To pay or to be paid, that is the answer

Using a debit card to pay a merchant, in a store or online, is standardized and intuitive. But getting paid is neither. Receiving and depositing a check, getting the money “Venmo’d” to you, by ACH (including direct deposits), and of course, cash, are all options. These options require the payee to wait – until they receive the check, wait until the ACH clears or wait until the Venmo payment can be pushed to a bank account. There is an alternative: debit push payments. The “rails” that debit transactions use to make a purchase from a merchant can be used in the reverse direction, that is, the same rails can be used to push a payment to the debit cardholder’s account, pretty much instantly. Visa calls the capability “Visa Direct” and Mastercard calls it “Mastercard Send”. Both work the same; to allow funds to be pushed by a financial institution or a business to a cardholder knowing only the debit card number; no more having to provide the credit union’s routing number and checking or saving account number.

The many possibilities for using this service is what makes the potential so powerful:

  • Imagine being in a fender bender, and having the insurance claim disbursement sent directly to your account within minutes.


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