]. We think FICO scores are a very bad way of running payments. We have an algorithm that determines creditworthiness on a live basis without using FICO scores. We use dozens of different factors based on the info users give us, financial history and what is publicly available,” Nejatian added.

The company also announced new additions to its executive leadership.

According to Kash, former CEO and Chairman of Visa Joe Saunders, as well as Sam Wen, founding team member at Square, will be joining its team. Saunders will step into the role of chairman of the board, while Wen will take on the position of Kash’s developer ambassador.

Last but certainly not least, the company revealed it raised a seed round of $1.5 million in new funding, led by Green Visor Capital.

The additional capital brings Kash’s total funding to date to $4 million.

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