Rethinking Subscription Payments

The case for card-cutting.

WRITTEN BY

Carolina and Brenna

We’ve been on our Waivr journey since 2020. What started as a product designed to save consumers from predatory banking fees evolved into what we’re building today: a new payment infrastructure for the subscription economy that challenges what consumers and merchants alike accept as the status quo. Waivr delivers faster, cheaper, and smarter transactions so that merchants can reduce involuntary churn and increase the lifetime value of their subscribing customers.

Waivr’s concept is rooted in the data we captured from the ~350 users who had onboarded to our first product: an overdraft fee protection service. Unlocking the power of the young Real Time Payments (RTP®) network, we were able to transfer funds instantly into customer accounts when they dipped below zero, blocking the loathed $35 overdraft fee that would otherwise hit at the end of the day. We soon discovered a trend: the subscriptions we love most are the greatest offenders of account overdrafts. 

the subscriptions we love most are the greatest offenders of account overdrafts.

What if we could address the problem earlier, validating sufficient funds at the time a consumer signs up for a subscription? Or scheduling payments on a day that a consumer is most likely to have funds? And at the same time, providing a merchant with an optimal method of transacting that bypasses interchange fees AND disburses payments instantly? So we boarded up the doors of our product (no easy feat for a founder), and embarked on a new journey with Waivr in pursuit of a greater idea that would reach both consumers and merchants, disrupting the subscription landscape.

So how does Waivr work?

We allow merchant sellers to transact with consumers via direct debit. Now this concept isn’t novel, but Waivr’s implementation is. Consumers checkout for their subscription by opting to “Pay by Bank,” where they simply hookup their account using their credentials. That’s it. On the backend, we quickly validate sufficient funds, and then initiate the payment, disbursing funds in real time to the merchant’s account via the RTP® network. We also take a look at transactional data to schedule the next billing date on the buyer’s terms, aka when they are likely to have the highest account balance, reducing involuntary churn.

As markets reset and evolve - from shifting back to more conservative growth models to the rise and fall of streaming wars between media giants, subscription businesses across all industries must respond to a new era. Improving unit economics and increasing liquidity are strategies we’re seeing companies adopt - and Waivr is here to enable both.

Our vision

Waivr's vision is to facilitate smarter and faster payments, tackling today’s growing subscription economy. We’re ending the multi-day wait for cash access because of bygone payment rails and bidding adieu to involuntary churn caused by insufficient funds and credit limits. Talk to us!

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