Honestly? For a variety of reasons, the money you send to us sometimes shows up in our bank account and we don’t know who it's from. We keep it safe, we promise, but we still don't know who it's from. We've never lost a single of our 55,000+ investments, so trust that we always get to the bottom of it.
For 99.9% of payments, everything goes smoothly. If you're reading this and have no idea what I'm talking about, go you! For that ultra lucky 0.1% ("But I never seem to win the lottery!"), they get to go on a detour to limbo.
Most of the time, what went wrong is that investors forgot to add unique identifying info to the payment, so all we know is that we received $150 without knowing who it’s from. Other times, it's because investors send money to the wrong accounts. Occasionally, some people send multiple payments. And sometimes, we literally can't figure out what a check is for because it is written in chicken scratch.
With manual hours. It often takes weeks or months for investors to alert us they've been stuck in limbo. After that, it's a lot of off-line communication to get the information necessary to ID the payment. Oh, and humans (mainly engineers) doing computer things. We've gotten kind of good at it. But we get so many payments per month that it is akin to looking for a needle in a haystack. And that takes time. Sometimes a lot of time.
Since we are in the age of technology at all, why spend the manual hours when you can get a computer to do the work for you? Since the root of the problem is that investors are sending payments using wrong information or leaving out crucial information, we wanted to build a way for investors to provide that info consistently. We also wanted to start proactively investigating these limbo cases instead of reactively detangling when an angry investor emailed.
So we did two things:
1. Improved the payment instructions
2. Created a payment reporting tool for users.
Log in and go to your My Investments page. If you have pending investments, you'll see the following:
“Notice the "Sent Payment" is now "Check has been mailed."
When you click on "Check has been mailed" or "Wire has been sent", you get a popup prompting certain information:
The most important pieces of information are the payment date, check number, transaction ID, and any receipts. This allows the payments to be reconciled programmatically, further reducing the percentage of cases that get lost in limbo.
With payment dates, we'll be able to estimate a date range for when the payment will arrive. In the event that a payment does get lost in limbo, we can narrow down a time frame for it and dramatically reduce the amount of time needed to track down that needle in the haystack. Additionally, since we're gathering identifying info electronically, computers can do all the searching. And computers sort of rule at this haystack-needle-searching thing.
1. Proactive troubleshooting
We can proactively reach out and sort out payment limbos before they become limbos. That makes for a better experience for the users too, but it really is what we should be doing anyway.
2. We're getting ahead
This clears up cases that would've otherwise become blockers down the road. This streamlines our operation to help us close company campaigns quicker and move investor money to the companies faster.
3. Peace of mind for everyone involved
We're just as nervous about mystery payments as you are. Being heavily regulated, we like to keep tabs on all the funds flowing in and out of our accounts. This way, you know where your money is, and we know the money didn't come from a rogue chemistry teacher in a late-life career transition.
Do you still have problems with payment with our new payment instructions?Are you having trouble with this new research tool? Comment with your thoughts or questions. We'd love to hear from you.
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