Both startups and IT giants like Apple have taken note of the growing popularity of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) goods. There has also been significant concern about BNPL enterprises promoting loans without adequately communicating the attendant hazards to those who are less financially stable.
When Kasheesh emerged out of stealth today with a product that its creators think may help customers by providing a level of flexibility that is comparable to BNPL, but without taking on a loan, it was widely anticipated. Founder and CEO Sam Miller says the company’s core product is a browser plugin that lets users purchase online using numerous combinations of debit, credit, and gift cards without paying fees or interest.
When you use your existing credit and debit card to make a purchase, “you’re actually facilitating the transaction rather than having to go through a credit pull and underwrite a loan that you don’t fully understand and then purchasing the same item and owing money over six to 12 months,” Miller said.
According to the startup, since its January introduction into private beta, the platform has facilitated over 10 million in customer transactions and purchases. Miller said that the number of people signing up for the service has increased every month since its introduction.
There are two categories of clients that Kasheesh is aiming for, Miller said. The first type is the “paycheck-to-paycheck” customer who utilises the site as a budgeting tool in order to prevent overdrawing their credit cards or going over their limit on their loans. There’s also the “10 credit cards and want[s] each card to be top-of-wallet” consumer, he said. It’s possible for these consumers to divide purchases with pals by using Kasheesh. According to Miller, although the technology supports shared purchases, the company is still in its early stages and has not built out capacity on its customer support team to deal with inquiries from numerous people about a single transaction because it has not intentionally targeted those users yet.
An additional 5.5 million in early fundraising from institutional and celebrity angel investors was disclosed by Kasheesh during its public debut. In addition to NFL star Odell Beckham Jr., investor Sahil Bloom, and actress Robin Wright, VC companies Tribe Capital, Anthemis, and Courtside Ventures also participated in the round.
As a result of the interchange fees it receives from MasterCard, Kasheesh is able to sell its goods to customers at no cost. Single-use cards, as outlined by Miller, enable customers to pick how much money they want to spend from each of their financing sources while completing a transaction. “The value offer makes more sense” for MasterCard, since Kasheesh has an average order value of “far over 1,800” per client, while the typical BNPL transaction is “significantly less,” according to MasterCard’s vice president of marketing.
When Kasheesh’s technology matures, it hopes to allow customers to use the same card for many transactions instead of creating a new one each time, Miller said. Kasheesh now employs 12 people, but Miller hopes to increase the workforce significantly in the near future by focusing on product and customer service positions.
Additionally, the organisation stresses the importance of securing and protecting the privacy of its customers. According to co-founder and CTO Kevin Kim, Kasheesh uses Stripe and Plaid to handle transactions and does not save any credit card information on its own servers.
“We’re big believers in the anonymous component of transactions. I kind of liken it to the day where there was always that one person in the grocery store line that had to write a check when they were checking out from the grocery store, and it’s the stigma that went along with that. For that reason, we don’t, we don’t cherry-pick. Everyone is viewed exactly the same — doesn’t matter what geographic location, demographic information, what cards you’re linking, none of that matters to us,” CEO Miller added.
Miller is sure that Kasheesh’s offering is distinct enough to stand apart even if it serves many of the same customers as BNPL.
“We view the entire fintech world as one giant competition,” Miller said. “I think that alternative financing at checkout is the category we fall into, and that includes BNPL, that includes traditional forms of payment like credit and debit, it includes crypto, but. I think that we don’t have any direct competition in the sense of who’s doing exactly what we’re doing … But I do think that there’s going to be this huge wave where the consumers are looking for a little bit more power and transparency at the point of the purchase.”