The news that has been mentioned in the previous post has shown a clear weakness of one of the giants of crowdfunding in Internet. Due to this situation, probably any person that would like to launch a crowdfunding campaign here in Spain will wonder if the same can happen to him.
I asked a few crowdfunding platforms and generally all have begun to review their processes and ensure that such an event can not happen to them.
One of the best performing crowdfunding platforms in Spain, Lánzanos, gave me a quick and clear answer: an action like that is virtually impossible to take place in their platform. The reason can be deduced easily from the process followed when processing payments:
- First, when a user decides to support a campaign with a certain amount of money, the payment is pre-authorized, either by card or by PayPal.
- When the project reaches the 100% (remember that Lánzanos is a platform of “all or nothing” in which projects should be fully funded for stakeholders to get the money), all charges are done automatically. It’s important to highlight that is Lánzanos who makes the charges to the funders.
- Once all the money has been collected, Lánzanos gives the money to the project manager (the crowdsourcer).
- After a short timeframe after completion of the project (no more than 2 or 3 months), the project manager sends the rewards to the funders.
Similar to Kickstarter, the funders pay the money always before receiving the reward. The main difference, from my point of view, is the involvement of the platform in the payment process. While Kickstarter is kept out of the process (and that has been one of the complaints from some users cheated on their projects) Lánzanos is totally involved in it.
If a malicious user try to cancel the payment after receiving the reward, that nullification would not go against the crowdfunder who manages the crowdfunding campaign, but against the platform. Obviously, the platform, which has many more resources than crowdfunders, has enough tools to prove that the payment was lawful (user data, IP, dual electronic confirmation by the bank, etc).
In this way, users who want to create crowdfunding campaigns in Lánzanos, will be backed by the platform, having a greater security and avoiding helplessness situations as those raised in the case of “Encik Farhan”.
As people from Lánzanos told me: “We have funded more than 500 projects and never have happen anything like that”.