The Cheddar Up Difference

We get this question a lot: “Cheddar Up vs. Venmo — how are you different?”.  Fortunately, it’s tapering off quite a bit, because it’s becoming more and more obvious to consumers how we’re different. Nonetheless, it’s still asked often enough to warrant this blog post. Since we realize not everyone spends each waking moment thinking about the payment space like we do, we’ll explain. 

Cheddar Up vs. Venmo vs. PayPal

For many group organizers and sellers, Venmo is too light and PayPal is too painful.

A Quick Plug and a Little Background

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re familiar with some of the more common payment platforms, such as PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App. Before we share how we’re different from them, let’s do a quick plug on these platforms: 

PayPal

Its hands are in just about every aspect of global payments, especially when considering its myriad of entities and recent acquisitions. The PayPal platform, in particular, focuses on larger B2B transaction volume. It can do this because it owns Venmo, which is focused on the massive quantity of smaller day-to-day transactions. If you tried PayPal 10-plus years ago, you might wince upon hearing the name. Perhaps you have flashbacks of money being frozen or a flawed UI. At PayPal’s size, its fraud protocols are strict with zero shortcuts, so frozen funds may still be a reality. But the truth is, that was then, and this is now. Words to describe PayPal in 2020 are innovator, giant, and fearless. It’s an absolute leader in the space that’s always thinking ten steps ahead. Is it the go-to solution for group payments? No.

Venmo

We love Venmo. I mean, who doesn’t? Owned by PayPal (no surprise), it’s a master at the simple task of peer-to-peer (P2P) payments. And at nearly $100 billion in annual processing, those small daily transactions certainly add up. Venmo continues to eat up the P2P market share with no sign of slowing down. Heck, even we use Venmo at least once a week for paying the tutor, dog sitter, friend, etc. It’s perfect for getting money from point A to Point B. But would you use it for your PTA’s fun run or your booster club’s dues? Quite simply…no. Once you’re collecting from 10 or more people, things get chaotic – and collecting on Venmo becomes unrealistic and tracking is a nightmare. More on that later.

Cash App

Also supporting a large user base, Cash App is another beautifully simple option for P2P payments. Created and owned by Square, it tends to live in the shadow of Square’s other robust point-of-sale solutions. In terms of its core function, Cash App is very similar to Venmo. It does lack (perhaps positively in some people’s points of view) the public-sharing component that’s attributed to Venmo’s viral growth. But if you want to pay your dog walker and don’t really care if the whole world knows about it – you won’t miss this feature. If you need to pay someone back, Cash App is a great option. If you’re collecting from 10 to 10,000 people, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

How we compare: Cheddar Up vs. Venmo and other Mainstream Payment Platforms

Now let’s cut to the chase and explain how Cheddar Up is different from these mainstream payment platforms.

From its founding, Cheddar Up always intended to focus on group collecting. Admittedly, for about 10 minutes in 2014 we thought we might be able to get into the P2P game, but we quickly screwed our heads on and realized that Venmo was winning that race. From that point forward, we’ve been very intentional to stay in our lane and focus on the problem we care most about and we’re the best at solving.

So that’s where we play.

While building and scaling a P2P payment app is no easy feat, feature and functionality-wise, it’s pretty straightforward. On the other hand, collecting both payments and information from tens or hundreds or even thousands of people requires well…more. Cheddar Up is hands down the best platform for group payments, because we’ve thought through, built, tested, refined and rebuilt features (thanks to feedback from hundreds of thousands) that meet the following needs:

Friction-Free Payments

If you’re collecting from 10 or more people, expecting them all to download and learn a new app just to make a payment is unrealistic. With Cheddar Up, you click and pay on the web (which feels like mobile)—and you can always pay as a guest. That means no need for payers to download an app or even create an account. 

Payments + Info

When collecting from a group, it’s rare when only money needs to be collected. There’s almost always information associated with a payment (e.g., t-shirt size, contact information, signature, etc.). Without this critical functionality, half the equation is left unhandled, often resulting in the need for clunky pdf or paper forms. Combining the collection of both payments and information is a gamechanger.

Tracking

Using Cheddar Up means organizers avoid having payments coming at them from multiple payment platforms, which simplifies tracking in and of itself. In addition, Cheddar Up has mastered easy-to-use, right-fit tracking and reporting that happens dynamically so there’s no need for spreadsheets and never a question of where money came from.

Handoff

There’s one thing about organizing a group that’s never given proper consideration. It’s a short-term job. While you might volunteer to do the good deed for a season, or a year, or a rotation, eventually, you must hand someone else the reigns. Cheddar Up makes transitioning a collecting account simple. And with today’s fraud hoops, that’s not easy. Easy handoff means your collecting history and tools remain intact, which results in zero reinvention and less headache all the way around.

Point of Sale

It’s common for groups to need to collect online and in-person payments. Cheddar Up handles both seamlessly across platforms (web and mobile apps), with a custom point-of-sale solution and innovative hardware that keeps all payments and tracking in one spot—a group organizer’s dream.

In addition to this high-level functionality, Cheddar Up has dozens of features such as custom pages, shipping, refunds, recurring payments, managers, discount codes (just to name a handful)—all commonly needed when collecting from a group. The table below shows a quick snapshot comparison of Cheddar Up and other mainstream platforms.

Made for groups

Friction-free payments and group tracking

Cheddar Up

Venmo

PayPal

No app necessary

Pay without downloading an app or creating an account

Cheddar Up

Venmo

PayPal

Payments and forms

Collect money AND information (no more separate forms)

Cheddar Up

Venmo

PayPal

Custom payment pages

Online payment pages for anything (events, dues, donations...)

Cheddar Up

Venmo

PayPal

Easy handoff

Easily pass the reigns or share duties with an online history

Cheddar Up

Venmo

PayPal

Item and collection-specific reporting

Detailed tracking makes reporting a breeze

Cheddar Up

Venmo

PayPal

Integrated point of sale

Online and in-person payments and tracking in one spot

Cheddar Up

Venmo

PayPal

Made for groups

No app necessary

Payments and forms

Custom payment pages

Easy handoff

Item and collection-specific reporting

Integrated point of sale

Cheddar Up

Venmo

PayPal

Who We Serve

Our initial vision for Cheddar Up was to make the classroom parent a hero, simplify the club treasurer’s life, make class trips paperless, help troop leaders plan outings, sell spirit wear with ease…you get the idea. Basically, we set out to eradicate checks and paper forms from their biggest fan club—GROUPS. The good news is…we’re still doing just that. The even better news is that the volume of these group transactions and the myriad of use cases is astounding.

While mainstream P2P platforms like Venmo and Cash App focus on day-to-day transactions, and platforms like PayPal and Square focus on small-to-medium businesses, Cheddar Up focuses on that gap in the middle—group and communities—what we often refer to as the “junior varsity collectors of the world”.

The “junior varsity” term isn’t used to imply they’re inferior. It’s used for other reasons—like their need to collect from many people…often for a short-term period…with somewhat evolving, unpredictable collecting needs. They’re “junior varsity” because, prior to Cheddar Up, they got stuck with the old uniforms and the crumby practice times (so to speak). They were formerly forced to make do with platforms that didn’t have their needs top of mind. They’re “junior varsity” because they don’t get the love they deserve, gosh darn it! That’s where Cheddar Up comes in. In addition to robust functionality, group collecting requires a platform that’s:

Flexible

Different groups have different needs. One of Cheddar Up’s biggest challenges is building software that’s flexible enough to allow groups to collect for just about anything. That’s hard. Need to sell something, accept a donation, take registration, promote an event, collect dues? We’ve got you covered.

easy to use

Group organizers can have varying levels of technology expertise. So creating a platform that’s easy enough for anyone that allows them to arrive, look around, and immediately dig in is critical.

Free

Nine times out of 10, group collectors are either non-profits or in a scenario where every dollar counts. Giving groups the option to use Cheddar Up with no monthly fees while avoiding transaction fees is perfect.

The result is the Cheddar Up platform—which not only delights organizers and communities, but is also extremely sticky (once a user, always a user…with an ever-widening net) and attracts use cases beyond our imagination.

Move your group’s payments and forms online with Cheddar Up

Create a collection page in minutes and share your link. All payments and information are tracked automatically and can be easily exported to Excel for instant reporting.