How Payment Processing Service Affected My Crowdfunding Campaign!

By: Prachi Bax |CEO, Co-founder of SmartyPans

Ever launched a crowdfunding campaign? If so, you know it’s one of the best ways to bring an innovative product to market. My name is Prachi and I am a co-founder of SmartyPans. I am a Nutritionist who loves to cook. I developed SmartyPans with a vision to empower cooking enthusiasts to experiment, develop and enhance their cooking skills at the same time give people the control of their nutrition data. We’re in the midst of launching SmartyPans via Indiegogo, but we’re getting killed by credit card security issues. Here’s how you can avoid these issues and how you can help us.

A lot (if not all) of your campaign’s success depends on your “email list” of early backers and your efforts to drive the traffic to your campaign. In my case, I spent a year and a half making a product that I am extremely passionate about. Over the last 6 months, showing my prototype at expos and events, demonstrating it to early backers at tech meetups, restaurants and Indiegogo supported hardware meetups, we built an amazing email list of enthusiastic supporters.

SmartyPans Co-foudners, Prachi & Rahul Baxi

After all the prep work, we launched our campaign. It started with a bang, we reached ~35% of our goal in the first 10 hours. But in the next few days, we started getting frustrated emails from people who were really excited about our product, who said in frustration, “My credit card got locked”. We lost sales, but more importantly, this affected our visibility on Indiegogo! Their algorithm pushed us further down the stack making room for campaigns that were doing better. What a nightmare! How did this happen? How can these problems be avoided?

  1. If you have linked your credit card with your PayPal account, ALWAYS make the purchase via your PayPal account. If you try to make the purchase as a guest and enter the same credit card information, PayPal won’t let you. It gives a very vague error message and tells you try using a different credit card.
  2. On Indiegogo, you cannot select the quantity when selecting a pledge. If you want two units, you have to buy them separately in two separate transactions. BUT, if you do so in rapid succession, PayPal sees it as a suspicious activity and blocks your card. Again, giving the same vague error message that’ll keep you confused about what exactly happened.
  3. If you try to use PayPal while traveling in a foreign country, make sure to contact PayPal before you make the purchase.

Right now, our campaign needs your help! We have only eight days left and we know it’s possible to reach our goal. Please forgive us if you were one of the people who tried to order and ran into one of the issues above. We’ll personally concierge your order. Just contact me.

If you’re a new supporter, or feel confident that you can make the PayPal transaction work, please check out our campaign here.

Help make it happen for SmartyPans! We need your help now!

Originally published at medium.com on February 8, 2016.

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UNY Pulse

UNY Pulse

Making Upstate NY the go-to destination for entrepreneurs!

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