JP Morgan takes on Stripe and Square with faster payments for merchants

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Bill Clerico, co-founder and chief executive officer of WePay Inc.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

J.P. Morgan Chase wants to disrupt the fintech disruptors.

The company is rolling out same-day deposits to customers of its WePay platform who have bank accounts with the firm, according to Bill Clerico, CEO of WePay. J.P. Morgan acquired the Silicon Valley-based start-up in December 2017.

“With other payment processors, when a small business is looking to get paid, it can take 24, 48, sometimes 72 hours over the weekend for that payment to hit,” Clerico said in a telephone interview. “Because we are a bank [as well as a payments processor], we can deposit their credit-card proceeds the same day, including weekends, at no additional cost.”

The feature, available to some users already and spreading to all of its platforms by year-end, eases a cash bottleneck faced by many businesses.

A restaurant, for instance, can receive credit-card payments for happy hour drinks later that day. Payments received by 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday through Friday will be deposited to user accounts by 9:30 p.m., according to WePay. Payments made on Saturday will be posted by Sunday at 4 p.m.

It is, according to Clerico, a feature unique to Chase, which is the only major bank with a wholly owned payments business.

That could give it an edge as it faces fintech competitors including Stripe and Square, fast-growing companies that have taken the payments world by storm. These nimble firms have benefited as more commerce goes online, alarming the old guard.

Both companies say payments take one to two business days to complete and both charge fees for faster service. Stripe, for instance charges 1.5% to make an instant payment, according to its website.

The payments landscape is in the throes of upheaval. There have been more than $75 billion worth of mergers announced this year as established players scale up to compete better with the upstarts.

And the new players aren’t sitting still. Earlier this month, Stripe said it was launching a lending arm for small businesses. Square has applied for a license that would give it FDIC-backing on accounts.

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