If you were to initiate a transfer after a successful charge, you will get an error. You have to wait days for it to make it to your available balance and transfer then.
I want to start the migration, but don't want to lose access to Balanced all together until we're ready...
Greetings from a fellow "Limerician" btw :)
i.e. ACH debits, marketplaces, etc.
Migrating over to Stripe sounds great, but having these libraries updated with the proper endpoints seems like a must.
Specifically, for those in the ACH beta you can put a customer's bank account token in that field to charge their bank account.
(I currently have this ability with Balanced. Also have very low fraud, chargeback, etc.)
To make an ACH debit, you'd need to verify a bank account beforehand. And I don't think client libraries support a `bank account resource` w/o curling.
Maybe I'm missing something.
Disclaimer: I haven't actually used them myself. YMMV.
In other words, while I and many others may wish you to actually get to Balanced's level of public commitment to transparency, the essential item is to allow people to simply use Stripe without being forced to run non-free code on their own machines client-side. Fixing this is as simple as making the source just for the client-side JS be available under an appropriate license and including some header or license file indicating this appropriately.
Please consider this, it will win you a lot of good will and is the right thing to do.
It is the first announcement of such a kind that comes with a well-considered and already provided migration plan for customers to ensure no loss of service.
That's a great standard to work to... leave yourself enough runway to look after your customers.
The Balanced team should feel incredibly proud of managing such a co-ordinated shut down whilst under the stress and emotional turmoil of closing a company. It speaks volumes.
+1 to the Balanced executives for being mature.
Balanced may have offered to sell their customer base to Stripe (or sell the company to Stripe, which presumably was refused). If Stripe accepted a deal to purchase Balanced's customer base, then it might have provided as payment, in part, an injection of cash to keep Balanced running for 90 days to implement the migration and hold up their side of the deal. Balanced might have suspended operations already if not for the hypothetical cash payment.
I'm not saying it would be wrong for Balanced to make that decision -- it's certainly better than shutting down! I'm just pointing out that Balanced may have other/more complex motivations for doing this than maturity, altruism, and leaving behind a good legacy. Balanced might be equally looking after its own shareholders by selling its (perhaps) most valuable asset: the customers. (The value of that asset crashes once Balanced ceases operations or announces its intention to do so, since its customers will immediately move to a competitor. Thus, this asset can only be sold while Balanced is still operating.)
I have no data - I'm just speculating. However, would a responsible board allow a company to continue to operate and burn cash for 90 days solely for the purpose of migrating customers to a competitor, and taking further losses in the process, when it could shut down instead and disburse its remaining assets to shareholders and creditors? (I do not intend to cast asperions on Stripe or Balanced. There's nothing wrong about this if it's what happened - it's rational and in everyone's interest.)
I did also wonder if there were some kind of regulatory requirements around managing the shutdown of a finance company (appropriate warning periods, etc).
Kudos to Balanced for doing the right thing.
The retirement was so poorly handled that it's changed the way I think about services that I allow my business to depend on. Aside from a slight bias against anything with a "Google" label, I now consider it a lot more important that a service I'm using is the core business of the company providing it.
Yeah, we went with GWDG at the time primarily because it was one of the few good options for a NZ-based company, but it was always a bit strange and I always thought given the lack of maintenance it was likely to get killed. Switched to Stripe and much happier, although I do miss the awesome microtransaction pricing they had...
Google Wallet buyers will not be proactively notified. Keep in mind that if you do not remove your integration before March 2, 2015, your buyers will get 404 errors upon checking out with Google Wallet for digital goods API. To preserve your user experience, we highly recommend removing your integration and migrating to another payment processing solution as soon as possible.
I like to take the pragmatic view about such things. Motivations aside, at the end of the day & in similar situations, Google decided to screw customers whilst Balanced decided to offer a smoother migration path. Even if Balanced's customers don't like Stripe, Stripe has a free data portability clause that will allow them to continue on to the payment processor of their choosing. (https://support.stripe.com/questions/what-if-i-decide-to-lea...)
My v1 was orignally built on Stripe and I moved to Balanced quickly after they launched, because they offered ACH and escrow balance, etc.
Whenever I moved over, Mahmoud (Balanced CTO) stayed up past 1am to help me migrate. That instantly won me over. The entire team was super responsive and every interaction I had with the Balanced team was superb. Sorry to see this company go away (tear).
We run a non-significant amount of money through Balanced and hope that Stripe is a good fit. Not looking forward to re-writing our payments engine from the ground-up in 90 days :/
Hopefully we can make the transition as smooth as possible. If you run into any trouble, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We're bummed to see Balanced go, as I think they have a great product - indicative of what a focus on the space can produce. But we're excited to carry the torch forward.
We process billions annually and have crossed the scale chasm that the article describes (and have raised a fair amount of money to boot).
If any Balanced customer (or other marketplace) would like to chat, I'm happy to do so. Shoot me a note at email@example.com
Good luck to your team!
Even in death, Balanced's radical commitment to transparency lives on.
I'm not aware of any other companies with similar traction that have literally put their main website on GitHub.
What a sad day.
In that case, may be they should have looked into funding aspect rather than shutting down and funding might have helped them to become large,independent player as they wished.
Since YC backed, funding should not have been much difficult either. So it is surprising,seeing from outside. Am I missing anything here?
FooCorp has a team of talented product people working for it. They've got a gleam in their eye and a story on how they're going to attack a ridiculously large market. FooCorp easily sails to an angel round sized in the high six or low seven figures based on this.
FooCorp then hires, say, a half-dozen engineers to help their founders build things out. These engineers have AmaGooBookSoft pedigrees and cost $8k apiece... every two weeks.
FooCorp's product is quite beloved by early users. They accelerate hiring and marketing. Things are going swimmingly.
The founders of FooCorp, having the best of advice from mentors and friends, start trying to put together an A round, which will be millions or tens of millions of dollars raised from professional investors.
"People love us."
"... Well, a growing number."
"What's the monthly growth rate."
"We've got a wonderful graph."
"Kid, I'm a professional at this and have heard every possible dodge. Give me numbers. What's your marketplace volume?"
"NOT A RESPONSIVE ANSWER."
"... Two million."
"Cool. OK, I think we have what we need here. Keep us apprised of your progress. We really like you and the team." which is VC for "We will not invest but if you want to give us a free no-obligation option on investing because you're new at this then we'll take it."
Seed is raised on the dream. A rounds are raised on the metrics. If you don't have the metrics, you don't raise an A round. If you've hired in the expectation of an A round, and you don't either hit profitability before your money runs out or hit metrics which justify an A round, your company unceremoniously dies. This is by far the most common outcome.
This is sort of the talk-of-town right now, generally phrased as "Series A Crunch."
These are golden words which all budding entrepreneurs need to remember rather than getting carried away by seed funding/hype. Thanks.
If you're not using Spreedly, I recommend it because it's a big help in this situation because it allows you to seamlessly switch services without losing any of your customer card data.
Strongest possible +1 for this. I did a live migration from Paypal to Stripe in under 30 seconds once. Spreedly made this as easy as flipping a configuration switch. As far as I can tell, we didn't lose any business as a result of the migration.
I don't see any reason I'd ever move off Stripe (+) but it's more than worth just preserving the convenient-doesn't-require-app-rewrite option to do so.
+ Edit to add: Ooh, got one: an acquirer can dictate a move to their favored/house processor as a term of an acquisition, and "Sure, give me six weeks to do engineering work" is not something you want to have to worry about when putting that deal together.
Our gateway support is heavily influenced by customers, so anyone who has a gateway they'd like to pass bank account info to that we don't support today shouldn't hesitate to drop us a line.
They had great payout rules but when Stripe cut down on those times... Balanced was in a bad spot.
Happy to see they will transition smoothly to an industry leader, even if their platforms aren't even close to being the same.
The only reason they've said is that they weren't big enough to be as innovative as they wanted.
Stripe has now certainly solidified a dominant market position.
Hi Keith, sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you and the Storefront team. Feel free to email me if you need any help with the migration: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I sincerely appreciate the faith you placed in Balanced. I'm sorry we couldn't keep it going, but you're in good hands with Stripe.
No matter how you slice it, competition is good and necessary, and it really sucks to see this happen to a good team.
I'm not sure why you say Balanced(ACH) and Stripe(CC) when both do both, though.
I was gonna swing by the office when I'm in SF in a month or two, oh well :/
Reading comments, some people are saying it was a great service. But, it's shutting down, while services less great carry on.
This is hard for dev people (like myself) to realize, but if you're looking for commercial success, marketing is generally worth more than the quality of your product.
A key stage is hearing about a product at all - it is completely useless if you never hear about it.
See my blog post "How to use time-travelling anthropologist pollsters to tell good from evil marketing": http://www.flourish.org/2013/04/how-to-use-time-travelling-a...
Disclaimer: I have an MBA.
I don't think that's the case. The factors that contribute to commercial success very much depend on the market that you're operating in and on your company's individual circumstances.
They can include product quality, marketing and PR, cost structure, reach, scale (and economies thereof), revenues, growth, cash flow, and management's ability in a range of areas from crisis management and dealing with bad publicity, to setting the strategy and taking advantage of opportunities as they arise.
For startups who will need to raise more investment rounds, attractiveness to investors also becomes a factor.
Processing credit card payments is a mature market with a commoditised product/service and clear business model. Everyone pretty much offers the same service and, for most customers, price (i.e. how much commission they charge) is the most important differentiating factor. It's a very different market from, say, smartphones, where people are prepared to pay a premium for a "better" product (e.g. the iPhone) despite the fact that they all have the same basic functionality.
When it comes to competing on price, you ideally want to have a lower cost base than your competitors, so you can lower your prices (i.e. charge lower commissions), while still making a profit. One way of reducing your cost-per-transaction (or cost-per-customer) is to exploit economies of scale.
You achieve economies of scale by getting more customers and transaction volume. Marketing is an obvious way to achieve this. And, in a zero-sum market like credit card payments, every customer you win is a customer your competitors can't have.
That's why companies like Stripe are focused so much on growth and expanding into different geographical markets. If they can achieve scale quicker than their competitors, they'll have a competitive advantage and they'll be able to undercut competitors who haven't managed to achieve the same scale (e.g. Balanced).
Other markets are different. In some, customers discriminate on product quality instead of price, or technical excellence (i.e. efficiency) enables a lower cost base.
1: Occasionally, a payments processing company will distinguish itself by establishing a lead in a particular area (e.g. ease of integration) but the competitive advantage is usually short-lived. On this thread, there's much commentary about specific features but these don't matter to the vast majority of customers.
Balanced's meta fields will contain the Stripe IDs they were ported to, so you can migrate over to new objects incrementally.
We've actually had some support for Stripe too for a small service, an experiment, but were going to delete it and continue using Balanced 100% of the time.
Lack of pre-funding/escrow was not a big factor, but I can see how it can become one.
Additionally, I think that a company's level of trust with their customers involves some 'coefficient of risk' regarding potential losses to chargebacks against a low or non-existent reserve. I find the topic interesting, especially the consequences at a federal level if you guess wrong and the "customer" turns out to be laundering money.
Perhaps the docs are available as soon as I migrate? I am hesitant to start that process until I have code written to support Stripe. I don't want to end up with my data on Stripe going stale while I am still using Balanced to move money. Of course I am only assuming that scenario is what would happen, the announcement is pretty thin on details.
Should I email again?
If you want to migrate into an existing account you should email email@example.com, they can help you out and make sure we put the right settings onto your account.
$19.95 a month for ACH/E-Check
$.24 per check verification
$.25 per ACH transaction
$2.00 Per rejected item fee for ACH
Customer Support & Training Included
Free Recurring Transaction Manager
Plaid and Stripe certainly have caught up and both and offer good ACH alternatives. Best of luck to those migrating. Happy to chat with anyone who is interested in help with gateway independent ACH payments and subscription management. I'm on ian AT billforward . NET
Paypal's login process is not very well thought out atm. If you go to paypal.com log in, then 90% of the screen is taken up by an ad asking you to sign up ( even though you are logged in ). You need to click on "My Paypal" that takes up 3% of the screen, before you see your dashboard.
Competition is generally good for customers. In the short run it seems trivial... but in the long run it could matter in a big way.
Stripe: did you pay for Balanced's customers? If so, was it your idea to buy or did Balanced bring it up?
Stripe could have just acquired Balance allowing the founders of Balanced save face and Stripe gets Balanced's customers very cheap.
If you're looking to migrate a Rails app to Stripe, I wrote a short book that may help you out.
Wish Matin and the team at Balanced the very best for their future endeavors.
p.s. Classy move on the migration plan.
I wish them the best.