Fast Brings Instant Checkout to the Web

Adriana Lee
·3 mins read

True to its name, San Francisco-based start-up Fast is bringing speedy, one-click online checkout to e-commerce.

Hot off the heels of its $20 million Series A, the company unveiled Fast Checkout on Wednesday. The solution allows shoppers to conduct online purchases with a single tap, regardless of whether they’re using a desktop browser or mobile browser.

“We have built the one-click checkout for the entire Internet without passwords,” said Fast chief executive officer and cofounder Domm Holland. “This really is the absolute holy grail of e-commerce, the thing that we’ve all waited for and wanted for so long. And this is a button that goes on every web site.”

Fast’s technology relies on tokenization, which means that on any Fast-enabled retail web sites, consumers can sign up quickly, and the service remembers their identity and details on a per-device basis. From here, they can go to any other site that works with Fast, shop and purchase quickly, without having to enter and reenter shipping and payment details.

Even better, the payment information never lands in Fast’s servers, so there’s no threat of malicious attacks or security breaches putting credit card or bank information out in the open. The technology will also work with retailers’ loyalty programs and other membership clubs.

“Fast Checkout is the easiest way that merchants will be able to create accounts on their users’ behalf,” said Allison Barr, cofounder and chief operating officer. With five years at Uber working on payments and finance under her belt, Barr knows the importance of shopper data.

“We will share customer data with retailers, if shoppers are completing a purchase, not just browsing the site,” she added. “Stores would be able to use the [information in] all of their marketing campaigns and loyalty program.”

The proposition aims to fix what’s broken about existing checkout procedures, which in its current form are fragmented processes that can be slow and annoying. According to the company, retailers are losing as much as 80 percent of potential purchases because of poor checkout processes. During the coronavirus pandemic, losses like that could be life or death for stores. There’s clearly a lot at stake, with online shopping traffic in the second quarter topping $211 billion, and e-commerce in the U.S. predicted to grow 18 percent over the course of 2020.

Fast wants to speed the process, and the approach is appealing enough to attract the likes of Stripe. The fintech heavy-hitter, which led Fast’s Series A, is now partnering to bring Checkout to its merchants. The start-up is also partnering with BigCommerce to put Checkout with every retailer on the e-commerce platform.

The result: In its launch phase, Fast will hit thousands of online stores in a large wave of integrations.

“One-click checkout solution is a powerful strategy for merchants,” said Mark Rosales, vice president of business development, payments, security/fraud, banking, financing and fintech at BigCommerce. “You can increase store conversions, they can reduce cart abandonment — essentially speed up the path to purchase. We see it as a strategic imperative for merchants [of all sizes].”

Along with one-click checkout, the company also gives shoppers a way to see all of their transactions in one place, making it easy for them to track orders, reorder products or initiate returns, instead of visiting e-commerce sites individually.

Complicated return processes are yet another frustrating reality for online shoppers, who abandon 75 percent of e-commerce shopping carts yearly to avoid it, along other issues.

So far, Fast Checkout looks like it could make shopping easier for customers, while helping retain sales for retailers — that is, if consumers can wrap their heads around the fact that a fast and simple way to pay for goods can be secure as well. If Fast can get that message across, it may just wind up becoming the solution retailers need.

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