Cash — and, more specifically, cash delivered through digital conduits — is flexible, a means of exchange accepted by nearly everyone, at every moment, in every locale. And now, cash is getting a little more flexible.
Ingo Money, a financial services provider, unveiled updates to its core app that allow users to move money across several accounts — whereas, previously, such transfers could only go to one ultimate account — in real time, via smartphones and other mobile devices.
As has been seen in previous incarnations of the Ingo Money app, instant availability of funds remains a key function. But now, with the added versatility, the funding can be farmed out to various accounts, such as checking, credit cards, prepaid cards or PayPal.
In an interview with PYMNTS, Ingo Money CEO Drew Edwards said that the firm has had roots stretching back over a decade and a half in providing services to check-cashing locations across the United States in 5,000 locations. With insight into the (time-consuming) process of finding a place to cash a check, with associated fees, Edwards said Ingo Money eventually set about finding ways to surmount the difficulties workers encountered with delays of three to five days of waiting for checks to clear or facing the problems of checks bouncing or even being reversed, which, of course, had an impact on workers', freelancers' and small business owners’ cash flow.
With the aid of technology, then, and with the app specifically — in tandem with First Century Bank funding and processing the transactions — Edwards told PYMNTS that deposits of up to $5,000 can be split across numerous accounts, say, to make payments on four credit cards or to go to pay suppliers that might have a small business or freelancer as a key customer. Such bill payments, said the executive, can help the cash flow of, say, a dog walker, graphic designer or workers that fall under a 1099 designation. The guarantee through the partnership between Ingo Money and First Century helps prevent against risk or liability on the customer if checks are returned.
“This is a part of the marketplace that Square, and companies like Square,” said Edwards, “do not service. The focus of this is in part on the small or microbusiness,” he said. Though the app originally was designed by Ingo with the consumer in mind as the key user, the firm quickly discovered that, though small businesses represent 4 percent of the user base, they accounted for 15 percent of the transactions, with many of those business owners working several jobs at once. Fees for checks can add up, too, and quickly outpace the fee levied by Ingo Money for instant fund availability.
Multiple jobs could, and often do, lead to several transactions on a daily basis and also the receipt of several checks in a given day. The dichotomy between Ingo’s consumers and SMB use is highlighted by the average of 2.1 checks that consumers process across the app, with an average size of $400, versus the six checks that business owners process monthly, with an average size of $200.
Speaking of the freelancing industry, where one-person shops are commonplace, Edwards termed those workers the “service industry of the future,” with real need to pay and be paid, instantly and irreversibly, during B2B transactions.