Running a business of any size takes attention to detail, attention to expense management and attention to when payments are going out the door and where they are headed. Enter real-time push payments.
Earlier this month, Ingo Money expanded its partnership with Visa and also debuted Ingo Instant Payments, aimed at fund flows directed to debit accounts. As profiled in this space recently, the ultimate goal is to take out the friction that comes with paper checks. And among corporations, paper checks are still as sticky as the glue sealing the envelopes in which they are mailed.
Ingo Money Founder and Chief Executive Officer Drew Edwards told PYMNTS in a phone interview that the advantages of Instant Payments come with scaleability, and for businesses, those advantages cut across all types of payments, without the need to first find payments rails or gather recipients’ bank account information. Ingo Instant Payments, said the executive, works across a single API, sending money directly to cards held by customers or, in the case of managing the enterprise in an effort to meet payroll, employees. The elimination of the need for bank account information, such as routing details, also means that people who do not have traditional accounts can be paid in a seamless fashion. Through its gateway integrations to Visa, MasterCard and 17 other network end points, Ingo Money provides intelligent network routing and redundancy, and the company says this enables funding to virtually any debit card, prepaid card and mobile wallet.
Edwards noted that the digital disbursements should prove especially attractive to millennials and to other employees who may be underbanked or unbanked. Younger workers, he said, are not the type of individuals who make trips to the bank to deposit checks or who find themselves patient with the banking process itself. “They don’t carry checkbooks around with them, and they do not know checking account numbers by heart … They also don’t want to wait days for a check to clear” before having access to funds. For push payments, said the executive, the direct peer-to-peer market is roughly $1.2 trillion, and the market for corporate push payments (corporate-to-individual payments among them) stands at multiples of that tally, consisting of supplier payments and other transactions.
Through that single API, said Edwards, the transactions are shepherded from origination (in this case, the business) through to settlement at the card account or the mobile wallet. In one type of use case, said Edwards, employees can conceivably be paid on a “just-in-time” basis, where a worker completing a project in stages can be paid per stage, instantly. And the employee requesting payment, perhaps even on a daily basis, has better cash flow management (meeting, say, unforeseen emergency expenses as they might pop up suddenly). And in one hypothetical, said Edwards, push payments can be useful to a worker out in the field, say, in construction, who may not have the time, or the ability, to wait for payments sent by check (which takes days or weeks). Instead, they can get funds sent day by day to cover incidentals or materials. Used in conjunction with payroll, said Edwards, push payments can be thought of as “an employee retention tool.”