December 19, 2012

Balanced – A Payment System for Marketplaces

The difference between a marketplace and a showroom comes down to sales. Without a payment system in place, it can be impossible for entrepreneurs to process credit cards, manage deposits, and handle all the other steps necessary for merchants to sell their goods online. Balanced is an app that can make it easier for marketplaces to manage payments for the merchants they represent.

Get started with Balanced by setting up an account and integrating the application’s API into the back-end of your current sales site. Customers who visit your site once this integration has taken place can click to purchase any products you list on your site without being re-directed to a separate sales page or entering any iframes. When the customer enters his credit card number for payment, you as the marketplace owner can choose to authorize the card or charge it immediately. If you authorize the card rather than charging it, you’ll have a set number of days (as determined by the bank) before your official charge will need to go through. Once the buyer has indicated he’s happy with the product he purchased, you can release the funds to the merchant via ACH. If the buyer indicates he’s not happy with his purchase, you can issue a refund with very little effort.

Because Balanced works for marketplaces rather than merchants, the application makes it easy for marketplace owners to collect their own fees – generally 10% of the sales price – before dispersing any collected funds to the merchants themselves. Balanced is an excellent payment tool that marketplaces can use to protect themselves when working with merchants and buyers.

Practical Uses:

  • Maintain control over the transactions occurring in your marketplace
  • Authorize a buyer’s credit card when he makes a purchase online
  • Hold a buyer’s payment in escrow until he receives the product he purchased
  • Deposit funds into merchants’ bank accounts via ACH

Insider Tips:

  • Balanced only works with marketplaces in the United States
  • Marketplaces can accept credit cards from international buyers
  • The number of days a seller has to charge an authorized card is determined by the bank

What we liked:

  • Marketplace owners can collect their fees from merchants automatically
  • Balanced offers an all-inclusive pricing structure
  • Marketplace owners can make next-day payments to sellers
  • Balanced gives marketplaces a way to store cards for recurring billing

What we didn’t like:

  • Balanced is geared more toward helping marketplaces than actual sellers


Company Info:


  • Card processing fee is 2.9%, plus 30 cents per transaction
  • Next-day deposit fee is 25 cents per deposit

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