Talking tech since 2003

When it comes to getting paid online it can be tough, but it can also be equally tough to ensure that what you pay for is what you'll receive and therein lies the crux of the problem BandPay is solving for musicians and freelancers. Founded by DeCarlos Garrison and Gleb Teper, the Orlando-based startup launched its MVP to the world in March 2020 and quickly started picking up a following. In fact, I learned about BandPay through Endeavor Miami's startup Demo Day which was hosted last month.

What is BandPay?

BandPay is a tool that automates agreement and payment processing for project-based work. BandPay is perfect for musicians, freelancers, and small-businesses.

The tool has a feature called Project Link, which is a personalized online project request form that you can use to promote your business across the web or via SMS. You’ll also be able to receive project offers, negotiate terms, and form an agreement straight from within the app.

How is BandPay different?

There are two main kinds of existing payment platforms out there, the first is structured marketplaces and the second is simple peer-to-peer apps.

Structured marketplaces: Upwork, fiverr, SoundBetter – they charge high fees (up to 20%) which takes a chunk out of your earnings.

Simple peer-to-peer apps: Cash app, PayPal – these apps have smaller fees but still don't provide assurances that you will getting paid as a creator, or as a the buyer that you will actually get the product/service you're paying for.

The way I want you to think about BandPay is that it's somewhat a hybrid approach. It's not necessarily a structured marketplace, but it's also not just a super simple solution where you're just sending your money. BandPay has customizable agreements and built-in milestone markers to make sure people are held accountable, plus they handle any and all dispute processes. You can save your templates for future (re)use.

Each template includes the payment amount, the milestones, and the terms. A milestone is a measurable moment in a project where certain tasks are completed or services rendered by a set deadline. For example, a final mix for your single delivered a month before the release date, a week-long social media promotional campaign for a live stream series, or a guitar line or vocal performance that needs to be in the can by next week… those are all milestones that collaborators can incorporate into a BandPay agreement. Once a milestone is reached, funds linked to that milestone are released to the payee. You can pay via a credit/debit card or bank account.

In terms of fees, BandPay is now charging a 3.5% transaction fee (charged to seller). This fee actually used to be 8% but when I spoke to BandPay co-founders, DeCarlos and Gleb, they were really excited to let me know that they were reducing the fee now to 3.5% in an effort to be more friendly to both buyers and sellers. The new update also includes the ability to connect your bank account through Plaid.

The company also just launched a referral program, where you and your referred friends get a $25 in credit for transaction fees.

You can download and get started using BandPay today – it's available on both iOS and Android.

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