In the wake of Fast’s collapse, Volume thinks it can crack the payment checkout conundrum

Online payment methods can be expensive for merchants, who have to pay between 2% and 8% of every sale to debit and credit card, e-wallet and BNPL facilitators. Much of this is often passed to consumers. Fast was a hugely well-funded startup that tried to address this by closed in spectacular fashion just recently. Other examples tackling the issue include Rapyd, and Bolt.

Volume is a new checkout startup that has now closed a pre-seed round of $2.4 million led by firstminute Capital and joined by SeedX and Haatch Ventures. Obviously tiny compared to Fast’s $102 million Series B.

Volume’s take on this checkout market is — it says — about making the checkout process shorter and reducing associated fees. It does this by using the Variable Recurring Payment mandate and also employs biometric security to finalize the purchase.

Simone Martinelli, founder and CEO at Volume, says:

Instead of yet another one-click checkout, Volume is building the world’s first-ever transparent checkout. E-commerce has a “hidden tax” in the form of payment commissions to cards and e-wallets, and consumers don’t know this ultimately impacts on the prices they pay. We want to finally bring transparency to this enormous market and kill all hidden fees.

Volume was founded by Simone Martinelli and Krzysztof Tarnawski, who spent the last 10 years working at Level39, Mastercard, HSBC and WorldRemit.

The startup says it has 50 merchants across retail, food delivery and digital marketplaces in the U.K.

The fintech will use the new funding to expand its U.K. business, before it looks toward the rest of Europe and North America.

Arek Wylegalski, partner at firstminute Capital, commented:

Volume is seizing the opportunity created by open banking to enable a new, improved e-commerce payment experience. The high interchange fees that have long been regarded as normal in this $5 trillion market are finally about to disappear. Having backed Revolut at a similar stage in the past, I believe in Krzysztof’s and Simone’s unique mix of fintech know-how, technical talent, relentless customer focus and ambition to get the job done.

Other participants in the funding round include angels Christian Faes (LendInvest), Russ Carroll (ex-Klarna), as well as angels from MADE.COM, Mastercard, Visa and American Express.