Dots - Multichannel payouts for gig workers
Pay out your gig workers through Zelle, CashApp, Venmo or PayPal with a single API
Every day I feature a new interesting startup. Today’s featured startup is Dots. Subscribe to my newsletter to read about a new interesting startup every day.
What it does: Dots lets a marketplace pay their gig workers in the ways they want to be paid (including Venmo, Paypal, CashApp, ACH and Zelle) with a single API. While most 1099 workers prefer to get paid with the payment apps they already use, most marketplaces either do not allow their 1099 workers to get paid through anything other than ACH (typically set up with Stripe Connect) or have to keep reinventing the wheel to integrate all the different payment platforms.
How it started: Sahil Hasan and Kartikye Mittal started creating internal APIs to deal with payouts to all these different platforms while they were working on their own digital wallet and realized that integrating all these platforms was a lot of effort and that most marketplaces simply ignore this and pay out through ACH instead, even though there is tremendous demand for flexible payout options. So they decided to launch their internal APIs to the public.
How it works: While Dots doesn’t offer mobile SDKs yet, they do have Python and Node SDKs available, which allows marketplaces to create a payout experience on the web. Here’s a demo of a seller trying to withdraw their balance:
Why it’s interesting: As we’re building out a new SaaS-enabled marketplace for dog walkers at Paway, we are interviewing a lot of walkers and the overwhelming demand of these walkers is to be paid out in apps like CashApp, Zelle and Venmo (it is by far our most popular feature request). As a small startup it seemed like a daunting tasks to support all these apps from day one but Dots seems to make this easy. Now, the big question is: why do all these gig workers want to get paid out in these apps and not through ACH? Because of strict KYC laws it’s a hassle to set up ACH payouts: they have to share privacy sensitive information, share their bank account information and even tax information just to be paid. ACH payments also often take multiple days to process. So being able to offer payouts to all the favorite payment apps that people are already using, seems like a huge competitive advantage for any supply-constrained marketplace.
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