Chirpify launches Twitter Commerce payment platform

Formerly known as Sell Simply, Chirpify Introduces Transactional Tweets for Brand Commerce, Direct Payments and Donations


PORTLAND, Oregon — February 15, 2012 — Chirpify, the easy way to exchange money via Twitter, today announced the launch of its Twitter Commerce platform, allowing brands and merchants to buy, sell, donate and transact on Twitter. Formerly known as Sell Simply, Chirpify enables direct, or person-to-person, payments and donations in addition to its retail sales platform.

For the first time ever, brands and retailers are able to use Twitter as a direct sales channel. By offering organizations a simple way to turn Tweets into transactions, Chirpify opens up a meaningful new channel that combines social marketing with commerce and offers an easy way for consumers to make purchases.

“Brands, retailers, politicians, celebrities and individuals have spent the past six years using Twitter to build communities and brand affinity, so why not allow them to sell on Twitter directly?” says Chris Teso, founder of Chirpify. “Customers don’t have to leave Twitter to make a purchase or donation. Chirpify removes the frictions of traditional e-commerce check-out processes.”

How it works:
Chirpify integrates directly with PayPal to offer secure transactions on Twitter. Purchases and donations are as simple as replying to a Tweet: “@favoritebrand Buy,“ or “@politician Donate,” for example.

Additionally, Chirpify offers deep integration with existing e-commerce storefronts, including Magento, for back-end fulfillment, listing and transaction management. To use Chirpify, merchants simply click the “list on Twitter” button when drafting an item listing for sale in their e-commerce dashboard. Inbound sales information appears as either an email or as part of the retailer’s back-end system, as well as via a DM on Twitter.

Because it works anywhere Twitter does, Chirpify is device agnostic, allowing any user on any mobile device, tablet or desktop computer to access Chirpify for seamless transactions.

“We identified Chirpify as solving a huge problem in the market: how to monetize social-media efforts,” says Greg Rau, founder and CEO at Upstart Labs. “Chris built an effective and elegant platform to deliver actual ROI based on revenue.  Chirpify offers individuals, companies, organizations—anyone—the ability to monetize their Tweets.”

Chirpify received seed funding from Portland-based incubator Upstart Labs, which invests in early-stage companies with a combination of capital and product-development support. Chirpify is one of the first ventures to receive seed funding from Upstart Labs, which launched its program last year.

About Chirpify
Chirpify (www.chirpify.com) is a seamless payment system for Twitter commerce. With full integration to PayPal, Chirpify enables businesses to buy, sell, donate and exchange funds on Twitter, turning Tweets into immediate transactions. Based in Portland, Oregon, the Chirpify platform is the first social commerce system to offer direct monetization through Twitter. To learn more about Chirpify and begin sending or receiving payments today, visit www.chirpify.com.

About Upstart Labs
Portland, OR-based startup accelerator Upstart Labs (www.upstartlabs.com) invests in early-stage technology companies with a combination of capital and product-development support. Upstart Labs focuses on developing new businesses, and providing emerging companies with support in design, development and go-to-market strategy.

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credit card processing recommendation for religious 501c3

A reader asks, “I noticed your video about non-profits being able to take advantage of emerging markets rates. I’m curious how that works if you do not fit into the emerging market categories as you address in your blog? I am a religious 501c3 and am in the process of getting rate quotes from various merchants and one mentioned this program to me. But, they have high monthly fees and we will have a very low amount of processing in our first year (less than $25k).”

Response: I’ve written about this before. For low volumes like yours it really makes almost no difference who you’re processing with. Most of the fee you pay cannot be avoided and the difference from low to high end costs isn’t worth the effort in my opinion. Maybe you’ll save $100 a year, maybe nothing. You’d be better off focusing on doubling your donations than trimming a very small amount in fees.

Related articles:
Monthly fees for non-profit merchant account under $25000 in credit card processing.
Industry insider reviews merchants fees for non-profits, large volume.

non-profit credit card processing rate video generates threat

I made a video about Non-profit credit card processing rates telling non-profit merchants what to look for on their merchant statements to know if they are qualifying for special credit card processing interchange rates they are entitled to as a non-profit. If a non-profit does not see this data on their merchant statement, I tell them to call me and I’ll help them out. I give free information to non-profits all the time, to enable them to use more dollars for their intended programs rather than paying it in credit card processing fees.

Captain Morgan (his youtube handle) is threatening me saying this is misleading advertising. “there are NO special interchange rates for Non-Profit businesses”. He’s going to report me to the card associations and everyone else who will listen.

Here’s an example of interchange rates. All “for profit” merchants can qualify for .95% signature debit. All  501(c)(3) merchants can can qualify for .80% signature debit for the same transaction.  Is that not a special rate?  CaptMorgan would have  you believe that Visa/Mastercard simply hands over these rates to everyone. But that’s not true. By rule, any non-profit can QUALIFY for these rates. But that doesn’t mean their PROCESSOR GIVES them those rates. The card associations set the interchange rates, but it’s up to the payment processor to decide what they’ll actually charge merchants.

Technically the two rates above are called CPS/RETAIL and CPS/RETAIL2 EMERGING MARKETS. There are a select few types of businesses that can participate in EMERGING MARKETS interchange rates. If the merchant is one of the qualified types of business, the proper corresponding SIC code on the merchant account set up will drive the ability for the merchant to hit emerging market interchange rates.

If all the credit card processing companies were doing such a bang up job, I’d have never made the video. But after seeing one too many merchant statements with the non-profit not qualifying for emerging market rates, I did something about it. Here’s the kicker. On a ‘pass through’ or wholesale price plan, the merchant pays interchange plus a merchant discount. (That’s the short version, though it’s much more complicated than that.) If the non-profit is set up incorrectly, they’ll pay .95%, for example, instead of .80%. The processor does not make any money on interchange.  NONE of the .15% difference goes to the processor.  But because some salesperson has no idea what they are doing, and it happens ALL THE TIME, the non-profit frequently pays more.  The salesperson doesn’t benefit, the processor doesn’t benefit, and the merchant pays.

CAPTMORGAN comment: “Are their special credit card processing rates for non-profits….? The answer to that is NO… NOT in any way…. ? This lady is full of it….. Visa / MC considers all markets by which they have limited presence in to be “emerging markets”. These markets are specifically; government, schools, utilities, insurance, cable / broadband, and pay television (OD); – nothing more…”

I think his comment is contradictory. YES, there are other types of merchants that ALSO qualify for emerging market interchange rates. I could have mentioned all of them in the video, but then, it would have been too long. If I did mention it, I’d give the same information and advice. Because I’ve also rarely seen a merchant statement for a government, school, utility, insurance, cable / broadband, or pay television that had emerging markets on their interchange qualification. How does this happen? If the merchant has been with the same processor for a long time, the emerging markets category may have been created after the account was established. With the wrong SIC code, the merchant never qualifies for the special interchange rates because nobody at the processor is watching out for their client and the client doesn’t know these rates exist, what to look for, or they are not given enough information to figure it out.

I listened to my Non-profit Credit card processing rates video two more times to see if I have some potential liability.  Hey- who want’s trouble? I could, and probably should,  take it down just to avoid any remote chance of trouble. But after listening again, I don’t see anything wrong with it. You be the judge. Watch the video. Do you think it’s misleading or false advertising? Does this guy not have anything better to do than to try and make life difficult for others?

Please write your comments on the video or blog. Thanks!

monthly fees for non-profit merchant account

Today’s inquiry is where can I get a merchant account with no monthly fees? The question is for a new non-profit 501c3 with less than $25,000 annual projected in credit card processing. The group needs a both a virtual terminal and online donation capability.

Answer: I don’t know any suppliers with zero monthly fees that would meet the requirements for the specifications above. My recommendation is to get a paypal Website Payments Pro account for $30 per month. The non-profit rates for the volume are as good as it gets. You’re going to pay fees whether it’s higher monthly and low rate or low monthly and high rates. I think Paypal offers some benefits for newbies with their instant online donor form, and the contract is month to month.

Step by step on paypal:

>Payment Solutions

>Accept Credit cards non-profit

>Sign up for a PayPal Business account If you don’t need a virtual terminal, you’ll select business/standard account/type of business, non-profit.

Discounted fees for nonprofits with 501 (c)(3) status

More than $100,000 in monthly volume: 1.9% + $.30 per transaction

Less than $100,000 in monthly volume: 2.2% + $.30 per transaction

There is no monthly fee. All other nonprofits are charged regular transaction rates. Discounted rates do not apply to transactions made using Website Payments Pro or Virtual Terminal.

If you need a virtual terminal, you’ll select Business>website payments pro. The non-profits rate do not apply! Pricing as of 12/15/2010:

  • $30 monthly fee
  • 2.2% – 2.9% + $0.30 USD per transaction* (Visa, MasterCard, Discover)
  • 3.5% and no fixed fee per transaction (American Express)

Note- fees are likely to go up again in April 2010, as a result of the bi-annual interchange update.

For a new non-profit you need to estimate how many transactions you’ll have a month, and a dollar volume. Assume 50% of your transactions will be a the lowest quoted CARD NOT PRESENT rate. Assume 50% will be at the highest quoted ECOMMERCE rate. This is a general guideline to help you compare different options you may be considering.

The above information does not apply to larger volume non-profits. Click this link for related article:

industry insider reviews merchants fees for non-profits