Fast is offering the ability to skip filling out credit card information each time you want to buy something online.
If you are like one of the many during the pandemic that have been trying to be more conscious of where you are buying your goods and/or services, then you have likely spread your purchases across numerous websites rather than relying solely on the one stop shop Amazon. What’s the main downside? The time and effort that it takes to fill out your address, contact information, and credit/debit card details for every purchase you make on a new site.
Fast, a universal checkout company, is looking to eliminate that downside. The company seeks to help you log in and make a quicker, more efficient online purchase with its first product, Fast Checkout, which launched in September. Once you’ve created an account with Fast, shopping anywhere on the web becomes just as simple as Amazon. In short, Fast is your one stop shop for all your favorites boutiques and businesses, big or small, with a one click checkout experience so you never have to divulge all your information again.
Entrepreneur and CEO Domm Holland founded Fast in March 2019, with COO Allison Barr Allen, who was previously in charge of all money-related Uber products, including Instant Pay. Just a year later in March 2020, Fast raised a $20 million series with the help and lead of Stripe, a fintech juggernaut.
Stripe sets their sights on the transactional side of the operation, which creates a platform for a plethora of shops to process payments, while Fast sets their sights toward the consumer side of the operation, where the consumer registers their information just once and can pay for their goods and/or services on multiple sites. The first time you come across a Fast Checkout button on a website, you will enter your credit card details and it is then saved into the company’s database. Using devices like cookies, IP addresses, and your email, Fast is able to track your websites and wherever the Fast Checkout button is available, you are only one click away from a complete purchase – your details do not get entered again.
“There’s a massive problem, which we see heavily in e-commerce, where we just continually have to fill in forms over and type in the same information, which means that [stores have] siloed versions of our data,” Holland says.
Fast does not hog the entirety of the data, however. It provides stores with the same consumer information necessary on the vendor end of things and pledges to reduce the amount of friction in the checkout process. Ultimately this could increase sales overall, for the sake of convenience. And unlike many e-commerce platforms, Fast is committed to not funneling that collected data into advertisers. The company sees beneficial aspects to using that data for personalized shopping in the future, but primarily makes their profits by getting portions of the service charges that are shared with Stripe.
As of right now, the widespread use of Fast is not yet rolled out. The more vendors that sign up with Fast, the more useful the service will ultimately become. The service has been moving forward with nearly 60,000 merchants on Stripe’s platform.
“For this network to be successful, it requires mass distribution,” Holland says. “If we got Walmart as a client, that would be of tremendous value to us because of all the transactions going through it, but not much value to the customer because they would be buying everything in one place. The biggest value is in having a large network.”
Along with stored data for future purchase, the company will also record and store the purchases you’ve made in your “Fast Feed”, allowing you to keep a bank of past purchases all in one place. This feature is similar to that of Shopify’s Shop app, but instead populated with direct data rather than information siphoned from emails.
In the future, the company hopes to create something so universal and useful that it can help manage the many subscription services consumers sign up for, from Netflix to a monthly matcha delivery. I think we can all agree that the subscriptions are getting out of hand. But the Fast Feed would allow you to track everything in one place – with still only one sign up.
Holland, CEO of Fast, has high hopes for the company and wishes to build his own ecosystem outside of online shopping via Google and Amazon. “We have absolutely no limiting context. We really just want every consumer to be able to use all of these products,” he says.