by Tech in Asia
One Japanese startup is looking to challenge PayPal by attracting ecommerce merchants and businesses to its new, zero-commission epayment service. Metaps has launched the brand-new Spike into private beta, and it’s now available to online sellers in the US.
Choy Wai Cheong, the Singapore-based director and CEO of Metaps, says the aim is to get 30,000 clients using Spike by the end of this year.
The idea behind Spike is that it’s easy to set up, free to use, and works on a freemium model. The company says that all the usual fees mean “added costs [that] are a problem for small to mid size companies operating on a low profit margin.” Online shoppers who shop at a store that uses Spike will simply pay online with a credit card in the normal way, so ordinary people won’t need to sign up for anything new.
Spike will find there are already rival epayment services for US-based merchants. For those doing social commerce – such as so-called f-commerce on Facebook – there are services that help people set up stores as well as take payments, such as Ecwid. Another that focuses on Facebook and Instagram-based sales is Soldsie.
A new business venture
Spike is a whole new venture for Metaps, whose core business is as a platform for Android app and game developers to monetize their software. Metaps got US$11 million in series B funding this time last year.
But Spike is a not such a big departure for the startups – it’s just shifted from helping app developers make money online to assisting online retailers in saving money from their online transactions.
While there’s no initial, monthly, or sales commission fee for estore merchants who use the Spike freemium package, there are fees for merchant payouts, refunds, or chargebacks. A premium package is also being developed.
Metaps already has offices and support staff in Japan, China (mainland and Hong Kong), South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and the US. Cheong says that a EU office based in the Uk will be opened in June.
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