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Same-day ACH, wire, and credit: all the ways to pay fast

online payment options
Gilad Idisis
Published at | Updated:

Late payments can affect your relationship with your vendors, harm your reputation and derail your credit score. Nevertheless, late payments can happen. You’re only human, and running a business on top of that doesn’t make things any easier.

It might happen because you get caught up in the daily grind every once in a while, you forget to pay a bill, or you remember at the last minute. Or maybe you’re low on cash at the moment because you’re still waiting to get paid yourself. And sometimes,  it’s not even up to you – a check can easily get lost in the mail.

Whatever the reason, late payments happen, and we’ve got you covered with a guide to fast payments. Fast payments allow you to minimize the risk of late payments by expediting a payment when you really need to. There are many ways to do that: Same/next-day ACH, wire transfers, and more. And there’s also a secret hack that gives you added perks – paying with your credit card even to vendors who don’t accept cards. Let’s dive in.

Pay your vendor with a credit card (even if they don’t accept cards)

Wait, paying business bills with your credit card* even if your vendor doesn’t accept cards? What sorcery is this? 

It’s simpler than you might think. Services like Melio allow you to pay your business bills with a credit card, while your vendor still gets paid by ACH transfer. 

There are many benefits to paying your business bills with a credit card, and we’ll touch on them in a second, but the main, lesser-known advantage of paying with a card is that credit card payments are processed faster than bank transfers. If you use your credit card with Melio by 2 p.m. (ET) on a business day, your vendor gets paid the same day by ACH bank transfer.

What other perks does paying with your card hold, you ask? Well, you’ll be able to…

  • Defer payments and hold onto money longer. Paying with a credit card lets you enjoy the extra 45-day float until the next billing cycle, giving you more breathing room.
  • Earn rewards. You can collect cash back, points, miles, and rewards with each payment. 

Pricing: Melio offers credit card payments for a 2.9% fee.

Same-day/next-day ACH

ACH bank transfers are a popular way to make business-to-business (B2B) payments. However, a standard ACH transfer can take up to three business days to process because it moves through the ACH network. Three business days isn’t too bad, but if you need a faster option, Nacha, the organization that regulates the network, also offers same-day or next-day ACH transfers. 

The price and availability of expedited transfers depend on the service provider, which can be a bank, a credit union, or a private provider. Some, but not all banks, offer accounts with same-day or next-day ACH transfers. 

Eligible Melio users can expedite their ACH payments by choosing same-day delivery. Fast payments made after 2 p.m. (ET) will be delivered the next day.  

Pricing: Most banks don’t advertise their ACH fees, but it varies from $10-$30 per transfer. As a point of reference, Bank of America charges small businesses $30 for same-day ACH and $5 for next-day.

Sending a standard ACH transfer via Melio won’t cost you anything but for same-day ACH you’ll be charged a 1% fee (up to a limit of $30 per transaction). 

Compare the terms and fees of the different ACH service providers right here.

Wire transfer

Wire transfers are faster than standard ACH, as the money moves directly between two financial institutions (point-to-point) rather than going through an ACH system. So when you send a wire transfer, it’s usually processed the same day.

Pricing: Wire transfers are substantially more expensive than standard and next-day ACH. Pricing for outgoing domestic wire transfers ranges from $20-$30 and can even go up to $50 for international transfers. Most banks also charge for incoming wire transfers.

How to get paid fast

Until now, we talked about outgoing payments. But what if you’re on the receiving end of a payment, as a vendor? There’s one easy step you can take to get your business clients to pay you faster – make it easy for them. Melio lets your business customers pay you online by ACH, without having to sign up, for free. Instead, you send them a payment request with an attached invoice and a built-in pay button, and all they have to do is click it and schedule the payment.

Fast payments – a great solution, but here’s a better one

Fast payments are important to have in your arsenal when the occasional late payment ensues or when you urgently need to expedite a shipment of supplies. But fast payments cost money, and you should try not to depend entirely on them. The key here is to plan your payments, and have full control of when they arrive. Here’s where an effective online bill pay service will do the work for a fraction of the cost – one where you can schedule payments ahead of time, track all your vendor bills and stay on top of all unpaid invoices.

Try Melio’s bill pay service. There are no subscription or monthly fees and ACH bank transfers are free. You can keep track of all your vendors, pay all your invoices in minutes and take your bill pay game to the next level.

*Subject to card network limitations

*This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice.
**Melio does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice, and you should consult with a professional advisor before making any financial decisions.