Wafi Platform Powers Open Banking Payments for eCommerce Merchants


Wafi has launched a payment processing platform that lets eCommerce merchants accept online bank transfers.

The new Wafi.cash provides these businesses with an application programming interface (API) to process bank payments and reduce their payment processing fees, Wafi said in a Tuesday (Jan. 24) blog post.

“Over the last few years there has been a shift in consumer behavior towards cash spending online and offline — in 2021, debit card usage grew by 23%,” Wafi founder and CEO Victor Umunze said in the post. “Wafi enables you to take advantage of this shift in user behavior by opening you up to new tools and technologies.”

PYMNTS research has found that there is a significant runway for paying for purchases directly from a checking account through an online bank transfer to gain traction in the United States.

Among the 30% of consumers who are interested in trying new payment methods, two-thirds are “very” or “extremely” interested in using online bank transfers, according to “New Ways to Pay: Aligning Consumer And Merchant Payment Preference,” a PYMNTS and Nuvei collaboration.

The report also found that while 37% of consumers overall had used the method to pay a bill in the preceding month, only 1 in 10 had used their accounts to pay a merchant.

As instant payments become more fully embedded into the fabric of everyday life, interest will grow, Nuvei Chief Corporate Development Officer Neil Erlick told PYMNTS in an interview posted in December 2022.

“If you look at real-time payments and the FedNow initiative, the bottom line is consumers want to pay instantly, and they want to get paid instantly,” Erlick said at the time.

With the new Wafi.cash, eCommerce merchants access real-time payment (RTP) rails, leverage open banking to increase payment reliability and reduce fraud, benefit from bank-grade encryption and multi-factor authentication and create loyalty programs, according to the press release.

The API includes products that enable these merchants to accept bank payments, send bank payments and get customers’ verified bank account information to process their payments.

“Despite the advancements in technology and payment processing I helped build while at Plaid, we still continue to see fraud, identity theft, high fees and inconsistent user experiences plague both businesses and consumers,” Umunze said in a press release. “At Wafi, we believe that there is a significant opportunity for improvement in this space.”