Fast, a San Francisco-based platform that enables users to easily and securely access the world without passwords knows what it wants to do and does it quickly. The goal of the company is to make it easy as possible for users to be able to buy things online. Although we live in a world where e-commerce and online businesses are thriving in general, we still are using a lot of older methods of authentication and login. That’s why this startup comes into the picture providing one of the safest ways of securing passwords and user information.
Fast is a combination of essential digital-first elements. Unlike some companies that either focus on the authentication part of a transaction or on the payments side, Fast aims to bring both pieces together for a holistic solution. What that means, is that once you’ve logged into your Google account and been verified there, you shouldn’t have to take the time to re-authenticate when you then buy something with your PayPal account. Fast is looking to use the data it gathers to enable better post-purchase experiences, such as delivery tracking or the creation of an order dashboard, as well as future possibilities like post-purchase support and even subscription management and up-selling with recommendations for other products.
Now with new capital of $100 million to work with Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Allison Barr Allen said that she is looking forward to expanding the platform that was launched in September to new people and places. The company’s core product, Fast Checkout, offers a one-click purchasing process that does not require a password or manual identification inputs for every order. Shoppers are automatically signed up for Fast after their first purchase and can check out from individual product pages rather than filling a cart at the end of the order. all they are trying to do is scale consumers across businesses and make it easier to engage both for the company as well as the users. This means that businesses will be able to procure more business since there will be less friction for consumers, and then consumers will be more likely to engage.
The platform has also been compared to the experience Amazon provides. Like Amazon, Fast’s solution combines login and checkout and then adds authentication into the payments process. When shoppers use Fast, they automatically create a profile with that retailer without a need for a username or password. By offering the technology outside of Amazon, in a sense, Fast is democratizing one-click checkout.
“Amazon knows who you are, they have a history of all your purchases, they have your payment information stored and have all your addresses set up,” she said. “At Fast, we bring a lot of those same tools and technology to other businesses on the web, so they can still have a relationship with their consumers, and a lot of that goes to identity and payments.”
Like most businesses tied to rising e-commerce, Fast has seen many changes brought on by the pandemic.“We were really bullish on the segment and sector before COVID, but I think COVID definitely escalates a lot of the tech investment that these brands are doing where before it was nice to have, suddenly with COVID it becomes a need to have like it’s required to survive as a business,” Barr Allen stated.
While Fast is happy to work with larger merchants, most of its business is currently focused on serving small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that are often scrambling to do everything themselves.