Ecommerce platform Shopify to launch ‘Shopify Balance’ for businesses
Shopify, the Canadian ecommerce company, has announced the imminent launch of Shopify Balance, a no-fee banking account designed for independent businesses. It is set to arrive in the US sometime later this year.
The account, accessed through the Shopify admin, allows merchants to see their cashflows, pay bills and track expenses.
There is no minimum balance required to open an account. Merchants will be issued a physical or virtual card which they can use online, in-store or at ATMs.
Shopify Balance will have a reward programme too, allowing merchants to get cashback and discounts on everyday business spending like shipping and marketing.
“Right now, we’re dedicating ourselves to helping as many small businesses as possible survive this,” says Shopify’s CEO Tobi Lütke, who announced yesterday that the entire company will be working remotely until 2021.
“We’ve looked far and wide into our roadmaps for everything that might be helpful right now, and have tried to pull as many things forward as we could, shipping them and getting them out the door for our merchants.”
The ecommerce platform is also launching a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ option, rivalling the flexible payment options offered to US merchants by Klarna, PayPal and Square.
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Called ‘Shop Pay Instalments’, the feature will allow consumers to split purchases into four equal payments, interest-free. Set to launch “later this year”, Shopify says it will work with an unnamed partner to deliver the integration.
As well as unveiling new banking and payments products, Shopify has already begun rolling out its ‘Local Delivery’ product, which allows merchants to deliver products to their close-by communities.
Sellers can draw out the area they can reach with deliveries, set fees for delivery and a minimum order price, complete order payments through Shopify, and use the Local Delivery app to create routes and keep customers up to date on delivery statuses.
The delivery service has been built to help small businesses – particularly restaurants – get up and running quickly with a home delivery service.
And not only did Shopify announce its own series of features this week, but it also partnered with Facebook as part of the social media giant’s ‘Facebook Shops’, which lets merchants create entire online shops on Instagram and Facebook.
The partnership, which also extends beyond Shopify to other ecommerce platforms such as BigCommerce and Woo, allows merchants to use these third-party platforms to manage their Facebook Shops and the adverts attached to those shops.
“Facebook Shops allows Shopify merchants to get control over customization and merchandising for their storefronts inside Facebook and Instagram, while managing their products, inventory, orders, and fulfillment directly from within Shopify,” the company said in the announcement.
The slew of new products, brought forward due to the current market conditions, will certainly offer up fresh competition for both banks and fintechs trying to tap the same, growing pool of small, independent businesses.
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